Ablation of Cx47 in transgenic mice leads to the loss of MUPP1, ZONAB and multiple connexins at oligodendrocyte–astrocyte gap junctions


Dr J. I. Nagy, as above.
E-mail: nagyji@ms.umanitoba.ca


Oligodendrocytes in CNS are linked to astrocytes by heterotypic gap junctions composed of Cx32 and Cx47 in oligodendrocytes and Cx30 and Cx43 in astrocytes. These gap junctions also harbour regulatory proteins, including ZO-1 and ZONAB. Here, we investigated the localization of multi-PDZ domain protein 1 (MUPP1) at these gap junctions and examined accessory proteins and connexins associated with oligodendrocytes in Cx47-knockout mice. In every CNS region tested, punctate immunolabelling for MUPP1 was found on all oligodendrocyte somata in wild-type mice. These MUPP1-positive puncta were colocalized with punctate labelling for oligodendrocytic Cx32 or Cx47, and with astrocytic Cx30 or Cx43 at oligodendrocyte–astrocyte (O/A) gap junctions, but were not found at astrocyte–astrocyte gap junctions. In Cx47-knockout mice, immunolabelling of MUPP1 and ZONAB was absent on oligodendrocytes, whereas some ZO-1-positive puncta remained. In Cx32-knockout mice, MUPP1 and ZONAB persisted at O/A gap junctions. The absence of Cx47 in Cx47-knockout mice was accompanied by a total loss of punctate labelling for Cx30, Cx32 and Cx43 on oligodendrocyte somata, and by a dramatic increase in immunolabelling for Cx32 along myelinated fibers. These results demonstrate MUPP1 at O/A gap junctions and Cx47-dependent targeting of connexins to the plasma membranes of oligodendrocyte somata. Further, it appears that deficits in myelination reported in Cx47-knockout mice may arise not only from a loss of Cx47 but also from the accompanied loss of gap junctions and their regulatory proteins at oligodendrocyte somata, and that loss of Cx47 may be partly compensated for by elevated levels of Cx32 along myelinated fibers.