Mitochondrial connexin43 and mitochondrial KATP channels modulate triggered arrhythmias in mouse ventricular muscle

Haruka Sato, Masami Nishiyama, Natsuki Morita, Wakako Satoh, Taiki Hasegawa, Yuka Someya, Tsuyoshi Okumura, Sana Koyama, Chiyohiko Shindoh, Masahito Miura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Connexin43 (Cx43) exits as hemichannels in the inner mitochondrial membrane. We examined how mitochondrial Cx43 and mitochondrial KATP channels affect the occurrence of triggered arrhythmias. To generate cardiac-specific Cx43-deficient (cCx43−/−) mice, Cx43flox/flox mice were crossed with α-MHC (Myh6)-cre+/− mice. The resulting offspring, Cx43flox/flox/Myh6-cre+/− mice (cCx43−/− mice) and their littermates (cCx43+/+ mice), were used. Trabeculae were dissected from the right ventricles of mouse hearts. Cardiomyocytes were enzymatically isolated from the ventricles of mouse hearts. Force was measured with a strain gauge in trabeculae (22°C). To assess arrhythmia susceptibility, the minimal extracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]o,min), at which arrhythmias were induced by electrical stimulation, was determined in trabeculae. ROS production was estimated with 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescein (DCF), mitochondrial membrane potential with tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester (TMRM), and Ca2+ spark frequency with fluo-4 and confocal microscopy in cardiomyocytes. ROS production within the mitochondria was estimated with MitoSoxRed and mitochondrial Ca2+ with rhod-2 in trabeculae. Diazoxide was used to activate mitochondrial KATP. Most of cCx43−/− mice died suddenly within 8 weeks. Cx43 was present in the inner mitochondrial membrane in cCx43+/+ mice but not in cCx43−/− mice. In cCx43−/− mice, the [Ca2+]o,min was lower, and Ca2+ spark frequency, the slope of DCF fluorescence intensity, MitoSoxRed fluorescence, and rhod-2 fluorescence were higher. TMRM fluorescence was more decreased in cCx43−/− mice. Most of these changes were suppressed by diazoxide. In addition, in cCx43−/− mice, antioxidant peptide SS-31 and N-acetyl-L-cysteine increased the [Ca2+]o,min. These results suggest that Cx43 deficiency activates Ca2+ leak from the SR, probably due to depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential, an increase in mitochondrial Ca2+, and an increase in ROS production, thereby causing triggered arrhythmias, and that Cx43 hemichannel deficiency may be compensated by activation of mitochondrial KATP channels in mouse hearts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-488
Number of pages12
JournalPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Arrhythmia
  • Connexin43
  • Diazoxide
  • Mitochondria
  • SS-31

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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