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The orphan receptor APJ and its recently identified endogenous ligand, apelin, exhibit high levels of mRNA expression in the heart. However, the functional importance of apelin in the cardiovascular system is not known. In isolated perfused rat hearts, infusion of apelin (0.01 to 10 nmol/L) induced a dose-dependent positive inotropic effect (EC50:(More)
BACKGROUND Adrenomedullin (ADM), a new vasorelaxing and natriuretic peptide, may function as an endogenous regulator of cardiac function, because ADM and its binding sites have been found in the heart. We characterize herein the cardiac effects of ADM as well as the underlying signaling pathways in vitro. METHODS AND RESULTS In isolated perfused, paced(More)
Electrophysiological studies of the human heart face the fundamental challenge that experimental data can be acquired only from patients with underlying heart disease. Regarding human atria, there exist sizable gaps in the understanding of the functional role of cellular Ca²+ dynamics, which differ crucially from that of ventricular cells, in the modulation(More)
Activation of the contractile machinery in skeletal muscle is initiated by the action-potential-induced release of Ca2+ from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). Several proteins involved in SR Ca2+ release are affected by calmodulin kinase II (CaMKII)-induced phosphorylation in vitro, but the effect in the intact cell remains uncertain and is the focus of the(More)
Apelin and its G-protein-coupled receptor APJ have various beneficial effects on cardiac function and blood pressure. The mechanisms that regulate apelin gene expression are not known. Because apelin gene expression has been shown to increase in cardiac ischemia, we investigated if apelin (Apln) gene expression was sensitive to hypoxia. Here we show that(More)
Mammals exposed to a cold environment initially generate heat by repetitive muscle activity (shivering). Shivering is successively replaced by the recruitment of uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1)-dependent heat production in brown adipose tissue. Interestingly, adaptations observed in skeletal muscles of cold-exposed animals are similar to those observed with(More)
Skeletal muscle fibres are highly heterogeneous regarding size, metabolism and contractile function. They also show a large capacity for adaptations in response to alterations in the activation pattern. A major part of this activity-dependent plasticity relies on transcriptional alterations controlled by intracellular Ca(2+) signals. In this review we(More)
Sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA2a) is an essential component of cardiomyocyte excitation-contraction (EC)-coupling. Suppression of SERCA2a expression induces contractile dysfunction and has been reported in various forms of ischemic cardiac disease as well as in hypobaric hypoxia. The present study investigated whether SERCA2a expression is(More)
The neonatal rat ventricular myocyte culture is one of the most popular experimental cardiac cell models. To our knowledge, the excitation-contraction coupling (ECC) of these cells, i.e., the process linking the electrical activity to the cytosolic Ca2+ transient and contraction, has not been previously analyzed, nor has it been presented as a complete(More)
In the mammalian embryo, the primitive tubular heart starts beating during the first trimester of gestation. These early heartbeats originate from calcium-induced contractions of the developing heart muscle cells. To explain the initiation of this activity, two ideas have been presented. One hypothesis supports the role of spontaneously activated(More)