Triple threat: the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger in the pathophysiology of cardiac arrhythmia, ischemia and heart failure

Curr Drug Targets. 2011 May;12(5):737-47. doi: 10.2174/138945011795378559.


The Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX) is the main Ca(2+) extrusion mechanism of the cardiac myocyte and thus is crucial for maintaining Ca(2+) homeostasis. It is involved in the regulation of several parameters of cardiac excitation contraction coupling, such as cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration, repolarization and contractility. Increased NCX activity has been identified as a mechanism promoting heart failure, cardiac ischemia and arrhythmia. Transgenic mice as well as pharmacological interventions have been used to support the idea of using NCX inhibition as a future pharmacological strategy to treat cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / drug therapy
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / physiopathology*
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy*
  • Myocardial Contraction
  • Myocardial Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Myocardial Ischemia / physiopathology*
  • Sodium-Calcium Exchanger / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Sodium-Calcium Exchanger / genetics
  • Sodium-Calcium Exchanger / metabolism*


  • Sodium-Calcium Exchanger
  • Calcium