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Sample records for gap junction resistance

  1. Gap Junctions

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, Morten Schak; Axelsen, Lene Nygaard; Sorgen, Paul L.; Verma, Vandana; Delmar, Mario; Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik

    2013-01-01

    Gap junctions are essential to the function of multicellular animals, which require a high degree of coordination between cells. In vertebrates, gap junctions comprise connexins and currently 21 connexins are known in humans. The functions of gap junctions are highly diverse and include exchange of metabolites and electrical signals between cells, as well as functions, which are apparently unrelated to intercellular communication. Given the diversity of gap junction physiology, regulation of gap junction activity is complex. The structure of the various connexins is known to some extent; and structural rearrangements and intramolecular interactions are important for regulation of channel function. Intercellular coupling is further regulated by the number and activity of channels present in gap junctional plaques. The number of connexins in cell-cell channels is regulated by controlling transcription, translation, trafficking, and degradation; and all of these processes are under strict control. Once in the membrane, channel activity is determined by the conductive properties of the connexin involved, which can be regulated by voltage and chemical gating, as well as a large number of posttranslational modifications. The aim of the present article is to review our current knowledge on the structure, regulation, function, and pharmacology of gap junctions. This will be supported by examples of how different connexins and their regulation act in concert to achieve appropriate physiological control, and how disturbances of connexin function can lead to disease. © 2012 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 2:1981-2035, 2012. PMID:23723031

  2. Gap state charge induced spin-dependent negative differential resistance in tunnel junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Jun; Zhang, X.-G.; Han, X. F.

    2016-04-01

    We propose and demonstrate through first-principles calculation a new spin-dependent negative differential resistance (NDR) mechanism in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJ) with cubic cation disordered crystals (CCDC) AlO x or Mg1‑x Al x O as barrier materials. The CCDC is a class of insulators whose band gap can be changed by cation doping. The gap becomes arched in an ultrathin layer due to the space charge formed from metal-induced gap states. With an appropriate combination of an arched gap and a bias voltage, NDR can be produced in either spin channel. This mechanism is applicable to 2D and 3D ultrathin junctions with a sufficiently small band gap that forms a large space charge. It provides a new way of controlling the spin-dependent transport in spintronic devices by an electric field. A generalized Simmons formula for tunneling current through junction with an arched gap is derived to show the general conditions under which ultrathin junctions may exhibit NDR.

  3. Gap-junctional communication of bone marrow stromal cells is resistant to irradiation in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Umezawa, A.; Harigaya, K.; Abe, H.; Watanabe, Y. )

    1990-10-01

    Bone marrow is one of the most radiosensitive organs. Irradiation causes a marked decrease in the total number of hematopoietic cells in the bone marrow. The reticular meshwork structure of marrow stromal cells, however, is relatively resistant to irradiation. Unimpaired stromal cell structure has been thought to be a prerequisite for the repopulation of hematopoietic cells during recovery from the effects of irradiation. The reticular framework is maintained by cell adhesion apparatuses such as gap junctions. The in vitro radiobiologic survival values of a cloned stromal cell line, H-1/A, were studied (n = 1.8, D0 = 138 cGy). Radiation doses of up to 4000 cGy had no detectable effects on the production of colony-stimulating factor 1. H-1/A cells communicate with each other via gap junctions as determined by the sensitive dye-transfer method. Gap-junctional communication between H-1/A cells was resistant to different levels of irradiation (500 to 10,000 cGy), but it was lost during adipocyte differentiation of H-1/A cells. Marrow stromal cells, which are important in the recovery of hematopoiesis, seemed capable of coordination with each other through gap junctions even when exposed to radiation.

  4. [Gap junction and diabetic foot].

    PubMed

    Zou, Xiao-rong; Tao, Jian; Wang, Yun-kai

    2015-11-01

    Gap junctions play a critical role in electrical synchronization and exchange of small molecules between neighboring cells; connexins are a family of structurally related transmembrane proteins that assemble to form vertebrate gap junctions. Hyperglycemia changes the structure gap junction proteins and their expression, resulting in obstruction of neural regeneration, vascular function and wound healing, and also promoting vascular atherosclerosis. These pathogenic factors would cause diabetic foot ulcers. This article reviews the involvement of connexins in pathogenesis of diabetic foot. PMID:26822053

  5. GAP JUNCTION FUNCTION AND CANCER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Gap Junctions (GJs) provide cell-to-cell communication (GJIC) of essential metabolites and ions. Js allow tissues to average responses, clear waste products, and minimize the effects of xenobiotics by dilution and allowing steady-state catabolism. any chemicals can adversely affe...

  6. 1.00 MeV proton radiation resistance studies of single-junction and single gap dual-junction amorphous-silicon alloy solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abdulaziz, Salman; Payson, J. S.; Li, Yang; Woodyard, James R.

    1990-01-01

    A comparative study of the radiation resistance of a-Si:H and a-SiGe:H single-junction and a-Si:H dual-junction solar cells was conducted. The cells were irradiated with 1.00-MeV protons with fluences of 1.0 x 10 to the 14th, 5.0 x 10 to the 14th and 1.0 x 10 to the 15th/sq cm and characterized using I-V and quantum efficiency measurements. The radiation resistance of single-junction cells cannot be used to explain the behavior of dual-junction cells at a fluence of 1.0 x 10 to the 15th/sq cm. The a-Si H single-junction cells degraded the least of the three cells; a-SiGe:H single-junction cells showed the largest reduction in short-circuit current, while a-Si:H dual-junction cells exhibited the largest degradation in the open-circuit voltage. The quantum efficiency of the cells degraded more in the red part of the spectrum; the bottom junction degrades first in dual-junction cells.

  7. Gap junctions as electrical synapses.

    PubMed

    Bennett, M V

    1997-06-01

    Gap junctions are the morphological substrate of one class of electrical synapse. The history of the debate on electrical vs. chemical transmission is instructive. One lesson is that Occam's razor sometimes cuts too deep; the nervous system does its operations in a number of different ways and a unitarian approach can lead one astray. Electrical synapses can do many things that chemical synapses can do, and do them just as slowly. More intriguing are the modulatory actions that chemical synapses can have on electrical synapses. Voltage dependence provides an important window on structure function relations of the connexins, even where the dependence may have no physiological role. The new molecular approaches will greatly advance our knowledge of where gap junctions occur and permit experimental manipulation with high specificity. PMID:9278865

  8. Communication Through Gap Junctions in the Endothelium.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, K; Windler, R; de Wit, C

    2016-01-01

    A swarm of fish displays a collective behavior (swarm behavior) and moves "en masse" despite the huge number of individual animals. In analogy, organ function is supported by a huge number of cells that act in an orchestrated fashion and this applies also to vascular cells along the vessel length. It is obvious that communication is required to achieve this vital goal. Gap junctions with their modular bricks, connexins (Cxs), provide channels that interlink the cytosol of adjacent cells by a pore sealed against the extracellular space. This allows the transfer of ions and charge and thereby the travel of membrane potential changes along the vascular wall. The endothelium provides a low-resistance pathway that depends crucially on connexin40 which is required for long-distance conduction of dilator signals in the microcirculation. The experimental evidence for membrane potential changes synchronizing vascular behavior is manifold but the functional verification of a physiologic role is still open. Other molecules may also be exchanged that possibly contribute to the synchronization (eg, Ca(2+)). Recent data suggest that vascular Cxs have more functions than just facilitating communication. As pharmacological tools to modulate gap junctions are lacking, Cx-deficient mice provide currently the standard to unravel their vascular functions. These include arteriolar dilation during functional hyperemia, hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction, vascular collateralization after ischemia, and feedback inhibition on renin secretion in the kidney. PMID:27451099

  9. Adrenocortical Gap Junctions and Their Functions

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Cheryl L.; Murray, Sandra A.

    2016-01-01

    Adrenal cortical steroidogenesis and proliferation are thought to be modulated by gap junction-mediated direct cell–cell communication of regulatory molecules between cells. Such communication is regulated by the number of gap junction channels between contacting cells, the rate at which information flows between these channels, and the rate of channel turnover. Knowledge of the factors regulating gap junction-mediated communication and the turnover process are critical to an understanding of adrenal cortical cell functions, including development, hormonal response to adrenocorticotropin, and neoplastic dedifferentiation. Here, we review what is known about gap junctions in the adrenal gland, with particular attention to their role in adrenocortical cell steroidogenesis and proliferation. Information and insight gained from electrophysiological, molecular biological, and imaging (immunocytochemical, freeze fracture, transmission electron microscopic, and live cell) techniques will be provided. PMID:27445985

  10. Oxidative Stress, Lens Gap Junctions, and Cataracts

    PubMed Central

    Beyer, Eric C.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract The eye lens is constantly subjected to oxidative stress from radiation and other sources. The lens has several mechanisms to protect its components from oxidative stress and to maintain its redox state, including enzymatic pathways and high concentrations of ascorbate and reduced glutathione. With aging, accumulation of oxidized lens components and decreased efficiency of repair mechanisms can contribute to the development of lens opacities or cataracts. Maintenance of transparency and homeostasis of the avascular lens depend on an extensive network of gap junctions. Communication through gap junction channels allows intercellular passage of molecules (up to 1 kDa) including antioxidants. Lens gap junctions and their constituent proteins, connexins (Cx43, Cx46, and Cx50), are also subject to the effects of oxidative stress. These observations suggest that oxidative stress-induced damage to connexins (and consequent altered intercellular communication) may contribute to cataract formation. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11, 339–353. PMID:18831679

  11. Clathrin and Cx43 gap junction plaque endoexocytosis

    SciTech Connect

    Nickel, Beth M.; DeFranco, B. Hewa; Gay, Vernon L.; Murray, Sandra A.

    2008-10-03

    In earlier transmission electron microscopic studies, we have described pentilaminar gap junctional membrane invaginations and annular gap junction vesicles coated with short, electron-dense bristles. The similarity between these electron-dense bristles and the material surrounding clathrin-coated pits led us to suggest that the dense bristles associated with gap junction structures might be clathrin. To confirm that clathrin is indeed associated with annular gap junction vesicles and gap junction plaques, quantum dot immuno-electron microscopic techniques were used. We report here that clathrin associates with both connexin 43 (Cx43) gap junction plaques and pentilaminar gap junction vesicles. An important finding was the preferential localization of clathrin to the cytoplasmic surface of the annular or of the gap junction plaque membrane of one of the two contacting cells. This is consistent with the possibility that the direction of gap junction plaque internalization into one of two contacting cells is regulated by clathrin.

  12. Magnesium gating of cardiac gap junction channels.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, Hiroyuki; Kurata, Yasutaka; Oka, Chiaki; Matsuoka, Satoshi; Noma, Akinori

    2010-09-01

    We aimed to study kinetics of modulation by intracellular Mg(2+) of cardiac gap junction (Mg(2+) gate). Paired myocytes of guinea-pig ventricle were superfused with solutions containing various concentrations of Mg(2+). In order to rapidly apply Mg(2+) to one aspect of the gap junction, the non-junctional membrane of one of the pair was perforated at nearly the connecting site by pulses of nitrogen laser beam. The gap junction conductance (G(j)) was measured by clamping the membrane potential of the other cell using two-electrode voltage clamp method. The laser perforation immediately increased G(j), followed by slow G(j) change with time constant of 3.5 s at 10 mM Mg(2+). Mg(2+) more than 1.0 mM attenuated dose-dependently the gap junction conductance and lower Mg(2+) (0.6 mM) increased G(j) with a Hill coefficient of 3.4 and a half-maximum effective concentration of 0.6 mM. The time course of G(j) changes was fitted by single exponential function, and the relationship between the reciprocal of time constant and Mg(2+) concentration was almost linear. Based on the experimental data, a mathematical model of Mg(2+) gate with one open state and three closed states well reproduced experimental results. One-dimensional cable model of thirty ventricular myocytes connected to the Mg(2+) gate model suggested a pivotal role of the Mg(2+) gate of gap junction under pathological conditions. PMID:20553744

  13. Lycopene oxidation product enhances gap junctional communication.

    PubMed

    Aust, O; Ale-Agha, N; Zhang, L; Wollersen, H; Sies, H; Stahl, W

    2003-10-01

    Carotenoids as well as their metabolites and oxidation products stimulate gap junctional communication (GJC) between cells, which is thought to be one of the protective mechanisms related to cancer-preventive activities of these compounds. Increased intake of lycopene by consumption of tomatoes or tomato products has been epidemiologically associated with a diminished risk of prostate cancer. Here, we report a stimulatory effect of a lycopene oxidation product on GJC in rat liver epithelial WB-F344 cells. The active compound was obtained by complete in vitro oxidation of lycopene with hydrogen peroxide/osmium tetroxide. For structural analysis high performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, ultraviolet/visible-, and infrared spectrophotometry were applied. The biologically active oxidation product was identified as 2,7,11-trimethyl-tetradecahexaene-1,14-dial. The present data indicate a potential role of lycopene degradation products in cell signaling enhancing cell-to-cell communication via gap junctions. PMID:12909274

  14. GAP junctional communication in brain secondary organizers.

    PubMed

    Bosone, Camilla; Andreu, Abraham; Echevarria, Diego

    2016-06-01

    Gap junctions (GJs) are integral membrane proteins that enable the direct cytoplasmic exchange of ions and low molecular weight metabolites between adjacent cells. They are formed by the apposition of two connexons belonging to adjacent cells. Each connexon is formed by six proteins, named connexins (Cxs). Current evidence suggests that gap junctions play an important part in ensuring normal embryo development. Mutations in connexin genes have been linked to a variety of human diseases, although the precise role and the cell biological mechanisms of their action remain almost unknown. Among the big family of Cxs, several are expressed in nervous tissue but just a few are expressed in the anterior neural tube of vertebrates. Many efforts have been made to elucidate the molecular bases of Cxs cell biology and how they influence the morphogenetic signal activity produced by brain signaling centers. These centers, orchestrated by transcription factors and morphogenes determine the axial patterning of the mammalian brain during its specification and regionalization. The present review revisits the findings of GJ composed by Cx43 and Cx36 in neural tube patterning and discuss Cx43 putative enrollment in the control of Fgf8 signal activity coming from the well known secondary organizer, the isthmic organizer. PMID:27273333

  15. Thalamic Modulation of Cingulate Seizure Activity Via the Regulation of Gap Junctions in Mice Thalamocingulate Slice

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Wei-Pang; Wu, José Jiun-Shian; Shyu, Bai-Chuang

    2013-01-01

    The thalamus is an important target for deep brain stimulation in the treatment of seizures. However, whether the modulatory effect of thalamic inputs on cortical seizures occurs through the modulation of gap junctions has not been previously studied. Therefore, we tested the effects of different gap junction blockers and couplers in a drug-resistant seizure model and studied the role of gap junctions in the thalamic modulation on cortical seizures. Multielectrode array and calcium imaging were used to record the cortical seizures induced by 4-aminopyridine (250 µM) and bicuculline (5–50 µM) in a novel thalamocingulate slice preparation. Seizure-like activity was significantly attenuated by the pan-gap junction blockers carbenoxolone and octanol and specific neuronal gap junction blocker mefloquine. The gap junction coupler trimethylamine significantly enhanced seizure-like activity. Gap junction blockers did not influence the initial phase of seizure-like activity, but they significantly decreased the amplitude and duration of the maintenance phase. The development of seizures is regulated by extracellular potassium concentration. Carbenoxolone partially restored the amplitude and duration after removing the thalamic inputs. A two-dimensional current source density analysis showed that the sink and source signals shifted to deeper layers after removing the thalamic inputs during the clonic phase. These results indicate that the regulatory mechanism of deep brain stimulation in the thalamus occurs partially though gap junctions. PMID:23690968

  16. Terbinafine inhibits gap junctional intercellular communication.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ju Yeun; Yoon, Sei Mee; Choi, Eun Ju; Lee, Jinu

    2016-09-15

    Terbinafine is an antifungal agent that selectively inhibits fungal sterol synthesis by blocking squalene epoxidase. We evaluated the effect of terbinafine on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and I-YFP GJIC assays revealed that terbinafine inhibits GJIC in a reversible and dose-dependent manner in FRT-Cx43 and LN215 cells. Treatment with terbinafine did not affect Cx43 phosphorylation status or intracellular Ca(2+) concentration, well-known action mechanisms of various GJIC blockers. While a structurally related chemical, naftifine, attenuated GJIC, epigallocatechin gallate, another potent squalene epoxidase inhibitor with a different structure, did not. These results suggest that terbinafine inhibits GJIC with a so far unknown mechanism of action. PMID:27487578

  17. Electromechanical resistive switching via back-to-back Schottky junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Lijie

    2015-09-15

    The physics of the electromechanical resistive switching is uncovered using the theory of back-to-back Schottky junctions combined with the quantum domain space charge transport. A theoretical model of the basic element of resistive switching devices realized by the metal-ZnO nanowires-metal structure has been created and analyzed. Simulation results show that the reverse biased Schottky junction and the air gap impedance dominate the current-voltage relation at higher external voltages; thereby electromechanically varying the air gap thickness causes the device exhibit resistive tuning characteristics. As the device dimension is in nanometre scale, investigation of the model based on quantum mechanics has also been conducted.

  18. TEMPORAL CHANGE IN GAP JUNCTION FUNCTION IN PRIMARY HEPATOCYTES

    EPA Science Inventory

    TEMPORAL CHANGES IN GAP JUNCTION FUNCTION IN PRIMARY *

    The objective of this study was to examine the reduction in gap junction communication (GJC) in primary hepatocytes due to coincident melatonin and magnetic field treatments to determine if these conditions could prov...

  19. Differences between liver gap junction protein and lens MIP 26 from rat: implications for tissue specificity of gap junctions.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, B J; Takemoto, L J; Hunkapiller, M W; Hood, L E; Revel, J P

    1983-03-01

    Liver gap junctions and gap-junction-like structures from eye lenses are each comprised of a single major protein (Mr 28,000 and 26,000, respectively). These proteins display different two-dimensional peptide fingerprints, distinct amino acid compositions, nonhomologous N-terminal amino acid sequences and different sensitivities to proteases when part of the intact junction. However, the junctional protein of each tissue is well conserved between species, as demonstrated previously for lens and now for liver in several mammalian species. The possiblity of tissue-specific gap junction proteins is discussed in the light of data suggesting that rat heart gap junctions are comprised of yet a third protein. PMID:6299583

  20. Heterotypic gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses are abundant in goldfish brain

    PubMed Central

    Rash, John E.; Kamasawa, Naomi; Vanderpool, Kimberly G.; Yasumura, Thomas; O'Brien, John; Nannapaneni, Srikant; Pereda, Alberto E.; Nagy, James I.

    2014-01-01

    Gap junctions provide for direct intercellular electrical and metabolic coupling. The abundance of gap junctions at “large myelinated club ending” synapses on Mauthner cells of the teleost brain provided a convenient model to correlate anatomical and physiological properties of electrical synapses. There, presynaptic action potentials were found to evoke short-latency electrical “pre-potentials” immediately preceding their accompanying glutamate-induced depolarizations, making these the first unambiguously identified “mixed” (i.e., chemical plus electrical) synapses in the vertebrate CNS. We recently showed that gap junctions at these synapses exhibit asymmetric electrical resistance (i.e., electrical rectification), which we correlated with total molecular asymmetry of connexin composition in their apposing gap junction hemiplaques, with Cx35 restricted to axon terminal hemiplaques and Cx34.7 restricted to apposing Mauthner cell plasma membranes. We now show that similarly heterotypic neuronal gap junctions are abundant throughout goldfish brain, with labeling exclusively for Cx35 in presynaptic hemiplaques and exclusively for Cx34.7 in postsynaptic hemiplaques. Moreover, the vast majority of these asymmetric gap junctions occur at glutamatergic axon terminals. The widespread distribution of heterotypic gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses throughout goldfish brain and spinal cord implies that pre- vs. postsynaptic asymmetry at electrical synapses evolved early in the chordate lineage. We propose that the advantages of the molecular and functional asymmetry of connexins at electrical synapses that are so prominently expressed in the teleost CNS are unlikely to have been abandoned in higher vertebrates. However, to create asymmetric coupling in mammals, where most gap junctions are composed of Cx36 on both sides, would require some other mechanism, such as differential phosphorylation of connexins on opposite sides of the same gap junction or

  1. Heterotypic gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses are abundant in goldfish brain.

    PubMed

    Rash, J E; Kamasawa, N; Vanderpool, K G; Yasumura, T; O'Brien, J; Nannapaneni, S; Pereda, A E; Nagy, J I

    2015-01-29

    Gap junctions provide for direct intercellular electrical and metabolic coupling. The abundance of gap junctions at "large myelinated club ending (LMCE)" synapses on Mauthner cells (M-cells) of the teleost brain provided a convenient model to correlate anatomical and physiological properties of electrical synapses. There, presynaptic action potentials were found to evoke short-latency electrical "pre-potentials" immediately preceding their accompanying glutamate-induced depolarizations, making these the first unambiguously identified "mixed" (i.e., chemical plus electrical) synapses in the vertebrate CNS. We recently showed that gap junctions at these synapses exhibit asymmetric electrical resistance (i.e., electrical rectification), which we correlated with total molecular asymmetry of connexin composition in their apposing gap junction hemiplaques, with connexin35 (Cx35) restricted to axon terminal hemiplaques and connexin34.7 (Cx34.7) restricted to apposing M-cell plasma membranes. We now show that similarly heterotypic neuronal gap junctions are abundant throughout goldfish brain, with labeling exclusively for Cx35 in presynaptic hemiplaques and exclusively for Cx34.7 in postsynaptic hemiplaques. Moreover, the vast majority of these asymmetric gap junctions occur at glutamatergic axon terminals. The widespread distribution of heterotypic gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses throughout goldfish brain and spinal cord implies that pre- vs. postsynaptic asymmetry at electrical synapses evolved early in the chordate lineage. We propose that the advantages of the molecular and functional asymmetry of connexins at electrical synapses that are so prominently expressed in the teleost CNS are unlikely to have been abandoned in higher vertebrates. However, to create asymmetric coupling in mammals, where most gap junctions are composed of connexin36 (Cx36) on both sides, would require some other mechanism, such as differential phosphorylation of connexins on

  2. Pallidal gap junctions-triggers of synchrony in Parkinson's disease?

    PubMed Central

    Schwab, Bettina C; Heida, Tjitske; Zhao, Yan; van Gils, Stephan A; van Wezel, Richard J A

    2014-01-01

    Although increased synchrony of the neural activity in the basal ganglia may underlie the motor deficiencies exhibited in Parkinson's disease (PD), how this synchrony arises, propagates through the basal ganglia, and changes under dopamine replacement remains unknown. Gap junctions could play a major role in modifying this synchrony, because they show functional plasticity under the influence of dopamine and after neural injury. In this study, confocal imaging was used to detect connexin-36, the major neural gap junction protein, in postmortem tissues of PD patients and control subjects in the putamen, subthalamic nucleus (STN), and external and internal globus pallidus (GPe and GPi, respectively). Moreover, we quantified how gap junctions affect synchrony in an existing computational model of the basal ganglia. We detected connexin-36 in the human putamen, GPe, and GPi, but not in the STN. Furthermore, we found that the number of connexin-36 spots in PD tissues increased by 50% in the putamen, 43% in the GPe, and 109% in the GPi compared with controls. In the computational model, gap junctions in the GPe and GPi strongly influenced synchrony. The basal ganglia became especially susceptible to synchronize with input from the cortex when gap junctions were numerous and high in conductance. In conclusion, connexin-36 expression in the human GPe and GPi suggests that gap junctional coupling exists within these nuclei. In PD, neural injury and dopamine depletion could increase this coupling. Therefore, we propose that gap junctions act as a powerful modulator of synchrony in the basal ganglia. PMID:25124148

  3. Pallidal gap junctions-triggers of synchrony in Parkinson's disease?

    PubMed

    Schwab, Bettina C; Heida, Tjitske; Zhao, Yan; van Gils, Stephan A; van Wezel, Richard J A

    2014-10-01

    Although increased synchrony of the neural activity in the basal ganglia may underlie the motor deficiencies exhibited in Parkinson's disease (PD), how this synchrony arises, propagates through the basal ganglia, and changes under dopamine replacement remains unknown. Gap junctions could play a major role in modifying this synchrony, because they show functional plasticity under the influence of dopamine and after neural injury. In this study, confocal imaging was used to detect connexin-36, the major neural gap junction protein, in postmortem tissues of PD patients and control subjects in the putamen, subthalamic nucleus (STN), and external and internal globus pallidus (GPe and GPi, respectively). Moreover, we quantified how gap junctions affect synchrony in an existing computational model of the basal ganglia. We detected connexin-36 in the human putamen, GPe, and GPi, but not in the STN. Furthermore, we found that the number of connexin-36 spots in PD tissues increased by 50% in the putamen, 43% in the GPe, and 109% in the GPi compared with controls. In the computational model, gap junctions in the GPe and GPi strongly influenced synchrony. The basal ganglia became especially susceptible to synchronize with input from the cortex when gap junctions were numerous and high in conductance. In conclusion, connexin-36 expression in the human GPe and GPi suggests that gap junctional coupling exists within these nuclei. In PD, neural injury and dopamine depletion could increase this coupling. Therefore, we propose that gap junctions act as a powerful modulator of synchrony in the basal ganglia. PMID:25124148

  4. Distal gap junctions and active dendrites can tune network dynamics.

    PubMed

    Saraga, Fernanda; Ng, Leo; Skinner, Frances K

    2006-03-01

    Gap junctions allow direct electrical communication between CNS neurons. From theoretical and modeling studies, it is well known that although gap junctions can act to synchronize network output, they can also give rise to many other dynamic patterns including antiphase and other phase-locked states. The particular network pattern that arises depends on cellular, intrinsic properties that affect firing frequencies as well as the strength and location of the gap junctions. Interneurons or GABAergic neurons in hippocampus are diverse in their cellular characteristics and have been shown to have active dendrites. Furthermore, parvalbumin-positive GABAergic neurons, also known as basket cells, can contact one another via gap junctions on their distal dendrites. Using two-cell network models, we explore how distal electrical connections affect network output. We build multi-compartment models of hippocampal basket cells using NEURON and endow them with varying amounts of active dendrites. Two-cell networks of these model cells as well as reduced versions are explored. The relationship between intrinsic frequency and the level of active dendrites allows us to define three regions based on what sort of network dynamics occur with distal gap junction coupling. Weak coupling theory is used to predict the delineation of these regions as well as examination of phase response curves and distal dendritic polarization levels. We find that a nonmonotonic dependence of network dynamic characteristics (phase lags) on gap junction conductance occurs. This suggests that distal electrical coupling and active dendrite levels can control how sensitive network dynamics are to gap junction modulation. With the extended geometry, gap junctions located at more distal locations must have larger conductances for pure synchrony to occur. Furthermore, based on simulations with heterogeneous networks, it may be that one requires active dendrites if phase-locking is to occur in networks formed

  5. Ischemic preconditioning protects against gap junctional uncoupling in cardiac myofibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Sundset, Rune; Cooper, Marie; Mikalsen, Svein-Ole; Ytrehus, Kirsti

    2004-01-01

    Ischemic preconditioning increases the heart's tolerance to a subsequent longer ischemic period. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of gap junction communication in simulated preconditioning in cultured neonatal rat cardiac myofibroblasts. Gap junctional intercellular communication was assessed by Lucifer yellow dye transfer. Preconditioning preserved intercellular coupling after prolonged ischemia. An initial reduction in coupling in response to the preconditioning stimulus was also observed. This may protect neighboring cells from damaging substances produced during subsequent regional ischemia in vivo, and may preserve gap junctional communication required for enhanced functional recovery during subsequent reperfusion. PMID:16247851

  6. Gap junction modulation and its implications for heart function

    PubMed Central

    Kurtenbach, Stefan; Kurtenbach, Sarah; Zoidl, Georg

    2014-01-01

    Gap junction communication (GJC) mediated by connexins is critical for heart function. To gain insight into the causal relationship of molecular mechanisms of disease pathology, it is important to understand which mechanisms contribute to impairment of gap junctional communication. Here, we present an update on the known modulators of connexins, including various interaction partners, kinases, and signaling cascades. This gap junction network (GJN) can serve as a blueprint for data mining approaches exploring the growing number of publicly available data sets from experimental and clinical studies. PMID:24578694

  7. Study of Gap Junctions in Human Embryonic Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Pébay, Alice; Wong, Raymond C B

    2016-01-01

    Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) has been described in different cell types including stem cells and has been involved in different biological events. GJIC is required for mouse embryonic stem cell maintenance and proliferation and various studies suggest that functional GJIC is a common characteristic of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) maintained in different culture conditions. This chapter introduces methods to study gap junctions in hESC, from expression of gap junction proteins to functional study of GJIC in hESC proliferation, apoptosis, colony growth, and pluripotency. PMID:24859928

  8. Measurement of tunnel junction resistance during formation

    SciTech Connect

    Barber, W.C.; Johnson, R.T.; Lee, J.S.; Laws, K.E.; Bland, R.W. )

    1993-11-01

    The authors have measured the characteristics of aluminum tunnel junctions during and immediately after the formation of the junction. This has permitted us to observe changes in the oxide barrier, in vacuum and in air. By observing the barrier resistance during sputtering, they were able to diagnose and correct problems due to plasma discharges which were damaging the junctions. They report preliminary results from junctions passivated with a silicon nitride cap layer.

  9. Fixed-Gap Tunnel Junction for Reading DNA Nucleotides

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Previous measurements of the electronic conductance of DNA nucleotides or amino acids have used tunnel junctions in which the gap is mechanically adjusted, such as scanning tunneling microscopes or mechanically controllable break junctions. Fixed-junction devices have, at best, detected the passage of whole DNA molecules without yielding chemical information. Here, we report on a layered tunnel junction in which the tunnel gap is defined by a dielectric layer, deposited by atomic layer deposition. Reactive ion etching is used to drill a hole through the layers so that the tunnel junction can be exposed to molecules in solution. When the metal electrodes are functionalized with recognition molecules that capture DNA nucleotides via hydrogen bonds, the identities of the individual nucleotides are revealed by characteristic features of the fluctuating tunnel current associated with single-molecule binding events. PMID:25380505

  10. Reduction of Gap Junctional Conductance by Microinjection of Antibodies against the 27-kDa Liver Gap Junction Polypeptide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hertzberg, E. L.; Spray, D. C.; Bennett, M. V. L.

    1985-04-01

    Antibody raised against isolated rat liver gap junctions was microinjected into coupled cells in culture to assess its influence on gap junctional conductance. A rapid inhibition of fluorescent dye transfer and electrical coupling was produced in pairs of freshly dissociated adult rat hepatocytes and myocardial cells as well as in pairs of superior cervical ganglion neurons from neonatal rats cultured under conditions in which electrotonic synapses form. The antibodies have been shown by indirect immunofluorescence to bind to punctate regions of the plasma membrane in liver. By immunoreplica analysis of rat liver homogenates, plasma membranes, and isolated gap junctions resolved on NaDodSO4/polyacrylamide gels, binding was shown to be specific for the 27-kDa major polypeptide of gap junctions. This and similar antibodies should provide a tool for further investigation of the role of cell-cell communication mediated by gap junctions and indicate that immunologically similar polypeptides comprise gap junctions in adult mammalian cells derived from all three germ layers.

  11. Reduction of gap junctional conductance by microinjection of antibodies against the 27-kDa liver gap junction polypeptide.

    PubMed Central

    Hertzberg, E L; Spray, D C; Bennett, M V

    1985-01-01

    Antibody raised against isolated rat liver gap junctions was microinjected into coupled cells in culture to assess its influence on gap junctional conductance. A rapid inhibition of fluorescent dye transfer and electrical coupling was produced in pairs of freshly dissociated adult rat hepatocytes and myocardial cells as well as in pairs of superior cervical ganglion neurons from neonatal rats cultured under conditions in which electrotonic synapses form. The antibodies have been shown by indirect immunofluorescence to bind to punctate regions of the plasma membrane in liver. By immunoreplica analysis of rat liver homogenates, plasma membranes, and isolated gap junctions resolved on NaDodSO4/polyacrylamide gels, binding was shown to be specific for the 27-kDa major polypeptide of gap junctions. This and similar antibodies should provide a tool for further investigation of the role of cell-cell communication mediated by gap junctions and indicate that immunologically similar polypeptides comprise gap junctions in adult mammalian cells derived from all three germ layers. Images PMID:2986116

  12. Dynamic gap junctional communication: a delimiting model for tissue responses.

    PubMed Central

    Christ, G J; Brink, P R; Ramanan, S V

    1994-01-01

    Gap junctions are aqueous intercellular channels formed by a diverse class of membrane-spanning proteins, known as connexins. These aqueous pores provide partial cytoplasmic continuity between cells in most tissues, and are freely permeable to a host of physiologically relevant second messenger molecules/ionic species (e.g., Ca2+, IP3, cAMP, cGMP). Despite the fact that these second messenger molecules/ionic species have been shown to alter junctional patency, there is no clear basis for understanding how dynamic and transient changes in the intracellular concentration of second messenger molecules might modulate the extent of intercellular communication among coupled cells. Thus, we have modified the tissue monolayer model of Ramanan and Brink (1990) to account for both the up-regulatory and down-regulatory effects on junctions by second messenger molecules that diffuse through gap junctions. We have chosen the vascular wall as our morphological correlate because of its anisotropy and large investment of gap junctions. The model allows us to illustrate the putative behavior of gap junctions under a variety of physiologically relevant conditions. The modeling studies demonstrated that transient alterations in intracellular second messenger concentrations are capable of producing 50-125% changes in the number of cells recruited into a functional syncytial unit, after activation of a single cell. Moreover, the model conditions required to demonstrate such physiologically relevant changes in intercellular diffusion among coupled cells are commonly observed in intact tissues and cultured cells. Images FIGURE 2 PMID:7811948

  13. Functional Properties of Dendritic Gap Junctions in Cerebellar Golgi Cells.

    PubMed

    Szoboszlay, Miklos; Lőrincz, Andrea; Lanore, Frederic; Vervaeke, Koen; Silver, R Angus; Nusser, Zoltan

    2016-06-01

    The strength and variability of electrical synaptic connections between GABAergic interneurons are key determinants of spike synchrony within neuronal networks. However, little is known about how electrical coupling strength is determined due to the inaccessibility of gap junctions on the dendritic tree. We investigated the properties of gap junctions in cerebellar interneurons by combining paired somato-somatic and somato-dendritic recordings, anatomical reconstructions, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, and modeling. By fitting detailed compartmental models of Golgi cells to their somato-dendritic voltage responses, we determined their passive electrical properties and the mean gap junction conductance (0.9 nS). Connexin36 immunofluorescence and freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling revealed a large variability in gap junction size and that only 18% of the 340 channels are open in each plaque. Our results establish that the number of gap junctions per connection is the main determinant of both the strength and variability in electrical coupling between Golgi cells. PMID:27133465

  14. Gap junctions in developing thalamic and neocortical neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Niculescu, Dragos; Lohmann, Christian

    2014-12-01

    The presence of direct, cytoplasmatic, communication between neurons in the brain of vertebrates has been demonstrated a long time ago. These gap junctions have been characterized in many brain areas in terms of subunit composition, biophysical properties, neuronal connectivity patterns, and developmental regulation. Although interesting findings emerged, showing that different subunits are specifically regulated during development, or that excitatory and inhibitory neuronal networks exhibit various electrical connectivity patterns, gap junctions did not receive much further interest. Originally, it was believed that gap junctions represent simple passageways for electrical and biochemical coordination early in development. Today, we know that gap junction connectivity is tightly regulated, following independent developmental patterns for excitatory and inhibitory networks. Electrical connections are important for many specific functions of neurons, and are, for example, required for the development of neuronal stimulus tuning in the visual system. Here, we integrate the available data on neuronal connectivity and gap junction properties, as well as the most recent findings concerning the functional implications of electrical connections in the developing thalamus and neocortex. PMID:23843439

  15. Role of astroglial connexin30 in hippocampal gap junction coupling.

    PubMed

    Gosejacob, Dominic; Dublin, Pavel; Bedner, Peter; Hüttmann, Kerstin; Zhang, Jiong; Tress, Oliver; Willecke, Klaus; Pfrieger, Frank; Steinhäuser, Christian; Theis, Martin

    2011-03-01

    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. PMID:21264956

  16. Gap junctions in olfactory neurons modulate olfactory sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background One of the fundamental questions in olfaction is whether olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) behave as independent entities within the olfactory epithelium. On the basis that mature ORNs express multiple connexins, I postulated that gap junctional communication modulates olfactory responses in the periphery and that disruption of gap junctions in ORNs reduces olfactory sensitivity. The data collected from characterizing connexin 43 (Cx43) dominant negative transgenic mice OlfDNCX, and from calcium imaging of wild type mice (WT) support my hypothesis. Results I generated OlfDNCX mice that express a dominant negative Cx43 protein, Cx43/β-gal, in mature ORNs to inactivate gap junctions and hemichannels composed of Cx43 or other structurally related connexins. Characterization of OlfDNCX revealed that Cx43/β-gal was exclusively expressed in areas where mature ORNs resided. Real time quantitative PCR indicated that cellular machineries of OlfDNCX were normal in comparison to WT. Electroolfactogram recordings showed decreased olfactory responses to octaldehyde, heptaldehyde and acetyl acetate in OlfDNCX compared to WT. Octaldehyde-elicited glomerular activity in the olfactory bulb, measured according to odor-elicited c-fos mRNA upregulation in juxtaglomerular cells, was confined to smaller areas of the glomerular layer in OlfDNCX compared to WT. In WT mice, octaldehyde sensitive neurons exhibited reduced response magnitudes after application of gap junction uncoupling reagents and the effects were specific to subsets of neurons. Conclusions My study has demonstrated that altered assembly of Cx43 or structurally related connexins in ORNs modulates olfactory responses and changes olfactory activation maps in the olfactory bulb. Furthermore, pharmacologically uncoupling of gap junctions reduces olfactory activity in subsets of ORNs. These data suggest that gap junctional communication or hemichannel activity plays a critical role in maintaining olfactory

  17. Roles of gap junctions, connexins, and pannexins in epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Mylvaganam, Shanthini; Ramani, Meera; Krawczyk, Michal; Carlen, Peter L.

    2014-01-01

    Enhanced gap junctional communication (GJC) between neurons is considered a major factor underlying the neuronal synchrony driving seizure activity. In addition, the hippocampal sharp wave ripple complexes, associated with learning and seizures, are diminished by GJC blocking agents. Although gap junctional blocking drugs inhibit experimental seizures, they all have other non-specific actions. Besides interneuronal GJC between dendrites, inter-axonal and inter-glial GJC is also considered important for seizure generation. Interestingly, in most studies of cerebral tissue from animal seizure models and from human patients with epilepsy, there is up-regulation of glial, but not neuronal gap junctional mRNA and protein. Significant changes in the expression and post-translational modification of the astrocytic connexin Cx43, and Panx1 were observed in an in vitro Co++ seizure model, further supporting a role for glia in seizure-genesis, although the reasons for this remain unclear. Further suggesting an involvement of astrocytic GJC in epilepsy, is the fact that the expression of astrocytic Cx mRNAs (Cxs 30 and 43) is several fold higher than that of neuronal Cx mRNAs (Cxs 36 and 45), and the number of glial cells outnumber neuronal cells in mammalian hippocampal and cortical tissue. Pannexin expression is also increased in both animal and human epileptic tissues. Specific Cx43 mimetic peptides, Gap 27 and SLS, inhibit the docking of astrocytic connexin Cx43 proteins from forming intercellular gap junctions (GJs), diminishing spontaneous seizures. Besides GJs, Cx membrane hemichannels in glia and Panx membrane channels in neurons and glia are also inhibited by traditional gap junctional pharmacological blockers. Although there is no doubt that connexin-based GJs and hemichannels, and pannexin-based membrane channels are related to epilepsy, the specific details of how they are involved and how we can modulate their function for therapeutic purposes remain to be

  18. Gap junctions and inhibitory synapses modulate inspiratory motoneuron synchronization.

    PubMed

    Bou-Flores, C; Berger, A J

    2001-04-01

    Interneuronal electrical coupling via gap junctions and chemical synaptic inhibitory transmission are known to have roles in the generation and synchronization of activity in neuronal networks. Uncertainty exists regarding the roles of these two modes of interneuronal communication in the central respiratory rhythm-generating system. To assess their roles, we performed studies on both the neonatal mouse medullary slice and en bloc brain stem-spinal cord preparations where rhythmic inspiratory motor activity can readily be recorded from both hypoglossal and phrenic nerve roots. The rhythmic inspiratory activity observed had two temporal characteristics: the basic respiratory frequency occurring on a long time scale and the synchronous neuronal discharge within the inspiratory burst occurring on a short time scale. In both preparations, we observed that bath application of gap-junction blockers, including 18 alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid, 18 beta-glycyrrhetinic acid, and carbenoxolone, all caused a reduction in respiratory frequency. In contrast, peak integrated phrenic and hypoglossal inspiratory activity was not significantly changed by gap-junction blockade. On a short-time-scale, gap-junction blockade increased the degree of synchronization within an inspiratory burst observed in both nerves. In contrast, opposite results were observed with blockade of GABA(A) and glycine receptors. We found that respiratory frequency increased with receptor blockade, and simultaneous blockade of both receptors consistently resulted in a reduction in short-time-scale synchronized activity observed in phrenic and hypoglossal inspiratory bursts. These results support the concept that the central respiratory system has two components: a rhythm generator responsible for the production of respiratory cycle timing and an inspiratory pattern generator that is involved in short-time-scale synchronization. In the neonatal rodent, properties of both components can be regulated by interneuronal

  19. Gap junctions in the heart of the adult Protopterus aethiopicus.

    PubMed

    Scheuermann, D W; de Maziere, A

    1984-07-01

    In thin sections and in freeze-fracture replicas small and sparse gap junctions appear to be developed on the longitudinal plasma membrane of Protopterus cardiac cells near a macula or fascia adhaerens. By thin-section electron microscopy, they had septalaminar profiles with a length between 0.042 and 0.260 micron. In freeze-fracture images they appear on the P-fracture face as maculate particle aggregations with complementary pits on the E-fracture face. Particles with a central intercellular channel could be observed. The average center-to-center distance between neighbouring particles or pits is 10.05 +/- 1.87 nm (N = 2429). The diameter of the junctional maculae in replicas lies between 0.037 and 0.229 nm. The particle packing density increases in larger maculate aggregations, while particle-free areas emerge which could be related to the degradation or reformation of gap junctions Atypical configurations of gap junctions observed in the myocardium of lower vertebrates are rarely encountered in this primitive vertebrate. PMID:6485893

  20. Length and energy gap dependences of thermoelectricity in nanostructured junctions.

    PubMed

    Asai, Yoshihiro

    2013-04-17

    The possibilities of an enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit value, ZT, in a nanostructured junction are examined for a wide range of parameter values in a theoretical model. Our research shows that the figure of merit can take a very large maximum, which depends both on the length and the energy gap values. The maximum of ZT is achieved when the Fermi level of the electrodes is aligned to the edge of the electronic transmission function of the junction, where both the conductance and the Seebeck constant are significantly enhanced. On the basis of our results, we conclude that nanowires and molecular junctions form a special class of systems where a large ZT can be expected in some cases. PMID:23528878

  1. Gap Junctions Mediate Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Bystander Killing in Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Eugenin, Eliseo A.; Berman, Joan W.

    2007-01-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) entry into the CNS is an early event after infection, resulting in neurological dysfunction in a significant number of individuals. As people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) live longer, the prevalence of cognitive impairment is increasing, despite antiretroviral therapy. The mechanisms that mediate CNS dysfunction are still not completely understood, and include inflammation, viral presence, and/or replication. In this report, we characterize a novel role of gap junctions in transmitting and thereby amplifying toxic signals originating from HIV-infected astrocytes that trigger cell death in uninfected astrocytes. HIV-infected astrocytes were resistant to apoptosis; however, uninfected astrocytes forming gap junctions with infected astrocytes were apoptotic. Gap junction blockers abolished apoptosis in uninfected astrocytes, supporting the role of these channels in amplifying cell death. Our findings describe a novel mechanism of toxicity within the brain, triggered by low numbers of HIV-infected astrocytes and amplified by gap junctions, contributing to the pathogenesis of NeuroAIDS. PMID:18032656

  2. Human Articular Chondrocytes Express Multiple Gap Junction Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Mayan, Maria D.; Carpintero-Fernandez, Paula; Gago-Fuentes, Raquel; Martinez-de-Ilarduya, Oskar; Wang, Hong-Zhang; Valiunas, Virginijus; Brink, Peter; Blanco, Francisco J.

    2014-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disease and involves progressive degeneration of articular cartilage. The aim of this study was to investigate if chondrocytes from human articular cartilage express gap junction proteins called connexins (Cxs). We show that human chondrocytes in tissue express Cx43, Cx45, Cx32, and Cx46. We also find that primary chondrocytes from adults retain the capacity to form functional voltage-dependent gap junctions. Immunohistochemistry experiments in cartilage from OA patients revealed significantly elevated levels of Cx43 and Cx45 in the superficial zone and down through the next approximately 1000 μm of tissue. These zones corresponded with regions damaged in OA that also had high levels of proliferative cell nuclear antigen. An increased number of Cxs may help explain the increased proliferation of cells in clusters that finally lead to tissue homeostasis loss. Conversely, high levels of Cxs in OA cartilage reflect the increased number of adjacent cells in clusters that are able to interact directly by gap junctions as compared with hemichannels on single cells in normal cartilage. Our data provide strong evidence that OA patients have a loss of the usual ordered distribution of Cxs in the damaged zones and that the reductions in Cx43 levels are accompanied by the loss of correct Cx localization in the nondamaged areas. PMID:23416160

  3. Robert Feulgen Prize Lecture. Distribution and role of gap junctions in normal myocardium and human ischaemic heart disease.

    PubMed

    Green, C R; Severs, N J

    1993-02-01

    In the heart, individual cardiac muscle cells are linked by gap junctions. These junctions form low resistance pathways along which the electrical impulse flows rapidly and repeatedly between all the cells of the myocardium, ensuring their synchronous contraction. To obtain probes for mapping the distribution of gap junctions in cardiac tissue, polyclonal antisera were raised to three synthetic peptides, each matching different cytoplasmically exposed portions of the sequence of connexin43, the major gap-junctional protein reported in the heart. The specificity of each antiserum for the peptide to which it was raised was established by dot blotting. New methods were developed for isolating enriched fractions of gap junctions from whole heart and from dissociated adult myocytes, in which detergent-treatment and raising the temperature (potentially damaging steps in previously described techniques) are avoided. Analysis of these fractions by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed major bands at 43 kDa (matching the molecular mass of connexin43) and at 70 kDa. Western blot experiments using our antisera indicated that both the 43-kDa and the 70-kDa bands represent cardiac gap-junctional proteins. Pre-embedding immunogold labelling of isolated gap junctions and post-embedding immunogold labelling of Lowicryl-embedded whole tissue demonstrated the specific binding of the antibodies to ultrastructurally defined gap junctions. One antiserum (raised to residues 131-142) was found to be particularly effective for cytochemical labelling. Using this antiserum for immunofluorescence labelling in combination with confocal scanning laser microscopy enabled highly sensitive detection and three-dimensional mapping of gap junctions through thick slices of cardiac tissue. By means of the serial optical sectioning ability of the confocal microscope, images of the entire gap junction population of complete en face-viewed disks were reconstructed. These reconstructions reveal

  4. Polyamine signal through gap junctions: A key regulator of proliferation and gap-junction organization in mammalian tissues?

