The world of a myocardiocyte, where love makes the world go round…!

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Image Fig. 1 microscopic view of cardiac muscle cells

Credit: http://o.quizlet.com/DVDPN1vXs4j8Lw7jVIMwmw_m.png

It’s good to be back blogging after a long while. Previously, I’ve focused on Biochemistry but this time, it gets a little more interesting. The concepts posted would be based on my BIOL 2061 course this semester, Cell and Developmental Biology. So yea that’s right, I’m a cell for this semester! 😀 I chose a mouse as my model organism for this assignment! According to  (Rosenblueth & Wiener, 1945), a model system is a simpler, idealized system that can be accessible and easily manipulated. When choosing models, there are particular things which must be taken into consideration. These include the size, growth patterns, availability and most importantly, the behavior of the organism and if it can be controlled easily. Model organisms therefore have to be relatively simple and inexpensive to work with. One of the main purposes of  model organisms is for the study of health and diseases. Research on bacteria, yeast, insects, worms, fish, rodents and plants has proved that the basic operating principles are nearly the same in all living things and therefore the findings would be similar for humans. Apart from the lab setting, model organisms are important for teaching. They are used in the classroom to give students a hand on experience by having real life materials to work with which will retain their interest  and gives them the opportunity to use the scientific method. The organism will also respond to different environmental conditions and will enhance learning. 

Mice have an important role in research as they are primarily used to test medicine and chemicals. The safety level of certain chemicals and solvents must be tested before being introduced to humans. Genetically, they are  similar to humans so test results are compared and altered to ensure safety. 

So let me formerly introduce myself to the world! 😉

Hola! Bonjour! Shalom! Ni hao! I am a myocardiocyte (cardiac muslce cell) of a mouse and as my name suggests, I’m located in cardiac muscle tissues of the heart, more specifically the myocardium ❤ There, I join with my other fellow cells by intercalated discs that allow me to function to the best of my ability. We keep the heart beating and ensure that heartbeats are synchronized. When we contract, we ensure blood is propelled out of the atria and ventricles to the blood vessels of the left and right pulmonary circulatory systems. Additionally, we (cardiac muscle cells) originate from stem cells. 

Cardiac cells are generally small, spindle shaped, striated  and  made up myofibrils (chains of sarcomeres) which allow them to contract. The fibres are branched and are mostly made up of actin and myosin and as mentioned before, are connected by intercalated discs and these discs have gap junctions. The intercalated discs are essential because they transmit forces durin muscle contraction. T-tubules are also present and they are important in ECC, Excitation contraction coupling.  There is also a central nucleus and an abundant supply of mitochondria to generate ATP. Like most cells, the nucleus is the site of genetic transcription and protein synthesis. Cardiac muscle cells are well adapted to resist fatigue. With an abundant supply of mitochondria, aerobic respiration continuously occurs and produces ATP to build energy for muscle contractions. There is also an abundant supply of myoglobin and a good blood supply for oxygen.The sarcolemma (cell membrane of muscle fibre) has specialized ion channels and the fibres are not anchored at ends to allow a greater sarcomere shortening and lengthening. Cardiac muscle cells unfortunately do not undergo cell division like other cells. They become degenerated and recent studies show that some cardiac muscle cells regenerate after a person had been born.

That’s it for now guys! Keep viewing for more posts. Trust me it gets more interesting than this 🙂

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Sources: http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/human-biology/muscle4.htm

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-a-muscle-cell.htm

http://wormclassroom.org/teaching-model-organisms

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