< Back to previous page


Calcium Signaling in Cardiomyocyte Function

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Rhythmic increases in intracellular Ca2+ concentration underlie the contractile function of the heart. These heart muscle-wide changes in intracellular Ca2+ are induced and coordinated by electrical depolarization of the cardiomyocyte sarcolemma by the action potential. Originating at the sinoatrial node, conduction of this electrical signal throughout the heart ensures synchronization of individual myocytes into an effective cardiac pump. Ca2+ signaling pathways also regulate gene expression and cardiomyocyte growth during development and in pathology. These fundamental roles of Ca2+ in the heart are illustrated by the prevalence of altered Ca2+ homeostasis in cardiovascular diseases. Indeed, heart failure (an inability of the heart to support hemodynamic needs), rhythmic disturbances, and inappropriate cardiac growth all share an involvement of altered Ca2+ handling. The prevalence of these pathologies, contributing to a third of all deaths in the developed world as well as to substantial morbidity makes understanding the mechanisms of Ca2+ handling and dysregulation in cardiomyocytes of great importance.
Journal: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology
Issue: 3
Volume: 12
Number of pages: 29
Publication year:2020