The gap junction protein connexin45-deficient (Cx45-KO) mice die shortly after the hearts begin to beat. In addition to the heart defect, they also show defective vascular development which may be closely related with the cardiac phenotype. Therefore, we created mice whose floxed-Cx45 locus could be removed conditionally. We utilized cardiac α-actin-Cre transgenic mice to investigate the specific cardiac muscular function of Cx45 in vivo. The resultant conditional mutants were lethal, showing conduction block similar to that of the Cx45-KO mice. Unlike Cx45-KO, development of the endocardial cushion was not disrupted in the conditional mutants. X-gal staining was detected in the embryonic cardiac myocytes as a hallmark of Cre-loxP mediated floxed-Cx45 deletion. These results reconfirm the requirement of Cx45 for developing cardiac myocytes. These also indicate that establishing the first contractions is a crucial task for the early hearts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cell Biology