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Swedish title Reglering av kontraktion i hjärta och glatt muskel.
English title Regulation of cardiac and smooth muscle contraction.
Course number 2883
Credits 1.5
Responsible KI department Institutionen för fysiologi och farmakologi
Specific entry requirements
Grading Passed /Not passed
Established by The Board of Doctoral Education
Established 2015-09-22
Purpose of the course
Intended learning outcomes Through the course, the participants ought to develop their knowledge on how contractility is regulated in cardiac and smooth muscle. At the end of the course the students should be able to:
1. Show a good understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of cardiac contractility on the cellular level.
2. Show a good understanding on regulation of smooth muscle regulation.
3. Show a good understanding on the central role of Ca2+ signaling in cardiac muscle.
4. Show good knowledge on pathological mechanisms that affect contractility, e.g. heart failure, some cardiac arrhythmias, vascular and urogenital diseases.
5. Scrutinize scientific literature related to the course subject.
6. Raise new testable hypotheses in this subject and learn how to develop scientific thoughts in the format of a concrete project proposal.
7. Present a project proposal concerning regulation of cardiac and smooth muscle contraction.
8. Give constructive criticism on the other participants¿ project plans.
Contents of the course During one week, the course will cover present theory on cardiac and smooth muscle contractile regulation. ½-1 day is planned for a laboratory visit and practice techniques including cardiac Ca2+ imaging and studies of isolated vessels.

Cardiac contractile regulation: Excitation-contraction coupling, cardiac Ca2+ handling, myofilament function. Cardiac and skeletal muscle contraction will be contrasted; dis/similarities in regulation of the striated muscles.

Focus on: cardiac action potential, the sarcoplasmic reticulum, regulation of ryanodine receptors and Ca2+ release. Cellular mechanisms of inotropy. Cellular mechanisms of heart failure. Principal pharmacological mechanisms to improve cardiac myocyte contractility - Ca2+ release and myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity.

Smooth muscle contractility: The structure and protein interactions in the smooth muscle contractile system. Variability in smooth muscle contractility. Smooth muscle excitation-contraction coupling. Physiological and pharmacological modulation of smooth muscle tone. Relaxants and contractile stimulants. Pathological mechanisms of smooth muscle contraction.

Methods overview: Ca2+ imaging (fluorescent indicators and confocal/epifluorescence microscopy). Mechanical measurement of cardiac, skeletal and smooth muscle. Electrophysiological techniques, biochemical separation of contractile and regulatory components, morphology, some in vivo rodent models to induced pathophysiological alterations in smooth muscle.
Teaching and learning activities Lectures, discussions, oral and written presentation, design a research project to study contractile mechanisms.
Examination At the end of the week each student should present in written (1-2 pages) and orally a research plan that addresses a specific contractility¿related research question. The presentation should include relevant background and methodology. The students will peer-review each other¿s oral presentations and discuss the relevance, originality and methodological feasibility of the proposals.
Literature and other teaching material - Muscle: Fundamental biology and mechanisms of disease, 2012, ed Hill. - Relevant articles on Excitation-contraction coupling, cardiac and smooth muscle regulation, etc.
Compulsory elements Participation at lectures, group discussions and the final presentation is mandatory. Absence from any of these will have to be compensated for by extra individual assignments provided by the course organizers.
Course responsible Daniel Andersson
Institutionen för fysiologi och farmakologi


Biomedicum kvarter 5C

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