Ion channels and beating heart: the players and the music

  • Lia Crotti | Department of Molecular Medicine, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico S. Matteo, Pavia, Italy; Department of Cardiology, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy; Institute of Human Genetics, Helmholtz Center Munich, Neuherberg, Germany, Italy.
  • Giuseppe Limongelli Second University of Naples, Monaldi Hospital, Naples, Italy.
  • Charles Antzelevitch Masonic Medical Research Laboratory, Utica, New York, United States.


Soft gentle music accompanies us throughout our lifetime; it is the music of our heart beating. Although at times it is questionable as to who serves as conductor of the orchestra, there is little doubt that our ion channels are the main players. Whenever one of them plays too loudly, too softly or simply off key, disharmony results, sometimes leading to total disruption of the rate and rhythm. Ion channels can disrupt the music of our heart by different mechanisms. Sometimes their function is correct, but their expression is altered by underlying cardiac diseases (i.e. heart failure); sometimes the defect is in their structure, because of an underlying genetic defect, and in this case a channelopathy is present.


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ion channels, cardiogenetics, channelopathy.
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How to Cite
Crotti, L., Limongelli, G., & Antzelevitch, C. (2011). Ion channels and beating heart: the players and the music. Cardiogenetics, 1(1s), e1.