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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2001 May;22(5):254-60.

Cardiac mechanotransduction: from sensing to disease and treatment.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Division of Biophysics, Biocenter Oulu, FIN-90014, University of Oulu, Finland.


In heart muscle a mechanical stimulus is sensed and transformed into adaptive changes in cardiac function by a process called mechanotransduction. Adaptation of heart muscle to mechanical load consists of neurohumoral activation and growth, both of which decrease the initial load. Under prolonged overload this process becomes maladaptive, leading to the development of left ventricular hypertrophy and ultimately to heart failure. Widespread synergism and crosstalk among a variety of molecules and signals involved in hypertrophic signaling pathways make the prevention or treatment of left ventricular hypertrophy and heart failure a challenging task. Therapeutic strategies should include either a complete and continuous reduction of load or normalization of left ventricular mass by interventions aimed at specific targets involved in mechanotransduction.

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