The first account of cardiac muscle in tissue culture was published by Burrows (1910) who had been working in Harrison’s laboratory. Using plasma clots as a substrate, he grew small explants of tissues taken from 60 h chick embryos, and observed that ‘outgrowths from the heart contracted rhythmically along with the portion of the heart from which they arise.’ Thus, one of the first uses of tissue culture was to provide evidence for the myogenic origin of cardiac contractions. In these explant cultures it was not possible to determine whether the rhythmicity was a property of intact groups of cells or inherent to single cells. However, a few years later Lake (1915/16) reported that single cells which had migrated from explants of mammalian heart muscle (Figure 5.1) could contract spontaneously at rates different from that of the explant itself.


Cardiac Muscle Chick Embryo Heart Cell Cardiac Muscle Cell Scorpion Toxin 
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Copyright information

© Alan L. Harvey 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan L. Harvey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and PharmacologyUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK

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