Connexin 40 mediates the tubuloglomerular feedback contribution to renal blood flow autoregulation

Armin Just*, Lisa Kurtz, Cor De Wit, Charlotte Wagner, Armin Kurtz, William J. Arendshorst

*Corresponding author for this work
42 Citations (Scopus)


Connexins are important in vascular development and function. Connexin 40 (Cx40), which plays a predominant role in the formation of gap junctions in the vasculature, participates in the autoregulation of renal blood flow (RBF), but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Here, Cx40-deficient mice (Cx40-ko) had impaired steady-state autoregulation to a sudden step increase in renal perfusion pressure. Analysis of the mechanisms underlying this derangement suggested that a marked reduction in tubuloglomerular feedback (TGF) in Cx40-ko mice was responsible. In transgenic mice with Cx40 replaced by Cx45, steady-state autoregulation and TGF were weaker than those in wild-type mice but stronger than those in Cx40-ko mice. Nω-Nitro-L-arginine-methyl-ester (L-NAME) augmented the myogenic response similarly in all genotypes, leaving autoregulation impaired in transgenic animals. The responses of renovascular resistance and arterial pressure to norepinephrine and acetylcholine were similar in all groups before or after L-NAME inhibition. Systemic and renal vasoconstrictor responses to L-NAME were also similar in all genotypes. We conclude that Cx40 contributes to RBF autoregulation by transducing TGF-mediated signals to the afferent arteriole, a function that is independent of nitric oxide (NO). However, Cx40 is not required for the modulation of the renal myogenic response by NO, norepinephrine-induced renal vasoconstriction, and acetylcholine- or NO-induced vasodilation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1577-1585
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 07.2009

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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