Five different splice variants of mouse alpha2/delta subunit isoforms (alpha2a-e), which arose from various combinations of three alternatively spliced regions, were cloned with a combination of cDNA library screening and RT-PCR. Expression patterns and relative abundance of the various isoforms in mouse tissues were determined with an RNAse protection assay. Skeletal muscle and brain expressed single isoforms, alpha2a and alpha2b, respectively; however, the cardiovascular system expressed all five isoforms. Heart expressed mainly isoforms alpha2c and alpha2d while, in contrast to other species, aorta expressed predominantly alpha2a, the 'skeletal muscle' isoform. Smooth muscle-containing tissues expressed alpha2d and alpha2e. Thus, alpha2/delta isoforms are restricted in their tissue expression, suggesting an important functional role for the differentially spliced variants.