What keeps us ticking? Sinoatrial node mechano-sensitivity: the grandfather clock of cardiac rhythm

MacDonald, E. A. and Quinn, T. A. (2021) What keeps us ticking? Sinoatrial node mechano-sensitivity: the grandfather clock of cardiac rhythm. Biophysical Reviews, 13(5), pp. 707-716. (doi: 10.1007/s12551-021-00831-8) (PMID:34777615)

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The rhythmic and spontaneously generated electrical excitation that triggers the heartbeat originates in the sinoatrial node (SAN). SAN automaticity has been thoroughly investigated, which has uncovered fundamental mechanisms involved in cardiac pacemaking that are generally categorised into two interacting and overlapping systems: the 'membrane' and 'Ca clock'. The principal focus of research has been on these two systems of oscillators, which have been studied primarily in single cells and isolated tissue, experimental preparations that do not consider mechanical factors present in the whole heart. SAN mechano-sensitivity has long been known to be a contributor to SAN pacemaking-both as a driver and regulator of automaticity-but its essential nature has been underappreciated. In this review, following a description of the traditional 'clocks' of SAN automaticity, we describe mechanisms of SAN mechano-sensitivity and its vital role for SAN function, making the argument that the 'mechanics oscillator' is, in fact, the 'grandfather clock' of cardiac rhythm.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (RGPIN-2016-04879 to T.A.Q.), the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (G-18-0022185 to T.A.Q.), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (MOP 342562 to T.A.Q.). E.A.M. is supported by a British Heart Foundation Programme Grant (RG/20/6/35095).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:MacDonald, Dr Eilidh
Authors: MacDonald, E. A., and Quinn, T. A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health
Journal Name:Biophysical Reviews
ISSN (Online):1867-2450
Published Online:15 September 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB) and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature
First Published:First published in Biophysical Reviews 13(5): 707-716
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
308798Targeting RUNX to Attenuate Adverse Cardiac RemodellingChristopher LoughreyBritish Heart Foundation (BHF)RG/20/6/35095Vets - Veterinary Pathology, Public Health & Disease Investigation