Models of Excitation–Contraction Coupling in Cardiac Ventricular Myocytes
Excitation–contraction coupling describes the processes relating to electrical excitation through force generation and contraction in the heart. It occurs at multiple levels from the whole heart, to single myocytes and down to the sarcomere. A central process that links electrical excitation to contraction is calcium mobilization. Computational models that are well grounded in experimental data have been an effective tool to understand the complex dynamics of the processes involved in excitation–contraction coupling.
Presented here is a summary of some computational models that have added to the understanding of the cellular and subcellular mechanisms that control ventricular myocyte calcium dynamics. Models of cardiac ventricular myocytes that have given insight into termination of calcium release and interval–force relations are discussed in this manuscript. Computational modeling of calcium sparks, the elementary events in cardiac excitation–contraction coupling, has given insight into mechanism governing their dynamics and termination as well as their role in excitation–contraction coupling and is described herein.
Key wordsHeart Excitation–contraction coupling Calcium Computational model Calcium spark Interval–force relation Calcium wave Arrhythmia Drug discovery
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