Telocytes express ANO-1-encoded chloride channels in canine ventricular myocardium

Christopher V. DeSimone, Christopher J. McLeod, Pedro J. Gomez Pinilla, Arthur Beyder, Gianrico Farrugia, Samuel J. Asirvatham, Suraj Kapa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: It is unknown if ANO-1 is expressed in the heart, though the presence of a calcium-activated chloride current has been proposed to mediate some cardiac dysrhythmias. Furthermore, a specific cell type termed telocytes, morphologically mimicking Cajal cells which use ANO-1 to modulate their pacemaker activity in the gut, have been described in the heart. We therefore sought to determine whether this channel is expressed in the canine heart. Methods: Myocardium was sampled from the ventricles of five canines. Sections were labeled with anti-Kit and anti-ANO-1 antibodies. Slides were reviewed by four investigators looking at cell morphology, distribution, and co-localization. Identification of telocytes was based on criteria including morphology, Kit positivity (+), and ANO-1 positivity (+). Results: Clusters of cells meeting criteria for telocytes were seen in the epicardium, sub-epicardium, and mid-myocardium. A small subset of cells that were morphologically similar to myocytes was ANO-1 (+) but Kit (−). In total, three different cell classes were found: (i) Kit (+), ANO-1 (+) cells with the appearance of telocytes; (ii) Kit (+), ANO-1 (−) cells; and (iii) Kit (−), ANO-1 (+) cells with the morphologic appearance of cardiac myocytes. Conclusions: Telocytes are present in the canine ventricle and express ANO-1. These data merit further study to elucidate the functional expression of these channels in the heart and whether they may be targets for cardiac arrhythmias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-521
Number of pages7
Journaljournal of arrhythmia
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • ANO1
  • Telocytes
  • cell electrophysiology
  • chloride channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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