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Excessive death of cardiac myocytes leads to many cardiac diseases, including myocardial infarction, arrhythmia, heart failure and sudden cardiac death. For the last several decades, most work on cell death has focused on apoptosis, which is generally considered as the only form of regulated cell death, whereas necrosis has been regarded to be an unregulated process. Recent findings reveal that necrosis also occurs in a regulated manner and that it is closely related to the physiology and pathophysiology of many organs, including the heart. The recognition of necrosis as a regulated process mandates a re-examination of cell death in the heart together with the mechanisms and therapy of cardiac diseases. In this study, we summarize the regulatory mechanisms of the programmed necrosis of cardiomyocytes, that is, the intrinsic (mitochondrial) and extrinsic (death receptor) pathways. Furthermore, the role of this programmed necrosis in various heart diseases is also delineated. Finally, we describe the currently known pharmacological inhibitors of several of the key regulatory molecules of regulated cell necrosis and the opportunities for their therapeutic use in cardiac disease. We intend to systemically summarize the recent progresses in the regulation and pathological significance of programmed cardiomyocyte necrosis along with its potential therapeutic applications to cardiac diseases. LINKED ARTICLES: This article is part of a themed section on Mitochondrial Pharmacology: Featured Mechanisms and Approaches for Therapy Translation. To view the other articles in this section visit © 2018 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Pharmacological Society.


Junxia Zhang, Dairu Liu, Mao Zhang, Yan Zhang. Programmed necrosis in cardiomyocytes: mitochondria, death receptors and beyond. British journal of pharmacology. 2019 Nov;176(22):4319-4339

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PMID: 29774530

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