    PubMed

    Hamon, Loic; Savarin, Philippe; Pastré, David

    2016-06-01

    We propose that interaction rules derived from polyamine exchange in connected cells may explain the spatio-temporal organization of gap junctions observed during tissue regeneration and tumorigenesis. We also hypothesize that polyamine exchange can be considered as signal that allows cells to sense the proliferation status of their neighbors. Polyamines (putrescine, spermidine, and spermine) are indeed small aliphatic polycations that serve as fuels to sustain elevated proliferation rates of the order observed in cancer cells. Based on recent reports, we consider here that polyamines can be exchanged through gap junction channels between mammalian cells. Such intercellular exchange of polyamines has critical consequences on the local control of growth. In line with this hypothesis, the complex protein network that keeps polyamine levels finely tuned in mammalian cells can translate polyamine efflux or influx into integrated signals controlling transcription, translation, and cell communications. PMID:27125471

  5. The connexin43 mimetic peptide Gap19 inhibits hemichannels without altering gap junctional communication in astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Abudara, Verónica; Bechberger, John; Freitas-Andrade, Moises; De Bock, Marijke; Wang, Nan; Bultynck, Geert; Naus, Christian C.; Leybaert, Luc; Giaume, Christian

    2014-01-01

    In the brain, astrocytes represent the cellular population that expresses the highest amount of connexins (Cxs). This family of membrane proteins is the molecular constituent of gap junction channels and hemichannels that provide pathways for direct cytoplasm-to-cytoplasm and inside-out exchange, respectively. Both types of Cx channels are permeable to ions and small signaling molecules allowing astrocytes to establish dynamic interactions with neurons. So far, most pharmacological approaches currently available do not distinguish between these two channel functions, stressing the need to develop new specific molecular tools. In astrocytes two major Cxs are expressed, Cx43 and Cx30, and there is now evidence indicating that at least Cx43 operates as a gap junction channel as well as a hemichannel in these cells. Based on studies in primary cultures as well as in acute hippocampal slices, we report here that Gap19, a nonapeptide derived from the cytoplasmic loop of Cx43, inhibits astroglial Cx43 hemichannels in a dose-dependent manner, without affecting gap junction channels. This peptide, which not only selectively inhibits hemichannels but is also specific for Cx43, can be delivered in vivo in mice as TAT-Gap19, and displays penetration into the brain parenchyma. As a result, Gap19 combined with other tools opens up new avenues to decipher the role of Cx43 hemichannels in interactions between astrocytes and neurons in physiological as well as pathological situations. PMID:25374505

  6. Gap junctions modulate glioma invasion by direct transfer of microRNA.

    PubMed

    Hong, Xiaoting; Sin, Wun Chey; Harris, Andrew L; Naus, Christian C

    2015-06-20

    The invasiveness of high-grade glioma is the primary reason for poor survival following treatment. Interaction between glioma cells and surrounding astrocytes are crucial to invasion. We investigated the role of gap junction mediated miRNA transfer in this context. By manipulating gap junctions with a gap junction inhibitor, siRNAs, and a dominant negative connexin mutant, we showed that functional glioma-glioma gap junctions suppress glioma invasion while glioma-astrocyte and astrocyte-astrocyte gap junctions promote it in an in vitro transwell invasion assay. After demonstrating that glioma-astrocyte gap junctions are permeable to microRNA, we compared the microRNA profiles of astrocytes before and after co-culture with glioma cells, identifying specific microRNAs as candidates for transfer through gap junctions from glioma cells to astrocytes. Further analysis showed that transfer of miR-5096 from glioma cells to astrocytes is through gap junctions; this transfer is responsible, in part, for the pro-invasive effect. Our results establish a role for glioma-astrocyte gap junction mediated microRNA signaling in modulation of glioma invasive behavior, and that gap junction coupling among astrocytes magnifies the pro-invasive signaling. Our findings reveal the potential for therapeutic interventions based on abolishing alteration of stromal cells by tumor cells via manipulation of microRNA and gap junction channel activity. PMID:25978028

  7. Models and methods for in vitro testing of hepatic gap junctional communication.

    PubMed

    Maes, Michaël; Crespo Yanguas, Sara; Willebrords, Joost; Vinken, Mathieu

    2015-12-25

    Inherent to their pivotal roles in controlling all aspects of the liver cell life cycle, hepatocellular gap junctions are frequently disrupted upon impairment of the homeostatic balance, as occurs during liver toxicity. Hepatic gap junctions, which are mainly built up by connexin32, are specifically targeted by tumor promoters and epigenetic carcinogens. This renders inhibition of gap junction functionality a suitable indicator for the in vitro detection of nongenotoxic hepatocarcinogenicity. The establishment of a reliable liver gap junction inhibition assay for routine in vitro testing purposes requires a cellular system in which gap junctions are expressed at an in vivo-like level as well as an appropriate technique to probe gap junction activity. Both these models and methods are discussed in the current paper, thereby focusing on connexin32-based gap junctions. PMID:26420514

  8. Models and methods for in vitro testing of hepatic gap junctional communication

    PubMed Central

    Willebrords, Joost; Vinken, Mathieu

    2015-01-01

    Inherent to their pivotal roles in controlling all aspects of the liver cell life cycle, hepatocellular gap junctions are frequently disrupted upon impairment of the homeostatic balance, as occurs during liver toxicity. Hepatic gap junctions, which are mainly built up by connexin32, are specifically targeted by tumor promoters and epigenetic carcinogens. This renders inhibition of gap junction functionality a suitable indicator for the in vitro detection of nongenotoxic hepatocarcinogenicity. The establishment of a reliable liver gap junction inhibition assay for routine in vitro testing purposes requires a cellular system in which gap junctions are expressed at an in vivo-like level as well as an appropriate technique to probe gap junction activity. Both these models and methods are discussed in the current paper, thereby focusing on connexin32-based gap junctions. PMID:26420514

  9. CHLORAL HYDRATE DECREASES GAP JUNCTION COMMUNICATION IN RAT LIVER EPITHELIAL CELLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Chloral hydrate decreases gap junction communication in rat liver epithelial cells

    Gap junction communication (GJC) is involved in controlling cell proliferation and differentiation. Connexins (Cx) that make up these junctions are composed of a closely related group of m...

  10. Molecular mechanisms regulating formation, trafficking and processing of annular gap junctions.

    PubMed

    Falk, Matthias M; Bell, Cheryl L; Kells Andrews, Rachael M; Murray, Sandra A

    2016-01-01

    Internalization of gap junction plaques results in the formation of annular gap junction vesicles. The factors that regulate the coordinated internalization of the gap junction plaques to form annular gap junction vesicles, and the subsequent events involved in annular gap junction processing have only relatively recently been investigated in detail. However it is becoming clear that while annular gap junction vesicles have been demonstrated to be degraded by autophagosomal and endo-lysosomal pathways, they undergo a number of additional processing events. Here, we characterize the morphology of the annular gap junction vesicle and review the current knowledge of the processes involved in their formation, fission, fusion, and degradation. In addition, we address the possibility for connexin protein recycling back to the plasma membrane to contribute to gap junction formation and intercellular communication. Information on gap junction plaque removal from the plasma membrane and the subsequent processing of annular gap junction vesicles is critical to our understanding of cell-cell communication as it relates to events regulating development, cell homeostasis, unstable proliferation of cancer cells, wound healing, changes in the ischemic heart, and many other physiological and pathological cellular phenomena. PMID:27230503

  11. Switch in Gap Junction Protein Expression is Associated with Selective Changes in Junctional Permeability During Keratinocyte Differentiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brissette, Janice L.; Kumar, Nalin M.; Gilula, Norton B.; Hall, James E.; Dotto, G. Paolo

    1994-07-01

    Gap junctional communication provides a mechanism for regulating multicellular activities by allowing the exchange of small diffusible molecules between neighboring cells. The diversity of gap junction proteins may exist to form channels that have different permeability properties. We report here that induction of terminal differentiation in mouse primary keratinocytes by calcium results in a specific switch in gap junction protein expression. Expression of α_1 (connexin 43) and β_2 (connexin 26) gap junction proteins is down-modulated, whereas that of β_3 (connexin 31) and β_4 (connexin 31.1) proteins is induced. Although both proliferating and differentiating keratinocytes are electrically coupled, there are significant changes in the permeability properties of the junctions to small molecules. In parallel with the changes in gap junction protein expression during differentiation, the intercellular transfer of the small dyes neurobiotin, carboxyfluorescein, and Lucifer yellow is significantly reduced, whereas that of small metabolites, such as nucleotides and amino acids, proceeds unimpeded. Thus, a switch in gap junction protein expression in differentiating keratinocytes is accompanied by selective changes in junctional permeability that may play an important role in the coordinate control of the differentiation process.

  12. Reduction in gap junction intercellular communication promotes glioma migration.

    PubMed

    Aftab, Qurratulain; Sin, Wun-Chey; Naus, Christian C

    2015-05-10

    Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), an aggressive form of adult brain tumor, is difficult to treat due to its invasive nature. One of the molecular changes observed in GBM is a decrease in the expression of the gap junction protein Connexin43 (Cx43); however, how a reduction in Cx43 expression contributes to glioma malignancy is still unclear. In this study we examine whether a decrease in Cx43 protein expression has a role in enhanced cell migration, a key feature associated with increased tumorigenicity. We used a 3D spheroid migration model that mimics the in vivo architecture of tumor cells to quantify migration changes. We found that down-regulation of Cx43 expression in the U118 human glioma cell line increased migration by reducing cell-ECM adhesion, and changed the migration pattern from collective to single cell. In addition gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) played a more prominent role in mediating migration than the cytoplasmic interactions of the C-terminal tail. Live imaging revealed that reducing Cx43 expression enhanced relative migration by increasing the cell speed and affecting the direction of migration. Taken together our findings reveal an unexplored role of GJIC in facilitating collective migration. PMID:25926558

  13. Gap-Junction Channels Dysfunction in Deafness and Hearing Loss

    PubMed Central

    Acuña, Rodrigo; Figueroa, Vania; Maripillan, Jaime; Nicholson, Bruce

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Gap-junction channels connect the cytoplasm of adjacent cells, allowing the diffusion of ions and small metabolites. They are formed at the appositional plasma membranes by a family of related proteins named connexins. Mutations in connexins 26, 31, 30, 32, and 43 have been associated with nonsyndromic or syndromic deafness. The majority of these mutations are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, but a few of them have been associated with dominantly inherited hearing loss. Mutations in the connexin26 gene (GJB2) are the most common cause of genetic deafness. This review summarizes the most relevant and recent information about different mutations in connexin genes found in human patients, with emphasis on GJB2. The possible effects of the mutations on channel expression and function are discussed, in addition to their possible physiologic consequences for inner ear physiology. Finally, we propose that connexin channels (gap junctions and hemichannels) may be targets for age-related hearing loss induced by oxidative damage. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11, 309–322. PMID:18837651

  14. Gap junction proteins and their role in spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Tonkin, Ryan S.; Mao, Yilin; O’Carroll, Simon J.; Nicholson, Louise F. B.; Green, Colin R.; Gorrie, Catherine A.; Moalem-Taylor, Gila

    2015-01-01

    Gap junctions are specialized intercellular communication channels that are formed by two hexameric connexin hemichannels, one provided by each of the two adjacent cells. Gap junctions and hemichannels play an important role in regulating cellular metabolism, signaling, and functions in both normal and pathological conditions. Following spinal cord injury (SCI), there is damage and disturbance to the neuronal elements of the spinal cord including severing of axon tracts and rapid cell death. The initial mechanical disruption is followed by multiple secondary cascades that cause further tissue loss and dysfunction. Recent studies have implicated connexin proteins as playing a critical role in the secondary phase of SCI by propagating death signals through extensive glial networks. In this review, we bring together past and current studies to outline the distribution, changes and roles of various connexins found in neurons and glial cells, before and in response to SCI. We discuss the contribution of pathologically activated connexin proteins, in particular connexin 43, to functional recovery and neuropathic pain, as well as providing an update on potential connexin specific pharmacological agents to treat SCI. PMID:25610368

  15. Gap junction networks in mushroom bodies participate in visual learning and memory in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qingqing; Yang, Xing; Tian, Jingsong; Gao, Zhongbao; Wang, Meng; Li, Yan; Guo, Aike

    2016-01-01

    Gap junctions are widely distributed in the brains across species and play essential roles in neural information processing. However, the role of gap junctions in insect cognition remains poorly understood. Using a flight simulator paradigm and genetic tools, we found that gap junctions are present in Drosophila Kenyon cells (KCs), the major neurons of the mushroom bodies (MBs), and showed that they play an important role in visual learning and memory. Using a dye coupling approach, we determined the distribution of gap junctions in KCs. Furthermore, we identified a single pair of MB output neurons (MBONs) that possess a gap junction connection to KCs, and provide strong evidence that this connection is also required for visual learning and memory. Together, our results reveal gap junction networks in KCs and the KC-MBON circuit, and bring new insight into the synaptic network underlying fly's visual learning and memory. PMID:27218450

  16. Carcinoma-astrocyte gap junctions promote brain metastasis by cGAMP transfer.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qing; Boire, Adrienne; Jin, Xin; Valiente, Manuel; Er, Ekrem Emrah; Lopez-Soto, Alejandro; Jacob, Leni S; Patwa, Ruzeen; Shah, Hardik; Xu, Ke; Cross, Justin R; Massagué, Joan

    2016-05-26

    Brain metastasis represents a substantial source of morbidity and mortality in various cancers, and is characterized by high resistance to chemotherapy. Here we define the role of the most abundant cell type in the brain, the astrocyte, in promoting brain metastasis. We show that human and mouse breast and lung cancer cells express protocadherin 7 (PCDH7), which promotes the assembly of carcinoma-astrocyte gap junctions composed of connexin 43 (Cx43). Once engaged with the astrocyte gap-junctional network, brain metastatic cancer cells use these channels to transfer the second messenger cGAMP to astrocytes, activating the STING pathway and production of inflammatory cytokines such as interferon-α (IFNα) and tumour necrosis factor (TNF). As paracrine signals, these factors activate the STAT1 and NF-κB pathways in brain metastatic cells, thereby supporting tumour growth and chemoresistance. The orally bioavailable modulators of gap junctions meclofenamate and tonabersat break this paracrine loop, and we provide proof-of-principle that these drugs could be used to treat established brain metastasis. PMID:27225120

  17. Effects of microgravity on liposome-reconstituted cardiac gap junction channeling activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Claassen, D. E.; Spooner, B. S.

    1989-01-01

    Effects of microgravity on cardiac gap junction channeling activity were investigated aboard NASA zero-gravity aircraft. Liposome-reconstituted gap junctions were assayed for channel function during free-fall, and the data were compared with channeling at 1 g. Control experiments tested for 0 g effects on the structural stability of liposomes, and on the enzyme-substrate signalling system of the assay. The results demonstrate that short periods of microgravity do not perturb reconstituted cardiac gap junction channeling activity.

  18. Temperature Dependence of Gap Related Structures in YBa2Cu3O7-δ Break Junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giubileo, F.; Bobba, F.; Cucolo, A. M.; Akimenko, A. I.

    We have applied the break junction technique to highly epitaxial c-axis oriented YBaCuO thin films with Tc(ρ=0)=91 K deposited on (001) SrTiO3 or LaAlO3 substrates by a high oxygen pressure d.c. sputtering technique. The film thickness was about 1500 Å and a photolithographic process was used to reduce to 100 μm the junction width across the fracture. By this procedure, tunable resistance break junctions with tunneling current favored along the ab-planes have been realized. The junctions were formed at low temperatures with freshly fractured surfaces and an inert tunnel barrier was created by helium gas or liquid. A good stability was obtained with the normal-state resistance RN changing about 15% in the temperature range between 4.2 K and 100 K. We have measured the temperature dependence of the conductance maxima that are related to superconducting energy gap at the Fermi level.

  19. A rapid and sensitive assay of intercellular coupling by voltage imaging of gap junction networks

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background A variety of mechanisms that govern connexin channel gating and permeability regulate coupling in gap junction networks. Mutations in connexin genes have been linked to several pathologies, including cardiovascular anomalies, peripheral neuropathy, skin disorders, cataracts and deafness. Gap junction coupling and its patho–physiological alterations are commonly assayed by microinjection experiments with fluorescent tracers, which typically require several minutes to allow dye transfer to a limited number of cells. Comparable or longer time intervals are required by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments. Paired electrophysiological recordings have excellent time resolution but provide extremely limited spatial information regarding network connectivity. Results Here, we developed a rapid and sensitive method to assay gap junction communication using a combination of single cell electrophysiology, large–scale optical recordings and a digital phase–sensitive detector to extract signals with a known frequency from Vf2.1.Cl, a novel fluorescent sensor of plasma membrane potential. Tests performed in HeLa cell cultures confirmed that suitably encoded Vf2.1.Cl signals remained confined within the network of cells visibly interconnected by fluorescently tagged gap junction channels. We used this method to visualize instantly intercellular connectivity over the whole field of view (hundreds of cells) in cochlear organotypic cultures from postnatal mice. A simple resistive network model reproduced accurately the spatial dependence of the electrical signals throughout the cellular network. Our data suggest that each pair of cochlear non−sensory cells of the lesser epithelial ridge is coupled by ~1500 gap junction channels, on average. Junctional conductance was reduced by 14% in cochlear cultures harboring the T5M mutation of connexin30, which induces a moderate hearing loss in connexin30T5M/T5M knock–in mice, and by 91% in cultures from

  20. Establishment of the Dual Whole Cell Recording Patch Clamp Configuration for the Measurement of Gap Junction Conductance.

    PubMed

    Veenstra, Richard D

    2016-01-01

    The development of the patch clamp technique has enabled investigators to directly measure gap junction conductance between isolated pairs of small cells with resolution to the single channel level. The dual patch clamp recording technique requires specialized equipment and the acquired skill to reliably establish gigaohm seals and the whole cell recording configuration with high efficiency. This chapter describes the equipment needed and methods required to achieve accurate measurement of macroscopic and single gap junction channel conductances. Inherent limitations with the dual whole cell recording technique and methods to correct for series access resistance errors are defined as well as basic procedures to determine the essential electrical parameters necessary to evaluate the accuracy of gap junction conductance measurements using this approach. PMID:27207298

  1. Chlorpromazine reduces the intercellular communication via gap junctions in mammalian cells

    SciTech Connect

    Orellana, Juan A.; Palacios-Prado, Nicolas; Saez, Juan C. . E-mail: jsaez@bio.puc.cl

    2006-06-15

    In the work presented herein, we evaluated the effect of chlorpromazine (CPZ) on gap junctions expressed by two mammalian cell types; Gn-11 cells (cell line derived from mouse LHRH neurons) and rat cortical astrocytes maintained in culture. We also attempted to elucidate possible mechanisms of action of CPZ effects on gap junctions. CPZ, in concentrations comparable with doses used to treat human diseases, was found to reduce the intercellular communication via gap junctions as evaluated with measurements of dye coupling (Lucifer yellow). In both cell types, maximal inhibition of functional gap junctions was reached within about 1 h of treatment with CPZ, an recovery was almost complete at about 5 h after CPZ wash out. In both cell types, CPZ treatment increased the phosphorylation state of connexin43 (Cx43), a gap junction protein subunit. Moreover, CPZ reduced the reactivity of Cx43 (immunofluorescence) at cell interfaces and concomitantly increased its reactivity in intracellular vesicles, suggesting an increased retrieval from and/or reduced insertion into the plasma membrane. CPZ also caused cellular retraction reducing cell-cell contacts in a reversible manner. The reduction in contact area might destabilize existing gap junctions and abrogate formation of new ones. Moreover, the CPZ-induced reduction in gap junctional communication may depend on the connexins (Cxs) forming the junctions. If Cx43 were the only connexin expressed, MAPK-dependent phosphorylation of this connexin would induce closure of gap junction channels.

  2. Synchronization transition in gap-junction-coupled leech neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qingyun; Duan, Zhisheng; Feng, Zhaosheng; Chen, Guanrong; Lu, Qishao

    2008-07-01

    Real neurons can exhibit various types of firings including tonic spiking, bursting as well as silent state, which are frequently observed in neuronal electrophysiological experiments. More interestingly, it is found that neurons can demonstrate the co-existing mode of stable tonic spiking and bursting, which depends on initial conditions. In this paper, synchronization in gap-junction-coupled neurons with co-existing attractors of spiking and bursting firings is investigated as the coupling strength gets increased. Synchronization transitions can be identified by means of the bifurcation diagram and the correlation coefficient. It is illustrated that the coupled neurons can exhibit different types of synchronization transitions between spiking and bursting when the coupling strength increases. In the course of synchronization transitions, an intermittent synchronization can be observed. These results may be instructive to understand synchronization transitions in neuronal systems.

  3. Gap junction-mediated electrical transmission: regulatory mechanisms and plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Pereda, Alberto E.; Curti, Sebastian; Hoge, Gregory; Cachope, Roger; Flores, Carmen E.; Rash, John E.

    2012-01-01

    The term synapse applies to cellular specializations that articulate the processing of information within neural circuits by providing a mechanism for the transfer of information between two different neurons. There are two main modalities of synaptic transmission: chemical and electrical. While most efforts have been dedicated to the understanding of the properties and modifiability of chemical transmission, less is still known regarding the plastic properties of electrical synapses, whose structural correlate is the gap junction. A wealth of data indicates that, rather than passive intercellular channels, electrical synapses are more dynamic and modifiable than was generally perceived. This article will discuss the factors determining the strength of electrical transmission and review current evidence demonstrating its dynamic properties. Like their chemical counterparts, electrical synapses can also be plastic and modifiable. PMID:22659675

  4. Microinjection Technique for Assessment of Gap Junction Function.

    PubMed

    Fridman, Michael D; Liu, Jun; Sun, Yu; Hamilton, Robert M

    2016-01-01

    Gap junctions are essential for the proper function of many native mammalian tissues including neurons, cardiomyocytes, embryonic tissues, and muscle. Assessing these channels is therefore fundamental to understanding disease pathophysiology, developing therapies for a multitude of acquired and genetic conditions, and providing novel approaches to drug delivery and cellular communication. Microinjection is a robust, albeit difficult, technique, which provides considerable information that is superior to many of the simpler techniques due to its ability to isolate cells, quantify kinetics, and allow cross-comparison of multiple cell lines. Despite its user-dependent nature, the strengths of the technique are considerable and with the advent of new, automation technologies may improve further. This text describes the basic technique of microinjection and briefly discusses modern automation advances that can improve the success rates of this technique. PMID:27207292

  5. Methamphetamine compromises gap junctional communication in astrocytes and neurons.

    PubMed

    Castellano, Paul; Nwagbo, Chisom; Martinez, Luis R; Eugenin, Eliseo A

    2016-05-01

    Methamphetamine (meth) is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that results in psychological and physical dependency. The long-term effects of meth within the CNS include neuronal plasticity changes, blood-brain barrier compromise, inflammation, electrical dysfunction, neuronal/glial toxicity, and an increased risk to infectious diseases including HIV. Most of the reported meth effects in the CNS are related to dysregulation of chemical synapses by altering the release and uptake of neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. However, little is known about the effects of meth on connexin (Cx) containing channels, such as gap junctions (GJ) and hemichannels (HC). We examined the effects of meth on Cx expression, function, and its role in NeuroAIDS. We found that meth altered Cx expression and localization, decreased GJ communication between neurons and astrocytes, and induced the opening of Cx43/Cx36 HC. Furthermore, we found that these changes in GJ and HC induced by meth treatment were mediated by activation of dopamine receptors, suggesting that dysregulation of dopamine signaling induced by meth is essential for GJ and HC compromise. Meth-induced changes in GJ and HC contributed to amplified CNS toxicity by dysregulating glutamate metabolism and increasing the susceptibility of neurons and astrocytes to bystander apoptosis induced by HIV. Together, our results indicate that connexin containing channels, GJ and HC, are essential in the pathogenesis of meth and increase the sensitivity of the CNS to HIV CNS disease. Methamphetamine (meth) is an extremely addictive central nervous system stimulant. Meth reduced gap junctional (GJ) communication by inducing internalization of connexin-43 (Cx43) in astrocytes and reducing expression of Cx36 in neurons by a mechanism involving activation of dopamine receptors (see cartoon). Meth-induced changes in Cx containing channels increased extracellular levels of glutamate and resulted in higher

  6. Gap junction dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex induces depressive-like behaviors in rats.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jian-Dong; Liu, Yan; Yuan, Yu-He; Li, Jing; Chen, Nai-Hong

    2012-04-01

    Growing evidence has implicated glial anomalies in the pathophysiology of major depression disorder (MDD). Gap junctional communication is a main determinant of astrocytic function. However, it is unclear whether gap junction dysfunction is involved in MDD development. This study investigates changes in the function of astrocyte gap junction occurring in the rat prefrontal cortex (PFC) after chronic unpredictable stress (CUS), a rodent model of depression. Animals exposed to CUS and showing behavioral deficits in sucrose preference test (SPT) and novelty suppressed feeding test (NSFT) exhibited significant decreases in diffusion of gap junction channel-permeable dye and expression of connexin 43 (Cx43), a major component of astrocyte gap junction, and abnormal gap junctional ultrastructure in the PFC. Furthermore, we analyzed the effects of typical antidepressants fluoxetine and duloxetine and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist mifepristone on CUS-induced gap junctional dysfunction and depressive-like behaviors. The cellular and behavioral alterations induced by CUS were reversed and/or blocked by treatment with typical antidepressants or mifepristone, indicating that the mechanism of their antidepressant action may involve the amelioration of gap junction dysfunction and the cellular changes may be related to GR activation. We then investigated the effects of pharmacological gap junction blockade in the PFC on depressive-like behaviors. The results demonstrate that carbenoxolone (CBX) infusions induced anhedonia in SPT, and anxiety in NSFT, and Cx43 mimetic peptides Gap27 and Gap26 also induced anhedonia, a core symptom of depression. Together, this study supports the hypothesis that gap junction dysfunction contributes to the pathophysiology of depression. PMID:22189291

