PubMed 19591835

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: HCN1 , HCN3 , HCN4

Title: The cardiac pacemaker current.

Authors: Mirko Baruscotti, Andrea Barbuti, Annalisa Bucchi

Journal, date & volume: J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol., 2010 Jan , 48, 55-64

PubMed link:

In mammals cardiac rate is determined by the duration of the diastolic depolarization of sinoatrial node (SAN) cells which is mainly determined by the pacemaker I(f) current. f-channels are encoded by four members of the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated gene (HCN1-4) family. HCN4 is the most abundant isoform in the SAN, and its relevance to pacemaking has been further supported by the discovery of four loss-of-function mutations in patients with mild or severe forms of cardiac rate disturbances. Due to its selective contribution to pacemaking, the I(f) current is also the pharmacological target of a selective heart rate-reducing agent (ivabradine) currently used in the clinical practice. Albeit to a minor extent, the I(f) current is also present in other spontaneously active myocytes of the cardiac conduction system (atrioventricular node and Purkinje fibres). In working atrial and ventricular myocytes f-channels are expressed at a very low level and do not play any physiological role; however in certain pathological conditions over-expression of HCN proteins may represent an arrhythmogenic mechanism. In this review some of the most recent findings on f/HCN channels contribution to pacemaking are described.