Permeability of gap junctions between embryonic cells of Fundulus: A reevaluation

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Permeability of electrotonic junctions between isolated and reaggregated Fundulus blastomeres was evaluated with a new fluorescent dye, Lucifer yellow CH. The dye is readily shown to pass between coupled cells. It does not enter from the bathing medium, nor does it move between cells via the enlarged extracellular space sometimes seen between them. Thus, we conclude that passage is via a private pathway, presumably provided by the gap junctions described for this tissue. In contrast to previous findings, fluorescein (as the sodium salt, uranine) also passes between coupled Fundulus cells. Although it can enter from the bathing medium, it may be less concentrated in the space between a cell pair than in the uninjected cell. Again, passage via gap junctions is indicated. Molecular models demonstrate that Lucifer yellow and fluorescein are similar in size. Thus, similarity in ability to permeate junctional membranes is to be expected.


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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