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Images reveal structure of heart cells that may hold heart attack clue


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Images reveal structure of heart cells that may hold heart attack clues


Date: 09/06/2015

Research by Dr Ashraf Kitmitto and colleagues, from The University of Manchester’s Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, provides new information as to why some cells don’t work properly following a heart attack.

Using a novel type of electron microscopy, Dr Kitmitto and team produced 3D images of a healthy heart cell at nanoscopic scale which shows part of their structure is arranged like spokes on a wheel. These ‘spokes’, called T-tubules carry an electrical signal from the outside of the cell to the inside and are necessary for the coordinated transmission of the electrical impulse through the cell to enable the heart cells to contact and enable the heart to pump blood around the body.

But following a heart attack, the T-tubules are lost in many areas and the electrical signal cannot be carried properly through the cells. The remaining T-tubules also appear to fuse and clump together forming very large, but distorted, ‘super-tubules’.

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Source: University of Manchester

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