  7. Benzalkonium Chloride Suppresses Rabbit Corneal Endothelium Intercellular Gap Junction Communication

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhenhao; Huang, Yue; Xie, Hui; Pan, Juxin; Liu, Fanfei; Li, Xuezhi; Chen, Wensheng; Hu, Jiaoyue; Liu, Zuguo

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) plays a critical role in the maintenance of corneal endothelium homeostasis. We determined if benzalkonium chloride (BAK) alters GJIC activity in the rabbit corneal endothelium since it is commonly used as a drug preservative in ocular eyedrop preparations even though it can have cytotoxic effects. Methods Thirty-six adult New Zealand albino rabbits were randomly divided into three groups. BAK at 0.01%, 0.05%, and 0.1% was applied twice daily to one eye of each of the rabbits in one of the three groups for seven days. The contralateral untreated eyes were used as controls. Corneal endothelial morphological features were observed by in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). Immunofluorescent staining resolved changes in gap junction integrity and localization. Western blot analysis and RT-PCR evaluated changes in levels of connexin43 (Cx43) and tight junction zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) gene and protein expression, respectively. Cx43 and ZO-1 physical interaction was detected by immunoprecipitation (IP). Primary rabbit corneal endothelial cells were cultured in Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM) containing BAK for 24 hours. The scrape-loading dye transfer technique (SLDT) was used to assess GJIC activity. Results Topical administration of BAK (0.05%, 0.1%) dose dependently disrupted corneal endothelial cell morphology, altered Cx43 and ZO-1 distribution and reduced Cx43 expression. BAK also markedly induced increases in Cx43 phosphorylation status concomitant with decreases in the Cx43-ZO-1 protein-protein interaction. These changes were associated with marked declines in GJIC activity. Conclusions The dose dependent declines in rabbit corneal endothelial GJIC activity induced by BAK are associated with less Cx43-ZO-1 interaction possibly arising from increases in Cx43 phosphorylation and declines in its protein expression. These novel changes provide additional evidence that BAK containing eyedrop preparations

  8. Regulation of Gap Junction Dynamics by UNC-44/ankyrin and UNC-33/CRMP through VAB-8 in C. elegans Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Dong

    2016-01-01

    Gap junctions are present in both vertebrates and invertebrates from nematodes to mammals. Although the importance of gap junctions has been documented in many biological processes, the molecular mechanisms underlying gap junction dynamics remain unclear. Here, using the C. elegans PLM neurons as a model, we show that UNC-44/ankyrin acts upstream of UNC-33/CRMP in regulation of a potential kinesin VAB-8 to control gap junction dynamics, and loss-of-function in the UNC-44/UNC-33/VAB-8 pathway suppresses the turnover of gap junction channels. Therefore, we first show a signal pathway including ankyrin, CRMP, and kinesin in regulating gap junctions. PMID:27015090

  9. Regulation of Gap Junction Dynamics by UNC-44/ankyrin and UNC-33/CRMP through VAB-8 in C. elegans Neurons.

    PubMed

    Meng, Lingfeng; Chen, Chia-Hui; Yan, Dong

    2016-03-01

    Gap junctions are present in both vertebrates and invertebrates from nematodes to mammals. Although the importance of gap junctions has been documented in many biological processes, the molecular mechanisms underlying gap junction dynamics remain unclear. Here, using the C. elegans PLM neurons as a model, we show that UNC-44/ankyrin acts upstream of UNC-33/CRMP in regulation of a potential kinesin VAB-8 to control gap junction dynamics, and loss-of-function in the UNC-44/UNC-33/VAB-8 pathway suppresses the turnover of gap junction channels. Therefore, we first show a signal pathway including ankyrin, CRMP, and kinesin in regulating gap junctions. PMID:27015090

  10. ORIENTATION REQUIREMENT TO DETECT MAGNETIC FIELD-INDUCTED ALTERATION OF GAP JUNCTION COMMUNICATION IN EPITHELIAL CELLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    ORIENTATION REQUIREMENT TO DETECT MAGNETIC FIELD-INDUCED ALTERATION OF GAP JUNCTION COMMUNICATION IN EPITHELIAL CELLS.
    OBJECTIVE: We have shown that functional gap junction communication as measured by Lucifer yellow dye transfer (DT) in Clone-9 rat liver epithelial cells, c...

  11. Robustness effect of gap junctions between Golgi cells on cerebellar cortex oscillations

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Previous one-dimensional network modeling of the cerebellar granular layer has been successfully linked with a range of cerebellar cortex oscillations observed in vivo. However, the recent discovery of gap junctions between Golgi cells (GoCs), which may cause oscillations by themselves, has raised the question of how gap-junction coupling affects GoC and granular-layer oscillations. To investigate this question, we developed a novel two-dimensional computational model of the GoC-granule cell (GC) circuit with and without gap junctions between GoCs. Results Isolated GoCs coupled by gap junctions had a strong tendency to generate spontaneous oscillations without affecting their mean firing frequencies in response to distributed mossy fiber input. Conversely, when GoCs were synaptically connected in the granular layer, gap junctions increased the power of the oscillations, but the oscillations were primarily driven by the synaptic feedback loop between GoCs and GCs, and the gap junctions did not change oscillation frequency or the mean firing rate of either GoCs or GCs. Conclusion Our modeling results suggest that gap junctions between GoCs increase the robustness of cerebellar cortex oscillations that are primarily driven by the feedback loop between GoCs and GCs. The robustness effect of gap junctions on synaptically driven oscillations observed in our model may be a general mechanism, also present in other regions of the brain. PMID:22330240

  12. GAP JUNCTION COMMUNICATON IN A TRANSFECTED HUMAN CELL LINE: ACTION OF MELATONIN AND MAGNETIC FIELDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    GAP JUNCTION COMMUNICTION IN TRANSFECTED HUMAN CELL LINE: ACTION OF MELATONIN AND MAGNETIC FIELDS.

    OBJECTIVE: We previously showed that functional gap junction communication (GJC), as monitored by dye transfer (DT), could be enhanced in mouse C3H 10T112 cells and in mouse...

  13. Functionally Active Gap Junctions between Connexin 43-Positive Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Glioma Cells.

    PubMed

    Gabashvili, A N; Baklaushev, V P; Grinenko, N F; Levinskii, A B; Mel'nikov, P A; Cherepanov, S A; Chekhonin, V P

    2015-05-01

    The formation of functional gap junctions between mesenchymal stem cells and cells of low-grade rat glioma C6 cells was studied in in vitro experiments. Immunocytochemical analysis with antibodies to connexin 43 extracellular loop 2 showed that mesenchymal stem cells as well as C6 glioma cells express the main astroglial gap junction protein connexin 43. Analysis of migration activity showed that mesenchymal stem cells actively migrate towards C6 glioma cells. During co-culturing, mesenchymal stem cells and glioma C6 form functionally active gap junctions mediating the transport of cytoplasmic dye from glioma cells to mesenchymal stem cells in the opposite direction. Fluorometry showed that the intensity of transport of low-molecular substances through heterologous gap junctions between mesenchymal stem cells and glioma cells is similar to that through homologous gap junctions between glioma cells. This phenomenon can be used for the development of new methods of cell therapy of high-grade gliomas. PMID:26033611

  14. Emergent Central Pattern Generator Behavior in Gap-Junction-Coupled Hodgkin-Huxley Style Neuron Model

    PubMed Central

    Memelli, Heraldo; Solomon, Irene C.

    2012-01-01

    Most models of central pattern generators (CPGs) involve two distinct nuclei mutually inhibiting one another via synapses. Here, we present a single-nucleus model of biologically realistic Hodgkin-Huxley neurons with random gap junction coupling. Despite no explicit division of neurons into two groups, we observe a spontaneous division of neurons into two distinct firing groups. In addition, we also demonstrate this phenomenon in a simplified version of the model, highlighting the importance of afterhyperpolarization currents (IAHP) to CPGs utilizing gap junction coupling. The properties of these CPGs also appear sensitive to gap junction conductance, probability of gap junction coupling between cells, topology of gap junction coupling, and, to a lesser extent, input current into our simulated nucleus. PMID:23365558

  15. Propofol depresses cisplatin cytotoxicity via the inhibition of gap junctions.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yuan; Wang, Xiyan; Wang, Qin; Ge, Hui; Tao, Liang

    2016-06-01

    The general anesthetic, propofol, affects chemotherapeutic activity, however, the mechanism underlying its effects remains to be fully elucidated. Our previous study showed that tramadol and flurbiprofen depressed the cytotoxicity of cisplatin via the inhibition of gap junction (GJ) intercellular communication (GJIC) in connexin (Cx)32 HeLa cells. The present study investigated whether the effects of propofol on the cytotoxicity of cisplatin were mediated by GJ in U87 glioma cells and Cx26‑transfected HeLa cells. Standard colony formation assay was used to determine the cytotoxicity of cisplatin. Parachute dye coupling assay was used to measure GJ function, and western blot analysis was used to determine the expression levels of Cx32. The results revealed that exposure of the U87 glioma cells and the Cx26-transfected HeLa cells to cisplatin for 1 h reduced clonogenic survival in low density cultures (without GJs) and high density cultures (with GJs). However, the toxic effect was higher in the high density culture. In addition, pretreatment of the cells with propofol significantly reduced cisplatin‑induced cytotoxicity, but only in the presence of functional GJs. Furthermore, propofol significantly inhibited dye coupling through junctional channels, and a long duration of exposure of the cells to propofol downregulated the expression levels of Cx43 and Cx26. These results demonstrated that the inhibition of GJIC by propofol affected the therapeutic efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs. The present study provides evidence of a novel mechanism underlying the effects of analgesics in counteracting chemotherapeutic efficiency. PMID:27082707

  16. Abundance of gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses in adult Mosquitofish spinal cord neurons

    PubMed Central

    Serrano-Velez, Jose L.; Rodriguez-Alvarado, Melanie; Torres-Vazquez, Irma I.; Fraser, Scott E.; Yasumura, Thomas; Vanderpool, Kimberly G.; Rash, John E.; Rosa-Molinar, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    “Dye-coupling”, whole-mount immunohistochemistry for gap junction channel protein connexin 35 (Cx35), and freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling (FRIL) reveal an abundance of electrical synapses/gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses in the 14th spinal segment that innervates the adult male gonopodium of Western Mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis (Mosquitofish). To study gap junctions’ role in fast motor behavior, we used a minimally-invasive neural-tract-tracing technique to introduce gap junction-permeant or -impermeant dyes into deep muscles controlling the gonopodium of the adult male Mosquitofish, a teleost fish that rapidly transfers (complete in <20 mS) spermatozeugmata into the female reproductive tract. Dye-coupling in the 14th spinal segment controlling the gonopodium reveals coupling between motor neurons and a commissural primary ascending interneuron (CoPA IN) and shows that the 14th segment has an extensive and elaborate dendritic arbor and more gap junctions than do other segments. Whole-mount immunohistochemistry for Cx35 results confirm dye-coupling and show it occurs via gap junctions. Finally, FRIL shows that gap junctions are at mixed synapses and reveals that >50 of the 62 gap junctions at mixed synapses are in the 14th spinal segment. Our results support and extend studies showing gap junctions at mixed synapses in spinal cord segments involved in control of genital reflexes in rodents, and they suggest a link between mixed synapses and fast motor behavior. The findings provide a basis for studies of specific roles of spinal neurons in the generation/regulation of sex-specific behavior and for studies of gap junctions’ role in regulating fast motor behavior. Finally, the CoPA IN provides a novel candidate neuron for future studies of gap junctions and neural control of fast motor behaviors. PMID:25018700

  17. Single-junction solar cells with the optimum band gap for terrestrial concentrator applications

    DOEpatents

    Wanlass, Mark W.

    1994-01-01

    A single-junction solar cell having the ideal band gap for terrestrial concentrator applications. Computer modeling studies of single-junction solar cells have shown that the presence of absorption bands in the direct spectrum has the effect of "pinning" the optimum band gap for a wide range of operating conditions at a value of 1.14.+-.0.02 eV. Efficiencies exceeding 30% may be possible at high concentration ratios for devices with the ideal band gap.

  18. Protective effect of gap junction uncouplers given during hypoxia against reoxygenation injury in isolated rat hearts.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Sinovas, Antonio; García-Dorado, David; Ruiz-Meana, Marisol; Soler-Soler, Jordi

    2006-02-01

    It has been shown that cell-to-cell chemical coupling may persist during severe myocardial hypoxia or ischemia. We aimed to analyze the effects of different, chemically unrelated gap junction uncouplers on the progression of ischemic injury in hypoxic myocardium. First, we analyzed the effects of heptanol, 18alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid, and palmitoleic acid on intracellular Ca2+ concentration during simulated hypoxia (2 mM NaCN) in isolated cardiomyocytes. Next, we analyzed their effects on developed and diastolic tension and electrical impedance in 47 isolated rat hearts submitted to 40 min of hypoxia and reoxygenation. All treatments were applied only during the hypoxic period. Cell injury was determined by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release. Heptanol, but not 18alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid nor palmitoleic acid, attenuated the increase in cytosolic Ca2+ concentration induced by simulated ischemia in cardiomyocytes and delayed rigor development (rigor onset at 7.31 +/- 0.71 min in controls vs. 14.76 +/- 1.44 in heptanol-treated hearts, P < 0.001) and the onset of the marked changes in electrical impedance (tissue resistivity: 4.02 +/- 0.29 vs. 7.75 +/- 1.84 min, P = 0.016) in hypoxic rat hearts. LDH release from hypoxic hearts was minimal and was not significantly modified by drugs. However, all gap junction uncouplers, given during hypoxia, attenuated LDH release during subsequent reoxygenation. Dose-response analysis showed that increasing heptanol concentration beyond the level associated with maximal effects on cell coupling resulted in further protection against hypoxic injury. In conclusion, gap junction uncoupling during hypoxia has a protective effect on cell death occurring upon subsequent reoxygenation, and heptanol has, in addition, a marked protective effect independent of its uncoupling actions. PMID:16183732

  19. Gap Junctions in the Ventral Hippocampal-Medial Prefrontal Pathway Are Involved in Anxiety Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Schoenfeld, Timothy J.; Kloth, Alexander D.; Hsueh, Brian; Runkle, Matthew B.; Kane, Gary A.; Wang, Samuel S.-H.

    2014-01-01

    Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent but little is known about their underlying mechanisms. Gap junctions exist in brain regions important for anxiety regulation, such as the ventral hippocampus (vHIP) and mPFC, but their functions in these areas have not been investigated. Using pharmacological blockade of neuronal gap junctions combined with electrophysiological recordings, we found that gap junctions play a role in theta rhythm in the vHIP and mPFC of adult mice. Bilateral infusion of neuronal gap junction blockers into the vHIP decreased anxiety-like behavior on the elevated plus maze and open field. Similar anxiolytic effects were observed with unilateral infusion of these drugs into the vHIP combined with contralateral infusion into the mPFC. No change in anxious behavior was observed with gap junction blockade in the unilateral vHIP alone or in the bilateral dorsal HIP. Since physical exercise is known to reduce anxiety, we examined the effects of long-term running on the expression of the neuronal gap junction protein connexin-36 among inhibitory interneurons and found a reduction in the vHIP. Despite this change, we observed no alteration in theta frequency or power in long-term runners. Collectively, these findings suggest that neuronal gap junctions in the vHIP–mPFC pathway are important for theta rhythm and anxiety regulation under sedentary conditions but that additional mechanisms are likely involved in running-induced reduction in anxiety. PMID:25411496

  20. Bioglass promotes wound healing by affecting gap junction connexin 43 mediated endothelial cell behavior.

    PubMed

    Li, Haiyan; He, Jin; Yu, Hongfei; Green, Colin R; Chang, Jiang

    2016-04-01

    It is well known that gap junctions play an important role in wound healing, and bioactive glass (BG) has been shown to help healing when applied as a wound dressing. However, the effects of BG on gap junctional communication between cells involved in wound healing is not well understood. We hypothesized that BG may be able to affect gap junction mediated cell behavior to enhance wound healing. Therefore, we set out to investigate the effects of BG on gap junction related behavior of endothelial cells in order to elucidate the mechanisms through which BG is operating. In in vitro studies, BG ion extracts prevented death of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) following hypoxia in a dose dependent manner, possibly through connexin hemichannel modulation. In addition, BG showed stimulatory effects on gap junction communication between HUVECs and upregulated connexin43 (Cx43) expression. Furthermore, BG prompted expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor as well as their receptors, and vascular endothelial cadherin in HUVECs, all of which are beneficial for vascularization. In vivo wound healing results showed that the wound closure of full-thickness excisional wounds of rats was accelerated by BG with reduced inflammation during initial stages of healing and stimulated angiogenesis during the proliferation stage. Therefore, BG can stimulate wound healing through affecting gap junctions and gap junction related endothelial cell behaviors, including prevention of endothelial cell death following hypoxia, stimulation of gap junction communication and upregulation of critical vascular growth factors, which contributes to the enhancement of angiogenesis in the wound bed and finally to accelerate wound healing. Although many studies have reported that BG stimulates angiogenesis and wound healing, this work reveals the relationship between BG and gap junction connexin 43 mediated endothelial cell behavior and elucidates

  1. Minireview: Regulation of Gap Junction Dynamics by Nuclear Hormone Receptors and Their Ligands

    PubMed Central

    Kapadia, Bhumika J.

    2012-01-01

    Gap junctions are plasma membrane channels comprising connexin proteins that mediate intercellular permeability and communication. The presence, composition, and function of gap junctions can be regulated by diverse sets of physiological signals. Evidence from many hormone-responsive tissues has shown that connexin expression, modification, stability, and localization can be targeted by nuclear hormone receptors and their ligands through both transcriptional and nontranscriptional mechanisms. The focus of this review is to discuss molecular, cellular, and physiological studies that directly link receptor- and ligand-triggered signaling pathways to the regulation of gap junction dynamics. PMID:22935924

  2. Gap distance and interactions in a molecular tunnel junction.

    PubMed

    Chang, Shuai; He, Jin; Zhang, Peiming; Gyarfas, Brett; Lindsay, Stuart

    2011-09-14

    The distance between electrodes in a tunnel junction cannot be determined from the external movement applied to the electrodes because of interfacial forces that distort the electrode geometry at the nanoscale. These distortions become particularly complex when molecules are present in the junction, as demonstrated here by measurements of the AC response of a molecular junction over a range of conductivities from microsiemens to picosiemens. Specific chemical interactions within the junction lead to distinct features in break-junction data, and these have been used to determine the electrode separation in a junction functionalized with 4(5)-(2-mercaptoethyl)-1H-imidazole-2-carboxamide, a reagent developed for reading DNA sequences. PMID:21838292

  3. Changes in gap junction expression and function following ischemic injury of spinal cord white matter

    PubMed Central

    Goncharenko, Karina; Eftekharpour, Eftekhar; Velumian, Alexander A.; Carlen, Peter L.

    2014-01-01

    Gap junctions are widely present in spinal cord white matter; however, their role in modulating the dynamics of axonal dysfunction remains largely unexplored. We hypothesized that inhibition of gap junctions reduces the loss of axonal function during oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD). The functional role of gap junctions was assessed by electrophysiological recordings of compound action potentials (CAPs) in Wistar rat spinal cord slices with the sucrose gap technique. The in vitro slices were subjected to 30-min OGD. Gap junction connexin (Cx) mRNA expression was determined by qPCR and normalized to β-actin. A 30-min OGD resulted in reduction of CAPs to 14.8 ± 4.6% of their pre-OGD amplitude (n = 5). In the presence of gap junction blockers carbenoxolone (Cbx; 100 μM) and 1-octanol (Oct; 300 μM), the CAP reduction in OGD was to only 35.7 ± 5.7% of pre-OGD amplitude in Cbx (n = 9) and to 37.4 ± 8.9% of pre-OGD amplitude in Oct (n = 10). Both drugs also noticeably prolonged the half-decline time of CAP amplitudes in OGD from 6.0 min in no-drug conditions to 9.6 min in the presence of Cbx and to 7.7 min in the presence of Oct, suggesting that blocking gap junctions reduces conduction loss during OGD. With application of Cbx and Oct in the setting of OGD, expression of Cx30 and Cx43 mRNA was downregulated. Our data provide new insights into the role of gap junctions in white matter ischemia and reveal the necessity of a cautious approach in determining detrimental or beneficial effects of gap junction blockade in white matter ischemia. PMID:25080569

  4. Molecular Transport Junctions Created By Self-Contacting Gapped Nanowires.

    PubMed

    Lim, Jong Kuk; Lee, One-Sun; Jang, Jae-Won; Petrosko, Sarah Hurst; Schatz, George C; Mirkin, Chad A

    2016-08-01

    Molecular transport junctions (MTJs) are important components in molecular electronic devices. However, the synthesis of MTJs remains a significant challenge, as the dimensions of the junction must be tailored for each experiment, based on the molecular lengths. A novel methodology is reported for forming MTJs, taking advantage of capillary and van der Waals forces. PMID:27364594

  5. Preparation of Gap Junctions in Membrane Microdomains for Immunoprecipitation and Mass Spectrometry Interactome Analysis.

    PubMed

    Fowler, Stephanie; Akins, Mark; Bennett, Steffany A L

    2016-01-01

    Protein interaction networks at gap junction plaques are increasingly implicated in a variety of intracellular signaling cascades. Identifying protein interactions of integral membrane proteins is a valuable tool for determining channel function. However, several technical challenges exist. Subcellular fractionation of the bait protein matrix is usually required to identify less abundant proteins in complex homogenates. Sufficient solvation of the lipid environment without perturbation of the protein interactome must also be achieved. The present chapter describes the flotation of light and heavy liver tissue membrane microdomains to facilitate the identification and analysis of endogenous gap junction proteins and includes technical notes for translation to other integral membrane proteins, tissues, or cell culture models. These procedures are valuable tools for the enrichment of gap junction membrane compartments and for the identification of gap junction signaling interactomes. PMID:27207290

  6. Osmotic forces and gap junctions in spreading depression: a computational model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shapiro, B. E.

    2001-01-01

    In a computational model of spreading depression (SD), ionic movement through a neuronal syncytium of cells connected by gap junctions is described electrodiffusively. Simulations predict that SD will not occur unless cells are allowed to expand in response to osmotic pressure gradients and K+ is allowed to move through gap junctions. SD waves of [K+]out approximately 25 to approximately 60 mM moving at approximately 2 to approximately 18 mm/min are predicted over the range of parametric values reported in gray matter, with extracellular space decreasing up to approximately 50%. Predicted waveform shape is qualitatively similar to laboratory reports. The delayed-rectifier, NMDA, BK, and Na+ currents are predicted to facilitate SD, while SK and A-type K+ currents and glial activity impede SD. These predictions are consonant with recent findings that gap junction poisons block SD and support the theories that cytosolic diffusion via gap junctions and osmotic forces are important mechanisms underlying SD.

  7. Chloral hydrate decreases gap junction communications in rat liver epithelial cells

    EPA Science Inventory

    Gap junction communication (GJC) is involved in controlling cell proliferation and differentiation. Alterations in GJC are associated with carcinogenesis, but the mechanisms involvedareunknown.Chloralhydrate(CH), a by-productofchlorinedisinfection ofwater,is carcinogenic in mice,...

