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When these newly discovered cells were removed the cardiac rate elevated. Additionally, the heartbeat remained irregular when they were deprived of a key gene.
Smith who is one of the key researchers said that
Identification of astroglia-like cardiac nexus glia that are critical regulators of cardiac development and function, by @NDBios researchers, in @PLOSBiologyhttps://t.co/6FkBmnapHx#cardiac #glia #astroglia #peripheralnerves #heart #glialcells #biomed #biology #neurocardiology pic.twitter.com/MaTn7W2AmH— Autonomic Aus (@AutonomicAus) November 25, 2021
"For me, the definition of great science is something that you discover that opens up even more questions, and this, I think, is the definition of that. It's a discovery that now we have 100 questions we didn't even know existed, so we're following up on them to explore this path that has never been studied before."
Although there are yet a million questions that need to be answered before we establish any strong connection between the discovery of these cells as well as congenital heart defects. But the location of these cells are in the same proximity where congenital heart defects are found.
We don't completely know the function of these cells, but the concept that if you get rid of them, heart rates increase, could link it to certain disease cases, I think these glial cells could play a pretty important role in regulating the heart.
"This is another example of how studying basic neurobiology can lead to the understanding of many different disorders," said Smith.
If the current assumptions of the researchers are to be believed these cells could provide answers as well as solutions about the congenital heart diseases.