Connexin 43 expression in human hypertrophied heart due to pressure and volume overload

Physiol Res. 2010;59(1):35-42. doi: 10.33549/physiolres.931654. Epub 2009 Feb 27.


Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is due to pressure overload or mechanical stretch and is thought to be associated with remodeling of gap-junctions. We investigated whether the expression of connexin 43 (Cx43) is altered in humans in response to different degrees of LVH. The expression of Cx43 was analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry on left ventricular biopsies from patients undergoing aortic or mitral valve replacement. Three groups were analyzed: patients with aortic stenosis with severe LVH (n=9) versus only mild LVH (n=7), and patients with LVH caused by mitral regurgitation (n=5). Cx43 mRNA expression and protein expression were similar in the three groups studied. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry revealed no change in Cx43 distribution. We can conclude that when compared with mild LVH or with LVH due to volume overload, severe LVH due to chronic pressure overload is not accompanied by detectable changes of Cx43 expression or spatial distribution.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / complications*
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / metabolism
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / pathology
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / physiopathology
  • Biopsy
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blotting, Western
  • Connexin 43 / analysis*
  • Connexin 43 / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / etiology
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / mortality*
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / pathology
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / physiopathology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / complications*
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / metabolism
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / pathology
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Myocardium / chemistry*
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Ventricular Function, Left


  • Connexin 43
  • GJA1 protein, human
  • RNA, Messenger