Expression of connexin43 in the developing rat heart

G. I. Fishman, E. L. Hertzberg, D. C. Spray, L. A. Leinwand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Connexin43 is the predominant gap junction protein expressed in the heart. To determine the relation between cardiac maturation and gap junction gene expression, the developmental profiles of connexin43 mRNA and protein were examined in the rat heart. Connexin43 mRNA levels accumulate progressively (eightfold) during embryonic and early neonatal stages, accompanied by a parallel, but temporally delayed, accumulation of connexin43 protein (15-fold). As the heart matures further, both mRNA and protein levels subsequently decline, to about 50% and 30% of their maximum levels, respectively. These observations suggest that increases in intercellular coupling that characterize cardiac development do not depend solely on modulation of connexin43 gene expression, but rather are likely to involve organization of gap junction channels into the intercalated disc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)782-787
Number of pages6
JournalCirculation research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991


  • cardiac gap junction
  • connexin
  • development
  • electrophysiology
  • gene expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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