  8. Innexin gap junctions in nerve cells coordinate spontaneous contractile behavior in Hydra polyps

    PubMed Central

    Takaku, Yasuharu; Hwang, Jung Shan; Wolf, Alexander; Böttger, Angelika; Shimizu, Hiroshi; David, Charles N.; Gojobori, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    Nerve cells and spontaneous coordinated behavior first appeared near the base of animal evolution in the common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians. Experiments on the cnidarian Hydra have demonstrated that nerve cells are essential for this behavior, although nerve cells in Hydra are organized in a diffuse network and do not form ganglia. Here we show that the gap junction protein innexin-2 is expressed in a small group of nerve cells in the lower body column of Hydra and that an anti-innexin-2 antibody binds to gap junctions in the same region. Treatment of live animals with innexin-2 antibody eliminates gap junction staining and reduces spontaneous body column contractions. We conclude that a small subset of nerve cells, connected by gap junctions and capable of synchronous firing, act as a pacemaker to coordinate the contraction of the body column in the absence of ganglia. PMID:24394722

  9. Innexin gap junctions in nerve cells coordinate spontaneous contractile behavior in Hydra polyps.

    PubMed

    Takaku, Yasuharu; Hwang, Jung Shan; Wolf, Alexander; Böttger, Angelika; Shimizu, Hiroshi; David, Charles N; Gojobori, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    Nerve cells and spontaneous coordinated behavior first appeared near the base of animal evolution in the common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians. Experiments on the cnidarian Hydra have demonstrated that nerve cells are essential for this behavior, although nerve cells in Hydra are organized in a diffuse network and do not form ganglia. Here we show that the gap junction protein innexin-2 is expressed in a small group of nerve cells in the lower body column of Hydra and that an anti-innexin-2 antibody binds to gap junctions in the same region. Treatment of live animals with innexin-2 antibody eliminates gap junction staining and reduces spontaneous body column contractions. We conclude that a small subset of nerve cells, connected by gap junctions and capable of synchronous firing, act as a pacemaker to coordinate the contraction of the body column in the absence of ganglia. PMID:24394722

  10. Innexin gap junctions in nerve cells coordinate spontaneous contractile behavior in Hydra polyps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takaku, Yasuharu; Hwang, Jung Shan; Wolf, Alexander; Böttger, Angelika; Shimizu, Hiroshi; David, Charles N.; Gojobori, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    Nerve cells and spontaneous coordinated behavior first appeared near the base of animal evolution in the common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians. Experiments on the cnidarian Hydra have demonstrated that nerve cells are essential for this behavior, although nerve cells in Hydra are organized in a diffuse network and do not form ganglia. Here we show that the gap junction protein innexin-2 is expressed in a small group of nerve cells in the lower body column of Hydra and that an anti-innexin-2 antibody binds to gap junctions in the same region. Treatment of live animals with innexin-2 antibody eliminates gap junction staining and reduces spontaneous body column contractions. We conclude that a small subset of nerve cells, connected by gap junctions and capable of synchronous firing, act as a pacemaker to coordinate the contraction of the body column in the absence of ganglia.

  11. Death of Neurons following Injury Requires Conductive Neuronal Gap Junction Channels but Not a Specific Connexin.

    PubMed

    Fontes, Joseph D; Ramsey, Jon; Polk, Jeremy M; Koop, Andre; Denisova, Janna V; Belousov, Andrei B

    2015-01-01

    Pharmacological blockade or genetic knockout of neuronal connexin 36 (Cx36)-containing gap junctions reduces neuronal death caused by ischemia, traumatic brain injury and NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated excitotoxicity. However, whether Cx36 gap junctions contribute to neuronal death via channel-dependent or channel-independent mechanism remains an open question. To address this, we manipulated connexin protein expression via lentiviral transduction of mouse neuronal cortical cultures and analyzed neuronal death twenty-four hours following administration of NMDA (a model of NMDAR excitotoxicity) or oxygen-glucose deprivation (a model of ischemic injury). In cultures prepared from wild-type mice, over-expression and knockdown of Cx36-containing gap junctions augmented and prevented, respectively, neuronal death from NMDAR-mediated excitotoxicity and ischemia. In cultures obtained form from Cx36 knockout mice, re-expression of functional gap junction channels, containing either neuronal Cx36 or non-neuronal Cx43 or Cx31, resulted in increased neuronal death following insult. In contrast, the expression of communication-deficient gap junctions (containing mutated connexins) did not have this effect. Finally, the absence of ethidium bromide uptake in non-transduced wild-type neurons two hours following NMDAR excitotoxicity or ischemia suggested the absence of active endogenous hemichannels in those neurons. Taken together, these results suggest a role for neuronal gap junctions in cell death via a connexin type-independent mechanism that likely relies on channel activities of gap junctional complexes among neurons. A possible contribution of gap junction channel-permeable death signals in neuronal death is discussed. PMID:26017008

  12. Death of Neurons following Injury Requires Conductive Neuronal Gap Junction Channels but Not a Specific Connexin

    PubMed Central

    Fontes, Joseph D.; Ramsey, Jon; Polk, Jeremy M; Koop, Andre; Denisova, Janna V.; Belousov, Andrei B.

    2015-01-01

    Pharmacological blockade or genetic knockout of neuronal connexin 36 (Cx36)-containing gap junctions reduces neuronal death caused by ischemia, traumatic brain injury and NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated excitotoxicity. However, whether Cx36 gap junctions contribute to neuronal death via channel-dependent or channel-independent mechanism remains an open question. To address this, we manipulated connexin protein expression via lentiviral transduction of mouse neuronal cortical cultures and analyzed neuronal death twenty-four hours following administration of NMDA (a model of NMDAR excitotoxicity) or oxygen-glucose deprivation (a model of ischemic injury). In cultures prepared from wild-type mice, over-expression and knockdown of Cx36-containing gap junctions augmented and prevented, respectively, neuronal death from NMDAR-mediated excitotoxicity and ischemia. In cultures obtained form from Cx36 knockout mice, re-expression of functional gap junction channels, containing either neuronal Cx36 or non-neuronal Cx43 or Cx31, resulted in increased neuronal death following insult. In contrast, the expression of communication-deficient gap junctions (containing mutated connexins) did not have this effect. Finally, the absence of ethidium bromide uptake in non-transduced wild-type neurons two hours following NMDAR excitotoxicity or ischemia suggested the absence of active endogenous hemichannels in those neurons. Taken together, these results suggest a role for neuronal gap junctions in cell death via a connexin type-independent mechanism that likely relies on channel activities of gap junctional complexes among neurons. A possible contribution of gap junction channel-permeable death signals in neuronal death is discussed. PMID:26017008

  13. Wind-Resistant Filler for Tile Gaps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bellavia, J.; Quigley, I. A.; Callahan, T. S.

    1982-01-01

    Filler developed for gaps between insulating tiles on Space Shuttle finds application in industries that use tiles for thermal or environmental protection. Filler consists of tight-fitting ceramic tubes and fibrous alumina. Combination resists high wind loads while providing requisite heat protection. Quartz-thread stitching holds envelope together.

  14. Inhibition of connexin43 gap junction channels by the endocrine disruptor ioxynil

    SciTech Connect

    Leithe, Edward; Kjenseth, Ane; Bruun, Jarle; Sirnes, Solveig; Rivedal, Edgar

    2010-08-15

    Gap junctions are intercellular plasma membrane domains containing channels that mediate transport of ions, metabolites and small signaling molecules between adjacent cells. Gap junctions play important roles in a variety of cellular processes, including regulation of cell growth and differentiation, maintenance of tissue homeostasis and embryogenesis. The constituents of gap junction channels are a family of trans-membrane proteins called connexins, of which the best-studied is connexin43. Connexin43 functions as a tumor suppressor protein in various tissue types and is frequently dysregulated in human cancers. The pesticide ioxynil has previously been shown to act as an endocrine disrupting chemical and has multiple effects on the thyroid axis. Furthermore, both ioxynil and its derivative ioxynil octanoate have been reported to induce tumors in animal bioassays. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the possible tumorigenic effects of these compounds are unknown. In the present study we show that ioxynil and ioxynil octanoate are strong inhibitors of connexin43 gap junction channels. Both compounds induced rapid loss of connexin43 gap junctions at the plasma membrane and increased connexin43 degradation. Ioxynil octanoate, but not ioxynil, was found to be a strong activator of ERK1/2. The compounds also had different effects on the phosphorylation status of connexin43. Taken together, the data show that ioxynil and ioxynil octanoate are potent inhibitors of intercellular communication via gap junctions.

  15. Neuronal gap junctions play a role in the secondary neuronal death following controlled cortical impact.

    PubMed

    Belousov, Andrei B; Wang, Yongfu; Song, Ji-Hoon; Denisova, Janna V; Berman, Nancy E; Fontes, Joseph D

    2012-08-22

    In the mammalian CNS, excessive release of glutamate and overactivation of glutamate receptors are responsible for the secondary (delayed) neuronal death following neuronal injury, including ischemia, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and epilepsy. Recent studies in mice showed a critical role for neuronal gap junctions in NMDA receptor-mediated excitotoxicity and ischemia-mediated neuronal death. Here, using controlled cortical impact (CCI) in adult mice, as a model of TBI, and Fluoro-Jade B staining for analysis of neuronal death, we set to determine whether neuronal gap junctions play a role in the CCI-mediated secondary neuronal death. We report that 24h post-CCI, substantial neuronal death is detected in a number of brain regions outside the injury core, including the striatum. The striatal neuronal death is reduced both in wild-type mice by systemic administration of mefloquine (a relatively selective blocker of neuronal gap junctions) and in knockout mice lacking connexin 36 (neuronal gap junction protein). It is also reduced by inactivation of group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (with LY341495) which, as reported previously, control the rapid increase in neuronal gap junction coupling following different types of neuronal injury. The results suggest that neuronal gap junctions play a critical role in the CCI-induced secondary neuronal death. PMID:22781494

  16. Gap Junctions, Dendrites and Resonances: A Recipe for Tuning Network Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Gap junctions, also referred to as electrical synapses, are expressed along the entire central nervous system and are important in mediating various brain rhythms in both normal and pathological states. These connections can form between the dendritic trees of individual cells. Many dendrites express membrane channels that confer on them a form of sub-threshold resonant dynamics. To obtain insight into the modulatory role of gap junctions in tuning networks of resonant dendritic trees, we generalise the “sum-over-trips” formalism for calculating the response function of a single branching dendrite to a gap junctionally coupled network. Each cell in the network is modelled by a soma connected to an arbitrary structure of dendrites with resonant membrane. The network is treated as a single extended tree structure with dendro-dendritic gap junction coupling. We present the generalised “sum-over-trips” rules for constructing the network response function in terms of a set of coefficients defined at special branching, somatic and gap-junctional nodes. Applying this framework to a two-cell network, we construct compact closed form solutions for the network response function in the Laplace (frequency) domain and study how a preferred frequency in each soma depends on the location and strength of the gap junction. PMID:23945377

  17. Intracellular spermine prevents acid-induced uncoupling of Cx43 gap junction channels.

    PubMed

    Skatchkov, Serguei N; Bukauskas, Feliksas F; Benedikt, Jan; Inyushin, Mikhail; Kucheryavykh, Yuriy V

    2015-06-17

    Polyamines (PAs), such as spermine and spermidine, modulate the activity of numerous receptors and channels in the central nervous system (CNS) and are stored in glial cells; however, little attention has been paid to their role in the regulation of connexin (Cx)-based gap junction channels. We have previously shown that PAs facilitate diffusion of Lucifer Yellow through astrocytic gap junctions in acute brain slices; therefore, we hypothesized that spermine can regulate Cx43-mediated (as the most abundant Cx in astrocytes) gap junctional communication. We used electrophysiological patch-clamp recording from paired Novikoff cells endogenously expressing Cx43 and HeLaCx43-EGFP transfectants to study pH-dependent modulation of cell-cell coupling in the presence or absence of PAs. Our results showed (i) a higher increase in gap junctional communication at higher concentrations of cytoplasmic spermine, and (ii) that spermine prevented uncoupling of gap junctions at low intracellular pH. Taken together, we conclude that spermine enhances Cx43-mediated gap junctional communication and may preserve neuronal excitability during ischemia and trauma when pH in the brain acidifies. We, therefore, suggest a new role of spermine in the regulation of a Cx43-based network under (patho)physiological conditions. PMID:26011388

  18. Intracellular spermine prevents acid-induced uncoupling of Cx43 gap junction channels

    PubMed Central

    Skatchkov, Serguei N.; Bukauskas, Feliksas F.; Benedikt, Jan; Inyushin, Mikhail

    2015-01-01

    Polyamines (PAs), such as spermine and spermidine, modulate the activity of numerous receptors and channels in the central nervous system (CNS) and are stored in glial cells; however, little attention has been paid to their role in the regulation of connexin (Cx)-based gap junction channels. We have previously shown that PAs facilitate diffusion of Lucifer Yellow through astrocytic gap junctions in acute brain slices; therefore, we hypothesized that spermine can regulate Cx43-mediated (as the most abundant Cx in astrocytes) gap junctional communication. We used electrophysiological patch-clamp recording from paired Novikoff cells endogenously expressing Cx43 and HeLaCx43-EGFP transfectants to study pH-dependent modulation of cell–cell coupling in the presence or absence of PAs. Our results showed (i) a higher increase in gap junctional communication at higher concentrations of cytoplasmic spermine, and (ii) that spermine prevented uncoupling of gap junctions at low intracellular pH. Taken together, we conclude that spermine enhances Cx43-mediated gap junctional communication and may preserve neuronal excitability during ischemia and trauma when pH in the brain acidifies. We, therefore, suggest a new role of spermine in the regulation of a Cx43-based network under (patho)physiological conditions. PMID:26011388

  19. Gap junction networks in mushroom bodies participate in visual learning and memory in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Qingqing; Yang, Xing; Tian, Jingsong; Gao, Zhongbao; Wang, Meng; Li, Yan; Guo, Aike

    2016-01-01

    Gap junctions are widely distributed in the brains across species and play essential roles in neural information processing. However, the role of gap junctions in insect cognition remains poorly understood. Using a flight simulator paradigm and genetic tools, we found that gap junctions are present in Drosophila Kenyon cells (KCs), the major neurons of the mushroom bodies (MBs), and showed that they play an important role in visual learning and memory. Using a dye coupling approach, we determined the distribution of gap junctions in KCs. Furthermore, we identified a single pair of MB output neurons (MBONs) that possess a gap junction connection to KCs, and provide strong evidence that this connection is also required for visual learning and memory. Together, our results reveal gap junction networks in KCs and the KC-MBON circuit, and bring new insight into the synaptic network underlying fly’s visual learning and memory. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13238.001 PMID:27218450

  20. Kinase programs spatiotemporally regulate gap junction assembly and disassembly: Effects on wound repair.

    PubMed

    Solan, Joell L; Lampe, Paul D

    2016-02-01

    Gap junctions are highly ordered plasma membrane domains that are constantly assembled, remodeled and turned over due to the short half-life of connexins, the integral membrane proteins that form gap junctions. Connexin 43 (Cx43), by far the most widely expressed connexin, is phosphorylated at multiple serine residues in the cytoplasmic, C-terminal region allowing for exquisite cellular control over gap junctional communication. This is evident during epidermal wounding where spatiotemporal changes in connexin expression occur as cells are instructed whether to die, proliferate or migrate to promote repair. Early gap junctional communication is required for initiation of keratinocyte migration, but accelerated Cx43 turnover is also critical for proper wound healing at later stages. These events are controlled via a "kinase program" where sequential phosphorylation of Cx43 leads to reductions in Cx43's half-life and significant depletion of gap junctions from the plasma membrane within several hours. The complex regulation of gap junction assembly and turnover affords several steps where intervention might speed wound healing. PMID:26706150

  1. Bi-directional gap junction-mediated soma-germline communication is essential for spermatogenesis.

    PubMed

    Smendziuk, Christopher M; Messenberg, Anat; Vogl, A Wayne; Tanentzapf, Guy

    2015-08-01

    Soma-germline interactions play conserved essential roles in regulating cell proliferation, differentiation, patterning and homeostasis in the gonad. In the Drosophila testis, secreted signalling molecules of the JAK-STAT, Hedgehog, BMP and EGF pathways are used to mediate soma-germline communication. Here, we demonstrate that gap junctions may also mediate direct, bi-directional signalling between the soma and germ line. When gap junctions between the soma and germ line are disrupted, germline differentiation is blocked and germline stem cells are not maintained. In the soma, gap junctions are required to regulate proliferation and differentiation. Localization and RNAi-mediated knockdown studies reveal that gap junctions in the fly testis are heterotypic channels containing Zpg (Inx4) and Inx2 on the germ line and the soma side, respectively. Overall, our results show that bi-directional gap junction-mediated signalling is essential to coordinate the soma and germ line to ensure proper spermatogenesis in Drosophila. Moreover, we show that stem cell maintenance and differentiation in the testis are directed by gap junction-derived cues. PMID:26116660

  2. Low-bias negative differential resistance effect in armchair graphene nanoribbon junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Suchun; Gan, Chee Kwan; Son, Young-Woo; Feng, Yuan Ping; Quek, Su Ying

    2015-01-05

    Graphene nanoribbons with armchair edges (AGNRs) have bandgaps that can be flexibly tuned via the ribbon width. A junction made of a narrower AGNR sandwiched between two wider AGNR leads was recently reported to possess two perfect transmission channels close to the Fermi level. Here, we report that by using a bias voltage to drive these transmission channels into the gap of the wider AGNR lead, we can obtain a negative differential resistance (NDR) effect. Owing to the intrinsic properties of the AGNR junctions, the on-set bias reaches as low as ∼0.2 V and the valley current almost vanishes. We further show that such NDR effect is robust against details of the atomic structure of the junction, substrate, and whether the junction is made by etching or by hydrogenation.

  3. Role of gap junctions in the propagation of the cardiac action potential.

    PubMed

    Rohr, Stephan

    2004-05-01

    Gap junctions play a pivotal role for the velocity and the safety of impulse propagation in cardiac tissue. Under physiologic conditions, the specific subcellular distribution of gap junctions together with the tight packaging of the rod-shaped cardiomyocytes underlies anisotropic conduction, which is continuous at the macroscopic scale. However, when breaking down the three-dimensional network of cells into linear single cell chains, gap junctions can be shown to limit axial current flow and to induce 'saltatory' conduction at unchanged overall conduction velocities. In two- and three-dimensional tissue, these discontinuities disappear due to lateral averaging of depolarizing current flow at the activation wavefront. During gap junctional uncoupling, discontinuities reappear and are accompanied by slowed and meandering conduction. Critical gap junctional uncoupling reduces conduction velocities to a much larger extent than does a reduction of excitability, which suggests that the safety for conduction is higher at any given conduction velocity for gap junctional uncoupling. In uniformly structured tissue, gap junctional uncoupling is accompanied by a parallel decrease in conduction velocity. However, this is not necessarily the case for non-uniform structures like tissue expansion where partial uncoupling paradoxically increases conduction velocity and has the capacity to remove unidirectional conduction blocks. Whereas the impact of gap junctions on impulse conduction is generally assessed from the point of view of cell coupling among cardiomyocytes, it is possible that other cell types within the myocardium might be coupled to cardiomyocytes as well. In this context, it has been shown that fibroblasts establish successful conduction between sheets of cardiomyocytes over distances as long as 300 microm. This might not only explain electrical synchronization of heart transplants but might be of importance for cardiac diseases involving fibrosis. Finally, the

  4. Single-junction solar cells with the optimum band gap for terrestrial concentrator applications

    DOEpatents

    Wanlass, M.W.

    1994-12-27

    A single-junction solar cell is described having the ideal band gap for terrestrial concentrator applications. Computer modeling studies of single-junction solar cells have shown that the presence of absorption bands in the direct spectrum has the effect of ''pinning'' the optimum band gap for a wide range of operating conditions at a value of 1.14[+-]0.02 eV. Efficiencies exceeding 30% may be possible at high concentration ratios for devices with the ideal band gap. 7 figures.

  5. Gap junctions between CA3 pyramidal cells contribute to network synchronization in neonatal hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Molchanova, Svetlana M; Huupponen, Johanna; Lauri, Sari E; Taira, Tomi

    2016-08-01

    Direct electrical coupling between neurons through gap junctions is prominent during development, when synaptic connectivity is scarce, providing the additional intercellular connectivity. However, functional studies of gap junctions are hampered by the unspecificity of pharmacological tools available. Here we have investigated gap-junctional coupling between CA3 pyramidal cells in neonatal hippocampus and its contribution to early network activity. Four different gap junction inhibitors, including the general blocker carbenoxolone, decreased the frequency of network activity bursts in CA3 area of hippocampus of P3-6 rats, suggesting the involvement of electrical connections in the generation of spontaneous network activity. In CA3 pyramidal cells, spikelets evoked by local stimulation of stratum oriens, were inhibited by carbenoxolone, but not by inhibitors of glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic transmission, signifying the presence of electrical connectivity through axo-axonic gap junctions. Carbenoxolone also decreased the success rate of firing antidromic action potentials in response to stimulation, and changed the pattern of spontaneous action potential firing of CA3 pyramidal cells. Altogether, these data suggest that electrical coupling of CA3 pyramidal cells contribute to the generation of the early network events in neonatal hippocampus by modulating their firing pattern and synchronization. PMID:26926429

  6. LRP6 acts as a scaffold protein in cardiac gap junction assembly.

    PubMed

    Li, Jun; Li, Changming; Liang, Dandan; Lv, Fei; Yuan, Tianyou; The, Erlinda; Ma, Xiue; Wu, Yahan; Zhen, Lixiao; Xie, Duanyang; Wang, Shiyi; Liu, Yuan; Huang, Jian; Shi, Jingyi; Liu, Yi; Shi, Dan; Xu, Liang; Lin, Li; Peng, Luying; Cui, Jianmin; Zhu, Weidong; Chen, Yi-Han

    2016-01-01

    Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6) is a Wnt co-receptor in the canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling. Here, we report the scaffold function of LRP6 in gap junction formation of cardiomyocytes. Cardiac LRP6 is spatially restricted to intercalated discs and binds to gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43). A deficiency in LRP6 disrupts Cx43 gap junction formation and thereby impairs the cell-to-cell coupling, which is independent of Wnt/β-catenin signalling. The defect in Cx43 gap junction resulting from LRP6 reduction is attributable to the defective traffic of de novo Cx43 proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus, leading to the lysosomal degradation of Cx43 proteins. Accordingly, the hearts of conditional cardiac-specific Lrp6-knockout mice consistently exhibit overt reduction of Cx43 gap junction plaques without any abnormality in Wnt signalling and are predisposed to lethal arrhythmias. These findings uncover a distinct role of LRP6 as a platform for intracellular protein trafficking. PMID:27250245

  7. LRP6 acts as a scaffold protein in cardiac gap junction assembly

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jun; Li, Changming; Liang, Dandan; Lv, Fei; Yuan, Tianyou; The, Erlinda; Ma, Xiue; Wu, Yahan; Zhen, Lixiao; Xie, Duanyang; Wang, Shiyi; Liu, Yuan; Huang, Jian; Shi, Jingyi; Liu, Yi; Shi, Dan; Xu, Liang; Lin, Li; Peng, Luying; Cui, Jianmin; Zhu, Weidong; Chen, Yi-Han

    2016-01-01

    Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6) is a Wnt co-receptor in the canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling. Here, we report the scaffold function of LRP6 in gap junction formation of cardiomyocytes. Cardiac LRP6 is spatially restricted to intercalated discs and binds to gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43). A deficiency in LRP6 disrupts Cx43 gap junction formation and thereby impairs the cell-to-cell coupling, which is independent of Wnt/β-catenin signalling. The defect in Cx43 gap junction resulting from LRP6 reduction is attributable to the defective traffic of de novo Cx43 proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus, leading to the lysosomal degradation of Cx43 proteins. Accordingly, the hearts of conditional cardiac-specific Lrp6-knockout mice consistently exhibit overt reduction of Cx43 gap junction plaques without any abnormality in Wnt signalling and are predisposed to lethal arrhythmias. These findings uncover a distinct role of LRP6 as a platform for intracellular protein trafficking. PMID:27250245

  8. Netrin and Frazzled regulate presynaptic gap junctions at a Drosophila giant synapse.

    PubMed

    Orr, Brian O; Borgen, Melissa A; Caruccio, Phyllis M; Murphey, Rodney K

    2014-04-16

    Netrin and its receptor, Frazzled, dictate the strength of synaptic connections in the giant fiber system (GFS) of Drosophila melanogaster by regulating gap junction localization in the presynaptic terminal. In Netrin mutant animals, the synaptic coupling between a giant interneuron and the "jump" motor neuron was weakened and dye coupling between these two neurons was severely compromised or absent. In cases in which Netrin mutants displayed apparently normal synaptic anatomy, half of the specimens exhibited physiologically defective synapses and dye coupling between the giant fiber (GF) and the motor neuron was reduced or eliminated, suggesting that gap junctions were disrupted in the Netrin mutants. When we examined the gap junctions with antibodies to Shaking-B (ShakB) Innexin, they were significantly decreased or absent in the presynaptic terminal of the mutant GF. Frazzled loss of function mutants exhibited similar defects in synaptic transmission, dye coupling, and gap junction localization. These data are the first to show that Netrin and Frazzled regulate the placement of gap junctions presynaptically at a synapse. PMID:24741033

  9. Mix and match: Investigating heteromeric and heterotypic gap junction channels in model systems and native tissues

    PubMed Central

    Koval, Michael; Molina, Samuel A.; Burt, Janis M.

