In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of gap junction (GJ) on apoptosis of smooth muscle. Forty adult male guinea pigs were randomly divided into four groups with 10 guinea pigs in each group. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) and Gap27 were injected at the root of the corpus cavernosum. Two weeks later, the corpus cavernosum tissue was taken to be tested. The expression of Cx43 and α-SMC protein was detected by immunofluorescence and Western blotting. The content of corpus cavernosum smooth muscle was detected by Masson trichrome staining. Apoptosis was detected by TUNEL staining and Western blotting. The results showed that Gap27 did not affect Cx43 but decreased the expression of smooth muscle. The results of TUNEL staining and detection of apoptosis-related proteins showed that apoptosis was induced by Gap27. In addition, we found that corpus cavernosum injection of AAV could induce obvious apoptosis. In this study, we examined the effect of inhibition of gap junction on smooth muscle, and suggested that the decrease of gap junction function may be a potential mechanism of smooth muscle apoptosis.
© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH.