About this Research Topic
Vertebrates possess two types of striated muscle: cardiac and skeletal. Despite having distinct embryonic origins and different physiological roles, they present many common features in terms of structure and function, both in physiological and pathological terms.
Cardiovascular diseases are a major cause of death and disability worldwide, equalling or even surpassing the burden of cancer in many countries. Generally speaking, they include conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels. In most patients the underlying causes have a multifactorial basis, in which life-style factors play a preeminent role, but many cardiac disorders can also originate from single-gene alterations.
Skeletal muscle, on the other hand, can be affected by a relatively large number of low-incidence inherited diseases, whereas it is involved in a much smaller range of acquired diseases. However, it is a major component of two major health problems that involve millions of people: cancer-related morbidity, because of cachexia, and ageing-related morbidity, which is strongly linked to age-related sarcopenia. Last but not least, as opposed to what happens with the heart, skeletal muscle can be affected by traumatic damage, which, depending on its extent, can lead to severe reduction of quality of life. In this regard it is worth noticing that even though both types of tissue are post-mitotic in nature, skeletal muscle is able to regenerate well even after injury, with the exception of large volumetric mass losses, whereas heart can do so to a very limited extent. For both tissues, improving regenerative processes, but also clarifying the underlying pathogenic mechanisms, would have a great impact on human health.
This Research Topic will focus on studies (including original research, perspectives, minireviews, commentaries and opinion papers) that deal with the mechanisms underlying the different cardiac and skeletal muscles pathologies, both inherited and acquired, as well as the in vitro and in vivo models that can be used to study these diseases.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.