Potassium channels: physiological, pathological and protective roles
Journal of Clinical and Basic Cardiology 1999; 2 (1): 5-7
Keywords: Kaliumkanal, KATP-Kanal, Präkonditionierung, KATP-channel, potassium channel, preconditioning
Potassium channels play a crucial physiological role. Without their activity, cardiac life would cease. In disease states, potassium outflow is seen as harmful and associated with depolarization. Opening of one specific potassium channel, the K(ATP) channel, may however, be the final common path in the protective phenomenon of preconditioning. Of interest, several cardioprotective agents such as the opiates or the calcium blocker mibefradil, also appear to act via this channel. The antianginal agent, nicorandil, may also promote preconditioning, although this is a challenging concept to be proven in patients. J Clin Basic Cardiol 1999; 2: 5-7.