Mice lacking connexin40 have cardiac conduction abnormalities characteristic of atrioventricular block and bundle branch block

Alex Simon, Daniel A. Goodenough, David L. Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

304 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Activation of cardiac muscle is mediated by the His-Purkinje system, a discrete pathway containing fast-conducting cells (Purkinje fibers) which coordinate the spread of excitation from the atrioventricular node (AV node) to ventricular myocardium [1]. Although pathologies of this specialized conduction system are common in humans, especially among the elderly [2], their molecular bases have not been defined. Gap junctions are present at appositions between Purkinje fibers and could provide a mechanism for propagating impulses between these cells [3]. Studies of the expression of connexins - the family of proteins from which gap junctions are formed - reveal that connexin40 (Cx40) is prominent in the conduction system [4]. In order to study the role of gap junction communication in cardiac conduction, we generated mice that lack Cx40. Using electrocardiographic analysis, we show that Cx40 null mice have cardiac conduction abnormalities characteristic of first-degree atrioventricular block with associated bundle branch block. Thus, gap junctions are essential for the rapid conduction of impulses in the His-Purkinje system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-298
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 26 1998
Externally publishedYes

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Bundle of His
gap junctions
Bundle-Branch Block
Atrioventricular Block
Gap Junctions
Purkinje Fibers
Connexins
Fibers
Myocardium
mice
Pathology
myocardium
Muscle
Atrioventricular Node
Chemical activation
connexins
fiber cells
Communication
animal communication
Proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Mice lacking connexin40 have cardiac conduction abnormalities characteristic of atrioventricular block and bundle branch block. / Simon, Alex; Goodenough, Daniel A.; Paul, David L.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 8, No. 5, 26.02.1998, p. 295-298.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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