Electrical coupling in development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

SYNOPSIS. Electrical coupling, the passive spread of charge between cells, is usually characterized by microelectrode measurements. It can be mediated by gap junctions, cytoplasmic bridges or extracellular space enclosed by specialized membranes. The morphological basis affects the classes of molecules that can be transmitted by way of the coupling pathway. Conductance of gap junctions is controllable; it is decreased by a modest increase in intracellular H ions or a much larger increase in Ca ions. In amphibian blastomeres junctional conductance is reduced by transjunctional voltage. Gap junctions form and disappear non-specifically or specifically in different cases, but the origin and fate of junctional material are unknown. The common occurrence of electrical coupling in embryos has suggested a role in intercellular transfer of information, but direct evidence is lacking. A number of examples are known where gap junctions are found at specific times appropriate to suggest that a message is transmitted between the coupled cells. The message probably can be a distinct qualitative signal or a quantitative one resulting in a gradient among cells. Gap junctions are clearly absent at some sites of embryonic interaction, but increasing evidence implicates an informational role at other sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-427
Number of pages15
JournalIntegrative and Comparative Biology
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1981

Fingerprint

Gap Junction
gap junctions
Gap Junctions
embryo
Microelectrodes
Ions
evidence
messages
Conductance
Membranes
Cell
Molecules
cells
ions
Electric potential
interaction
Blastomeres
blastomeres
information exchange
extracellular space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Plant Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Electrical coupling in development. / Bennett, Michael V. L.; Spray, David C.; Harris, A. L.

In: Integrative and Comparative Biology, Vol. 21, No. 2, 1981, p. 413-427.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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