Muscle Cell Function Laboratory

Lab head: David Allen
Location: Anderson Stuart Building, Camperdown Campus

Research conducted by this laboratory is concerned with the regulation of intracellular ions, particularly calcium, sodium and protons, and with their effects on muscle function. This laboratory is particularly interested in situations where ionic regulation has major effects on cell function, for instance in cardiac pacemaker cells, in the heart during ischaemia and reperfusion and in skeletal muscle during fatigue. Much of the focus of this laboratory is on single cells in which ionic concentrations can be measured using fluorescent methods and study of the distribution of ionic changes using confocal microscopy.

Lab members: D Allen (head), J Kril (head)

Pacemaker function in the heart

Primary supervisor: David Allen

We previously demonstrate that intracellular Ca2+ plays an important role in cardiac pacemaking. Recently we have discovered a store-operated Ca2+ channel in sinoatrial node of the heart. The present project will measure Ca2+ influx through store-operated Ca2+ channels in the mouse sinoatrial node and investigate signalling pathways that might be involved in modulation of the channel activity. This investigation of the role of store-operated Ca2+ channels in the heart will improve our understanding of mechanism of heart beat as well as its involvement in cardiac arrhythmias.

Discipline: Physiology