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Keywords:

  • connexins;
  • gene expression;
  • hippocampus;
  • pannexins;
  • seizures;
  • transcriptome

J. Neurochem. (2010) 112, 92–102.

Abstract

Some forms of seizure activity can be stopped by gap junctional (GJ) blockade. Here, we found that GJ blockers attenuate hippocampal seizure activity induced by a novel seizuregenic protocol using Co2+. We hypothesized that this activity may occur because of the altered expression of connexin (Cx) and/or pannexin (Panx) mRNAs and protein. We found a 1.5-, 1.4-, and 2-fold increase in Panx1, Panx2, and Cx43 mRNAs, respectively. Significant post-translational modifications of the proteins Cx43 and Panx1 were also observed after the Co2+ treatment. No changes were observed in the presence of tetrodotoxin, indicating that seizure activity is required for these alterations in expression, rather than the Co2+ treatment itself. Further analysis of the QPCR data showed that the Cx and Panx transcriptome becomes remarkably re-organized. Pannexin (Panxs 1 and 2) and glial connexin mRNA became highly correlated to one another; suggesting that these genes formed a transcriptomic network of coordinated gene expression, perhaps facilitating seizure induction. These data show that seizure activity up-regulates the expression of both glial and neuronal GJ mRNAs and protein while inducing a high degree of coordinate expression of the GJ transcriptome.