Funny current in cardiac pacemaker cells and its specific inhibitor ivabradine
Author(s): Sunny C.*, Brijesh Mukherjee, Durgabati Patel, Manjushree Mohanty
Out of all the electrical discharges occurring in the cardio myocytes, the funny current (If) or the pacemaker current (Ir) is rather unusual. The existence of such an electrical activity in the sinoatrial node was established in 1970’s. Because of their relevance to generation of pacemaker activity and modulation of spontaneous frequency, f-channels are natural targets of drugs aimed to pharmacologically control heart rate. Ivabradine is the most specific and selective If inhibitor and the only member of this family that is now marketed for pharmacological treatment of chronic stable angina in patients with normal sinus rhythm who have a contraindication or intolerance to beta-blockers. Recent studies have also indicated that funny channel inhibition can be used to reduce the incidence of coronary artery disease outcomes.
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