Report

Crude Oil Impairs Cardiac Excitation-Contraction Coupling in Fish

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  14 Feb 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6172, pp. 772-776
DOI: 10.1126/science.1242747

You are currently viewing the editor's summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Oil Is Bad for the Heart

Crude oil, which commonly makes up the largest proportion of spilled oil, is cardiotoxic to fish embryos. To better understand the processes involved, Brette et al. (p. 772) exposed captive young tuna to oil samples collected from the Deep Water Horizon spill site to determine the mode of cardiotoxicity. Crude oil prolonged the action potential of cardiomyocytes and disrupted the excitation-contraction coupling in these cells, functionally disrupting cellular excitability and creating the potential for cardiac arrhythmias. Such cardiac impacts may be more broadly distributed in vertebrates exposed to crude oil.