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      Sophisticated architecture is required for the sinoatrial node to perform its normal pacemaker function.

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          Abstract

          The heart's pacemaker, the sinoatrial node, does not consist of a group of uniform sinoatrial node cells embedded in atrial muscle. Instead, it is a heterogeneous tissue with multiple cell types and a complex structure. Evidence suggests that from the periphery to the center of the sinoatrial node, there is a gradient in action potential shape, pacemaking, ionic current densities, connexin expression, Ca2+ handling, myofilament density, and cell size. This complexity may be necessary for the sinoatrial node to pacemake under diverse conditions, drive the more hyperpolarized atrial muscle, and resist proarrhythmic perturbations.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J. Cardiovasc. Electrophysiol.
          Journal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
          1045-3873
          1045-3873
          Jan 2003
          : 14
          : 1
          Affiliations
          [1 ] School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom. m.r.boyett@leeds.ac.uk
          Article
          10.1046/j.1540-8167.2003.02307.x
          12625620
          ff993a15-88bb-42a0-8d7f-c2d97d5c55af
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