Functional gap junctions in thymic epithelial cells are formed by connexin 43

Luiz Anastacio Alves, Antonio Carlos Campos De Carvalho, Elizabeth Obino Cirne Lima, Claudio Marcos Rocha E Souza, Mireille Dardenne, David C. Spray, Wilson Savino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A multiparametric study was carried out to investigate the presence and possible role of communicating junctions in the thymus, particularly in the thymic epithelium, the major component of the thymic microenvironment. The presence of direct cell-cell communication mediated by gap junctions was demonstrated in human and murine thymic epithelial cells (TEC) by means of in situ and in vitro immunohistochemical labeling as well as in vitro fluorochrome injection and double whole-cell patch clamp experiments. Moreover, both immuno- and Northern blot studies revealed that the gap junction protein connexin 43 and its mRNA were present in TEC. Importantly, we showed that thymic endocrine activity, as ascertained by thymulin production, could be specifically down-modulated in vitro by a gap junction inhibitor, octanol. We also investigated the existence of gap junctions between TEC and thymocytes. In thymic nurse cells we were able to detect cell-cell communication, although only a minor percentage of epithelial/thymocyte pairs were coupled in a given moment. In contrast, intercellular communication was not detected between cultured phagocytic cells of the thymic reticulum and the respective resetting thymocytes. We suggest that gap junctions formed by connexin 43 may represent a novel (and rather cell type-specific) pathway for intrathymic cellular communication, including TEC/TEC as well as possible TEC/thymocyte interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-437
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1995

Fingerprint

Connexin 43
Gap Junctions
Epithelial Cells
Thymocytes
Cell Communication
Circulating Thymic Factor
Octanols
Reticulum
Connexins
Phagocytes
Fluorescent Dyes
Northern Blotting
Thymus Gland
Cultured Cells
Epithelium
Nurses
Communication
Messenger RNA
Injections
In Vitro Techniques

Keywords

  • Connexin 43
  • Gap junction
  • Thymic epithelium
  • Thymocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

Alves, L. A., De Carvalho, A. C. C., Cirne Lima, E. O., Rocha E Souza, C. M., Dardenne, M., Spray, D. C., & Savino, W. (1995). Functional gap junctions in thymic epithelial cells are formed by connexin 43. European Journal of Immunology, 25(2), 431-437. https://doi.org/10.1002/eji.1830250219

Functional gap junctions in thymic epithelial cells are formed by connexin 43. / Alves, Luiz Anastacio; De Carvalho, Antonio Carlos Campos; Cirne Lima, Elizabeth Obino; Rocha E Souza, Claudio Marcos; Dardenne, Mireille; Spray, David C.; Savino, Wilson.

In: European Journal of Immunology, Vol. 25, No. 2, 02.1995, p. 431-437.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alves, LA, De Carvalho, ACC, Cirne Lima, EO, Rocha E Souza, CM, Dardenne, M, Spray, DC & Savino, W 1995, 'Functional gap junctions in thymic epithelial cells are formed by connexin 43', European Journal of Immunology, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 431-437. https://doi.org/10.1002/eji.1830250219
Alves LA, De Carvalho ACC, Cirne Lima EO, Rocha E Souza CM, Dardenne M, Spray DC et al. Functional gap junctions in thymic epithelial cells are formed by connexin 43. European Journal of Immunology. 1995 Feb;25(2):431-437. https://doi.org/10.1002/eji.1830250219
Alves, Luiz Anastacio ; De Carvalho, Antonio Carlos Campos ; Cirne Lima, Elizabeth Obino ; Rocha E Souza, Claudio Marcos ; Dardenne, Mireille ; Spray, David C. ; Savino, Wilson. / Functional gap junctions in thymic epithelial cells are formed by connexin 43. In: European Journal of Immunology. 1995 ; Vol. 25, No. 2. pp. 431-437.
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