Elektrophysiologische Charakterisierung Connexin 40-defizienter Herzen--In vivo-Untersuchungen an Mäusen

Translated title of the contribution: Electrophysiological characterization of connexin 40 deficient hearts--in vivo studies in mice

A Hagendorff, S Kirchhoff, O Krüger, D Eckhardt, A Plum, B Schumacher, C Wolpert

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


    Intercellular communication is not only mediated by extracellular transmitters, but also directly by gap junction channels. One channel is composed of two hexameric hemichannels which consist of six polypeptide subunits called connexines (Cx). In the mammalian heart the following connexines have been documented: Cx37, Cx40, Cx43, Cx45, Cx46, Cx50 and Cx57. The labeling by number represents the rounded, molecular mass of the amino acid sequences given in kD. If identical connexin-isotypes form both connexons of a gap junction channel, homotypic coupling exists and a homomeric gap junction channel is formed. Different connexin-isotypes within both connexons cause form heterotypic coupling and heteromeric gap junction channels. Each channel type has specific properties regarding permeability and electrical conductance. Beside a typical age-dependent alignment of gap junction channels on the surface of the cardiac myocytes, regional distribution of the different connexins is different at distinct parts of the mouse heart. Cx40 is not found in the ventricular working myocardium of mice. In the atria as well as in the conduction system, Cx40 is the most frequently expressed. In line with the localization and the conduction properties of distinct homotypic gap junction channels, the Cx40 deficient mouse is suitable for analysis of atrial arrhythmias. Cx40-deficiency in the mouse heart results in characteristic ECG changes like first degree atrioventricular block and prolongation of the QRS duration. Thus, an impairment of the sinuatrial, intraatrial and atrioventricular conduction properties is documented in Cx40 deficient mice. These observations are associated with an increased atrial vulnerability. The Cx40 deficient mouse provides a good example of the relevance of transgenic mouse models to clarify the mechanisms of arrhythmogenesis. The clinical impact of future transgenic mouse models depends on the cooperation of geneticists, basic researchers and clinicians.

    Translated title of the contributionElectrophysiological characterization of connexin 40 deficient hearts--in vivo studies in mice
    Original languageGerman
    Pages (from-to)898-905
    Number of pages8
    JournalZeitschrift fur Kardiovaskulore Medizin
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001


    • Animals
    • Atrioventricular Node
    • Connexins
    • Electrocardiography
    • Gap Junctions
    • Heart Block
    • Mice
    • Mice, Knockout
    • Mice, Transgenic
    • Tachycardia, Supraventricular


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