PubMed 21945247

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: HCN1 , HCN2 , HCN3 , HCN4

Title: Novel insights into the distribution of cardiac HCN channels: an expression study in the mouse heart.

Authors: Stefan Herrmann, Beate Layh, Andreas Ludwig

Journal, date & volume: J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol., 2011 Dec , 51, 997-1006

PubMed link:

HCN pacemaker channels (I(f) channels) are believed to contribute to important functions in the heart; thus these channels became an attractive target for generating transgenic mouse mutants to elucidate their role in physiological and pathophysiological cardiac conditions. A full understanding of cardiac I(f) and the interpretation of studies using HCN mouse mutants require detailed information about the expression profile of the individual HCN subunits. Here we investigate the cardiac expression pattern of the HCN isoforms at the mRNA as well as at the protein level. The specificity of antibodies used was strictly confirmed by the use of HCN1, HCN2 and HCN4 knockout animals. We find a low, but highly differential HCN expression profile outside the cardiac conduction pathway including left and right atria and ventricles. Additionally HCN distribution was investigated in tissue slices of the sinoatrial node, the atrioventricular node, the bundle of His and the bundle branches. The conduction system was marked by acetylcholine esterase staining. HCN4 was confirmed as the predominant isoform of the primary pacemaker followed by a distinct expression of HCN1. In contrast HCN2 shows only a confined expression to individual pacemaker cells. Immunolabeling of the AV-node reveals also a pronounced specificity for HCN1 and HCN4. Compared to the SN and AVN we found a low but selective expression of HCN4 as the only isoform in the atrioventricular bundle. However in the bundle branches HCN1, HCN4 and also HCN2 show a prominent and selective expression pattern. Our results display a characteristic distribution of individual HCN isoforms in several cardiac compartments and reveal that beside HCN4, HCN1 represents the isoform which is selectively expressed in most parts of the conduction system suggesting a substantial contribution of HCN1 to pacemaking.