The role of potassium in atherosclerosis

Toktam Sahranavard, Federico Carbone, Fabrizio Montecucco, Suowen Xu, Khalid Al-Rasadi, Tannaz Jamialahmadi, Amirhossein Sahebkar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Atherosclerosis (AS) is a chronic progressive inflammatory condition with a leading prevalence worldwide. Endothelial dysfunction leads to low-density lipoprotein trafficking into subendothelial space and the subsequent form of oxidized LDL (ox-LDL) within intimal layer, perpetuating the vicious cycle of endothelial dysfunction. K+ exerts beneficial effects in vascular wall by reducing LDL oxidization, vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) proliferation, and free radical generation. K+ also modulates vascular tone through a regulatory effect on cell membrane potential. Materials and Methods: The most relevant papers on the association between ‘potassium channels’ and ‘atherosclerosis’ were selected among those deposited on PubMed from 1990 to 2020. Results: Here, we provide a short narrative review that elaborates on the role of K+ in atherosclerosis. This review also update the current knowledge about potential pharmacological agents targeting K+ channels with a special focus on pleiotropic activities of agents such as statins, sulfonylureas and dihydropyridines. Conclusion: In this review, the mechanism of different K+ channels on vascular endothelium will be summarized, mainly focusing on their pathophysiological role in atherosclerosis and potential therapeutic application.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • atherosclerosis
  • ion channel
  • potassium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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