Myocytes, Cardiac: Striated muscle cells found in the heart. They are derived from cardiac myoblasts (MYOBLASTS, CARDIAC).Myocardium: The muscle tissue of the HEART. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC) connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow.Heart: The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.Cardiomegaly: Enlargement of the HEART, usually indicated by a cardiothoracic ratio above 0.50. Heart enlargement may involve the right, the left, or both HEART VENTRICLES or HEART ATRIA. Cardiomegaly is a nonspecific symptom seen in patients with chronic systolic heart failure (HEART FAILURE) or several forms of CARDIOMYOPATHIES.Myocardial Contraction: Contractile activity of the MYOCARDIUM.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Heart Ventricles: The lower right and left chambers of the heart. The right ventricle pumps venous BLOOD into the LUNGS and the left ventricle pumps oxygenated blood into the systemic arterial circulation.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Calcium: A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.Mitochondria, Heart: The mitochondria of the myocardium.Myocardial Reperfusion Injury: Damage to the MYOCARDIUM resulting from MYOCARDIAL REPERFUSION (restoration of blood flow to ischemic areas of the HEART.) Reperfusion takes place when there is spontaneous thrombolysis, THROMBOLYTIC THERAPY, collateral flow from other coronary vascular beds, or reversal of vasospasm.Cardiotonic Agents: Agents that have a strengthening effect on the heart or that can increase cardiac output. They may be CARDIAC GLYCOSIDES; SYMPATHOMIMETICS; or other drugs. They are used after MYOCARDIAL INFARCT; CARDIAC SURGICAL PROCEDURES; in SHOCK; or in congestive heart failure (HEART FAILURE).Sarcomeres: The repeating contractile units of the MYOFIBRIL, delimited by Z bands along its length.Embryonic Stem Cells: Cells derived from the BLASTOCYST INNER CELL MASS which forms before implantation in the uterine wall. They retain the ability to divide, proliferate and provide progenitor cells that can differentiate into specialized cells.Cell Size: The quantity of volume or surface area of CELLS.GATA4 Transcription Factor: A GATA transcription factor that is expressed in the MYOCARDIUM of developing heart and has been implicated in the differentiation of CARDIAC MYOCYTES. GATA4 is activated by PHOSPHORYLATION and regulates transcription of cardiac-specific genes.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.Calcium Channels, L-Type: Long-lasting voltage-gated CALCIUM CHANNELS found in both excitable and nonexcitable tissue. They are responsible for normal myocardial and vascular smooth muscle contractility. Five subunits (alpha-1, alpha-2, beta, gamma, and delta) make up the L-type channel. The alpha-1 subunit is the binding site for calcium-based antagonists. Dihydropyridine-based calcium antagonists are used as markers for these binding sites.Isoproterenol: Isopropyl analog of EPINEPHRINE; beta-sympathomimetic that acts on the heart, bronchi, skeletal muscle, alimentary tract, etc. It is used mainly as bronchodilator and heart stimulant.Apoptosis: One of the mechanisms by which CELL DEATH occurs (compare with NECROSIS and AUTOPHAGOCYTOSIS). Apoptosis is the mechanism responsible for the physiological deletion of cells and appears to be intrinsically programmed. It is characterized by distinctive morphologic changes in the nucleus and cytoplasm, chromatin cleavage at regularly spaced sites, and the endonucleolytic cleavage of genomic DNA; (DNA FRAGMENTATION); at internucleosomal sites. This mode of cell death serves as a balance to mitosis in regulating the size of animal tissues and in mediating pathologic processes associated with tumor growth.Hypertrophy: General increase in bulk of a part or organ due to CELL ENLARGEMENT and accumulation of FLUIDS AND SECRETIONS, not due to tumor formation, nor to an increase in the number of cells (HYPERPLASIA).Connexin 43: A 43-kDa peptide which is a member of the connexin family of gap junction proteins. Connexin 43 is a product of a gene in the alpha class of connexin genes (the alpha-1 gene). It was first isolated from mammalian heart, but is widespread in the body including the brain.Muscle Cells: Mature contractile cells, commonly known as myocytes, that form one of three kinds of muscle. The three types of muscle cells are skeletal (MUSCLE FIBERS, SKELETAL), cardiac (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC), and smooth (MYOCYTES, SMOOTH MUSCLE). They are derived from embryonic (precursor) muscle cells called MYOBLASTS.Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Calcium Signaling: Signal transduction mechanisms whereby calcium mobilization (from outside the cell or from intracellular storage pools) to the cytoplasm is triggered by external stimuli. Calcium signals are often seen to propagate as waves, oscillations, spikes, sparks, or puffs. The calcium acts as an intracellular messenger by activating calcium-responsive proteins.Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Calcium-Transporting ATPases: Calcium-transporting ATPases that catalyze the active transport of CALCIUM into the SARCOPLASMIC RETICULUM vesicles from the CYTOPLASM. They are primarily found in MUSCLE CELLS and play a role in the relaxation of MUSCLES.Sarcolemma: The excitable plasma membrane of a muscle cell. (Glick, Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1990)Cardiac Myosins: Myosin type II isoforms found in cardiac muscle.Sodium-Calcium Exchanger: An electrogenic ion exchange protein that maintains a steady level of calcium by removing an amount of calcium equal to that which enters the cells. It is widely distributed in most excitable membranes, including the brain and heart.Cardiomyopathies: A group of diseases in which the dominant feature is the involvement of the CARDIAC MUSCLE itself. Cardiomyopathies are classified according to their predominant pathophysiological features (DILATED CARDIOMYOPATHY; HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY; RESTRICTIVE CARDIOMYOPATHY) or their etiological/pathological factors (CARDIOMYOPATHY, ALCOHOLIC; ENDOCARDIAL FIBROELASTOSIS).Myocardial Ischemia: A disorder of cardiac function caused by insufficient blood flow to the muscle tissue of the heart. The decreased blood flow may be due to narrowing of the coronary arteries (CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE), to obstruction by a thrombus (CORONARY THROMBOSIS), or less commonly, to diffuse narrowing of arterioles and other small vessels within the heart. Severe interruption of the blood supply to the myocardial tissue may result in necrosis of cardiac muscle (MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION).Myoblasts, Cardiac: Precursor cells destined to differentiate into cardiac myocytes (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC).Muscle Proteins: The protein constituents of muscle, the major ones being ACTINS and MYOSINS. More than a dozen accessory proteins exist including TROPONIN; TROPOMYOSIN; and DYSTROPHIN.Ventricular Myosins: Isoforms of MYOSIN TYPE II, specifically found in the ventricular muscle of the HEART. Defects in the genes encoding ventricular myosins result in FAMILIAL HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY.Ventricular Remodeling: The geometric and structural changes that the HEART VENTRICLES undergo, usually following MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION. It comprises expansion of the infarct and dilatation of the healthy ventricle segments. While most prevalent in the left ventricle, it can also occur in the right ventricle.Adrenergic beta-Agonists: Drugs that selectively bind to and activate beta-adrenergic receptors.Sarcoplasmic Reticulum: A network of tubules and sacs in the cytoplasm of SKELETAL MUSCLE FIBERS that assist with muscle contraction and relaxation by releasing and storing calcium ions.Heart Failure: A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (VENTRICULAR DYSFUNCTION), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION.Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: Cells from adult organisms that have been reprogrammed into a pluripotential state similar to that of EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS.Reactive Oxygen Species: Molecules or ions formed by the incomplete one-electron reduction of oxygen. These reactive oxygen intermediates include SINGLET OXYGEN; SUPEROXIDES; PEROXIDES; HYDROXYL RADICAL; and HYPOCHLOROUS ACID. They contribute to the microbicidal activity of PHAGOCYTES, regulation of signal transduction and gene expression, and the oxidative damage to NUCLEIC ACIDS; PROTEINS; and LIPIDS.Cardiomyopathy, Dilated: A form of CARDIAC MUSCLE disease that is characterized by ventricular dilation, VENTRICULAR DYSFUNCTION, and HEART FAILURE. Risk factors include SMOKING; ALCOHOL DRINKING; HYPERTENSION; INFECTION; PREGNANCY; and mutations in the LMNA gene encoding LAMIN TYPE A, a NUCLEAR LAMINA protein.Mice, Inbred C57BLCell Hypoxia: A condition of decreased oxygen content at the cellular level.Atrial Natriuretic Factor: A potent natriuretic and vasodilatory peptide or mixture of different-sized low molecular weight PEPTIDES derived from a common precursor and secreted mainly by the HEART ATRIUM. All these peptides share a sequence of about 20 AMINO ACIDS.Microscopy, Confocal: A light microscopic technique in which only a small spot is illuminated and observed at a time. An image is constructed through point-by-point scanning of the field in this manner. Light sources may be conventional or laser, and fluorescence or transmitted observations are possible.Excitation Contraction Coupling: A process fundamental to muscle physiology whereby an electrical stimulus or action potential triggers a myocyte to depolarize and contract. This mechanical muscle contraction response is regulated by entry of calcium ions into the cell.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Cell Survival: The span of viability of a cell characterized by the capacity to perform certain functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, some form of responsiveness, and adaptability.Myocardial Infarction: NECROSIS of the MYOCARDIUM caused by an obstruction of the blood supply to the heart (CORONARY CIRCULATION).Regeneration: The physiological renewal, repair, or replacement of tissue.Patch-Clamp Techniques: An electrophysiologic technique for studying cells, cell membranes, and occasionally isolated organelles. All patch-clamp methods rely on a very high-resistance seal between a micropipette and a membrane; the seal is usually attained by gentle suction. The four most common variants include on-cell patch, inside-out patch, outside-out patch, and whole-cell clamp. Patch-clamp methods are commonly used to voltage clamp, that is control the voltage across the membrane and measure current flow, but current-clamp methods, in which the current is controlled and the voltage is measured, are also used.Phosphorylation: The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety.Phenylephrine: An alpha-1 adrenergic agonist used as a mydriatic, nasal decongestant, and cardiotonic agent.Enzyme Activation: Conversion of an inactive form of an enzyme to one possessing metabolic activity. It includes 1, activation by ions (activators); 2, activation by cofactors (coenzymes); and 3, conversion of an enzyme precursor (proenzyme or zymogen) to an active enzyme.Adenoviridae: A family of non-enveloped viruses infecting mammals (MASTADENOVIRUS) and birds (AVIADENOVIRUS) or both (ATADENOVIRUS). Infections may be asymptomatic or result in a variety of diseases.