Potassium Channel Activators in Vascular Smooth Muscle

  • Robert H. Cox
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 308)


Ion channels play an important role in the function of all cells. They are involved in the determination of resting membrane potential, intracellular ion levels, action potential generation, and stimulus-response coupling. Over the last ten years, interest in ion channels as targets for therapeutic drug development has steadily increased. The Na+ channel was the first recognized as the site of action of therapeutically important compounds such as the local anesthetics. Over the last decade, Ca2+ channels have been the prominent site for the development of new modulatory agents. This activity has witnessed the development of numerous compounds with varying tissue specificity that modulate Ca2+ channel function. More recently, K+ channels have also become an important site of interest for the development of new therapeutic compounds (1). While K+ channel blockers have been available for many years, compounds that appear to function as K+ channel activators have been synthesized only recently.


Rest Membrane Potential Tail Artery Potassium Channel Activator Rabbit Portal Vein Rabbit Thoracic Aorta 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert H. Cox
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Bockus Research InstituteThe Graduate HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyThe University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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