Myocardial Telocytes: A New Player in Electric Circuitry of the Heart
The heart is an electrically conducting organ with networked bioelectric currents that transverse a large segment of interstitial space interspersed with the muscular parenchyma. Non-excitable connective cells in the interstitial space contributed importantly to many structural, biochemical, and physiological activities of cardiac homeostasis. However, contribution of interstitial cells in the cardiac niche has long been neglected. Telocyte is recently recognized as a distinct class of interstitial cell that resides in a wide array of tissues including in the epicardium, myocardium, and endocardium of the heart. They are increasingly described to conduct ionic currents that may have significant implications in bioelectric signaling. In this review, we highlight the significance of telocytes in such connectivity and conductivity within the interstitial bioelectric network in tissue homeostasis.
KeywordsInterstitial cells Cardiac telocytes Bioelectric coupling Ion channels
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF-CRP-2008-02), Goh Foundation Gift (Singapore)/Duke-NUS Medical School (GCR/2013/008, GCR/2013/010, and GCR/2013/011), and Biomedical Research Council, Singapore (BMRC13/1/96/19/86).
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