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Cytoprotection: The process by which chemical compounds provide protection to cells against harmful agents.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Membrane Potential, Mitochondrial: The voltage difference, normally maintained at approximately -180mV, across the INNER MITOCHONDRIAL MEMBRANE, by a net movement of positive charge across the membrane. It is a major component of the PROTON MOTIVE FORCE in MITOCHONDRIA used to drive the synthesis of ATP.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Heart Atria: The chambers of the heart, to which the BLOOD returns from the circulation.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.L-Lactate Dehydrogenase: A tetrameric enzyme that, along with the coenzyme NAD+, catalyzes the interconversion of LACTATE and PYRUVATE. In vertebrates, genes for three different subunits (LDH-A, LDH-B and LDH-C) exist.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Stem Cells: Relatively undifferentiated cells that retain the ability to divide and proliferate throughout postnatal life to provide progenitor cells that can differentiate into specialized cells.Action Potentials: Abrupt changes in the membrane potential that sweep along the CELL MEMBRANE of excitable cells in response to excitation stimuli.Myofibrils: The long cylindrical contractile organelles of STRIATED MUSCLE cells composed of ACTIN FILAMENTS; MYOSIN filaments; and other proteins organized in arrays of repeating units called SARCOMERES .Angiotensin II: An octapeptide that is a potent but labile vasoconstrictor. It is produced from angiotensin I after the removal of two amino acids at the C-terminal by ANGIOTENSIN CONVERTING ENZYME. The amino acid in position 5 varies in different species. To block VASOCONSTRICTION and HYPERTENSION effect of angiotensin II, patients are often treated with ACE INHIBITORS or with ANGIOTENSIN II TYPE 1 RECEPTOR BLOCKERS.Endothelin-1: A 21-amino acid peptide produced in a variety of tissues including endothelial and vascular smooth-muscle cells, neurons and astrocytes in the central nervous system, and endometrial cells. It acts as a modulator of vasomotor tone, cell proliferation, and hormone production. (N Eng J Med 1995;333(6):356-63)Caspase 3: A short pro-domain caspase that plays an effector role in APOPTOSIS. It is activated by INITIATOR CASPASES such as CASPASE 9. Isoforms of this protein exist due to multiple alternative splicing of its MESSENGER RNA.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel: A tetrameric calcium release channel in the SARCOPLASMIC RETICULUM membrane of SMOOTH MUSCLE CELLS, acting oppositely to SARCOPLASMIC RETICULUM CALCIUM-TRANSPORTING ATPASES. It is important in skeletal and cardiac excitation-contraction coupling and studied by using RYANODINE. Abnormalities are implicated in CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIAS and MUSCULAR DISEASES.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Enzyme Inhibitors: Compounds or agents that combine with an enzyme in such a manner as to prevent the normal substrate-enzyme combination and the catalytic reaction.Arrhythmias, Cardiac: Any disturbances of the normal rhythmic beating of the heart or MYOCARDIAL CONTRACTION. Cardiac arrhythmias can be classified by the abnormalities in HEART RATE, disorders of electrical impulse generation, or impulse conduction.Diacetyl: Carrier of aroma of butter, vinegar, coffee, and other foods.Oxidative Stress: A disturbance in the prooxidant-antioxidant balance in favor of the former, leading to potential damage. Indicators of oxidative stress include damaged DNA bases, protein oxidation products, and lipid peroxidation products (Sies, Oxidative Stress, 1991, pxv-xvi).Models, Animal: Non-human animals, selected because of specific characteristics, for use in experimental research, teaching, or testing.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Receptors, Adrenergic, beta-1: A subclass of beta-adrenergic receptors (RECEPTORS, ADRENERGIC, BETA). The adrenergic beta-1 receptors are equally sensitive to EPINEPHRINE and NOREPINEPHRINE and bind the agonist DOBUTAMINE and the antagonist METOPROLOL with high affinity. They are found in the HEART, juxtaglomerular cells, and in the central and peripheral nervous systems.Hydrogen Peroxide: A strong oxidizing agent used in aqueous solution as a ripening agent, bleach, and topical anti-infective. It is relatively unstable and solutions deteriorate over time unless stabilized by the addition of acetanilide or similar organic materials.Myosin Heavy Chains: The larger subunits of MYOSINS. The heavy chains have a molecular weight of about 230 kDa and each heavy chain is usually associated with a dissimilar pair of MYOSIN LIGHT CHAINS. The heavy chains possess actin-binding and ATPase activity.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Cell Enlargement: Growth processes that result in an increase in CELL SIZE.Heart Diseases: Pathological conditions involving the HEART including its structural and functional abnormalities.Troponin I: One of the three polypeptide chains that make up the TROPONIN complex. It inhibits F-actin-myosin interactions.Cell Culture Techniques: Methods for maintaining or growing CELLS in vitro.Gap Junctions: Connections between cells which allow passage of small molecules and electric current. Gap junctions were first described anatomically as regions of close apposition between cells with a narrow (1-2 nm) gap between cell membranes. The variety in the properties of gap junctions is reflected in the number of CONNEXINS, the family of proteins which form the junctions.Ischemic Preconditioning, Myocardial: Exposure of myocardial tissue to brief, repeated periods of vascular occlusion in order to render the myocardium resistant to the deleterious effects of ISCHEMIA or REPERFUSION. The period of pre-exposure and the number of times the tissue is exposed to ischemia and reperfusion vary, the average being 3 to 5 minutes.Up-Regulation: A positive regulatory effect on physiological processes at the molecular, cellular, or systemic level. At the molecular level, the major regulatory sites include membrane receptors, genes (GENE EXPRESSION REGULATION), mRNAs (RNA, MESSENGER), and proteins.In Situ Nick-End Labeling: An in situ method for detecting areas of DNA which are nicked during APOPTOSIS. