Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Carvedilol tweaks calcium release to ease arrhythmias

Spontaneous calcium release from intracellular stores can trigger irregular heart beats and sudden death. A new study shows that the heart failure drug carvedilol prevents irregular heart beats by a unique action on calcium release channels (pages 1003–1009).

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: During physiological excitation-contraction coupling in the ventricle of the heart, RyR calcium release channels are only activated when calcium enters the cell during the action potential.

Renee Lucas


  1. Zheng, Z.J., Croft, J.B., Giles, W.H. & Mensah, G.A. Circulation 104, 2158–2163 (2001).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. The Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial (CAST) Investigators. N. Engl. J. Med. 321, 406–412 (1989).

  3. Waldo, A.L. et al. Lancet 348, 7–12 (1996).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Moss, A.J. et al. N. Engl. J. Med. 346, 877–883 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Zhou, Q. et al. Nat. Med. 17, 1003–1009 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Mochizuki, M. et al. J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 49, 1722–1732 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Reiken, S. et al. Circulation 107, 2459–2466 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Guo, T. et al. Circ. Res. 106, 1743–1752 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Lehnart, S.E. et al. J. Clin. Invest. 118, 2230–2245 (2008).

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  10. Hilliard, F.A. et al. J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol. 48, 293–301 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Watanabe, H. et al. Nat. Med. 15, 380–383 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Hwang, H.S. et al. Circ. Arrhythm. Electrophysiol. 4, 128–135 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. van der Werf, C. et al. J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 57, 2244–2254 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Björn C Knollmann.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Knollmann, B. Carvedilol tweaks calcium release to ease arrhythmias. Nat Med 17, 923–924 (2011).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing