A new model of myofibroblast-cardiomyocyte interactions and their differences across species

Fusheng Liu, Hou Wu, Xiaoyu Yang, Yuqin Dong, Guoyou Huang, Guy M. Genin, Tian Jian Lu, Feng Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Although coupling between cardiomyocytes and myofibroblasts is well known to affect the physiology and pathophysiology of cardiac tissues across species, relating these observations to humans is challenging because the effect of this coupling varies across species and because the sources of these effects are not known. To identify the sources of cross-species variation, we built upon previous mathematical models of myofibroblast electrophysiology and developed a mechanoelectrical model of cardiomyocyte-myofibroblast interactions as mediated by electrotonic coupling and transforming growth factor-β1. The model, as verified by experimental data from the literature, predicted that both electrotonic coupling and transforming growth factor-β1 interaction between myocytes and myofibroblast prolonged action potential in rat myocytes but shortened action potential in human myocytes. This variance could be explained by differences in the transient outward K+ current associated with differential Kv4.2 gene expression across species. Results are useful for efforts to extrapolate the results of animal models to the predicted effects in humans and point to potential therapeutic targets for fibrotic cardiomyopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3764-3775
Number of pages12
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 7 2021


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