Intercellular Communication in the Heart: Therapeutic Opportunities for Cardiac Ischemia

Martins-Marques, Tania, Hausenloy, Derek J., Sluijter, Joost P.G., Leybaert, Luc & Girao, Henrique

Published: March 2021


The maintenance of tissue, organ, and organism homeostasis relies on an intricate network of players and mechanisms that assist in the different forms of cell–cell communication. Myocardial infarction, following heart ischemia and reperfusion, is associated with profound changes in key processes of intercellular communication, involving gap junctions, extracellular vesicles, and tunneling nanotubes, some of which have been implicated in communication defects associated with cardiac injury, namely arrhythmogenesis and progression into heart failure. Therefore, intercellular communication players have emerged as attractive powerful therapeutic targets aimed at preserving a fine-tuned crosstalk between the different cardiac cells in order to prevent or repair some of harmful consequences of heart ischemia and reperfusion, re-establishing myocardial function.

Full Access Link: Trends in Molecular Medicine