Cardiac Action Potentials

Although cardiac myocytes branch and interconnect (mechanically via the intercalated disk and electrically via the gap junctions; see Section 5), under normal conditions they should be thought to form two separate functional networks: the atria and the ventricles. The atrial and ventricular tissues are separated by the fibrous skeleton of the heart (the central fibrous body). This skeleton is composed of dense connective tissue rings that surround the valves of the heart, fuse with one another, and merge

Table 1

Ion Concentrations for Mammalian Myocytes


Intracellular concentration (millimolar)

Extracellular concentration (millimolar)

Sodium (Na)

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Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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