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At the turn of the 20th century, Otto Frank and Ernest Star-ling carried out their classic studies on the relationship
 

Summary: At the turn of the 20th century, Otto Frank and Ernest Star-
ling carried out their classic studies on the relationship
between end diastolic volume and systolic function in the iso-
lated heart. Their findings, still valid, have since been absorbed
by many generations of students of medicine and physiology,
and they invariably enter into the discussion of such subjects
as cardiac output regulation, exercise, and congestive heart
failure. Yet at the beginning of the 21st century, investigators
are still trying to identify the intracellular signaling pathways
responsible for the seemingly simple relationship between
myocardial fiber length and the work output of the heart.
Recent years have seen a proliferation of studies of length-
dependent behavior of intact cardiac muscle, isolated cardiac
myocytes, and various types of skinned fiber preparations in
which the membranes have been removed, usually by deter-
gent treatment. These studies together have provided a reason-
ably convincing picture of how relatively small changes in
sarcomere length can be transduced into large changes in
developed force. However, the detailed molecular interactions
that adjust molecular motor function to myocyte length remain

  

Source: Akabas, Myles - Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine