Pharmacological Modulations of Cardiac Ultra-Rapid and Slowly Activating Delayed Rectifier Currents: Potential Antiarrhythmic Approaches
Mohammed A. Islam.
Despite the emerging new insights into our understandings of the cellular mechanisms underlying cardiac arrhythmia, medical therapy for this disease remains unsatisfactory. Atrial fibrillation (AF), the most prevalent arrhythmia, is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. On the other hand, ventricular fibrillation results in sudden cardiac deaths in many instances. Prolongation of cardiac action potential (AP) is a proven principle of antiarrhythmic therapy. Class III antiarrhythmic agents prolong AP and QT interval by blocking rapidly activating delayed rectifier current (IKr). However, IKr blocking drugs carry the risk of life-threatening proarrhythmia. Recently, modulation of atrial-selective ultra-rapid delayed rectifier current (IKur), has emerged as a novel therapeutic approach to treat AF. A number of IKur blockers are being evaluated for the treatment of AF. The inhibition of slowly activating delayed rectifier current (IKs) has also been proposed as an effective and safer antiarrhythmic approach because of its distinguishing characteristics that differ in remarkable ways from other selective class III agents. Selective IKs block may prolong AP duration (APD) at rapid rates without leading to proarrhythmia. This article reviews the pathophysiological roles of IKur and IKs in cardiac repolarization and the implications of newly developed IKur and IKs blocking agents as promising antiarrhythmic approaches. Several recent patents pertinent to antiarrhythmic drug development have been discussed. Further research will be required to evaluate the efficacy and safety of these agents in the clinical setting.
Keywords: Antiarrhythmic agents, IKs, IKur, potassium channel blockers, atrial and ventricular fibrillation, DPO-1, ISQ-1, AVE0118, AVE1231, Chromanol 293B, HMR 1556, &, L-768,673
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