Gene therapy in cardiac arrhythmias
Praveen, S.V.; Francis, Johnson and Venugopal, K. (2006) Gene therapy in cardiac arrhythmias. Indian Pacing and Electrophysiology Journal, 6 (2). pp. 111-118. ISSN 0972-6292
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Gene therapy has progressed from a dream to a bedside reality in quite a few human diseases. From its first application in adenosine deaminase deficiency, through the years, its application has evolved to vascular angiogenesis and cardiac arrhythmias. Gene based biological pacemakers using viral vectors or mesenchymal cells tested in animal models hold much promise. Induction of pacemaker activity within the left bundle branch can provide stable heart rates. Genetic modification of the AV node mimicking beta blockade can be therapeutic in the management of atrial fibrillation. G protein overexpression to modify the AV node also is experimental. Modification and expression of potassium channel genes altering the delayed rectifier potassium currents may permit better management of congenital long QT syndromes. Arrhythmias in a failing heart are due to abnormal calcium cycling. Potential targets for genetic modulation include the sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium pump, calsequestrin and sodium calcium exchanger.Lastly the ethical concerns need to be addressed.
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