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Even though sequencing of the mammalian genome has led to the discovery of a large number of ionic channel genes, identification of the molecular determinants of cellular electrical properties in different regions of the heart has been rarely obtained. We developed a high-throughput approach capable of simultaneously assessing the expression pattern of ionic channel repertoires from different regions of the mouse heart. By using large-scale real-time RT-PCR, we have profiled 71 channels and related genes in the sinoatrial node (SAN), atrioventricular node (AVN), the atria (A) and ventricles (V). Hearts from 30 adult male C57BL/6 mice were microdissected and RNA was isolated from six pools of five mice each. TaqMan data were analysed using the threshold cycle (C(t)) relative quantification method. Cross-contamination of each region was checked with expression of the atrial and ventricular myosin light chains. Two-way hierarchical clustering analysis of the 71 genes successfully classified the six pools from the four distinct regions. In comparison with the A, the SAN and AVN were characterized by higher expression of Nav beta 1, Nav beta 3, Cav1.3, Cav3.1 and Cav alpha 2 delta 2, and lower expression of Kv4.2, Cx40, Cx43 and Kir3.1. In addition, the SAN was characterized by higher expression of HCN1 and HCN4, and lower expression of RYR2, Kir6.2, Cav beta 2 and Cav gamma 4. The AVN was characterized by higher expression of Nav1.1, Nav1.7, Kv1.6, Kvbeta1, MinK and Cav gamma 7. Other gene expression profiles discriminate between the ventricular and the atrial myocardium. The present study provides the first genome-scale regional ionic channel expression profile in the mouse heart.

Original publication




Journal article


J Physiol

Publication Date





223 - 234


Animals, Atrioventricular Node, Biological Clocks, G Protein-Coupled Inwardly-Rectifying Potassium Channels, Gene Expression Regulation, Heart, Ion Channels, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, RNA, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Sinoatrial Node