The Synchronization of Sinoatrial Node Cells: The Transition from Centre to Periphery

S. Polwiang and A.C.F. Coster (Australia)


Sinoatrial node, pacemaker, synchronization, ion channels,electrophysiology.


The aim of this study was to investigate the SAN and the atrial muscle. The SAN cells in the central synchronization of coupled sinoatrial node (SAN) cells, using mathematical models describing their electrical characteristics. Generally, the SAN can be divided into a central and a peripheral region. There is also a transition region between these. Experimentally validated coupled differential equations were employed to accurately reproduce a wide range of action potential waveforms of central and peripheral SAN cells, with a smooth transition of characteristics for those cells in between. The electrophysiological characteristics modelled included cycle length, maximum diastolic potential, action potential amplitude and maximum upstroke velocity. The critical coupling conductance, the minimum coupling conductance required for 1:1 frequency entrainment, was found the linearly increase as the difference between the cycle lengths of coupled cells increased.

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