Dynamic changes in connexin expression correlate with key events in the wound healing process

Authors

  • Petula Coutinho,

    1. Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, Rockefeller Building, University Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
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  • Cindy Qiu,

    1. Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, Rockefeller Building, University Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
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  • Stefanie Frank,

    1. Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, Rockefeller Building, University Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
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  • Kamaldeep Tamber,

    1. Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, Rockefeller Building, University Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
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  • David Becker

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, Rockefeller Building, University Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
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Corresponding author. Tel.: +44-0207-679-6610; fax: +44-0207-679-7045 d.becker@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Wound healing is a complex process requiring communication for the precise co-ordination of different cell types. The role of extracellular communication through growth factors in the wound healing process has been extensively documented, but the role of direct intercellular communication via gap junctions has scarcely been investigated. We have examined the dynamics of gap junction protein (Connexins 26, 30, 31.1 and 43) expression in the murine epidermis and dermis during wound healing, and we show that connexin expression is extremely plastic between 6 hours and 12 days post-wounding. The immediate response (6 h) to wounding is to downregulate all connexins in the epidermis, but thereafter the expression profile of each connexin changes dramatically. Here, we correlate the changing patterns of connexin expression with key events in the wound healing process.

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