Cardiac excitation-contraction coupling

Nature. 2002 Jan 10;415(6868):198-205. doi: 10.1038/415198a.


Of the ions involved in the intricate workings of the heart, calcium is considered perhaps the most important. It is crucial to the very process that enables the chambers of the heart to contract and relax, a process called excitation-contraction coupling. It is important to understand in quantitative detail exactly how calcium is moved around the various organelles of the myocyte in order to bring about excitation-contraction coupling if we are to understand the basic physiology of heart function. Furthermore, spatial microdomains within the cell are important in localizing the molecular players that orchestrate cardiac function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium Signaling*
  • Heart / innervation
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Muscle Relaxation
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology*
  • Myocardium / cytology
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel / metabolism
  • Sarcoplasmic Reticulum / physiology
  • Sodium / metabolism
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology


  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel
  • Sodium
  • Calcium