Connexin 37 is dispensable for the control of the renin system and for positioning of renin-producing cells in the kidney

Charlotte Wagner, Lisa Kurtz, Frank Schweda, Alexander M. Simon, Armin Kurtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Within the juxtaglomerular apparatus, reninproducing cells and endothelial cells of the afferent arterioles express connexin (Cx)37 and Cx40, which form abundant gap junctions among these cells. Deletion of Cx40 leads to strong hyperreninemia and ectopic localization of renin-producing cells; however, the relevance of Cx37 for the renin system in the kidney has not been investigated. We therefore studied renin expression and renin secretion in kidneys from Cx37deficient mice, both on normal salt diet and during chronic challenge of the renin system by pretreatment of mice with a low-salt diet in combination with an angiotensin I-converting enzyme inhibitor. This treatment procedure strongly enhances renin gene expression and renin secretion. We found that renal renin mRNA abundance and plasma renin concentration did not differ between wild-type and Cx37 -/- mice under normal conditions. The stimulation of renin gene expression and renin secretion by salt depletion was even more pronounced in CX37-/- as compared to wild-type mice. The regulation of renin secretion from isolated perfused kidneys by perfusion pressure and by angiotensin II was normal in CX37-/- mice. In addition, the localization of renin-expressing cells was also regular in CX37-/- kidneys. Finally, the expression pattern of other vascular Cxs such as Cx40, Cx43, and Cx45 was not altered in Cx37-/- kidneys. Our findings suggest that Cx37 is not essential for normal development and function of reninproducing cells. As a consequence, it appears unlikely that Cx40 exerts its important function in renin-producing cells via Cx37/Cx40 heteromeric gap junctions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Angiotensin
  • Gap junction
  • Kidney
  • Renal perfusion pressure
  • Renin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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