AG Christ

PD Dr. med Torsten Christ
Clinic/Institute: Institute of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology
Phone: +49 (0) 40 7410 - 52414

Research Focus and Main research questions

Main interest is the regulation of action potentials and force by ion channels in human heart tissue, special focus is on atrial fibrillation and heart failure, regulation of cardiac activity by β adrenoceptors and ion channel blockers. We measure ion currents in isolated cells, action potentials and force in intact tissues. We want to investigate to what extent electrophysiology in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CM) resembles those in adult human heart. In close collaboration with AG Eschenhagen, AG Carrier, AG Hansen and AG Stenzig we use hiPSC-CM as a model to study relevant cardiac pathologies. Intense interactions with AG Nikolaev in the field of phosphodiesterase dependent regulation of responses to β adrenoceptor stimulation and with the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery and Department of Cardiology (Electrophysiology).

  • Methods
  • Methods


    • Isometric measurements of force in intact cardiac tissue
    • Measurement of action potentials by sharp microelectrodes in intact cardiac tissue
    • Measurement of ion currents in isolated cardiomyocytes

  • Publications:

    1. Christ T, Lemoine MD, Eschenhagen T. Are atrial human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes ready to identify drugs that beat atrial fibrillation? Nat Commun. 2021 Mar 19;12(1):1725. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21949-z. PMID: 33741918; PMCID: PMC7979815.

    2. Flenner F, Jungen C, Küpker N, Ibel N, Kruse M, Koivumäki J, Rinas A, Zech A, Rhoden A, Wijnker P, Lemoine M, Steenpass A, Girdauskas E, Eschenhagen T, Meyer C, van der Velden J, Patten-Hamel M, Christ T, Carrier L. Translational investigation of electrophysiology in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. JMCC in press.

    3. Iqbal Z, Ismaili D, Dolce B, Petersen J, Reichenspurner H, Hansen A, Kirchhof P, Eschenhagen T, Nikolaev VO, Molina CE, Christ T. Regulation of basal and norepinephrine-induced cAMP and ICa in hiPSC-cardiomyocytes: Effects of culture conditions and comparison to adult human atrial cardiomyocytes. Cell Signal. 2021 Jun;82:109970. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2021.109970. Epub 2021 Mar 5. PMID: 33677066.

    4. Lemoine MD, Lemme M, Ulmer BM, Braren I, Krasemann S, Hansen A, Kirchhof P, Meyer C, Eschenhagen T, Christ T. Intermittent Optogenetic Tachypacing of Atrial Engineered Heart Tissue Induces Only Limited Electrical Remodelling. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2020 Dec 13;77(3):291-299. doi: 10.1097/FJC.0000000000000951. PMID: 33278190.

    5. Pecha S, Geelhoed B, Kempe R, Berk E, Engel A, Girdauskas E, Reichenspurner H, Ravens U, Kaumann A, Eschenhagen T, Schnabel RB, Christ T. No impact of sex and age on beta-adrenoceptor-mediated inotropy in human right atrial trabeculae. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2021 Mar;231(3):e13564. doi: 10.1111/apha.13564. Epub 2020 Oct 29. PMID: 33002334.