THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER AT HOUSTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER AT HOUSTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Real-time fluorescence microscopy of a cultured adult heart cell, showing its calcium ion flux. The cell has dedifferentiated and regressed to a foetal form, which is thought to happen in cardiac ischemia. The cell has a white, high-calcium area in the middle. The cell is beating quickly, as revealed by the calcium pulses, as it has been treated with the drug isoproterenol. This is a catecholamine drug used to treat slow heart rate. The fluorescent probe fluo-3 reveals the calcium ions that control the heartbeat.
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