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Macrophages Facilitate Electrical Conduction in the Heart.

Cell | Apr 20, 2017

Organ-specific functions of tissue-resident macrophages in the steady-state heart are unknown. Here, we show that cardiac macrophages facilitate electrical conduction through the distal atrioventricular node, where conducting cells densely intersperse with elongated macrophages expressing connexin 43. When coupled to spontaneously beating cardiomyocytes via connexin-43-containing gap junctions, cardiac macrophages have a negative resting membrane potential and depolarize in synchrony with cardiomyocytes. Conversely, macrophages render the resting membrane potential of cardiomyocytes more positive and, according to computational modeling, accelerate their repolarization. Photostimulation of channelrhodopsin-2-expressing macrophages improves atrioventricular conduction, whereas conditional deletion of connexin 43 in macrophages and congenital lack of macrophages delay atrioventricular conduction. In the Cd11bDTR mouse, macrophage ablation induces progressive atrioventricular block. These observations implicate macrophages in normal and aberrant cardiac conduction.

Pubmed ID: 28431249 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Animals | Connexin 43 | Female | Heart Atria | Heart Conduction System | Humans | Macrophages | Male | Mice | Mice, Inbred C57BL | Middle Aged | Myocytes, Cardiac

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Associated grants

  • Agency: NHLBI NIH HHS, Id: R01 HL117829
  • Agency: NHLBI NIH HHS, Id: K24 HL105780
  • Agency: NHLBI NIH HHS, Id: R01 HL125428
  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: R01 HD069623
  • Agency: NIDDK NIH HHS, Id: P30 DK043351
  • Agency: NHLBI NIH HHS, Id: R01 HL092577
  • Agency: NHLBI NIH HHS, Id: R01 HL128264
  • Agency: NHLBI NIH HHS, Id: P01 HL131478
  • Agency: NHLBI NIH HHS, Id: R35 HL135752
  • Agency: NHLBI NIH HHS, Id: R01 HL096576
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R01 NS084863
  • Agency: NHLBI NIH HHS, Id: R01 HL139714
  • Agency: British Heart Foundation, Id: FS/12/17/29532
  • Agency: NHLBI NIH HHS, Id: R01 HL114477
  • Agency: NHLBI NIH HHS, Id: R01 HL131495
  • Agency: NIDDK NIH HHS, Id: P30 DK057521
  • Agency: NHLBI NIH HHS, Id: R01 HL138466

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