SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • astrocytes;
  • connexin43;
  • connexin47;
  • gap junctions;
  • oligodendrocytes

Abstract

Expression of connexin26 (Cx26), Cx30 and Cx43 in astrocytes and expression of Cx29, Cx32 and Cx47 in oligodendrocytes of adult rodent brain has been well documented, as has the interdependence of connexin expression patterns of macroglial cells in Cx32- and Cx47-knockout mice. To investigate this interdependence further, we examined immunofluorescence labelling of glial connexins in transgenic Cx30 null mice. Ablation of astrocytic Cx30, confirmed by the absence of immunolabelling for this connexin in all brain regions, resulted in the loss of its coupling partner Cx32 on the oligodendrocyte side of astrocyte–oligodendrocyte (A/O) gap junctions, but had no effect on the localization of astrocytic Cx43 and oligodendrocytic Cx47 at these junctions or on the distribution of Cx32 along myelinated fibres. Surprisingly, gene deletion of Cx30 led to the near total elimination of immunofluorescence labelling for Cx26 in all leptomeningeal tissues covering brain surfaces as well as in astrocytes of brain parenchyma. Moreover northern blot analysis revealed downregulation of Cx26 mRNA in Cx30-knockout brains. Our results support earlier observations on the interdependency of Cx30/Cx32 targeting to A/O gap junctions and further suggest that Cx26 mRNA expression is affected by Cx30 gene expression. In addition, Cx30 protein may be required for co-stabilization of gap junctions or for co-trafficking in cells.