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase is used to add labeled dUTP, in a template-independent manner, to the 3 prime OH ends of either single- or double-stranded DNA. The terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase nick end labeling, or TUNEL, assay labels apoptosis on a single-cell level, making it more sensitive than agarose gel electrophoresis for analysis of DNA FRAGMENTATION.Receptors, Adrenergic, beta: One of two major pharmacologically defined classes of adrenergic receptors. The beta adrenergic receptors play an important role in regulating CARDIAC MUSCLE contraction, SMOOTH MUSCLE relaxation, and GLYCOGENOLYSIS.Fibrosis: Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury.Desmin: An intermediate filament protein found predominantly in smooth, skeletal, and cardiac muscle cells. Localized at the Z line. MW 50,000 to 55,000 is species dependent.Protein Kinase C: An serine-threonine protein kinase that requires the presence of physiological concentrations of CALCIUM and membrane PHOSPHOLIPIDS. The additional presence of DIACYLGLYCEROLS markedly increases its sensitivity to both calcium and phospholipids. The sensitivity of the enzyme can also be increased by PHORBOL ESTERS and it is believed that protein kinase C is the receptor protein of tumor-promoting phorbol esters.Calcineurin: A CALCIUM and CALMODULIN-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase that is composed of the calcineurin A catalytic subunit and the calcineurin B regulatory subunit. Calcineurin has been shown to dephosphorylate a number of phosphoproteins including HISTONES; MYOSIN LIGHT CHAIN; and the regulatory subunits of CAMP-DEPENDENT PROTEIN KINASES. It is involved in the regulation of signal transduction and is the target of an important class of immunophilin-immunosuppressive drug complexes.Cell SeparationCell Death: The termination of the cell's ability to carry out vital functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, responsiveness, and adaptability.Actinin: A protein factor that regulates the length of R-actin. It is chemically similar, but immunochemically distinguishable from actin.Calcium-Binding Proteins: Proteins to which calcium ions are bound. They can act as transport proteins, regulator proteins, or activator proteins. They typically contain EF HAND MOTIFS.Connectin: A giant elastic protein of molecular mass ranging from 2,993 kDa (cardiac), 3,300 kDa (psoas), to 3,700 kDa (soleus) having a kinase domain. The amino- terminal is involved in a Z line binding, and the carboxy-terminal region is bound to the myosin filament with an overlap between the counter-connectin filaments at the M line.Heart Injuries: General or unspecified injuries to the heart.Cell Transplantation: Transference of cells within an individual, between individuals of the same species, or between individuals of different species.Stem Cell Transplantation: The transfer of STEM CELLS from one individual to another within the same species (TRANSPLANTATION, HOMOLOGOUS) or between species (XENOTRANSPLANTATION), or transfer within the same individual (TRANSPLANTATION, AUTOLOGOUS). The source and location of the stem cells determines their potency or pluripotency to differentiate into various cell types.Electrophysiological Phenomena: The electrical properties, characteristics of living organisms, and the processes of organisms or their parts that are involved in generating and responding to electrical charges.Cell Nucleus Size: The quantity of volume or surface area of a CELL NUCLEUS.Pluripotent Stem Cells: Cells that can give rise to cells of the three different GERM LAYERS.Myocarditis: Inflammatory processes of the muscular walls of the heart (MYOCARDIUM) which result in injury to the cardiac muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC). Manifestations range from subclinical to sudden death (DEATH, SUDDEN). Myocarditis in association with cardiac dysfunction is classified as inflammatory CARDIOMYOPATHY usually caused by INFECTION, autoimmune diseases, or responses to toxic substances. Myocarditis is also a common cause of DILATED CARDIOMYOPATHY and other cardiomyopathies.Transfection: The uptake of naked or purified DNA by CELLS, usually meaning the process as it occurs in eukaryotic cells. It is analogous to bacterial transformation (TRANSFORMATION, BACTERIAL) and both are routinely employed in GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.Protein Kinase C-epsilon: A protein kinase C subtype that was originally characterized as a CALCIUM-independent, serine-threonine kinase that is activated by PHORBOL ESTERS and DIACYLGLYCEROLS. It is targeted to specific cellular compartments in response to extracellular signals that activate G-PROTEIN-COUPLED RECEPTORS; TYROSINE KINASE RECEPTORS; and intracellular protein tyrosine kinase.Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt: A protein-serine-threonine kinase that is activated by PHOSPHORYLATION in response to GROWTH FACTORS or INSULIN. It plays a major role in cell metabolism, growth, and survival as a core component of SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION. Three isoforms have been described in mammalian cells.Fibroblasts: Connective tissue cells which secrete an extracellular matrix rich in collagen and other macromolecules.Ventricular Function: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the HEART VENTRICLES.p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases: A mitogen-activated protein kinase subfamily that regulates a variety of cellular processes including CELL GROWTH PROCESSES; CELL DIFFERENTIATION; APOPTOSIS; and cellular responses to INFLAMMATION. The P38 MAP kinases are regulated by CYTOKINE RECEPTORS and can be activated in response to bacterial pathogens.Green Fluorescent Proteins: Protein analogs and derivatives of the Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein that emit light (FLUORESCENCE) when excited with ULTRAVIOLET RAYS. They are used in REPORTER GENES in doing GENETIC TECHNIQUES. Numerous mutants have been made to emit other colors or be sensitive to pH.Coculture Techniques: A technique of culturing mixed cell types in vitro to allow their synergistic or antagonistic interactions, such as on CELL DIFFERENTIATION or APOPTOSIS. Coculture can be of different types of cells, tissues, or organs from normal or disease states.Cardiotoxins: Agents that have a damaging effect on the HEART. Such damage can occur from ALKYLATING AGENTS; FREE RADICALS; or metabolites from OXIDATIVE STRESS and in some cases is countered by CARDIOTONIC AGENTS. Induction of LONG QT SYNDROME or TORSADES DE POINTES has been the reason for viewing some drugs as cardiotoxins.Oxidants: Electron-accepting molecules in chemical reactions in which electrons are transferred from one molecule to another (OXIDATION-REDUCTION).Fetal Heart: The heart of the fetus of any viviparous animal. It refers to the heart in the postembryonic period and is differentiated from the embryonic heart (HEART/embryology) only on the basis of time.Microscopy, Fluorescence: Microscopy of specimens stained with fluorescent dye (usually fluorescein isothiocyanate) or of naturally fluorescent materials, which emit light when exposed to ultraviolet or blue light. Immunofluorescence microscopy utilizes antibodies that are labeled with fluorescent dye.Models, Cardiovascular: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of the cardiovascular system, processes, or phenomena; includes the use of mathematical equations, computers and other electronic equipment.Embryo, Mammalian: The entity of a developing mammal (MAMMALS), generally from the cleavage of a ZYGOTE to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the FETUS.Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases: A group of enzymes that are dependent on CYCLIC AMP and catalyze the phosphorylation of SERINE or THREONINE residues on proteins. Included under this category are two cyclic-AMP-dependent protein kinase subtypes, each of which is defined by its subunit composition.Potassium Channels: Cell membrane glycoproteins that are selectively permeable to potassium ions. At least eight major groups of K channels exist and they are made up of dozens of different subunits.Anoxia: Relatively complete absence of oxygen in one or more tissues.Doxorubicin: Antineoplastic antibiotic obtained from Streptomyces peucetius. It is a hydroxy derivative of DAUNORUBICIN.Adrenergic beta-1 Receptor Agonists: Compounds that bind to and activate ADRENERGIC BETA-1 RECEPTORS.Intracellular Space: The area within CELLS.Cell Proliferation: All of the processes involved in increasing CELL NUMBER including CELL DIVISION.Myosin Light Chains: The smaller subunits of MYOSINS that bind near the head groups of MYOSIN HEAVY CHAINS. The myosin light chains have a molecular weight of about 20 KDa and there are usually one essential and one regulatory pair of light chains associated with each heavy chain. Many myosin light chains that bind calcium are considered "calmodulin-like" proteins.Caffeine: A methylxanthine naturally occurring in some beverages and also used as a pharmacological agent. Caffeine's most notable pharmacological effect is as a central nervous system stimulant, increasing alertness and producing agitation. It also relaxes SMOOTH MUSCLE, stimulates CARDIAC MUSCLE, stimulates DIURESIS, and appears to be useful in the treatment of some types of headache. Several cellular actions of caffeine have been observed, but it is not entirely clear how each contributes to its pharmacological profile. Among the most important are inhibition of cyclic nucleotide PHOSPHODIESTERASES, antagonism of ADENOSINE RECEPTORS, and modulation of intracellular calcium handling.Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control of gene action during the developmental stages of an organism.Antibiotics, Antineoplastic: Chemical substances, produced by microorganisms, inhibiting or preventing the proliferation of neoplasms.Cytosol: Intracellular fluid from the cytoplasm after removal of ORGANELLES and other insoluble cytoplasmic components.Adrenergic alpha-Agonists: Drugs that selectively bind to and activate alpha adrenergic receptors.Cell Communication: Any of several ways in which living cells of an organism communicate with one another, whether by direct contact between cells or by means of chemical signals carried by neurotransmitter substances, hormones, and cyclic AMP.Adenosine Triphosphate: An adenine nucleotide containing three phosphate groups esterified to the sugar moiety. In addition to its crucial roles in metabolism adenosine triphosphate is a neurotransmitter.Transcription Factors: Endogenous substances, usually proteins, which are effective in the initiation, stimulation, or termination of the genetic transcription process.Ventricular Function, Left: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the left HEART VENTRICLE. Its measurement is an important aspect of the clinical evaluation of patients with heart disease to determine the effects of the disease on cardiac performance.Rabbits: The species Oryctolagus cuniculus, in the family Leporidae, order LAGOMORPHA. Rabbits are born in burrows, furless, and with eyes and ears closed. In contrast with HARES, rabbits have 22 chromosome pairs.Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases: A superfamily of PROTEIN-SERINE-THREONINE KINASES that are activated by diverse stimuli via protein kinase cascades. They are the final components of the cascades, activated by phosphorylation by MITOGEN-ACTIVATED PROTEIN KINASE KINASES, which in turn are activated by mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinases (MAP KINASE KINASE KINASES).Mitochondria: Semiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of all cells of most, but not all, eukaryotes. Each mitochondrion is surrounded by a double limiting membrane. The inner membrane is highly invaginated, and its projections are called cristae. Mitochondria are the sites of the reactions of oxidative phosphorylation, which result in the formation of ATP. They contain distinctive RIBOSOMES, transfer RNAs (RNA, TRANSFER); AMINO ACYL T RNA SYNTHETASES; and elongation and termination factors. Mitochondria depend upon genes within the nucleus of the cells in which they reside for many essential messenger RNAs (RNA, MESSENGER). Mitochondria are believed to have arisen from aerobic bacteria that established a symbiotic relationship with primitive protoeukaryotes. (King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2: A multifunctional calcium-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase subtype that occurs as an oligomeric protein comprised of twelve subunits. It differs from other enzyme subtypes in that it lacks a phosphorylatable activation domain that can respond to CALCIUM-CALMODULIN-DEPENDENT PROTEIN KINASE KINASE.Caveolin 3: A caveolin that is expressed exclusively in MUSCLE CELLS and is sufficient to form CAVEOLAE in SARCOLEMMA. Mutations in caveolin 3 are associated with multiple muscle diseases including DISTAL MYOPATHY and LIMB-GIRDLE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY.Membrane Potentials: The voltage differences across a membrane. For cellular membranes they are computed by subtracting the voltage measured outside the membrane from the voltage measured inside the membrane. They result from differences of inside versus outside concentration of potassium, sodium, chloride, and other ions across cells' or ORGANELLES membranes. For excitable cells, the resting membrane potentials range between -30 and -100 millivolts. Physical, chemical, or electrical stimuli can make a membrane potential more negative (hyperpolarization), or less negative (depolarization).Genetic Vectors: DNA molecules capable of autonomous replication within a host cell and into which other DNA sequences can be inserted and thus amplified. Many are derived from PLASMIDS; BACTERIOPHAGES; or VIRUSES. They are used for transporting foreign genes into recipient cells. Genetic vectors possess a functional replicator site and contain GENETIC MARKERS to facilitate their selective recognition.Protein Transport: The process of moving proteins from one cellular compartment (including extracellular) to another by various sorting and transport mechanisms such as gated transport, protein translocation, and vesicular transport.Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying: Potassium channels where the flow of K+ ions into the cell is greater than the outward flow.NAV1.5 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel: A voltage-gated sodium channel subtype that mediates the sodium ion PERMEABILITY of CARDIOMYOCYTES. Defects in the SCN5A gene, which codes for the alpha subunit of this sodium channel, are associated with a variety of CARDIAC DISEASES that result from loss of sodium channel function.Diabetic Cardiomyopathies: Diabetes complications in which VENTRICULAR REMODELING in the absence of CORONARY ATHEROSCLEROSIS and hypertension results in cardiac dysfunctions, typically LEFT VENTRICULAR DYSFUNCTION. The changes also result in myocardial hypertrophy, myocardial necrosis and fibrosis, and collagen deposition due to impaired glucose tolerance.Protein Isoforms: Different forms of a protein that may be produced from different GENES, or from the same gene by ALTERNATIVE SPLICING.Nitric Oxide: A free radical gas produced endogenously by a variety of mammalian cells, synthesized from ARGININE by NITRIC OXIDE SYNTHASE. Nitric oxide is one of the ENDOTHELIUM-DEPENDENT RELAXING FACTORS released by the vascular endothelium and mediates VASODILATION. It also inhibits platelet aggregation, induces disaggregation of aggregated platelets, and inhibits platelet adhesion to the vascular endothelium. Nitric oxide activates cytosolic GUANYLATE CYCLASE and thus elevates intracellular levels of CYCLIC GMP.Epimedium: A plant genus of the family BERBERIDACEAE which is used in DRUGS, CHINESE HERBAL. Members contain flavonol glycosides including epimedins, icariin and noricariin.Necrosis: The pathological process occurring in cells that are dying from irreparable injuries. It is caused by the progressive, uncontrolled action of degradative ENZYMES, leading to MITOCHONDRIAL SWELLING, nuclear flocculation, and cell lysis. It is distinct it from APOPTOSIS, which is a normal, regulated cellular process.Gene Transfer Techniques: The introduction of functional (usually cloned) GENES into cells. A variety of techniques and naturally occurring processes are used for the gene transfer such as cell hybridization, LIPOSOMES or microcell-mediated gene transfer, ELECTROPORATION, chromosome-mediated gene transfer, TRANSFECTION, and GENETIC TRANSDUCTION. Gene transfer may result in genetically transformed