Heterogeneity in gap junction expression in astrocytes cultured from different brain regions.

D. K. Batter, R. A. Corpina, C. Roy, David C. Spray, E. L. Hertzberg, J. A. Kessler

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Abstract

Heterogeneity among astrocytes suggests that their role in the central nervous system is more complex than is commonly recognized. This paper describes just such a functional difference, comparing gap junctions in astrocytes derived from two brain regions. Astrocytes, both in situ and in culture, employ gap junctions as a means of intercellular communication. Recent evidence utilizing cultured rat cortical and striatal astrocytes has shown that these channels consist of subunits of connexin 43, the same protein as that composing cardiac gap junctions. Here we report that astrocytes cultured from neonatal rat hypothalamus contain a greater number of functional channels than astrocytes from the striatum, a difference reflected in both connexin 43 protein and mRNA. Specifically, in hypothalamic astrocytes the level of connexin 43 protein was approximately four times that found in comparable cultures from the striatum, as determined by immunoblotting. Complementary results from immunocytochemical experiments using an antibody specific for connexin 43 reveal significantly greater fluorescence in astrocytes cultured from the hypothalamus as compared to those from the striatum. Northern blot analysis showed that connexin 43 mRNA levels were also approximately 4-fold greater in the hypothalamic cultures, consistent with the difference seen by immunoblotting. Finally, dye coupling studies using confluent cultures consistently showed that within 1 min Lucifer Yellow injected into striatal astrocytes spread to immediately surrounding cells while in hypothalamic astrocytes dye often spread to apparent third or fourth order neighbors within the same time period. Thus, the higher level of connexin 43 expression seen in hypothalamic astrocytes results in cells with greater numbers of functional channels.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-221
Number of pages9
JournalGLIA
Volume6
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992

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Gap Junctions
Astrocytes
Connexin 43
Brain
Corpus Striatum
Immunoblotting
Hypothalamus
Coloring Agents
Messenger RNA
Proteins
Northern Blotting
Central Nervous System
Fluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

Batter, D. K., Corpina, R. A., Roy, C., Spray, D. C., Hertzberg, E. L., & Kessler, J. A. (1992). Heterogeneity in gap junction expression in astrocytes cultured from different brain regions. GLIA, 6(3), 213-221.

Heterogeneity in gap junction expression in astrocytes cultured from different brain regions. / Batter, D. K.; Corpina, R. A.; Roy, C.; Spray, David C.; Hertzberg, E. L.; Kessler, J. A.

In: GLIA, Vol. 6, No. 3, 1992, p. 213-221.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Batter, DK, Corpina, RA, Roy, C, Spray, DC, Hertzberg, EL & Kessler, JA 1992, 'Heterogeneity in gap junction expression in astrocytes cultured from different brain regions.', GLIA, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 213-221.
Batter DK, Corpina RA, Roy C, Spray DC, Hertzberg EL, Kessler JA. Heterogeneity in gap junction expression in astrocytes cultured from different brain regions. GLIA. 1992;6(3):213-221.
Batter, D. K. ; Corpina, R. A. ; Roy, C. ; Spray, David C. ; Hertzberg, E. L. ; Kessler, J. A. / Heterogeneity in gap junction expression in astrocytes cultured from different brain regions. In: GLIA. 1992 ; Vol. 6, No. 3. pp. 213-221.
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