Heart Mechanics

Valve development relies on heart force

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  12 Jun 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6240, pp. 1219
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6240.1219-e

Blood pumping from the heart not only oxygenates the body, but its oscillation is needed early for the development of the heart itself. Using live imaging and mathematical modeling of a beating zebrafish heart, Heckel et al. identify how fluid flow is sensed. Endothelial cells detect oscillatory flow as wall shear stress via the membrane-bound mechanosensitive ion channels Trpv4 and Trpp2, which trigger intracellular calcium signaling, with the subsequent activation of klf2a expression. Hence, fluid flow in the heart is crucial for development via a mechanotransduction mechanism. Alterations in the flow of these molecular players result in valve defects.

Curr. Biol. 25, 1354 (2015).

Navigate This Article