Optical imaging of arrhythmias in the cardiomyocyte monolayer.
Himel HD., Bub G., Lakireddy P., El-Sherif N.
In recent years, cultured cardiac cell monolayers have become a contemporary experimental preparation for the study of fundamental mechanisms that underlie normal and pathologic electrophysiology at the tissue level. Ion channels and gap junctions in the cardiomyocyte monolayer may be modulated using drugs that suppress or enhance certain channels/junctions, or by genetic silencing or overexpression. The cardiomyocyte monolayer is particularly well suited for studies of functional electrophysiologic properties of mixtures of cardiac and noncardiac cells (eg, myofibroblasts), which otherwise would be difficult to investigate. Optical mapping of monolayers has provided insight into mechanisms that can set the stage for arrhythmias, such as unidirectional conduction block, gap junction uncoupling, ischemia, alternans, and anisotropy, and continues to enhance our understanding of basic electrophysiologic mechanisms.