Connexin43 null mice reveal that astrocytes express multiple connexins

R. Dermietzel, Y. Gao, E. Scemes, D. Vieira, M. Urban, M. Kremer, Michael V. L. Bennett, David C. Spray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

163 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) is the primary component of intercellular channels in cardiac tissue and in astrocytes, the most abundant type of glial cells in the brain. Mice in which the gene for Cx43 is deleted by homologous recombination die at birth, due to profound hypertrophy of the ventricular outflow tract and stenosis of the pulmonary artery. Despite this significant cardiovascular abnormality, brains of connexin43 null [Cx43 (-/- )] animals are shown to be macroscopically normal and to display a pattern of cortical lamination that is not detectably different from wildtype siblings. Presence of Cx40 and Cx45 in brains and astrocytes cultured from both Cx43 (- /-) mice and wildtype littermates was confirmed by RT-PCR, Northern blot analyses and by immunostaining; Cx46 was detected by RT-PCR and Northern blot analyses. Presence of Cx26 in astrocyte cultures was indicated by RT-PCR and by Western blot analysis, although we were unable to resolve whether it was contributed by contaminating cells; Cx30 mRNA was detected by Northern blot in long term (2 weeks) but not fresh cultures of astrocytes. These studies thus reveal that astrocyte gap junctions may be formed of multiple connexins. Presumably, the metabolic and ionic coupling provided by these diverse gap junction types may functionally compensate for the absence of the major astrocyte gap junction protein in Cx43 (-/-) mice, providing whatever intercellular signaling is necessary for brain development and cortical lamination. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-56
Number of pages12
JournalBrain Research Reviews
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 24 2000

Fingerprint

Connexin 43
Connexins
Astrocytes
Northern Blotting
Gap Junctions
Brain
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Cardiovascular Abnormalities
Homologous Recombination
Neuroglia
Hypertrophy
Western Blotting
Parturition
Messenger RNA
Genes

Keywords

  • Coupling
  • Electrical synapse
  • Gene knockout
  • Glia
  • Intercellular communication
  • Junctional conductance
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Connexin43 null mice reveal that astrocytes express multiple connexins. / Dermietzel, R.; Gao, Y.; Scemes, E.; Vieira, D.; Urban, M.; Kremer, M.; Bennett, Michael V. L.; Spray, David C.

In: Brain Research Reviews, Vol. 32, No. 1, 24.03.2000, p. 45-56.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dermietzel R, Gao Y, Scemes E, Vieira D, Urban M, Kremer M et al. Connexin43 null mice reveal that astrocytes express multiple connexins. Brain Research Reviews. 2000 Mar 24;32(1):45-56. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0165-0173(99)00067-3
Dermietzel, R. ; Gao, Y. ; Scemes, E. ; Vieira, D. ; Urban, M. ; Kremer, M. ; Bennett, Michael V. L. ; Spray, David C. / Connexin43 null mice reveal that astrocytes express multiple connexins. In: Brain Research Reviews. 2000 ; Vol. 32, No. 1. pp. 45-56.
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AB - The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) is the primary component of intercellular channels in cardiac tissue and in astrocytes, the most abundant type of glial cells in the brain. Mice in which the gene for Cx43 is deleted by homologous recombination die at birth, due to profound hypertrophy of the ventricular outflow tract and stenosis of the pulmonary artery. Despite this significant cardiovascular abnormality, brains of connexin43 null [Cx43 (-/- )] animals are shown to be macroscopically normal and to display a pattern of cortical lamination that is not detectably different from wildtype siblings. Presence of Cx40 and Cx45 in brains and astrocytes cultured from both Cx43 (- /-) mice and wildtype littermates was confirmed by RT-PCR, Northern blot analyses and by immunostaining; Cx46 was detected by RT-PCR and Northern blot analyses. Presence of Cx26 in astrocyte cultures was indicated by RT-PCR and by Western blot analysis, although we were unable to resolve whether it was contributed by contaminating cells; Cx30 mRNA was detected by Northern blot in long term (2 weeks) but not fresh cultures of astrocytes. These studies thus reveal that astrocyte gap junctions may be formed of multiple connexins. Presumably, the metabolic and ionic coupling provided by these diverse gap junction types may functionally compensate for the absence of the major astrocyte gap junction protein in Cx43 (-/-) mice, providing whatever intercellular signaling is necessary for brain development and cortical lamination. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

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