The isolated sinoatrial node cell in primary culture from the newborn rat.
We prepared primary cell cultures of the sinus node region from newborn rat hearts. Sinoatrial node cells were easily distinguished from the other cardiac muscle cells and nonmuscle cells in culture by size, configuration, and rapid, attenuated spontaneous contractions (185.0 +/- 8/min, mean +/- SEM). The spontaneously contracting sinoatrial node cells were extremely sensitive to acetylcholine and norepinephrine, responding to concentrations at least 1000-fold less than other cardiac muscle cells. These same sinoatrial node cells in culture were fixed and precisely relocated by either subsequent scanning or transmission electron microscopy. The ultrastructural features of these sinoatrial node cells in culture were similar to those observed in the cells of intact sinus node sections from the source hearts. This study is the first to present single, spontaneously active, neonatal sinoatrial node cells maintained in vitro with morphological and functional properties desirable for physiological investigations.
- Copyright © 1984 by American Heart Association