KATP channels are integral to the functions of many cells and tissues. The use of electrophysiological methods has allowed for a detailed characterization of KATP channels in terms of their biophysical properties, nucleotide sensitivities, and modification by pharmacological compounds. However, even though they were first described almost 25 years ago (Noma 1983, Trube and Hescheler 1984), the physiological and pathophysiological roles of these channels, and their regulation by complex biological systems, are only now emerging for many tissues. Even in tissues where their roles have been best defined, there are still many unanswered questions. This review aims to summarize the properties, molecular composition, and pharmacology of KATP channels in various cardiovascular components (atria, specialized conduction system, ventricles, smooth muscle, endothelium, and mitochondria). We will summarize the lessons learned from available genetic mouse models and address the known roles of KATP channels in cardiovascular pathologies and how genetic variation in KATP channel genes contribute to human disease.
Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.