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Molecules 2012, 17(4), 4225-4235; doi:10.3390/molecules17044225
Review

HCN Channels and Heart Rate

1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2 and 1,*
1 Section of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, University of Bari, School of Medicine, Policlinico, Bari 70124, Italy 2 Cardiology Unit, San Camillo De Lellis Hospital, Manfredonia (FG) 71043, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 November 2011 / Revised: 21 March 2012 / Accepted: 30 March 2012 / Published: 5 April 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ivabradine)
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Abstract

Hyperpolarization and Cyclic Nucleotide (HCN) -gated channels represent the molecular correlates of the “funny” pacemaker current (If), a current activated by hyperpolarization and considered able to influence the sinus node function in generating cardiac impulses. HCN channels are a family of six transmembrane domain, single pore-loop, hyperpolarization activated, non-selective cation channels. This channel family comprises four members: HCN1-4, but there is a general agreement to consider HCN4 as the main isoform able to control heart rate. This review aims to summarize advanced insights into the structure, function and cellular regulation of HCN channels in order to better understand the role of such channels in regulating heart rate and heart function in normal and pathological conditions. Therefore, we evaluated the possible therapeutic application of the selective HCN channels blockers in heart rate control.
Keywords: HCN channels; If-current; heart rate control; ivabradine HCN channels; If-current; heart rate control; ivabradine
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Scicchitano, P.; Carbonara, S.; Ricci, G.; Mandurino, C.; Locorotondo, M.; Bulzis, G.; Gesualdo, M.; Zito, A.; Carbonara, R.; Dentamaro, I.; Riccioni, G.; Ciccone, M.M. HCN Channels and Heart Rate. Molecules 2012, 17, 4225-4235.

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