cells and individual organisms.Cell Shape: The quality of surface form or outline of CELLS.Electrophysiological Processes: The functions and activities of living organisms or their parts involved in generating and responding to electrical charges .Cell Lineage: The developmental history of specific differentiated cell types as traced back to the original STEM CELLS in the embryo.Glucose: A primary source of energy for living organisms. It is naturally occurring and is found in fruits and other parts of plants in its free state. It is used therapeutically in fluid and nutrient replacement.Models, Biological: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of biological processes or diseases. For disease models in living animals, DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL is available. Biological models include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.KATP Channels: Heteromultimers of Kir6 channels (the pore portion) and sulfonylurea receptor (the regulatory portion) which affect function of the HEART; PANCREATIC BETA CELLS; and KIDNEY COLLECTING DUCTS. KATP channel blockers include GLIBENCLAMIDE and mitiglinide whereas openers include CROMAKALIM and minoxidil sulfate.Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-1: A subclass of alpha-adrenergic receptors that mediate contraction of SMOOTH MUSCLE in a variety of tissues such as ARTERIOLES; VEINS; and the UTERUS. They are usually found on postsynaptic membranes and signal through GQ-G11 G-PROTEINS.Muscle Fibers, Skeletal: Large, multinucleate single cells, either cylindrical or prismatic in shape, that form the basic unit of SKELETAL MUSCLE. They consist of MYOFIBRILS enclosed within and attached to the SARCOLEMMA. They are derived from the fusion of skeletal myoblasts (MYOBLASTS, SKELETAL) into a syncytium, followed by differentiation.Ventricular Pressure: The pressure within a CARDIAC VENTRICLE. Ventricular pressure waveforms can be measured in the beating heart by catheterization or estimated using imaging techniques (e.g., DOPPLER ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY). The information is useful in evaluating the function of the MYOCARDIUM; CARDIAC VALVES; and PERICARDIUM, particularly with simultaneous measurement of other (e.g., aortic or atrial) pressures.HEK293 Cells: A cell line generated from human embryonic kidney cells that were transformed with human adenovirus type 5.Calcium Channel Blockers: A class of drugs that act by selective inhibition of calcium influx through cellular membranes.Caspases: A family of intracellular CYSTEINE ENDOPEPTIDASES that play a role in regulating INFLAMMATION and APOPTOSIS. They specifically cleave peptides at a CYSTEINE amino acid that follows an ASPARTIC ACID residue. Caspases are activated by proteolytic cleavage of a precursor form to yield large and small subunits that form the enzyme. Since the cleavage site within precursors matches the specificity of caspases, sequential activation of precursors by activated caspases can occur.Nitric Oxide Donors: A diverse group of agents, with unique chemical structures and biochemical requirements, which generate NITRIC OXIDE. These compounds have been used in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and the management of acute myocardial infarction, acute and chronic congestive heart failure, and surgical control of blood pressure. (Adv Pharmacol 1995;34:361-81)NFATC Transcription Factors: A family of transcription factors characterized by the presence of highly conserved calcineurin- and DNA-binding domains. NFAT proteins are activated in the CYTOPLASM by the calcium-dependent phosphatase CALCINEURIN. They transduce calcium signals to the nucleus where they can interact with TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR AP-1 or NF-KAPPA B and initiate GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION of GENES involved in CELL DIFFERENTIATION and development. NFAT proteins stimulate T-CELL activation through the induction of IMMEDIATE-EARLY GENES such as INTERLEUKIN-2.Paracrine Communication: Cellular signaling in which a factor secreted by a cell affects other cells in the local environment. This term is often used to denote the action of INTERCELLULAR SIGNALING PEPTIDES AND PROTEINS on surrounding cells.Myoblasts, Skeletal: Precursor cells destined to differentiate into skeletal myocytes (MYOCYTES, SKELETAL).Cyclic AMP: An adenine nucleotide containing one phosphate group which is esterified to both the 3'- and 5'-positions of the sugar moiety. It is a second messenger and a key intracellular regulator, functioning as a mediator of activity for a number of hormones, including epinephrine, glucagon, and ACTH.Troponin T: One of the three polypeptide chains that make up the TROPONIN complex. It is a cardiac-specific protein that binds to TROPOMYOSIN. It is released from damaged or injured heart muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC). Defects in the gene encoding troponin T result in FAMILIAL HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY.Cell Respiration: The metabolic process of all living cells (animal and plant) in which oxygen is used to provide a source of energy for the cell.