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Intense efforts during the last decade to identify a useful positive inotropic agent to replace digitalis for the treatment of congestive heart failure have led to the discovery of several dozen potential substitutes, of which a number are currently undergoing clinical trials. In addition to producing a variety of new therapeutic entities, research in this area has also yielded valuable new information regarding the fundamental events that regulate calcium homeostasis and contractile function in the cardiac cell. For example, several of these new inotropic agents, including the calcium-channel stimulator BAY-k 8644, the sodium-channel stimulator DPI-201-186, and the sodium-calcium exchange inhibitor dichlorobenzamil, have provided considerable insight into the role of sodium and calcium in regulating contractility and the molecular events that mediate potential-dependent ion channels. Likewise, the discovery and development of agents like imazodan, amrinone, enoximone, and other selective type III phosphodiesterase inhibitors have provided new information regarding multiple molecular forms of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase, compartmentation of cyclic AMP, and the importance of soluble vs. membrane-bound phosphodiesterases.


R E Weishaar, D Kobylarz-Singer, B A Klinkefus. New mechanisms for positive inotropic agents: focus on the discovery and development of imazodan. Cardiovascular drugs and therapy / sponsored by the International Society of Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy. 1989 Mar;3(1):29-42

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PMID: 2487522

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