About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Scientists Discover Molecular Mechanism Behind Irregular Heartbeats

by VR Sreeraman on September 21, 2008 at 10:44 AM
Font : A-A+

 Scientists Discover Molecular Mechanism Behind Irregular Heartbeats

German researchers have uncovered the molecular mechanism whereby virus infections cause cardiac arrhythmia.

Experts at the Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch say that they have discovered that the receptor that the virus uses to infect heart cells is normally necessary for regular heartbeat in mice.

Advertisement

Writing about their observations in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, the researchers say that arrhythmia occurs in the absence of the receptor.

They are of the view that both the virus infection and the autoimmune disease can block the receptor, which in turn disrupts the heart's normal rhythm.
Advertisement

The team points out that, for the heart to beat correctly and to pump blood through the body, specialized heart fibres generate electric signals that control the heartbeat.

According to them, an irregularity in such signals may give rise to cardiac arrhythmia, and a receptor called Coxsackievirus-Adenovirus-Receptor (CAR) plays an important role in it.

For determining what role does CAR play in a healthy organism, the researchers switched off the CAR-gene in adult mice, which rendered the animals unable to produce the receptor and gave rise to cardiac arrhythmia.

"That is an interesting observation because these special cell-cell-contacts, the tight junctions, have not been connected to arrhythmia so far," Professor Michael Gotthardt, a team member, said.

The researchers also observed that the transfer of electric signals from the atria to the ventricles did not work properly.

"When CAR is missing, the signal can not be passed on and the heart does not beat properly," Dr. Yu Shi, another researcher, said.

Professor Gotthardt now wants to investigate whether CAR is blocked in patients with arrhythmia.

"However, it does not always have to be connected to a virus infection. The body's own antibodies directed against CAR could cause the disease as well," he said.

Source: ANI
SRM
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Cochlear Implants may Consequently Drive Hearing Loss
E-cigarettes Use Linked to Erectile Dysfunction
Memory Loss - Can it be Recovered?
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.


Recommended Reading
Palpitations And Arrhythmias
Palpitations are unpleasant sensation of one's own heartbeat....
Pulse Rate Chart (or) Heart Rate Chart
Pulse rate or heart rate calculator helps you to find out the recommended average pulse rate for ......
Irregular Heartbeat Cured by Taser
A hospitalised man who had developed an irregular heartbeat reverted to a normal rhythm after being ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use