    2014-01-01

    This review is based in part on a roundtable discussion session: “Physiological roles for heterotypic/heteromeric channels” at the 2013 International Gap Junction Conference (IGJC 2013) in Charleston, South Carolina. It is well recognized that multiple connexins can specifically co-assemble to form mixed gap junction channels with unique properties as a means to regulate intercellular communication. Compatibility determinants for both heteromeric and heterotypic gap junction channel formation have been identified and associated with specific connexin amino acid motifs. Hetero-oligomerization is also a regulated process; differences in connexin quality control and monomer stability are likely to play integral roles to control interactions between compatible connexins. Gap junctions in oligodendrocyte:astrocyte communication and in the cardiovascular system have emerged as key systems where heterotypic and heteromeric channels have unique physiologic roles. There are several methodologies to study heteromeric and heterotypic channels that are best applied to either heterologous expression systems, native tissues or both. There remains a need to use and develop different experimental approaches in order to understand the prevalence and roles for mixed gap junction channels in human physiology. PMID:24561196

  10. Modelling the effect of gap junctions on tissue-level cardiac electrophysiology.

    PubMed

    Bruce, Doug; Pathmanathan, Pras; Whiteley, Jonathan P

    2014-02-01

    When modelling tissue-level cardiac electrophysiology, a continuum approximation to the discrete cell-level equations, known as the bidomain equations, is often used to maintain computational tractability. Analysing the derivation of the bidomain equations allows us to investigate how microstructure, in particular gap junctions that electrically connect cells, affect tissue-level conductivity properties. Using a one-dimensional cable model, we derive a modified form of the bidomain equations that take gap junctions into account, and compare results of simulations using both the discrete and continuum models, finding that the underlying conduction velocity of the action potential ceases to match up between models when gap junctions are introduced at physiologically realistic coupling levels. We show that this effect is magnified by: (i) modelling gap junctions with reduced conductivity; (ii) increasing the conductance of the fast sodium channel; and (iii) an increase in myocyte length. From this, we conclude that the conduction velocity arising from the bidomain equations may not be an accurate representation of the underlying discrete system. In particular, the bidomain equations are less likely to be valid when modelling certain diseased states whose symptoms include a reduction in gap junction coupling or an increase in myocyte length. PMID:24338526

  11. Cross-talk between pulmonary injury, oxidant stress, and gap junctional communication.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Latoya N; Koval, Michael

    2009-02-01

    Gap junction channels interconnect several different types of cells in the lung, ranging from the alveolar epithelium to the pulmonary vasculature, each of which expresses a unique subset of gap junction proteins (connexins). Major lung functions regulated by gap junctional communication include coordination of ciliary beat frequency and inflammation. Gap junctions help enable the alveolus to regulate surfactant secretion as an integrated system, in which type I cells act as mechanical sensors that transmit calcium transients to type II cells. Thus, disruption of epithelial gap junctional communication, particularly during acute lung injury, can interfere with these processes and increase the severity of injury. Consistent with this, connexin expression is altered during lung injury, and connexin-deficiency has a negative impact on the injury response and lung-growth control. It has recently been shown that alcohol abuse is a significant risk factor associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Oxidant stress and hormone-signaling cascades in the lung induced by prolonged alcohol ingestion are discussed, as well as the effects of these pathways on connexin expression and function. PMID:18816185

  12. Josephson Current in a Gapped Graphene Superconductor/Barrier/Superconductor Junction: Case of Massive Electrons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suwannasit, Tatnatchai; Tang, I.-Ming; Hoonsawat, Rassmidara; Soodchomshom, Bumned

    2011-10-01

    The Josephson effect in a gapped graphene-based superconductor/barrier/superconductor junction is studied. The superconductivity in gapped graphene may be achieved by depositing conventional superconductor on the top of the gapped graphene such as graphene grown on SiC substrate. In gapped graphene system, the carriers exhibit massive Dirac fermions. We focus on the effect of pseudo-Dirac-like mass on the supercurrent. In contrast to that in the gapless graphene superconductor/barrier/superconductor junction, we find that the supercurrent exhibits dependency of the Fermi energy. Also, the massive supercurrent anomalously oscillates as a function of the gate potential. This novel behavior is due to the effect of electrons acquiring mass in gapped graphene.

  13. Pharmacological and Genetic Evidence for Gap Junctions as Potential New Insecticide Targets in the Yellow Fever Mosquito, Aedes aegypti

    PubMed Central

    Calkins, Travis L.; Piermarini, Peter M.

    2015-01-01

    The yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti is an important vector of viral diseases that impact global health. Insecticides are typically used to manage mosquito populations, but the evolution of insecticide resistance is limiting their effectiveness. Thus, identifying new molecular and physiological targets in mosquitoes is needed to facilitate insecticide discovery and development. Here we test the hypothesis that gap junctions are valid molecular and physiological targets for new insecticides. Gap junctions are intercellular channels that mediate direct communication between neighboring cells and consist of evolutionarily distinct proteins in vertebrate (connexins) and invertebrate (innexins) animals. We show that the injection of pharmacological inhibitors of gap junctions (i.e., carbenoxolone, meclofenamic acid, or mefloquine) into the hemolymph of adult female mosquitoes elicits dose-dependent toxic effects, with mefloquine showing the greatest potency. In contrast, when applied topically to the cuticle, carbenoxolone was the only inhibitor to exhibit full efficacy. In vivo urine excretion assays demonstrate that both carbenoxolone and mefloquine inhibit the diuretic output of adult female mosquitoes, suggesting inhibition of excretory functions as part of their mechanism of action. When added to the rearing water of 1st instar larvae, carbenoxolone and meclofenamic acid both elicit dose-dependent toxic effects, with meclofenamic acid showing the greatest potency. Injecting a double-stranded RNA cocktail against innexins into the hemolymph of adult female mosquitoes knock down whole-animal innexin mRNA expression and decreases survival of the mosquitoes. Taken together these data indicate that gap junctions may provide novel molecular and physiological targets for the development of insecticides. PMID:26325403

  14. High throughput assay of diffusion through Cx43 gap junction channels with a microfluidic chip.

    PubMed

    Bathany, Cédric; Beahm, Derek; Felske, James D; Sachs, Frederick; Hua, Susan Z

    2011-02-01

    This paper describes a microfluidic-based assay capable of measuring gap-junction mediated dye diffusion in cultured cells. The technique exploits multistream laminar flow to selectively expose cells to different environments, enabling continuous loading of cells in one compartment while monitoring, in real time, dye diffusion into cells of a neighboring compartment. A simple one-dimensional diffusion model fit to the data extracted the diffusion coefficient of four different dyes, 5-(6)-carboxyfluorescein, 5-chloromethylfluorescein, Oregon green 488 carboxylic acid, and calcein. Different inhibitors were assayed for their ability to reduce dye coupling. The chip can screen multiple inhibitors in parallel in the same cell preparation, demonstrating its potential for high throughput. The technique provides a convenient method to measure gap junction mediated diffusion and a screen for drugs that affect gap junction communication. PMID:21182279

  15. Synchronization of Ca(2+)-signals within insulin-secreting pseudoislets: effects of gap-junctional uncouplers.

    PubMed

    Squires, P E; Hauge-Evans, A C; Persaud, S J; Jones, P M

    2000-05-01

    The secretory response of the intact islet is greater than the response of individual beta-cells in isolation, and functional coupling between cells is critical in insulin release. The changes in intracellular Ca(2+)([Ca(2+)](i)) which initiate insulin secretory responses are synchronized between groups of cells within the islet, and gap-junctions are thought to play a central role in coordinating signalling events. We have used the MIN6 insulin-secreting cell line, to examine whether uncoupling gap-junctions alters the synchronicity of nutrient- and non-nutrient-evoked Ca(2+)oscillations, or affects insulin secretion. MIN6 cells express mRNA species that can be amplified using PCR primers for connexin 36. A commonly used gap-junctional inhibitor, heptanol, inhibited glucose- and tolbutamide-induced Ca(2+)-oscillations to basal levels in MIN6 cell clusters at concentrations of 0.5 mM and greater, and it had similar effects in pseudoislets when used at 2.5 mM. Lower heptanol concentrations altered the frequency of Ca(2+)transients without affecting their synchronicity, in both monolayers and pseudoislets. Heptanol also had effects on insulin secretion from MIN6 pseudoislets such that 1 mM enhanced secretion while 2.5 mM was inhibitory. These data suggest that heptanol has multiple effects in pancreatic beta-cells, none of which appears to be related to uncoupling of synchronicity of Ca(2+)signalling between cells. A second gap-junction uncoupler, 18 alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid, also failed to uncouple synchronized Ca(2+)-oscillations, and it had no effect on insulin secretion. These data provide evidence that Ca(2+)signalling events occur simultaneously across the bulk mass of the pseudoislet, and suggest that gap-junctions are not required to coordinate the synchronicity of these events, nor is communication via gap junctions essential for integrated insulin secretory responses. PMID:10859595

  16. Astrocytic gap junctional networks suppress cellular damage in an in vitro model of ischemia

    SciTech Connect

    Shinotsuka, Takanori; Yasui, Masato; Nuriya, Mutsuo

    2014-02-07

    Highlights: • Astrocytes exhibit characteristic changes in [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} under OGD. • Astrocytic [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase is synchronized with a neuronal anoxic depolarization. • Gap junctional couplings protect neurons as well as astrocytes during OGD. - Abstract: Astrocytes play pivotal roles in both the physiology and the pathophysiology of the brain. They communicate with each other via extracellular messengers as well as through gap junctions, which may exacerbate or protect against pathological processes in the brain. However, their roles during the acute phase of ischemia and the underlying cellular mechanisms remain largely unknown. To address this issue, we imaged changes in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i}) in astrocytes in mouse cortical slices under oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD) condition using two-photon microscopy. Under OGD, astrocytes showed [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} oscillations followed by larger and sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increases. While the pharmacological blockades of astrocytic receptors for glutamate and ATP had no effect, the inhibitions of gap junctional intercellular coupling between astrocytes significantly advanced the onset of the sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase after OGD exposure. Interestingly, the simultaneous recording of the neuronal membrane potential revealed that the onset of the sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase in astrocytes was synchronized with the appearance of neuronal anoxic depolarization. Furthermore, the blockade of gap junctional coupling resulted in a concurrent faster appearance of neuronal depolarizations, which remain synchronized with the sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase in astrocytes. These results indicate that astrocytes delay the appearance of the pathological responses of astrocytes and neurons through their gap junction-mediated intercellular network under OGD. Thus, astrocytic gap junctional networks provide protection against tissue damage

  17. The Mr 28,000 gap junction proteins from rat heart and liver are different but related.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, B J; Gros, D B; Kent, S B; Hood, L E; Revel, J P

    1985-06-10

    The sequence of the amino-terminal 32 residues of the rat heart Mr 28,000 gap junction protein presented here allows, for the first time, a sequence comparison of gap junctional proteins from different tissues (heart and liver). Comparison of the rat heart gap junction protein sequence and that available from rat liver reveals 43% sequence identity and conservative changes at an additional 25% of the positions. Both proteins exhibit a hydrophobic domain which could represent a transmembrane span of the junction. This result unequivocally demonstrates the existence of at least two forms of the gap junction protein. As yet, no homology is evident between the gap junctional proteins of either heart or liver and main intrinsic protein from rat eye lens. PMID:2987225

  18. Relating specific connexin co-expression ratio to connexon composition and gap junction function.

    PubMed

    Desplantez, T; Grikscheit, K; Thomas, N M; Peters, N S; Severs, N J; Dupont, E

    2015-12-01

    Cardiac connexin 43 (Cx43), Cx40 and Cx45 are co-expressed at distinct ratios in myocytes. This pattern is considered a key factor in regulating the gap junction channels composition, properties and function and remains poorly understood. This work aims to correlate gap junction function with the connexin composition of the channels at accurate ratios Cx43:Cx40 and Cx43:Cx45. Rat liver epithelial cells that endogenously express Cx43 were stably transfected to induce expression of accurate levels of Cx40 or Cx45 that may be present in various areas of the heart (e.g. atria and ventricular conduction system). Induction of Cx40 does not increase the amounts of junctional connexins (Cx43 and Cx40), whereas induction of Cx45 increases the amounts of junctional connexins (Cx43 and Cx45). Interestingly, the non-junctional fraction of Cx43 remains unaffected upon induction of Cx40 and Cx45. Co-immunoprecipitation studies show low level of Cx40/Cx43 heteromerisation and undetectable Cx45/Cx43 heteromerisation. Functional characterisation shows that induction of Cx40 and Cx45 decreases Lucifer Yellow transfer. Electrical coupling is decreased by Cx45 induction, whereas it is decreased at low induction of Cx40 and increased at high induction. These data indicate a fine regulation of the gap junction channel make-up in function of the type and the ratio of co-expressed Cxs that specifically regulates chemical and electrical coupling. This reflects specific gap junction function in regulating impulse propagation in the healthy heart, and a pro-arrhythmic potential of connexin remodelling in the diseased heart. PMID:26550940

  19. Connexin26 regulates assembly and maintenance of cochlear gap junction macromolecular complex for normal hearing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamiya, Kazusaku; Fukunaga, Ichiro; Hatakeyama, Kaori; Ikeda, Katsuhisa

    2015-12-01

    Hereditary deafness affects about 1 in 2000 children and GJB2 gene mutation is most frequent cause for this disease in the world. GJB2 encodes connexin26 (Cx26), a component in cochlear gap junction. Recently, we found macromolecular change of gap junction plaques with two different types of Cx26 mutation as major classification of clinical case, one is a model of dominant negative type, Cx26R75W+ and the other is conditional gene deficient mouse, Cx26f/fP0Cre as a model for insufficiency of gap junction protein [6]. Gap junction composed mainly of Cx26 and Cx30 in wild type mice formed large planar gap junction plaques (GJP). In contrast, Cx26R75W+ and Cx26f/fP0Cre showed fragmented small round GJPs around the cell border. In Cx26f/fP0Cre, some of the cells with Cx26 expression due to their cellular mosaicism showed normal large GJP with Cx26 and Cx30 only at the cell junction site between two Cx26 positive cells. These indicate that bilateral Cx26 expressions from both adjacent cells are essential for the formation of the cochlear linear GJP, and it is not compensated by other cochlear Connexins such as Connexin30. In the present study, we demonstrated a new molecular pathology in most common hereditary deafness with different types of Connexin26 mutations, and this machinery can be a new target for drag design of hereditary deafness.

  20. Low resistance contacts for shallow junction semiconductors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fatemi, Navid S. (Inventor); Weizer, Victor G. (Inventor)

    1994-01-01

    A method of enhancing the specific contact resistivity in InP semiconductor devices and improved devices produced thereby are disclosed. Low resistivity values are obtained by using gold ohmic contacts that contain small amounts of gallium or indium and by depositing a thin gold phosphide interlayer between the surface of the InP device and the ohmic contact. When both the thin interlayer and the gold-gallium or gold-indium contact metallizations are used, ultra low specific contact resistivities are achieved. Thermal stability with good contact resistivity is achieved by depositing a layer of refractory metal over the gold phosphide interlayer.

  1. Unconventional resistive switching behavior in ferroelectric tunnel junctions.

    PubMed

    Mao, H J; Song, C; Xiao, L R; Gao, S; Cui, B; Peng, J J; Li, F; Pan, F

    2015-04-21

    We investigate an unconventional resistive switching (RS) behavior in La0.67Sr0.33MnO3/BaTiO3/metal (LSMO/BTO) ferroelectric tunnel junctions (FTJs), which is dominated by the variation of the barrier potential profile modulated by the migration of oxygen vacancies in the p-LSMO/n-BTO junction. The LSMO/BTO/Co junction exhibits a remarkable self-rectifying effect ascribed to the high-density interface state at the BTO/Co interface, in contrast to the symmetric conductivity when the top metal electrode is inert Pt. The effects of ferroelectric polarization on the RS behavior are also emphasized. Our work builds a bridge between FTJs and resistive random access memory devices. PMID:25789877

  2. Multi-junction, monolithic solar cell using low-band-gap materials lattice matched to GaAs or Ge

    DOEpatents

    Olson, Jerry M.; Kurtz, Sarah R.; Friedman, Daniel J.

    2001-01-01

    A multi-junction, monolithic, photovoltaic solar cell device is provided for converting solar radiation to photocurrent and photovoltage with improved efficiency. The solar cell device comprises a plurality of semiconductor cells, i.e., active p/n junctions, connected in tandem and deposited on a substrate fabricated from GaAs or Ge. To increase efficiency, each semiconductor cell is fabricated from a crystalline material with a lattice constant substantially equivalent to the lattice constant of the substrate material. Additionally, the semiconductor cells are selected with appropriate band gaps to efficiently create photovoltage from a larger portion of the solar spectrum. In this regard, one semiconductor cell in each embodiment of the solar cell device has a band gap between that of Ge and GaAs. To achieve desired band gaps and lattice constants, the semiconductor cells may be fabricated from a number of materials including Ge, GaInP, GaAs, GaInAsP, GaInAsN, GaAsGe, BGaInAs, (GaAs)Ge, CuInSSe, CuAsSSe, and GaInAsNP. To further increase efficiency, the thickness of each semiconductor cell is controlled to match the photocurrent generated in each cell. To facilitate photocurrent flow, a plurality of tunnel junctions of low-resistivity material are included between each adjacent semiconductor cell. The conductivity or direction of photocurrent in the solar cell device may be selected by controlling the specific p-type or n-type characteristics for each active junction.

  3. Connexins: a myriad of functions extending beyond assembly of gap junction channels

    PubMed Central

    Dbouk, Hashem A; Mroue, Rana M; El-Sabban, Marwan E; Talhouk, Rabih S

    2009-01-01

    Connexins constitute a large family of trans-membrane proteins that allow intercellular communication and the transfer of ions and small signaling molecules between cells. Recent studies have revealed complex translational and post-translational mechanisms that regulate connexin synthesis, maturation, membrane transport and degradation that in turn modulate gap junction intercellular communication. With the growing myriad of connexin interacting proteins, including cytoskeletal elements, junctional proteins, and enzymes, gap junctions are now perceived, not only as channels between neighboring cells, but as signaling complexes that regulate cell function and transformation. Connexins have also been shown to form functional hemichannels and have roles altogether independent of channel functions, where they exert their effects on proliferation and other aspects of life and death of the cell through mostly-undefined mechanisms. This review provides an updated overview of current knowledge of connexins and their interacting proteins, and it describes connexin modulation in disease and tumorigenesis. PMID:19284610

  4. LIMITATIONS IN THE USE OF MAGNETIC FIELDS TO EXAMINE GAP JUNCTION COMMUNICATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    OBJECTIVE: We have previously shown that gap junction communication (GJC) in mouse primary hepatocytes can be enhanced by treatment with physiological levels of melatonin, and that 45-Hz magnetic fields can eliminate this enhancement in a time-dependent manner. The objective of t...

  5. Increased phosphorylation of Cx36 gap junctions in the AII amacrine cells of RD retina

    PubMed Central

    Ivanova, Elena; Yee, Christopher W.; Sagdullaev, Botir T.

    2015-01-01

    Retinal degeneration (RD) encompasses a family of diseases that lead to photoreceptor death and visual impairment. Visual decline due to photoreceptor cell loss is further compromised by emerging spontaneous hyperactivity in inner retinal cells. This aberrant activity acts as a barrier to signals from the remaining photoreceptors, hindering therapeutic strategies to restore light sensitivity in RD. Gap junctions, particularly those expressed in AII amacrine cells, have been shown to be integral to the generation of aberrant activity. It is unclear whether gap junction expression and coupling are altered in RD. To test this, we evaluated the expression and phosphorylation state of connexin36 (Cx36), the gap junction subunit predominantly expressed in AII amacrine cells, in two mouse models of RD, rd10 (slow degeneration) and rd1 (fast degeneration). Using Ser293-P antibody, which recognizes a phosphorylated form of connexin36, we found that phosphorylation of connexin36 in both slow and fast RD models was significantly greater than in wildtype controls. This elevated phosphorylation may underlie the increased gap junction coupling of AII amacrine cells exhibited by RD retina. PMID:26483638

  6. In vivo analysis of undocked connexin43 gap junction hemichannels in ovarian granulosa cells.

    PubMed

    Tong, Dan; Li, Tony Y; Naus, Kathryn E; Bai, Donglin; Kidder, Gerald M

    2007-11-15

    Connexin43 (Cx43, encoded by Gja1) is required for ovarian follicle development in the mouse. It is strongly expressed in granulosa cells, in which it forms intercellular gap junction channels that couple the cells metabolically. However, recent evidence indicates that undocked gap junction hemichannels can also have physiological roles such as mediating the release of small messenger molecules, including ATP. In this study, the presence of undocked Cx43 hemichannels in granulosa cells was revealed by dye uptake induced either by mechanical stimulation or by the reduction of extracellular divalent cations, both of which are known triggers for hemichannel opening. ATP release was also detected, and could be abolished by connexin-channel blockers. None of these putative hemichannel-mediated activities were detected in Cx43-deficient granulosa cells. Therefore, we hypothesized that hemichannels account for the essential role of Cx43 in folliculogenesis. To test this, a Cx43 mutant lacking the conserved cysteines on the extracellular loops (cys-less Cx43), reported to form hemichannels but not intercellular channels, was retrovirally expressed in Cx43-deficient granulosa cells. The infected cells were then combined with wild-type oocytes to make reaggregated ovaries, which were grafted into host kidneys. Although re-introduction of wild-type Cx43 rescued folliculogenesis, introduction of cys-less Cx43 did not. Therefore, although Cx43 gap junction hemichannels might play a role in ovarian folliculogenesis, their contribution does not supplant the need for intercellular gap junction channels. PMID:17971414

  7. A unified framework for spiking and gap-junction interactions in distributed neuronal network simulations

    PubMed Central

    Hahne, Jan; Helias, Moritz; Kunkel, Susanne; Igarashi, Jun; Bolten, Matthias; Frommer, Andreas; Diesmann, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Contemporary simulators for networks of point and few-compartment model neurons come with a plethora of ready-to-use neuron and synapse models and support complex network topologies. Recent technological advancements have broadened the spectrum of application further to the efficient simulation of brain-scale networks on supercomputers. In distributed network simulations the amount of spike data that accrues per millisecond and process is typically low, such that a common optimization strategy is to communicate spikes at relatively long intervals, where the upper limit is given by the shortest synaptic transmission delay in the network. This approach is well-suited for simulations that employ only chemical synapses but it has so far impeded the incorporation of gap-junction models, which require instantaneous neuronal interactions. Here, we present a numerical algorithm based on a waveform-relaxation technique which allows for network simulations with gap junctions in a way that is compatible with the delayed communication strategy. Using a reference implementation in the NEST simulator, we demonstrate that the algorithm and the required data structures can be smoothly integrated with existing code such that they complement the infrastructure for spiking connections. To show that the unified framework for gap-junction and spiking interactions achieves high performance and delivers high accuracy in the presence of gap junctions, we present benchmarks for workstations, clusters, and supercomputers. Finally, we discuss limitations of the novel technology. PMID:26441628

  8. INFLUENCE OF SODIUM ARSENITE ON GAP JUNCTION COMMUNICATION IN RAT LIVER EPITHELIAL CELLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Influence of sodium arsenite on gap junction communication in rat-Iiver epitheiial cells.

    Arsenic is known to cause certain types of cancers, hepatitis, cirrhosis and neurological disorders as well as cardiovascular and reproductive effects and skin lesions. The mechanism...

  9. A functional assay for gap junctional examination; electroporation of adherent cells on indium-tin oxide.

    PubMed

    Geletu, Mulu; Guy, Stephanie; Firth, Kevin; Raptis, Leda

    2014-01-01

    In this technique, cells are cultured on a glass slide that is partly coated with indium-tin oxide (ITO), a transparent, electrically conductive material. A variety of molecules, such as peptides or oligonucleotides can be introduced into essentially 100% of the cells in a non-traumatic manner. Here, we describe how it can be used to study intercellular, gap junctional communication. Lucifer yellow penetrates into the cells when an electric pulse, applied to the conductive surface on which they are growing, causes pores to form through the cell membrane. This is electroporation. Cells growing on the nonconductive glass surface immediately adjacent to the electroporated region do not take up Lucifer yellow by electroporation but do acquire the fluorescent dye as it is passed to them via gap junctions that link them to the electroporated cells. The results of the transfer of dye from cell to cell can be observed microscopically under fluorescence illumination. This technique allows for precise quantitation of gap junctional communication. In addition, it can be used for the introduction of peptides or other non-permeant molecules, and the transfer of small electroporated peptides via gap junctions to inhibit the signal in the adjacent, non-electroporated cells is a powerful demonstration of signal inhibition. PMID:25350637

  10. Gap junction networks can generate both ripple-like and fast ripple-like oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Anna; Traub, Roger D.; Vladimirov, Nikita; Jenkins, Alistair; Nicholson, Claire; Whittaker, Roger G.; Schofield, Ian; Clowry, Gavin J.; Cunningham, Mark O.; Whittington, Miles A.

