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Diversity among highly specialized cells underlies the fundamental biology of complex multi-cellular organisms. One of the essential scientific questions in cardiac biology has been to define subpopulations within the heart. The heart parenchyma comprises specialized cardiomyocytes (CMs). CMs have been canonically classified into a few phenotypically diverse subpopulations largely based on their function and anatomic localization. However, there is growing evidence that CM subpopulations are in fact numerous, with a diversity of genetic origin and putatively different roles in physiology and pathophysiology. In this chapter, we introduce a recently discovered CM subpopulation: phenylethanolamine-N-methyl transferase (Pnmt)-derived cardiomyocytes (PdCMs). We discuss: (i) canonical classifications of CM subpopulations; (ii) discovery of PdCMs; (iii) Pnmt and the role of catecholamines in the heart; similarities and dissimilarities of PdCMs and canonical CMs; and (iv) putative functions of PdCMs in both physiological and pathological states and future directions, such as in intra-cardiac adrenergic signalling.

Original publication

DOI

10.1098/rsob.200095

Type

Journal article

Journal

Open Biol

Publication Date

08/2020

Volume

10

Keywords

PdCMs, Pnmt, Pnmt-derived cardiomyocytes, cardiac adrenergic signalling, cardiac cellular subpopulations, phenylethanolamine N-methyl transferase