"Cardiac Glycosides" is a descriptor in the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus,
MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Descriptors are arranged in a hierarchical structure,
which enables searching at various levels of specificity.
Cyclopentanophenanthrenes with a 5- or 6-membered lactone ring attached at the 17-position and SUGARS attached at the 3-position. Plants they come from have long been used in congestive heart failure. They increase the force of cardiac contraction without significantly affecting other parameters, but are very toxic at larger doses. Their mechanism of action usually involves inhibition of the NA(+)-K(+)-EXCHANGING ATPASE and they are often used in cell biological studies for that purpose.
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