Increased intercellular coupling has been implicated in contributing to the synchronization of discharges characteristic of epileptic foci. Using RNA blot analysis, the level of mRNA for the heart-type gap junction protein, connexin43, is shown to be elevated in samples of temporal lobe neocortex obtained at the time of surgical resection for intractable seizure disorder. Much lower levels of this mRNA are detectable in peritumoral temporal lobe tissue samples obtained during removal of cerebral tumors. However, in cases where the tumors had induced acute seizures, the level of connexin43 mRNA is higher than that detected in epileptic samples. Similar changes are observed for the mRNA for the liver-type gap junction protein, connexin32, although the observed differences are less dramatic. These findings indicate that there is an increase in the level of connexin mRNA in the temporal cortex of patients exhibiting seizure disorders, suggesting an increase in the synthesis of gap junction protein that may lead to an increase in intercellular coupling.