Author(s): Thomas D, Kiehn J, Katus HA, Karle CA
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Abstract Ventricular arrhythmias are often precipitated by physical or emotional stress, in particular in patients with ischemic heart disease or hereditary long QT syndrome. Stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system in response to exercise or emotional stress causes activation of cardiac alpha- and beta-adrenoceptors. The rapid component of the delayed rectifier potassium current, I(Kr), and the underlying hERG potassium channel are critical for the regulation of heart rhythm. Recent experimental studies revealed that hERG/I(Kr) currents are modulated by alpha- and beta-adrenergic stimulation, providing a pathophysiological explanation for the increased incidence of arrhythmias during stress. This review summarizes the current knowledge on hERG/I(Kr) channel modulation by adrenergic activity. In addition, therapeutic approaches to future effective, more genotype-specific antiarrhythmic therapies are discussed.
This article was published in Basic Res Cardiol
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research