Synchrony of cardiomyocyte Ca2+ release is controlled by t-tubule organization, SR Ca2+ content, and ryanodine receptor Ca2+ sensitivity

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Recent work has demonstrated that cardiomyocyte Ca2+release is desynchronized in several pathological conditions. Loss of Ca2+ release synchrony has been attributed to t-tubule disruption, but it is unknown if other factors also contribute. We investigated this issue in normal and failing myocytes by integrating experimental data with a mathematical model describing spatiotemporal dynamics of Ca2+ in the cytosol and sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). Heart failure development in postinfarction mice was associated with progressive t-tubule disorganization, as quantified by fast-Fourier transforms. Data from fast-Fourier transforms were then incorporated in the model as a dyadic organization index, reflecting the proportion of ryanodine receptors located in dyads. With decreasing dyadic-organization index, the model predicted greater dyssynchrony of Ca 2+ release, which exceeded that observed in experimental line-scan images. Model and experiment were reconciled by reducing the threshold for Ca2+ release in the model, suggesting that increased RyR sensitivity partially offsets the desynchronizing effects of t-tubule disruption in heart failure. Reducing the magnitude of SR Ca2+ content and release, whether experimentally by thapsigargin treatment, or in the model, desynchronized the Ca2+ transient. However, in cardiomyocytes isolated from SERCA2 knockout mice, RyR sensitization offset such effects. A similar interplay between RyR sensitivity and SR content was observed during treatment of myocytes with low-dose caffeine. Initial synchronization of Ca 2+ release during caffeine was reversed as SR content declined due to enhanced RyR leak. Thus, synchrony of cardiomyocyte Ca2+ release is not only determined by t-tubule organization but also by the interplay between RyR sensitivity and SR Ca2+ content. © 2013 Biophysical Society.




Øyehaug, L., Loose, K., Jølle, G. F., Røe, Å. T., Sjaastad, I., Christensen, G., … Louch, W. E. (2013). Synchrony of cardiomyocyte Ca2+ release is controlled by t-tubule organization, SR Ca2+ content, and ryanodine receptor Ca2+ sensitivity. Biophysical Journal, 104(8), 1685–1697.

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