“Identification of astroglia-like cardiac nexus glia that are critical regulators of cardiac development and function”
For this month’s journal club, Heather presented a paper by Dr. Nina Kikel-Coury and @cssmity entitled “Identification of astroglia-like cardiac nexus glia that are critical regulators of cardiac development and function.” This study described a new glial cell type in the zebrafish heart that appears to be conserved across species. These glia, dubbed cardiac nexus glia (CNGs), share multiple markers with astroglia, associate with synapses, and regulate axon infiltration into the heart, thus revealing similarities to CNS astroglia. CNGs appear to be derived from neural crest cells and differentiate through Meteorin-Jak/Stat3 signaling. The authors also showed that CNGs contribute to heart rate and rhythm modulation through both the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. This study advances our knowledge of PNS glia and their contributions to physiology.