Lecture 4: Excitation Coupling Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Lecture 4: Excitation Coupling Deck (19):

What is the cardiac skeleton?

a fibrous plate with five holes
one fibrous ring for
- left AV valve
- right AV valve
- aortic semi-lunar valve
-pulmonic semi lunar valve
-atrio-ventricular bundle


what are the three functions of the cardiac skeleton

1. insulation for electrical activity 'electrophysiological discontinuity'
2. attachment of atrial and ventricular myocardium
3. strong yet flexible support for valvular openings


the cardiac skeleton is reinforced with cartilage or bone, in which species is there bone and how many pieces?

ox - 2 bone
sheep - 1 bone
horse, pig, dog, cat = cartilage


what are and describe the 3 layers of the heart tissue from outside to inside:

x3 layers
1. epicardium - covers exterior: has outter flattened epithelium of mesothelium cells, supported by CT w/ elastic fibres and adipose tissue
2. myocardium - contain cardiac myocytes, pacemaker cells and cardiac skeleton
3. endocardium - endothelium in contact with the lumen on the heart, has two sub endothelial layers.


what is a sneaky way to tell endocardium apart from epicardium?

adipose tissue will be found UNDER the epicardium


why are cardiac myocytes abundant in mitochondria?

cardiac mycoses are dependent on aerobic respiration, no rest periods, no oxygen debt possible.


list 6 histological features of cardiac myocytes.

1. structurally have intercalated discs contain desmosomes (structural attachment) and gap junctions (electrical attachment)
2. cell membrane invaginations - t tubules
6. sarcoplasmic reticulum
3. branched fibres
4. central nucleus
5. purkinje fibres - specialised conducting cells, pale staining = glycogen filled


the rise in Ca seen in the action potential, couples the Ap to contraction.
describe how Ca enters the cell and rises in intracellular [Ca]

- AP conducted across mycoyte memb, Ca enter cell via Ltype VO channels (20%)
- increase in intracellular Ca, stimulating the release ofCa from the ryanodine channels on the SR


describe the generation of tension within cardiac muscle

tension generated through cross bridging mechanism.

Ca binds to troponin, alters the tropomyosin position, moves actin aside exposing myosin binding site not the actin filament --> contraction


how does Ca release from the SR contribute to the plateau phase of the action potential?

Ca release from the SR contributes to the plateau phase, keeping the intracellular calcium levels positive, contributing to the refactatory period


how is relaxation achieved?

CaATPase active pumps return calcium to the SR from the extracellular fluid
Ca exchanged extracellularly for Na
intracellular ca levels drop and the muscle relaxes
--> need relaxation for filling of heart


what does the generation of tension depend on

how many cross bridges are formed
continues until all troponin C are bound to Ca


what are the two kinds of contraction in cardiac muscle?



what is an isometric contraction? give an example

the ability of the muscle to generate force at a fixed length
--> a measure of the muscles maximum ability to develop tension
eg/ cardiac contraction before valves open


what is isotonic contraction? give an example

activating an unrestrained muscle causing it to shorten without force development.
eg/ when the valves open and cardiac muscle push blood out


what is the effect of cell length on cardiac contraction?

cell length determines the overlap of thick and thin filaments
length of the relaxed cell is determined by amount of blood in ventricle


what is the consequence of the length of the cell being too close or too far?

too close = will not let contraction, no room for sliding
too far = can't contract, cards myopathy, heart is floppy and can't power stroke


what is contractility and how can it be adjusted?

contractility is the amount of tension that can be developed at any given stretch of cardiac muscle
contractility can be adjusted physiologically and pathologically (with ionotropes)
contractility increases with increasing calcium


what is the relationship describing length tension?

the frank starling relationship
X axis = EDV
Y axis = Stroke vol