The human heart pumps blood into circulation while producing complex wall motions. Understanding the regional pattern of the cellular level contractile function across the left ventricular wall can give us valuable insights into the organ level pump function.
I hypothesized that tissue samples from the left ventricles of non-failing human hearts exhibit transmural heterogeneity of cellular level contractile properties, and that heart failure produces region-specific changes in contractile function.I first investigated the contractile properties of permeablized multicellular preparations from the different transmural regions of the heart using the Wildcat setup. I then used histological and biochemical (SDS-PAGE gels and Western Blots) techniques to tease out the mechanisms responsible for the cellular level functional changes. Many of the novel findings of this study are presented in the displayed poster (top right).
My future goal is to study the pathways that will improve contractile properties at the cellular level in patients with heart failure. This is important because irrespective of the mechanism of disease patients with heart failure ultimately have pump dysfunction. If we could target the proteins that can improve contraction at the cellular level then it may lead to organ level improvement in pump function.