The cardiac Na-H exchanger: a key downstream mediator for the cellular hypertrophic effects of paracrine, autocrine and hormonal factors

Biochem Cell Biol. 2004 Dec;82(6):626-35. doi: 10.1139/o04-129.


The major mechanism by which the heart cell regulates intracellular pH is the Na(+)-H(+) exchanger (NHE) with the NHE-1 isoform as the primary cardiac subtype. Although NHE-1 has been implicated in mediating ischemic injury, more recent evidence implicates the antiporter as a key mediator of hypertrophy, which is produced by various autocrine, paracrine and hormonal factors such as endothelin-1, angiotensin II, and alpha(1) adrenoceptor agonists. These agonists activate the antiporter via phosphorylation-dependent processes. NHE-1 inhibition is likely conducive to attenuating the remodelling process after myocardial infarction. These effects probably occur independently of infarct size reduction and involve attenuation of subsequent postinfarction heart failure. As such, inhibitors of NHE offer substantial promise for clinical development that will attenuate acute responses to myocardial postinfarction and chronic pos t infarction, which evolve toward heart failure. The regulation of NHE-1 is discussed as is its potential role in mediating cardiomyocyte hypertrophy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Autocrine Communication
  • Cardiac Output, Low / etiology
  • Cardiomegaly / etiology*
  • Cell Size
  • Hormones / physiology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism*
  • Paracrine Communication
  • Sodium-Hydrogen Exchangers / chemistry
  • Sodium-Hydrogen Exchangers / physiology*


  • Hormones
  • Sodium-Hydrogen Exchangers
  • growth factor-activatable Na-H exchanger NHE-1