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Role of astroglial connexin30 in hippocampal gap junction coupling



The impact of connexin30 (Cx30) on interastrocytic gap junction coupling in the normal hippocampus is matter of debate; reporter gene analyses indicated a weak expression of Cx30 in the mouse hippocampus. In contrast, mice lacking connexin43 (Cx43) in astrocytes exhibited only 50% reduction in coupling. Complete uncoupling of hippocampal astrocytes in mice lacking both Cx30 and Cx43 suggested that Cx30 participates in interastrocytic gap junction coupling in the hippocampus. With comparative reporter gene assays, immunodetection, and cre/loxP-based reporter approaches we demonstrate that Cx30 is more abundant than previously thought. The specific role of Cx30 in interastrocytic coupling has never been investigated. Employing tracer coupling analyses in acute slices of Cx30 deficient mice here we show that Cx30 makes a substantial contribution to interastrocytic gap junctional communication in the mouse hippocampus. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.