Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation alters electrical conductivity of human epicardial cells.
Bottom Line: After spontaneous EMT in vitro the EPDCs acquired a spindle-shaped morphology confirmed by vimentin staining.When comparing both types we observed that the electrical conduction is influenced by EMT, resulting in significantly reduced conductivity of spindle-shaped EPDCs, associated with a conduction block.These differences may be of relevance for the role of EPDCs in cardiac development, and in EMT-related cardiac dysfunction.
Affiliation: Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.Show MeSH
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Mentions: Multi-electrode recordings of electrical conduction across cEPDCs and adjacent CMC fields showed persistent electrical interaction between the two CMC fields. Electrograms recorded from the site of cEPDCs showed their ability to conduct electrical impulses over a 270-μm-wide channel (n = 8), resulting in electrical activation of the distal CMC field. Further analysis of electrogram characteristics confirmed a substantial conduction delay between the two CMC fields, caused by relatively slow conduction across these cEPDCs (4.2 ± 0.9 cm/sec) (Fig. 4A and B). To study the functional effects of EMT, the separated CMC fields were now connected by seeding sEPDCs in the channel (n = 8). Similar to cEPDCs, these sEPDCs also functioned as a conductive cellular bridge in-between the two CMC fields within 24 hrs after application. However, EPDC-related conduction delays were significantly increased, and consequently, conduction velocity across sEPDCs was significantly decreased as compared to cEPDCs, now reaching values of 1.8 ± 1 cm/sec.
Affiliation: Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.