PubMed 24632326

Title: Pharmacology of voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.5-impact on cardiac excitability.

Authors: Erich Wettwer, Heinrich Terlau

Journal, date & volume: Curr Opin Pharmacol, 2014 Mar 12 , 15C, 115-121

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Voltage activated potassium (Kv) channels are intensely investigated targets within the pharmacological strategies to treat cardiac arrhythmia. For atrial fibrillation (AF) substances inhibiting the ultra rapid outward rectifying Kv current (IKur) and its underlying Kv1.5 channel have been developed. Here we describe potential limitations of this approach with respect to critical parameters of Kv channel pharmacology. In healthy tissue IKur/Kv1.5 inhibition can unexpectedly lead to action potential shortening with corresponding arrhythmogenic effects. In tissue with chronic AF, electrical remodeling occurs which is accompanied with changes in ion channel expression and composition. As a consequence atrial tissue exhibits a different pharmacological fingerprint. New strategies to obtain more mechanistic insight into drug target interaction are needed for better understanding the pharmacological potential of IKur/Kv1.5 inhibition for AF treatment.