A robust "fight or flight response", largely mediated via acute β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) stimulation to the heart to increase its beating rate and contractile performance, is an essential component of the vertebrate survival instinct. While it has long been recognized that activation of β-AR increases the spontaneous beating rate of sinoatrial nodal cells (SANC), specific links between stimulation of β-ARs and the resultant increase in firing rate have not been evaluated. Our recent studies1,2 employed imaging of subcellular Ca2+ release coupled with recording of membrane potential or current in single, isolated cardiac SANC, to seek novel links between β-AR stimulation and ryanodine receptor Ca2+ release and heart rate. An overview of these recent results, which provides novel insights into mechanisms of cardiac reserve that underlie the "fight or flight instinct, is presented here.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Cardiac Surgery|
|State||Published - Sep 1 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine