Rajesh, G. and Francis, Johnson (2006) Biological pacemakers. Indian Pacing and Electrophysiology Journal, 6 (1). pp. 1-5. ISSN 0972-6292
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Genetically engineered pacemakers could be a possible alternative to implantable electronic devices for the treatment of bradyarrhythmias. The strategies include upregulation of beta adrenergic receptors, conversion of myocytes into pacemaker cells and stem cell therapy. Pacemaker activity in adult ventricular myocytes is normally repressed by the inward rectifier potassium current (IK1). The IK1 current is encoded by the Kir2 gene family. Use of a negative construct that suppresses current when expressed with wild-type Kir2.1 is an experimental approach for genesis of genetic pacemaker. hyperpolarisation activated cyclic nucleotide gated (HCN) channels which generate If current, the pacemaker current of heart can be delivered to heart by using stem cell therapy approach and viral vectors. The unresolved issues include longevity and stability of pacemaker genes, limitations involved in adenoviral and stem cell therapy and creation of genetic pacemakers which can compete with the electronic units.
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