During the past decades, an increasing number of ion channel and transporter types have
been identified acting together to produce cardiac and neuronal pacemaker action potentials. The basis
of pacemaker activity was understood in more detail by using single-microelectrode recordings on
cells isolated from pacemaker regions. Meanwhile, this powerful technique was complemented by
computer modeling and recombinant technologies, including gene inactivation of ion channels and
transporters, which may be involved in the generation of the electrical activity of pacemaker cells. Several genes of the
voltage-gated Ca2+ channel (VGCC) family have been ablated, and their role in cardiac and neuronal pacemaking is compared
in the present summary, focusing on the role of murine R-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels encoded by cacna1e and
expressing the ion conducting subunit Cav2.3.
Keywords: Voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, pharmacoresistant R-type, SUDEP, epilepsy, sleep, atrial conduction.
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