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular: Enlargement of the LEFT VENTRICLE of the heart. This increase in ventricular mass is attributed to sustained abnormal pressure or volume loads and is a contributor to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.Cytochromes c: Cytochromes of the c type that are found in eukaryotic MITOCHONDRIA. They serve as redox intermediates that accept electrons from MITOCHONDRIAL ELECTRON TRANSPORT COMPLEX III and transfer them to MITOCHONDRIAL ELECTRON TRANSPORT COMPLEX IV.S-Nitroso-N-Acetylpenicillamine: A sulfur-containing alkyl thionitrite that is one of the NITRIC OXIDE DONORS.Echocardiography: Ultrasonic recording of the size, motion, and composition of the heart and surrounding tissues. The standard approach is transthoracic.Chick Embryo: The developmental entity of a fertilized chicken egg (ZYGOTE). The developmental process begins about 24 h before the egg is laid at the BLASTODISC, a small whitish spot on the surface of the EGG YOLK. After 21 days of incubation, the embryo is fully developed before hatching.Gene Expression Profiling: The determination of the pattern of genes expressed at the level of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION, under specific circumstances or in a specific cell.DNA Fragmentation: Splitting the DNA into shorter pieces by endonucleolytic DNA CLEAVAGE at multiple sites. It includes the internucleosomal DNA fragmentation, which along with chromatin condensation, are considered to be the hallmarks of APOPTOSIS.Stress, Mechanical: A purely physical condition which exists within any material because of strain or deformation by external forces or by non-uniform thermal expansion; expressed quantitatively in units of force per unit area.Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases: A mitogen-activated protein kinase subfamily that is widely expressed and plays a role in regulation of MEIOSIS; MITOSIS; and post mitotic functions in differentiated cells. The extracellular signal regulated MAP kinases are regulated by a broad variety of CELL SURFACE RECEPTORS and can be activated by certain CARCINOGENS.MEF2 Transcription Factors: Activating transcription factors of the MADS family which bind a specific sequence element (MEF2 element) in many muscle-specific genes and are involved in skeletal and cardiac myogenesis, neuronal differentiation and survival/apoptosis.Costameres: STRIATED MUSCLE cell components which anchor the MYOFIBRILS from the Z-bands to the SARCOLEMMA and EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX. Costameric proteins include the proteins of FOCAL ADHESIONS.Transduction, Genetic: The transfer of bacterial DNA by phages from an infected bacterium to another bacterium. This also refers to the transfer of genes into eukaryotic cells by viruses. This naturally occurring process is routinely employed as a GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUE.Fluorescent Antibody Technique: Test for tissue antigen using either a direct method, by conjugation of antibody with fluorescent dye (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, DIRECT) or an indirect method, by formation of antigen-antibody complex which is then labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, INDIRECT). The tissue is then examined by fluorescence microscopy.Receptors, Adrenergic, beta-2: A subclass of beta-adrenergic receptors (RECEPTORS, ADRENERGIC, BETA). The adrenergic beta-2 receptors are more sensitive to EPINEPHRINE than to NOREPINEPHRINE and have a high affinity for the agonist TERBUTALINE. They are widespread, with clinically important roles in SKELETAL MUSCLE; LIVER; and vascular, bronchial, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary SMOOTH MUSCLE.Anti-Arrhythmia Agents: Agents used for the treatment or prevention of cardiac arrhythmias. They may affect the polarization-repolarization phase of the action potential, its excitability or refractoriness, or impulse conduction or membrane responsiveness within cardiac fibers. Anti-arrhythmia agents are often classed into four main groups according to their mechanism of action: sodium channel blockade, beta-adrenergic blockade, repolarization prolongation, or calcium channel blockade.Sodium Channels: Ion channels that specifically allow the passage of SODIUM ions. A variety of specific sodium channel subtypes are involved in serving specialized functions such as neuronal signaling, CARDIAC MUSCLE contraction, and KIDNEY function.Fluorescent Dyes: Agents that emit light after excitation by light. The wave length of the emitted light is usually longer than that of the incident light. Fluorochromes are substances that cause fluorescence in other substances, i.e., dyes used to mark or label other compounds with fluorescent tags.Down-Regulation: A negative regulatory effect on physiological processes at the molecular, cellular, or systemic level. At the molecular level, the major regulatory sites include membrane receptors, genes (GENE EXPRESSION REGULATION), mRNAs (RNA, MESSENGER), and proteins.Ion Transport: The movement of ions across energy-transducing cell membranes. Transport can be active, passive or facilitated. Ions may travel by themselves (uniport), or as a group of two or more ions in the same (symport) or opposite (antiport) directions.Actins: Filamentous proteins that are the main constituent of the thin filaments of muscle fibers. The filaments (known also as filamentous or F-actin) can be dissociated into their globular subunits; each subunit is composed of a single polypeptide 375 amino acids long. This is known as globular or G-actin. In conjunction with MYOSINS, actin is responsible for the contraction and relaxation of muscle.Cell Nucleus: Within a eukaryotic cell, a membrane-limited body which contains chromosomes and one or more nucleoli (CELL NUCLEOLUS). The nuclear membrane consists of a double unit-type membrane which is perforated by a number of pores; the outermost membrane is continuous with the ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM. A cell may contain more than one nucleus. (From Singleton & Sainsbury, Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, 2d ed)Tissue Engineering: Generating tissue in vitro for clinical applications, such as replacing wounded tissues or impaired organs. The use of TISSUE SCAFFOLDING enables the generation of complex multi-layered tissues and tissue structures.