Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

Transverse tubular network structures in the genesis of intracellular calcium alternans and triggered activity in cardiac cells


RATIONALE:The major role of a transverse-tubular (TT) network in a cardiac cell is to facilitate effective excitation-contraction coupling and signaling. The TT network structures are heterogeneous within a single cell, and vary between different types of cells and species. They are also remodeled in cardiac diseases. However, how different TT network structures predispose cardiac cells to arrhythmogenesis remains to be revealed. OBJECTIVE:To systematically investigate the roles of TT network structure and the underlying mechanisms in the genesis of intracellular calcium (Ca2+) alternans and triggered activity (TA). METHODS AND RESULTS:Based on recent experimental observations, different TT network structures, including uniformly and non-uniformly random TT distributions, were modeled in a cardiac cell model consisting of a three-dimensional network of Ca2+ release units (CRUs). Our simulations showed that both Ca2+ alternans and Ca2+ wave-mediated TA were promoted when the fraction of orphaned CRUs was in an intermediate range, but suppressed in cells exhibiting either well-organized TT networks or low TT densities. Ca2+ alternans and TA could be promoted by low TT densities when the cells were small or the CRU coupling was strong. Both alternans and TA occurred more easily in uniformly random TT networks than in non-uniformly random TT networks. Subcellular spatially discordant Ca2+ alternans was promoted by non-uniformly random TT networks but suppressed by increasing CRU coupling strength. These mechanistic insights provide a holistic understanding of the effects of TT network structure on the susceptibility to arrhythmogenesis. CONCLUSIONS:The TT network plays important roles in promoting Ca2+ alternans and TA, and different TT network structures may predispose cardiac cells differently to arrhythmogenesis.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View