Related Research

Funny current

Cardiac rhythmic activity is generated by "pacemaker" cells, which in mammals are located in the sinoatrial node (SAN). Action potentials of SAN cells have a special phase, called diastolic (or pacemaker) depolarization (DD): at the end of an action potential, the pacemaker depolarization slowly takes the membrane voltage up to threshold for firing of a new action potential, thus generating repetitive activity. What is the mechanism underlying the pacemaker depolarization?... read more

Genetics of pacemaker channel diseases

Cardiac diseases associated with rhythm disorders are among the major causes of morbidity and mortality in western countries. Rhythm disorders can be caused typically by genetic mutations of ion channels involved in cardiomyocyte’s electrical activity... read more

Pharmacology of the pacemaker channel

Drugs able to selectively block funny channels have a potential therapeutic use whenever a specific heart rate reduction, devoid of side effects, is desirable. Indeed, pharmacological research has been long seeking for substances able to slow heart rate specifically, and several “heart rate-inhibiting” substances have been developed to this aim. ... read more

Biological pacemaker

Cardiac arrhythmias include complex and multifactorial disorders of cardiac rhythm. In the Sinus Node Disease (SND) syndrome, the sinoatrial node (SAN), the natural cardiac pacemaker region of the heart, fails to generate or propagate normal action potentials. This may lead to severe bradycardia and atrio-ventricular node block, conditions that often require implantation of an electronic pacemaker as the only possible therapy. ... read more