The electrical activity of cardiac tissue is determined by the highly regulated flow of ions across the cell membrane during the cardiac action potential. Ion channels are pore-forming proteins through which these electric currents flow. In this review, the ion currents that underlie the action potential are first described. Then, the way in which expression of individual ion-channel genes results in such ion currents is discussed. Finally, the concept that arrhythmias may be due to abnormalities of structure, function, or number of ion channels, or the way in which they respond to abnormalities in their environment (such as acute ischemia), is reviewed. Further understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal cardiac electrophysiologic behavior should allow the development of safer and more effective antiarrhythmic interventions.
- Ion currents
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)