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Mechano-sensitive channel blockers: a new class of antiarrhythmic drugs? 

Mechano-sensitive channel blockers: a new class of antiarrhythmic drugs?
Mechano-sensitive channel blockers: a new class of antiarrhythmic drugs?

Ed White

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date: 18 November 2019

The activation of mechano-sensitive ion channels (MSC) has been implicated in the generation of stretch-activated cardiac arrhythmias, which are reported to be more prevalent in diseased tissue. MSC may also be involved in the remodelling process that occurs in response to chronic stress (e.g. hypertension) and strain (e.g. dilatation) overload. Thus the targeting of MSC would seem a valid goal for pharmacological intervention. However, it should also be noted that mechano-sensitivity is a property of most tissues and that in the heart it is associated with the normal regulation of contractility, Ca2+ handling, electrical activity and physiological growth.

This chapter discusses some of the factors that need to be resolved if the targeting of MSC, as a therapeutic tool, is to be achieved. For example, if an effective pharmacological strategy is to be devised for MSC their identity, structure and mode of gating, in human cardiac tissue, must be understood. Readers are also referred to reviews for further information on the pharmacology of MSC.

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