The Relevance of GIRK Channels in Heart Function
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Among the large number of potassium-channel families implicated in the control of neuronal excitability, G-protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium channels (GIRK/Kir3) have been found to be a main factor in heart control. These channels are activated following the modulation of G-protein-coupled receptors and, although they have been implicated in different neurological diseases in both human and animal studies of the central nervous system, the therapeutic potential of different subtypes of these channel families in cardiac conditions has remained untapped. As they have emerged as a promising potential tool to treat a variety of conditions that disrupt neuronal homeostasis, many studies have started to focus on these channels as mediators of cardiac dynamics, thus leading to research into their implication in cardiovascular conditions. Our aim is to review the latest advances in GIRK modulation in the heart and their role in the cardiovascular system.