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Mitochondrial Dysfunction Increases Arrhythmic Triggers And Substrates; Potential Anti-arrhythmic Pharmacological Targets

Khalil Saadeh, Ibrahim Talal Fazmin

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Incidence of cardiac arrhythmias increases significantly with age. In order to effectively stratify arrhythmic risk in the aging population it is crucial to elucidate the relevant underlying molecular mechanisms. The changes underlying age-related electrophysiological disruption appear to be closely associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. Thus, the present review examines the mechanisms by which age-related mitochondrial dysfunction promotes arrhythmic triggers and substrate. Namely, via alterations in plasmalemmal ionic currents (both sodium and potassium), gap junctions, cellular Ca2+homeostasis, and cardiac fibrosis. Stratification of patients' mitochondrial function status permits application of appropriate anti-arrhythmic therapies. Here, we discuss novel potential anti-arrhythmic pharmacological interventions that specifically target upstream mitochondrial function and hence ameliorates the need for therapies targeting downstream changes which have constituted traditional antiarrhythmic therapy.