    2014-01-01

    Fast ripples (FRs) are network oscillations, defined variously as having frequencies of > 150 to > 250 Hz, with a controversial mechanism. FRs appear to indicate a propensity of cortical tissue to originate seizures. Here, we demonstrate field oscillations, at up to 400 Hz, in spontaneously epileptic human cortical tissue in vitro, and present a network model that could explain FRs themselves, and their relation to ‘ordinary’ (slower) ripples. We performed network simulations with model pyramidal neurons, having axons electrically coupled. Ripples (< 250 Hz) were favored when conduction of action potentials, axon to axon, was reliable. Whereas ripple population activity was periodic, firing of individual axons varied in relative phase. A switch from ripples to FRs took place when an ectopic spike occurred in a cell coupled to another cell, itself multiply coupled to others. Propagation could then start in one direction only, a condition suitable for re-entry. The resulting oscillations were > 250 Hz, were sustained or interrupted, and had little jitter in the firing of individual axons. The form of model FR was similar to spontaneously occurring FRs in excised human epileptic tissue. In vitro, FRs were suppressed by a gap junction blocker. Our data suggest that a given network can produce ripples, FRs, or both, via gap junctions, and that FRs are favored by clusters of axonal gap junctions. If axonal gap junctions indeed occur in epileptic tissue, and are mediated by connexin 26 (recently shown to mediate coupling between immature neocortical pyramidal cells), then this prediction is testable. PMID:24118191

  11. A unified framework for spiking and gap-junction interactions in distributed neuronal network simulations.

    PubMed

    Hahne, Jan; Helias, Moritz; Kunkel, Susanne; Igarashi, Jun; Bolten, Matthias; Frommer, Andreas; Diesmann, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Contemporary simulators for networks of point and few-compartment model neurons come with a plethora of ready-to-use neuron and synapse models and support complex network topologies. Recent technological advancements have broadened the spectrum of application further to the efficient simulation of brain-scale networks on supercomputers. In distributed network simulations the amount of spike data that accrues per millisecond and process is typically low, such that a common optimization strategy is to communicate spikes at relatively long intervals, where the upper limit is given by the shortest synaptic transmission delay in the network. This approach is well-suited for simulations that employ only chemical synapses but it has so far impeded the incorporation of gap-junction models, which require instantaneous neuronal interactions. Here, we present a numerical algorithm based on a waveform-relaxation technique which allows for network simulations with gap junctions in a way that is compatible with the delayed communication strategy. Using a reference implementation in the NEST simulator, we demonstrate that the algorithm and the required data structures can be smoothly integrated with existing code such that they complement the infrastructure for spiking connections. To show that the unified framework for gap-junction and spiking interactions achieves high performance and delivers high accuracy in the presence of gap junctions, we present benchmarks for workstations, clusters, and supercomputers. Finally, we discuss limitations of the novel technology. PMID:26441628

  12. Impact of Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication on MLO-Y4 Sclerostin and Soluble Factor Expression.

    PubMed

    York, S L; Sethu, P; Saunders, M M

    2016-04-01

    Bone remodeling is a continual process in which old bone is resorbed by osteoclasts and new bone is formed by osteoblasts, providing a mechanism for bones' ability to adapt to changes in its mechanical environment. While the role of osteoblasts and osteoclasts in bone remodeling is well understood, the cellular regulation of bone remodeling is unclear. One theory is that osteocytes, found within bone, play an important role in controlling the bone remodeling response. Osteocytes possess gap junctions, narrow channels that extend between nearby cells and allow communication between cells via the transfer of small molecules and ions. This work investigated the potential role of gap junctional intercellular communication in bone remodeling by exposing osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells to mechanical strains and quantifying the expression of soluble factors, including sclerostin, a protein closely associated with bone remodeling. The soluble factors and sclerostin expression were further examined after inhibiting gap junctional intercellular communication to study the impact of the communication. At supraphysiologic strains, the inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication led to increases in sclerostin expression relative to cells in which communication was present, indicating that the communication may play a significant role in regulating bone remodeling. PMID:26154422

  13. Impaired Astrocytic Gap Junction Coupling and Potassium Buffering in a Mouse Model of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Lin; Zeng, Ling-Hui; Wong, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Abnormalities in astrocytes occur in the brains of patients with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) and may contribute to the pathogenesis of neurological dysfunction in this disease. Here, we report that knock-out mice with Tsc1 gene inactivation in glia (Tsc1GFAPCKO mice) exhibit decreased expression of the astrocytic connexin protein, Cx43, and an associated impairment in gap junction coupling between astrocytes. Correspondingly, hippocampal slices from Tsc1GFAPCKO mice have increased extracellular potassium concentration in response to stimulation. This impaired potassium buffering can be attributed to abnormal gap junction coupling, as a gap junction inhibitor elicits an additional increase in potassium concentration in control, but not Tsc1GFAPCKO slices. Furthermore, treatment with a mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor reverses the deficient Cx43 expression and impaired potassium buffering. These findings suggest that Tsc1 inactivation in astrocytes causes defects in astrocytic gap junction coupling and potassium clearance, which may contribute to epilepsy in Tsc1GFAPCKO mice. PMID:19385061

  14. Oxaliplatin enhances gap junction-mediated coupling in cell cultures of mouse trigeminal ganglia.

    PubMed

    Poulsen, Jeppe Nørgaard; Warwick, Rebekah; Duroux, Meg; Hanani, Menachem; Gazerani, Parisa

    2015-08-01

    Communications between satellite glial cells and neighboring neurons within sensory ganglia may contribute to neuropathic and inflammatory pain. To elucidate the role of satellite glial cells in chemotherapy-induced pain, we examined the effects of oxaliplatin on the gap junction-mediated coupling between these cells. We also examined whether the gap junction blocker, carbenoxolone, can reverse the coupling. Primary cultures of mice trigeminal ganglia, 24-48h after cell isolation, were used. Satellite glial cells were injected with Lucifer yellow in the presence or absence of oxaliplatin (60 μM). In addition, the effect of carbenoxolone (100 μM) on coupling, and the expression of connexin 43 proteins were evaluated. Dye coupling between adjacent satellite glial cells was significantly increased (2.3-fold, P<0.05) following a 2h incubation with oxaliplatin. Adding carbenoxolone to the oxaliplatin-treated cultures reversed oxaliplatin-evoked coupling to baseline (P<0.05). Immunostaining showed no difference between expression of connexin 43 in control and oxaliplatin-treated cultures. Our findings indicated that oxaliplatin-increased gap junction-mediated coupling between satellite glial cells in primary cultures of mouse trigeminal ganglia, and carbenoxolone reversed this effect. Hence, it is proposed that increased gap junction-mediated coupling was seen between satellite glial cells in TG. This observation together with our previous data obtained from a behavioral study suggests that this phenomenon might contribute to chemotherapy-induced nociception following oxaliplatin treatment. PMID:25999145

  15. FREQUENCY-DEPENDENT CHANGES IN GAP JUNCTION FUNCTION IN PRIMARY HEPATOCYTES

    EPA Science Inventory

    FREQUENCY-DEPENDENT CHANGES IN GAP JUNCTION FUNCTION IN PRIMARY HEPATOCYTES. X. Wang1 *, D.E. Housel *, J. Page2, C.F. Blackmanl. 1 National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, USEPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711 USA, 2Oakland, California USA
    ...

  16. Electrical signal transmission in a bone cell network: the influence of a discrete gap junction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhang, D.; Weinbaum, S.; Cowin, S. C.

    1998-01-01

    A refined electrical cable model is formulated to investigate the role of a discrete gap junction in the intracellular transmission of electrical signals in an electrically coupled system of osteocytes and osteoblasts in an osteon. The model also examines the influence of the ratio q between the membrane's electrical time constant and the characteristic time of pore fluid pressure, the circular, cylindrical geometry of the osteon, and key simplifying assumptions in our earlier continuous cable model (see Zhang, D., S. C. Cowin, and S. Weinbaum. Electrical signal transmission and gap junction regulation in a bone cell network: A cable model for an osteon. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 25:379-396, 1997). Using this refined model, it is shown that (1) the intracellular potential amplitude at the osteoblastic end of the osteonal cable retains the character of a combination of a low-pass and a high-pass filter as the corner frequency varies in the physiological range; (2) the presence of a discrete gap junction near a resting osteoblast can lead to significant modulation of the intracellular potential and current in the osteoblast for measured values of the gap junction coupling strength; and (3) the circular, cylindrical geometry of the osteon is well simulated by the beam analogy used in Zhang et al.

  17. INTEGRIN-MEDIATED CELL ATTACHMENT SHOWS TIME-DEPENDENT UPREGULATION OF GAP JUNCTION COMMUNICATION.

    EPA Science Inventory


    Integrin-mediated Cell Attachment Shows Time-Dependent Upregulation of Gap Junction
    Communication

    Rachel Grindstaff and Carl Blackman, National Health & Environmental Effects Research
    Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, US EPA, Research Triang...

  18. Gap-junctional coupling of mammalian rod photoreceptors and its effect on visual detection

    PubMed Central

    Li, Peter H.; Verweij, Jan; Long, James H.; Schnapf, Julie L.

    2012-01-01

    The presence of gap junctions between rods in mammalian retina suggests a role for rod-rod coupling in human vision. Rod coupling is known to reduce response variability, but because junctional conductances are not known, the downstream effects on visual performance are uncertain. Here we assessed rod coupling in guinea pig retina by measuring: 1) the variability in responses to dim flashes, 2) Neurobiotin tracer coupling, and 3) junctional conductances. Results were consolidated into an electrical network model and a model of human psychophysical detection. Guinea pig rods form tracer pools of 1 to ~20 rods, with junctional conductances averaging ~350 pS. We calculate that coupling will reduce human dark-adapted sensitivity ~10% by impairing the noise filtering of the synapse between rods and rod bipolar cells. However, coupling also mitigates synaptic saturation and is thus calculated to improve sensitivity when stimuli are spatially restricted or are superimposed over background illumination. PMID:22399777

  19. Biophysical properties of gap junctions between freshly dispersed pairs of mouse pancreatic beta cells.

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Armendariz, M; Roy, C; Spray, D C; Bennett, M V

    1991-01-01

    Coupling between beta cells through gap junctions has been postulated as a principal mechanism of electrical synchronization of glucose-induced activity throughout the islet of Langerhans. We characterized junctional conductance between isolated pairs of mouse pancreatic beta cells by whole-cell recording with two independent patch-clamp circuits. Most pairs were coupled (67%, n = 155), although the mean junctional conductance (gj) (215 +/- 110 pS) was lower than reported in other tissues. Coupling could be recorded for long periods, up to 40 min. Voltage imposed across the junctional or nonjunctional membranes had no effect on gj. Up to several hours of treatment to increase intracellular cAMP levels did not affect gj. Electrically coupled pairs did not show transfer of the dye Lucifer yellow. Octanol (2 mM) reversibly decreased gj. Lower concentrations of octanol (0.5 mM) and heptanol (0.5 mM) than required to uncouple beta cells decreased voltage-dependent K+ and Ca2+ currents in nonjunctional membranes. Although gj recorded in these experiments would be expected to be provided by current flowing through only a few channels of the unitary conductance previously reported for other gap junctions, no unitary junctional currents were observed even during reversible suppression of gj by octanol. This result suggests either that the single channel conductance of gap junction channels between beta cells is smaller than in other tissues (less than 20 pS) or that the small mean conductance is due to transitions between open and closed states that are too rapid or too slow to be resolved. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 5 PMID:2015391

  20. A methodology for experimentally based determination of gap shrinkage and effective lifetimes in the emitter and base of p-n junction solar cells and other p-n junction devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.; Neugroschel, A.; Sah, C.-T.; Godlewski, M. P.; Brandhorst, H. W., Jr.

    1977-01-01

    An experimentally based methodology that determines the effective gap shrinkage and lifetime in the emitter of a p-n junction solar cell is described which provides an experimental means for assessing the importance of gap shrinkage relative to that of large recombination rates in the highly doped emitter. The base lifetime is also determined. The methodology pertains to a solar cell after the junction is formed, so that each material parameter determined includes the effects of the processing used in junction fabrication. The methodology consists of strategy and procedures for designing experiments and interpreting data consistently with the physical mechanisms governing device behavior. This careful linking to the device physics uncover the material parameters concealed in the data. To illustrate the procedures, they are applied to an n(+)-p solar cell having substrate resistivity of about 0.1 ohm-cm.

  1. Regulation of gap junctional intercellular communication by TCDD in HMEC and MCF-7 breast cancer cells

    SciTech Connect

    Gakhar, Gunjan Schrempp, Diane Nguyen, Thu Annelise

    2009-03-01

    Previous studies suggest that many neoplastic tissues exhibit a decrease in gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). Many hydrocarbons and organochlorine compounds are environmental pollutants known to be carcinogenic. The effect of an organochlorine compound, TCDD, on GJIC in human breast cell lines has not been established. In the present study, we showed that TCDD causes an inhibition in the gap junctional activity in MCF-7 (breast cancer cells). In MCF-7 cells, an increase in the phosphorylated form of gap junctional protein, connexin 43 (Cx43), and PKC {alpha} was seen in the presence of TCDD. Gap junctional plaque formation was significantly decreased in MCF-7 cells in the presence of TCDD. Immunoprecipitation studies of PKC {alpha} showed that TCDD caused a significant 40% increase in the phosphorylated Cx43 in MCF-7 cells. TCDD also modulated the translocation of PKC {alpha} from the cytosol to the membrane and caused a 2-fold increase in the PKC {alpha} activity at 50 nM TCDD in MCF-7 cells. Calphostin C, an inhibitor of PKC {alpha}, showed a significant inhibition of PKC {alpha} activity in the presence of TCDD. Furthermore, TCDD also caused a decrease in the gap junctional activity and Cx43 protein in human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC). However, we observed a shift in the Cx43 plaques towards the perinuclear membrane in the presence of TCDD by confocal microscopy and Western blot. Overall, these results conclude that TCDD decreases GJIC by phosphorylating Cx43 via PKC {alpha} signaling pathway in MCF-7 cells; however, TCDD decreases the GJIC by affecting the localization of Cx43 in HMEC. These new findings elucidate the differential mode of effect of TCDD in the downregulation of GJIC in HMEC and MCF-7 cells.

  2. Regulation of gap junction channels and hemichannels by phosphorylation and redox changes: a revision.

    PubMed

    Pogoda, Kristin; Kameritsch, Petra; Retamal, Mauricio A; Vega, José L

    2016-01-01

    Post-translational modifications of connexins play an important role in the regulation of gap junction and hemichannel permeability. The prerequisite for the formation of functional gap junction channels is the assembly of connexin proteins into hemichannels and their insertion into the membrane. Hemichannels can affect cellular processes by enabling the passage of signaling molecules between the intracellular and extracellular space. For the intercellular communication hemichannels from one cell have to dock to its counterparts on the opposing membrane of an adjacent cell to allow the transmission of signals via gap junctions from one cell to the other. The controlled opening of hemichannels and gating properties of complete gap junctions can be regulated via post-translational modifications of connexins. Not only channel gating, but also connexin trafficking and assembly into hemichannels can be affected by post-translational changes. Recent investigations have shown that connexins can be modified by phosphorylation/dephosphorylation, redox-related changes including effects of nitric oxide (NO), hydrogen sulfide (H2S) or carbon monoxide (CO), acetylation, methylation or ubiquitination. Most of the connexin isoforms are known to be phosphorylated, e.g. Cx43, one of the most studied connexin at all, has 21 reported phosphorylation sites. In this review, we provide an overview about the current knowledge and relevant research of responsible kinases, connexin phosphorylation sites and reported effects on gap junction and hemichannel regulation. Regarding the effects of oxidants we discuss the role of NO in different cell types and tissues and recent studies about modifications of connexins by CO and H2S. PMID:27229925

  3. High temperature coefficient of resistance for a ferroelectric tunnel junction

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, Xiaolin; Tian, Bobo; Liu, Bolu; Wang, Xudong; Huang, Hai; Wang, Jianlu E-mail: xjmeng@mail.sitp.ac.cn; Zou, Yuhong; Sun, Shuo; Lin, Tie; Han, Li; Sun, Jinglan; Meng, Xiangjian E-mail: xjmeng@mail.sitp.ac.cn; Chu, Junhao

    2015-08-10

    An infrared detector is proposed that is based on a ferroelectric tunnel junction (FTJ) working under bolometer-like principles. Electron tunneling, either direct or indirect, through the ferroelectric barrier depends on the temperature of the devices. During tunneling, infrared radiation alters the polarization of the ferroelectric film via pyroelectricity, resulting in a change in the barrier height of the tunnel junction. A high temperature coefficient of resistance of up to −3.86% was observed at room temperature. These results show that the FTJ structure has potential to be adapted for use in uncooled infrared detectors.

  4. High temperature coefficient of resistance for a ferroelectric tunnel junction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Xiaolin; Wang, Jianlu; Tian, Bobo; Liu, Bolu; Wang, Xudong; Huang, Hai; Zou, Yuhong; Sun, Shuo; Lin, Tie; Han, Li; Sun, Jinglan; Meng, Xiangjian; Chu, Junhao

    2015-08-01

    An infrared detector is proposed that is based on a ferroelectric tunnel junction (FTJ) working under bolometer-like principles. Electron tunneling, either direct or indirect, through the ferroelectric barrier depends on the temperature of the devices. During tunneling, infrared radiation alters the polarization of the ferroelectric film via pyroelectricity, resulting in a change in the barrier height of the tunnel junction. A high temperature coefficient of resistance of up to -3.86% was observed at room temperature. These results show that the FTJ structure has potential to be adapted for use in uncooled infrared detectors.

  5. Experimental Study of Resistive Bistability in Metal Oxide Junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Su, D.; Tan, Z.; Patel, V.; Likharev, K.K.; Zhu, Y.

    2011-05-01

    We have studied resistive bistability (memory) effects in junctions based on metal oxides, with a focus on sample-to-sample reproducibility, which is necessary for the use of such junctions as crosspoint devices of hybrid CMOS/nanoelectronic circuits. Few-nm-thick layers of NbO{sub x}, CuO{sub x} and TiO{sub x} have been formed by thermal and plasma oxidation, at various deposition and oxidation conditions, both with and without rapid thermal post-annealing. The resistive bistability effect has been observed for all these materials, with particularly high endurance (over 10{sup 3} switching cycles) obtained for single-layer TiO{sub 2} junctions, and the best reproducibility reached for multi-layer junctions of the same material. Fabrication optimization has allowed us to improve the OFF/ON resistance ratio to about 10{sup 3}, but the sample-to-sample reproducibility is so far lower than that required for large-scale integration.

  6. Baicalein increases the cytotoxicity of cisplatin by enhancing gap junction intercellular communication.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yiwen; Wang, Qin; Zhang, Suzhi; Zhang, Yuan; Tao, Liang

    2014-07-01

    Drug resistance limits the clinical application of cisplatin, a widely used chemotherapeutic agent. Gap junction (GJ) is a channel that enhances cytotoxicity of certain chemotherapeutic agents. Baicalein is well known for its antitumor activity. This study investigated the effect of baicalein on cisplatin cytotoxicity and the relationship between this effect and the modulation of the GJ function in connexin 26 (Cx26)‑transfected HeLa cells. The sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay was used to examine the effect of baicalein on cell viability. A 'parachute' assay was used to investigate the effect of baicalein on GJ function. The effects of baicalein on cisplatin cytotoxicity and GJ function were assayed by standard colony‑forming assays. The expression of Cx26 was monitored by western blotting. It was observed that exposure of Cx26‑transfected cells to cisplatin reduced the number of colonies formed in low‑density cultures (no GJ formation) and in high‑density cultures (GJ formation), but the toxic effect was greater when cells were seeded at a high density. In the absence of connexin expression or with blockage of connexin channels however, cell density had no effect on cisplatin toxicity. Baicalein significantly enhanced cisplatin cytotoxicity, but this effect required the presence of functional GJs between the cells. In conclusion, the dependence of cisplatin toxicity on cell density is mediated by GJs. Baicalein increases cisplatin cytotoxicity through enhancing GJ intercellular communication. PMID:24736991

  7. High band gap 2-6 and 3-5 tunneling junctions for silicon multijunction solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daud, Taher (Inventor); Kachare, Akaram H. (Inventor)

    1986-01-01

    A multijunction silicon solar cell of high efficiency is provided by providing a tunnel junction between the solar cell junctions to connect them in series. The tunnel junction is comprised of p+ and n+ layers of high band gap 3-5 or 2-6 semiconductor materials that match the lattice structure of silicon, such as GaP (band gap 2.24 eV) or ZnS (band gap 3.6 eV). Each of which has a perfect lattice match with silicon to avoid defects normally associated with lattice mismatch.

  8. A fluorescence photobleaching assay of gap junction-mediated communication between human cells.

    PubMed

    Wade, M H; Trosko, J E; Schindler, M

    1986-04-25

    Gap junction-mediated communication between contiguous cells has been implicated in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation. This report describes a new technique to measure cell-cell communication, gap fluorescence redistribution after photobleaching, which is based on the diffusion-dependent return of 6-carboxyfluorescein-mediated fluorescence in a photobleached cell that is in contact with other fluorescently labeled cells. Fluorescence recovery rates are interpreted as dye transport across gap junctions. Results of experiments on normal human fibroblasts and human teratocarcinoma cells show that this technique can measure rapid dye transfer and detect inhibition of communication (between teratocarcinoma cells) by the tumor promoters 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate and the pesticide dieldrin. PMID:3961495

  9. An electrostatic mechanism for Ca(2+)-mediated regulation of gap junction channels.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Brad C; Purdy, Michael D; Baker, Kent A; Acharya, Chayan; McIntire, William E; Stevens, Raymond C; Zhang, Qinghai; Harris, Andrew L; Abagyan, Ruben; Yeager, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Gap junction channels mediate intercellular signalling that is crucial in tissue development, homeostasis and pathologic states such as cardiac arrhythmias, cancer and trauma. To explore the mechanism by which Ca(2+) blocks intercellular communication during tissue injury, we determined the X-ray crystal structures of the human Cx26 gap junction channel with and without bound Ca(2+). The two structures were nearly identical, ruling out both a large-scale structural change and a local steric constriction of the pore. Ca(2+) coordination sites reside at the interfaces between adjacent subunits, near the entrance to the extracellular gap, where local, side chain conformational rearrangements enable Ca(2+)chelation. Computational analysis revealed that Ca(2+)-binding generates a positive electrostatic barrier that substantially inhibits permeation of cations such as K(+) into the pore. Our results provide structural evidence for a unique mechanism of channel regulation: ionic conduction block via an electrostatic barrier rather than steric occlusion of the channel pore. PMID:26753910

  10. An electrostatic mechanism for Ca2+-mediated regulation of gap junction channels

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Brad C.; Purdy, Michael D.; Baker, Kent A.; Acharya, Chayan; McIntire, William E.; Stevens, Raymond C.; Zhang, Qinghai; Harris, Andrew L.; Abagyan, Ruben; Yeager, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Gap junction channels mediate intercellular signalling that is crucial in tissue development, homeostasis and pathologic states such as cardiac arrhythmias, cancer and trauma. To explore the mechanism by which Ca2+ blocks intercellular communication during tissue injury, we determined the X-ray crystal structures of the human Cx26 gap junction channel with and without bound Ca2+. The two structures were nearly identical, ruling out both a large-scale structural change and a local steric constriction of the pore. Ca2+ coordination sites reside at the interfaces between adjacent subunits, near the entrance to the extracellular gap, where local, side chain conformational rearrangements enable Ca2+chelation. Computational analysis revealed that Ca2+-binding generates a positive electrostatic barrier that substantially inhibits permeation of cations such as K+ into the pore. Our results provide structural evidence for a unique mechanism of channel regulation: ionic conduction block via an electrostatic barrier rather than steric occlusion of the channel pore. PMID:26753910

  11. TLR-Activated Gap Junction Channels Protect Mice against Bacterial Infection through Extracellular UDP Release.

    PubMed

    Qin, Juliang; Zhang, Guangxu; Zhang, Xiaoyu; Tan, Binghe; Lv, Zhangsheng; Liu, Mingyao; Ren, Hua; Qian, Min; Du, Bing

    2016-02-15

    Extracellular UDP (eUDP), released as a danger signal by stressed or apoptotic cells, plays an important role in a series of physiological processes. Although the mechanism of eUDP release in apoptotic cells has been well defined, how the eUDP is released in innate immune responses remains unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that UDP was released in both Escherichia coli-infected mice and LPS- or Pam3CSK4-treated macrophages. Also, LPS-induced UDP release could be significantly blocked by selective TLR4 inhibitor Atractylenolide I and selective gap junction inhibitors carbenoxolone and flufenamic acid (FFA), suggesting the key role of TLR signaling and gap junction channels in this process. Meanwhile, eUDP protected mice from peritonitis by reducing invaded bacteria that could be rescued by MRS2578 (selective P2Y6 receptor inhibitor) and FFA. Then, connexin 43, as one of the gap junction proteins, was found to be clearly increased by LPS in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, if we blocked LPS-induced ERK signaling by U0126, the expression of connexin 43 and UDP release was also inhibited dramatically. In addition, UDP-induced MCP-1 secretion was significantly reduced by MRS2578, FFA, and P2Y6 mutation. Accordingly, pretreating mice with U0126 and Gap26 increased invaded bacteria and aggravated mice death. Taken together, our study reveals an internal relationship between danger signals and TLR signaling in innate immune responses, which suggests a potential therapeutic significance of gap junction channel-mediated UDP release in infectious diseases. PMID:26783339

  12. Oligodendrocytes in mouse corpus callosum are coupled via gap junction channels formed by connexin47 and connexin32.

    PubMed

    Maglione, Marta; Tress, Oliver; Haas, Brigitte; Karram, Khalad; Trotter, Jacqueline; Willecke, Klaus; Kettenmann, Helmut

    2010-07-01

    According to previously published ultrastructural studies, oligodendrocytes in white matter exhibit gap junctions with astrocytes, but not among each other, while in vitro oligodendrocytes form functional gap junctions. We have studied functional coupling among oligodendrocytes in acute slices of postnatal mouse corpus callosum. By whole-cell patch clamp we dialyzed oligodendrocytes with biocytin, a gap junction-permeable tracer. On average 61 cells were positive for biocytin detected by labeling with streptavidin-Cy3. About 77% of the coupled cells stained positively for the oligodendrocyte marker protein CNPase, 9% for the astrocyte marker GFAP and 14% were negative for both CNPase and GFAP. In the latter population, the majority expressed Olig2 and some NG2, markers for oligodendrocyte precursors. Oligodendrocytes are known to express Cx47, Cx32 and Cx29, astrocytes Cx43 and Cx30. In Cx47-deficient mice, the number of coupled cells was reduced by 80%. Deletion of Cx32 or Cx29 alone did not significantly reduce the number of coupled cells, but coupling was absent in Cx32/Cx47-double-deficient mice. Cx47-ablation completely abolished coupling of oligodendrocytes to astrocytes. In Cx43-deficient animals, oligodendrocyte-astrocyte coupling was still present, but coupling to oligodendrocyte precursors was not observed. In Cx43/Cx30-double deficient mice, oligodendrocyte-to-astrocyte coupling was almost absent. Uncoupled oligodendrocytes showed a higher input resistance. We conclude that oligodendrocytes in white matter form a functional syncytium predominantly among each other dependent on Cx47 and Cx32 expression, while astrocytic connexins expression can promote the size of this network. PMID:20468052

  13. Protein Kinase Cδ-mediated Phosphorylation of Connexin43 Gap Junction Channels Causes Movement within Gap Junctions followed by Vesicle Internalization and Protein Degradation*

    PubMed Central

    Cone, Angela C.; Cavin, Gabriel; Ambrosi, Cinzia; Hakozaki, Hiroyuki; Wu-Zhang, Alyssa X.; Kunkel, Maya T.; Newton, Alexandra C.; Sosinsky, Gina E.

