Ion channels regulate a large number of cellular functions and their functional role in many diseases makes them potential therapeutic targets. Given their diverse distribution across multiple organs, the roles of ion channels, particularly in age-associated transcriptomic changes in specific organs, are yet to be fully revealed. Using RNA-seq data, we investigated the rat transcriptomic profiles of ion channel genes across 11 organs/tissues and 4 developmental stages in both sexes of Fischer 344 rats and identify tissue-specific and age-dependent changes in ion channel gene expression. Organ-enriched ion channel genes were identified. In particular, the brain showed higher tissue-specificity of ion channel genes, including Gabrd, Gabra6, Gabrg2, Grin2a, and Grin2b. Notably, age-dependent changes in ion channel gene expression were prominently observed in the thymus, including in Aqp1, Clcn4, Hvcn1, Itpr1, Kcng2, Kcnj11, Kcnn3, and Trpm2. Our comprehensive study of ion channel gene expression will serve as a primary resource for biological studies of aging-related diseases caused by abnormal ion channel functions.
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