T-type calcium channel blockers as neuroprotective agents

Benjamin J. Kopecky, Ruqiang Liang, Jianxin Bao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


T-type calcium channels are expressed in many diverse tissues, including neuronal, cardiovascular, and endocrine. T-type calcium channels are known to play roles in the development, maintenance, and repair of these tissues but have also been implicated in disease when not properly regulated. Calcium channel blockers have been developed to treat various diseases and their use clinically is widespread due to both their efficacy as well as their safety. Aside from their established clinical applications, recent studies have suggested neuroprotective effects of T-type calcium channel blockers. Many of the current T-type calcium channel blockers could act on other molecular targets besides T-type calcium channels making it uncertain whether their neuroprotective effects are solely due to blocking of T-type calcium channels. In this review, we discuss these drugs as well as newly developed chemical compounds that are designed to be more selective for T-type calcium channels. We review in vitro and in vivo evidence of neuroprotective effects by these T-type calcium channel blockers. We conclude by discussing possible molecular mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects by T-type calcium channel blockers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-765
Number of pages9
JournalPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • CaV3.1
  • CaV3.2
  • CaV3.3
  • Calcium channels
  • Hearing loss
  • Neurologic disease


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