The transverse tubules (t-tubules) of mammalian cardiac ventricular myocytes are invaginations of the surface membrane. Recent studies have suggested that the structure and function of the t-tubules are more complex than previously believed; in particular, many of the proteins involved in cellular Ca2+ cycling appear to be concentrated at the t-tubule. Thus, the t-tubules are an important determinant of cardiac cell function, especially as the main site of excitation-contraction coupling, ensuring spatially and temporally synchronous Ca2+ release throughout the cell. Changes in t-tubule structure and protein expression occur during development and in heart failure, so that changes in the t-tubules may contribute to the functional changes observed in these conditions. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of recent studies of t-tubule structure and function in cardiac myocytes.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 13 Jun 2003|
- Cardiac muscle
- Excitation-contraction coupling
- Heart failure