    2014-01-01

    Phosphorylation of gap junction proteins, connexins, plays a role in global signaling events involving kinases. Connexin43 (Cx43), a ubiquitous and important connexin, has several phosphorylation sites for specific kinases. We appended an imaging reporter tag for the activity of the δ isoform of protein kinase C (PKCδ) to the carboxyl terminus of Cx43. The FRET signal of this reporter is inversely related to the phosphorylation of serine 368 of Cx43. By activating PKC with the phorbol ester phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu) or a natural stimulant, UTP, time lapse live cell imaging movies indicated phosphorylated Ser-368 Cx43 separated into discrete domains within gap junctions and was internalized in small vesicles, after which it was degraded by lysosomes and proteasomes. Mutation of Ser-368 to an Ala eliminated the response to PDBu and changes in phosphorylation of the reporter. A phosphatase inhibitor, calyculin A, does not change this pattern, indicating PKC phosphorylation causes degradation of Cx43 without dephosphorylation, which is in accordance with current hypotheses that cells control their intercellular communication by a fast and constant turnover of connexins, using phosphorylation as part of this mechanism. PMID:24500718

  14. Gap Junctions Contribute to the Regulation of Walking-Like Activity in the Adult Mudpuppy (Necturus Maculatus).

    PubMed

    Lavrov, Igor; Fox, Lyle; Shen, Jun; Han, Yingchun; Cheng, Jianguo

    2016-01-01

    Although gap junctions are widely expressed in the developing central nervous system, the role of electrical coupling of neurons and glial cells via gap junctions in the spinal cord in adults is largely unknown. We investigated whether gap junctions are expressed in the mature spinal cord of the mudpuppy and tested the effects of applying gap junction blocker on the walking-like activity induced by NMDA or glutamate in an in vitro mudpuppy preparation. We found that glial and neural cells in the mudpuppy spinal cord expressed different types of connexins that include connexin 32 (Cx32), connexin 36 (Cx36), connexin 37 (Cx37), and connexin 43 (Cx43). Application of a battery of gap junction blockers from three different structural classes (carbenexolone, flufenamic acid, and long chain alcohols) substantially and consistently altered the locomotor-like activity in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, these blockers did not significantly change the amplitude of the dorsal root reflex, indicating that gap junction blockers did not inhibit neuronal excitability nonselectively in the spinal cord. Taken together, these results suggest that gap junctions play a significant modulatory role in the spinal neural networks responsible for the generation of walking-like activity in the adult mudpuppy. PMID:27023006

  15. Gap Junctions Contribute to the Regulation of Walking-Like Activity in the Adult Mudpuppy (Necturus Maculatus)

    PubMed Central

    Lavrov, Igor; Fox, Lyle; Shen, Jun; Han, Yingchun; Cheng, Jianguo

    2016-01-01

    Although gap junctions are widely expressed in the developing central nervous system, the role of electrical coupling of neurons and glial cells via gap junctions in the spinal cord in adults is largely unknown. We investigated whether gap junctions are expressed in the mature spinal cord of the mudpuppy and tested the effects of applying gap junction blocker on the walking-like activity induced by NMDA or glutamate in an in vitro mudpuppy preparation. We found that glial and neural cells in the mudpuppy spinal cord expressed different types of connexins that include connexin 32 (Cx32), connexin 36 (Cx36), connexin 37 (Cx37), and connexin 43 (Cx43). Application of a battery of gap junction blockers from three different structural classes (carbenexolone, flufenamic acid, and long chain alcohols) substantially and consistently altered the locomotor-like activity in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, these blockers did not significantly change the amplitude of the dorsal root reflex, indicating that gap junction blockers did not inhibit neuronal excitability nonselectively in the spinal cord. Taken together, these results suggest that gap junctions play a significant modulatory role in the spinal neural networks responsible for the generation of walking-like activity in the adult mudpuppy. PMID:27023006

  16. A versatile optical junction using photonic band-gap guidance and self collimation

    SciTech Connect

    Gupta, Man Mohan; Medhekar, Sarang

    2014-09-29

    We show that it is possible to design two photonic crystal (PC) structures such that an optical beam of desired wavelength gets guided within the line defect of the first structure (photonic band gap guidance) and the same beam gets guided in the second structure by self-collimation. Using two dimensional simulation of a design made of the combination of these two structures, we propose an optical junction that allows for crossing of two optical signals of same wavelength and same polarization with very low crosstalk. Moreover, the junction can be operated at number of frequencies in a wide range. Crossing of multiple beams with very low cross talk is also possible. The proposed junction should be important in future integrated photonic circuits.

  17. Neural progenitor cells isolated from the subventricular zone present hemichannel activity and form functional gap junctions with glial cells

    PubMed Central

    Talaverón, Rocío; Fernández, Paola; Escamilla, Rosalba; Pastor, Angel M.; Matarredona, Esperanza R.; Sáez, Juan C.

    2015-01-01

    The postnatal subventricular zone (SVZ) lining the walls of the lateral ventricles contains neural progenitor cells (NPCs) that generate new olfactory bulb interneurons. Communication via gap junctions between cells in the SVZ is involved in NPC proliferation and in neuroblast migration towards the olfactory bulb. SVZ NPCs can be expanded in vitro in the form of neurospheres that can be used for transplantation purposes after brain injury. We have previously reported that neurosphere-derived NPCs form heterocellular gap junctions with host glial cells when they are implanted after mechanical injury. To analyze functionality of NPC-glial cell gap junctions we performed dye coupling experiments in co-cultures of SVZ NPCs with astrocytes or microglia. Neurosphere-derived cells expressed mRNA for at least the hemichannel/gap junction channel proteins connexin 26 (Cx26), Cx43, Cx45 and pannexin 1 (Panx1). Dye coupling experiments revealed that gap junctional communication occurred among neurosphere cells (incidence of coupling: 100%). Moreover, hemichannel activity was also detected in neurosphere cells as evaluated in time-lapse measurements of ethidium bromide uptake. Heterocellular coupling between NPCs and glial cells was evidenced in co-cultures of neurospheres with astrocytes (incidence of coupling: 91.0 ± 4.7%) or with microglia (incidence of coupling: 71.9 ± 6.7%). Dye coupling in neurospheres and in co-cultures was inhibited by octanol, a gap junction blocker. Altogether, these results suggest the existence of functional hemichannels and gap junction channels in postnatal SVZ neurospheres. In addition, they demonstrate that SVZ-derived NPCs can establish functional gap junctions with astrocytes or microglia. Therefore, cell-cell communication via gap junctions and hemichannels with host glial cells might subserve a role in the functional integration of NPCs after implantation in the damaged brain. PMID:26528139

  18. Ionic blockade of the rat connexin40 gap junction channel by large tetraalkylammonium ions.

    PubMed

    Musa, H; Gough, J D; Lees, W J; Veenstra, R D

    2001-12-01

    The rat connexin40 gap junction channel is permeable to monovalent cations including tetramethylammonium and tetraethylammonium ions. Larger tetraalkyammonium (TAA(+)) ions beginning with tetrabutylammonium (TBA(+)) reduced KCl junctional currents disproportionately. Ionic blockade by tetrapentylammonium (TPeA(+)) and tetrahexylammonium (THxA(+)) ions were concentration- and voltage-dependent and occurred only when TAA(+) ions were on the same side as net K(+) efflux across the junction, indicative of block of the ionic permeation pathway. The voltage-dependent dissociation constants (K(m)(V(j))) were lower for THxA(+) than TPeA(+), consistent with steric effects within the pore. The K(m)-V(j) relationships for TPeA(+) and THxA(+) were fit with different reaction rate models for a symmetrical (homotypic) connexin gap junction channel and were described by either a one- or two-site model that assumed each ion traversed the entire V(j) field. Bilateral addition of TPeA(+) ions confirmed a common site of interaction within the pore that possessed identical K(m)(V(j)) values for cis-trans concentrations of TPeA(+) ions as indicated by the modeled I-V relations and rapid channel block that precluded unitary current measurements. The TAA(+) block of K(+) currents and bilateral TPeA(+) interactions did not alter V(j)-gating of Cx40 gap junctions. N-octyl-tributylammonium and -triethylammonium also blocked rCx40 channels with higher affinity and faster kinetics than TBA(+) or TPeA(+), indicative of a hydrophobic site within the pore near the site of block. PMID:11720990

  19. Tonabersat, a novel gap-junction modulator for the prevention of migraine.

    PubMed

    Silberstein, S D

    2009-11-01

    Migraine is a common, recurrent, primary headache disorder associated with significant morbidity as well as high direct and indirect costs. Despite its impact, only a proportion of migraineurs who meet criteria for prophylactic treatment take preventive medication. Antiepileptic drugs and beta-blockers are among the most used preventive therapies, but their exact mechanisms of action in migraine prophylaxis are unknown. Recent research has pointed to the role of cortical spreading depression in the genesis of migraine aura and pain, with neuronal-glial gap junctions playing a prominent part in cortical spreading depression. Tonabersat is a unique compound with demonstrated activity as a gap-junction inhibitor in animal studies. In preclinical and clinical trials, tonabersat was well tolerated, with no cardiovascular effects; the pharmacokinetic profile suggested its usefulness in the prophylaxis of migraine. PMID:19723123

  20. Effect of sound on gap-junction-based intercellular signaling: Calcium waves under acoustic irradiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deymier, P. A.; Swinteck, N.; Runge, K.; Deymier-Black, A.; Hoying, J. B.

    2015-11-01

    We present a previously unrecognized effect of sound waves on gap-junction-based intercellular signaling such as in biological tissues composed of endothelial cells. We suggest that sound irradiation may, through temporal and spatial modulation of cell-to-cell conductance, create intercellular calcium waves with unidirectional signal propagation associated with nonconventional topologies. Nonreciprocity in calcium wave propagation induced by sound wave irradiation is demonstrated in the case of a linear and a nonlinear reaction-diffusion model. This demonstration should be applicable to other types of gap-junction-based intercellular signals, and it is thought that it should be of help in interpreting a broad range of biological phenomena associated with the beneficial therapeutic effects of sound irradiation and possibly the harmful effects of sound waves on health.

  1. Spontaneous calcium signals induced by gap junctions in a network model of astrocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazantsev, V. B.

    2009-01-01

    The dynamics of a network model of astrocytes coupled by gap junctions is investigated. Calcium dynamics of the single cell is described by the biophysical model comprising the set of three nonlinear differential equations. Intercellular dynamics is provided by the diffusion of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) through gap junctions between neighboring astrocytes. It is found that the diffusion induces the appearance of spontaneous activity patterns in the network. Stability of the network steady state is analyzed. It is proved that the increase of the diffusion coefficient above a certain critical value yields the generation of low-amplitude subthreshold oscillatory signals in a certain frequency range. It is shown that such spontaneous oscillations can facilitate calcium pulse generation and provide a certain time scale in astrocyte signaling.

  2. Regulation of gap junction channels by infectious agents and inflammation in the CNS

    PubMed Central

    Castellano, Paul; Eugenin, Eliseo A.

    2014-01-01

    Gap junctions (GJs) are conglomerates of intercellular channels that connect the cytoplasm of two or more cells, and facilitate the transfer of ions and small molecules, including second messengers, resulting in metabolic and electrical coordination. In general, loss of gap junctional communication (GJC) has been associated with cellular damage and inflammation resulting in compromise of physiological functions. Recently, it has become evident that GJ channels also play a critical role in the pathogenesis of infectious diseases and associated inflammation. Several pathogens use the transfer of intracellular signals through GJ channels to spread infection and toxic signals that amplify inflammation to neighboring cells. Thus, identification of the mechanisms by which several infectious agents alter GJC could result in new potential therapeutic approaches to reduce inflammation and their pathogenesis. PMID:24847208

  3. Closing the proximity gap in a metallic Josephson junction between three superconductors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padurariu, C.; Jonckheere, T.; Rech, J.; Mélin, R.; Feinberg, D.; Martin, T.; Nazarov, Yu. V.

    2015-11-01

    We describe the proximity effect in a short disordered metallic junction between three superconducting leads. Andreev bound states in the multiterminal junction may cross the Fermi level. We reveal that for a quasicontinuous metallic density of states, crossings at the Fermi level manifest as a closing of the proximity-induced gap. We calculate the local density of states for a wide range of transport parameters using quantum circuit theory. The gap closes inside an area of the space spanned by the superconducting phase differences. We derive an approximate analytic expression for the boundary of the area and compare it to the full numerical solution. The size of the area increases with the transparency of the junction and is sensitive to asymmetry. The finite density of states at zero energy is unaffected by the electron-hole decoherence present in the junction, although decoherence is important at higher energies. Our predictions can be tested using tunneling transport spectroscopy. To encourage experiments, we calculate the current-voltage characteristic in a typical measurement setup. We show how the structure of the local density of states can be mapped out from the measurement.

  4. SLO BK Potassium Channels Couple Gap Junctions to Inhibition of Calcium Signaling in Olfactory Neuron Diversification

    PubMed Central

    Schumacher, Jennifer A.; Wang, Xiaohong; Merrill, Sean A.; Millington, Grethel; Bayne, Brittany; Jorgensen, Erik M.; Chuang, Chiou-Fen

    2016-01-01

    The C. elegans AWC olfactory neuron pair communicates to specify asymmetric subtypes AWCOFF and AWCON in a stochastic manner. Intercellular communication between AWC and other neurons in a transient NSY-5 gap junction network antagonizes voltage-activated calcium channels, UNC-2 (CaV2) and EGL-19 (CaV1), in the AWCON cell, but how calcium signaling is downregulated by NSY-5 is only partly understood. Here, we show that voltage- and calcium-activated SLO BK potassium channels mediate gap junction signaling to inhibit calcium pathways for asymmetric AWC differentiation. Activation of vertebrate SLO-1 channels causes transient membrane hyperpolarization, which makes it an important negative feedback system for calcium entry through voltage-activated calcium channels. Consistent with the physiological roles of SLO-1, our genetic results suggest that slo-1 BK channels act downstream of NSY-5 gap junctions to inhibit calcium channel-mediated signaling in the specification of AWCON. We also show for the first time that slo-2 BK channels are important for AWC asymmetry and act redundantly with slo-1 to inhibit calcium signaling. In addition, nsy-5-dependent asymmetric expression of slo-1 and slo-2 in the AWCON neuron is necessary and sufficient for AWC asymmetry. SLO-1 and SLO-2 localize close to UNC-2 and EGL-19 in AWC, suggesting a role of possible functional coupling between SLO BK channels and voltage-activated calcium channels in AWC asymmetry. Furthermore, slo-1 and slo-2 regulate the localization of synaptic markers, UNC-2 and RAB-3, in AWC neurons to control AWC asymmetry. We also identify the requirement of bkip-1, which encodes a previously identified auxiliary subunit of SLO-1, for slo-1 and slo-2 function in AWC asymmetry. Together, these results provide an unprecedented molecular link between gap junctions and calcium pathways for terminal differentiation of olfactory neurons. PMID:26771544

  5. Mathematical modeling of gap junction coupling and electrical activity in human β-cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loppini, Alessandro; Braun, Matthias; Filippi, Simonetta; Gram Pedersen, Morten

    2015-12-01

    Coordinated insulin secretion is controlled by electrical coupling of pancreatic β-cells due to connexin-36 gap junctions. Gap junction coupling not only synchronizes the heterogeneous β-cell population, but can also modify the electrical behavior of the cells. These phenomena have been widely studied with mathematical models based on data from mouse β-cells. However, it is now known that human β-cell electrophysiology shows important differences to its rodent counterpart, and although human pancreatic islets express connexin-36 and show evidence of β-cell coupling, these aspects have been little investigated in human β-cells. Here we investigate theoretically, the gap junction coupling strength required for synchronizing electrical activity in a small cluster of cells simulated with a recent mathematical model of human β-cell electrophysiology. We find a lower limit for the coupling strength of approximately 20 pS (i.e., normalized to cell size, ˜2 pS pF-1) below which spiking electrical activity is asynchronous. To confront this theoretical lower bound with data, we use our model to estimate from an experimental patch clamp recording that the coupling strength is approximately 100-200 pS (10-20 pS pF-1), similar to previous estimates in mouse β-cells. We then investigate the role of gap junction coupling in synchronizing and modifying other forms of electrical activity in human β-cell clusters. We find that electrical coupling can prolong the period of rapid bursting electrical activity, and synchronize metabolically driven slow bursting, in particular when the metabolic oscillators are in phase. Our results show that realistic coupling conductances are sufficient to promote synchrony in small clusters of human β-cells as observed experimentally, and provide motivation for further detailed studies of electrical coupling in human pancreatic islets.

  6. Pharmacological blockade of gap junctions induces repetitive surging of extracellular potassium within the locust CNS.

    PubMed

    Spong, Kristin E; Robertson, R Meldrum

    2013-10-01

    The maintenance of cellular ion homeostasis is crucial for optimal neural function and thus it is of great importance to understand its regulation. Glial cells are extensively coupled by gap junctions forming a network that is suggested to serve as a spatial buffer for potassium (K(+)) ions. We have investigated the role of glial spatial buffering in the regulation of extracellular K(+) concentration ([K(+)]o) within the locust metathoracic ganglion by pharmacologically inhibiting gap junctions. Using K(+)-sensitive microelectrodes, we measured [K(+)]o near the ventilatory neuropile while simultaneously recording the ventilatory rhythm as a model of neural circuit function. We found that blockade of gap junctions with either carbenoxolone (CBX), 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid (18β-GA) or meclofenamic acid (MFA) reliably induced repetitive [K(+)]o surges and caused a progressive impairment in the ability to maintain baseline [K(+)]o levels throughout the treatment period. We also show that a low dose of CBX that did not induce surging activity increased the vulnerability of locust neural tissue to spreading depression (SD) induced by Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase inhibition with ouabain. CBX pre-treatment increased the number of SD events induced by ouabain and hindered the recovery of [K(+)]o back to baseline levels between events. Our results suggest that glial spatial buffering through gap junctions plays an essential role in the regulation of [K(+)]o under normal conditions and also contributes to a component of [K(+)]o clearance following physiologically elevated levels of [K(+)]o. PMID:23916994

  7. Antofine-induced connexin43 gap junction disassembly in rat astrocytes involves protein kinase Cβ.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yu-Fang; Liao, Chih-Kai; Lin, Jau-Chen; Jow, Guey-Mei; Wang, Hwai-Shi; Wu, Jiahn-Chun

    2013-03-01

    Antofine, a phenanthroindolizidine alkaloid derived from Cryptocaryachinensis and Ficusseptica in the Asclepiadaceae milkweed family, is cytotoxic for various cancer cell lines. In this study, we demonstrated that treatment of rat primary astrocytes with antofine induced dose-dependent inhibition of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC), as assessed by scrape-loading 6-carboxyfluorescein dye transfer. Levels of Cx43 protein were also decreased in a dose- and time-dependent manner following antofine treatment. Double-labeling immunofluorescence microscopy showed that antofine (10ng/ml) induced endocytosis of surface gap junctions into the cytoplasm, where Cx43 was co-localized with the early endosome marker EEA1. Inhibition of lysosomes or proteasomes by co-treatment with antofine and their respective specific inhibitors, NH4Cl or MG132, partially inhibited the antofine-induced decrease in Cx43 protein levels, but did not inhibit the antofine-induced inhibition of GJIC. After 30min of treatment, antofine induced a rapid increase in the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration and activation of protein kinase C (PKC)α/βII, which was maintained for at least 6h. Co-treatment of astrocytes with antofine and the intracellular Ca(2+) chelator BAPTA-AM prevented downregulation of Cx43 and inhibition of GJIC. Moreover, co-treatment with antofine and a specific PKCβ inhibitor prevented endocytosis of gap junctions, downregulation of Cx43, and inhibition of GJIC. Taken together, these findings indicate that antofine induces Cx43 gap junction disassembly by the PKCβ signaling pathway. Inhibition of GJIC by antofine may undermine the neuroprotective effect of astrocytes in CNS. PMID:23403203

  8. SLO BK Potassium Channels Couple Gap Junctions to Inhibition of Calcium Signaling in Olfactory Neuron Diversification.

    PubMed

    Alqadah, Amel; Hsieh, Yi-Wen; Schumacher, Jennifer A; Wang, Xiaohong; Merrill, Sean A; Millington, Grethel; Bayne, Brittany; Jorgensen, Erik M; Chuang, Chiou-Fen

    2016-01-01

    The C. elegans AWC olfactory neuron pair communicates to specify asymmetric subtypes AWCOFF and AWCON in a stochastic manner. Intercellular communication between AWC and other neurons in a transient NSY-5 gap junction network antagonizes voltage-activated calcium channels, UNC-2 (CaV2) and EGL-19 (CaV1), in the AWCON cell, but how calcium signaling is downregulated by NSY-5 is only partly understood. Here, we show that voltage- and calcium-activated SLO BK potassium channels mediate gap junction signaling to inhibit calcium pathways for asymmetric AWC differentiation. Activation of vertebrate SLO-1 channels causes transient membrane hyperpolarization, which makes it an important negative feedback system for calcium entry through voltage-activated calcium channels. Consistent with the physiological roles of SLO-1, our genetic results suggest that slo-1 BK channels act downstream of NSY-5 gap junctions to inhibit calcium channel-mediated signaling in the specification of AWCON. We also show for the first time that slo-2 BK channels are important for AWC asymmetry and act redundantly with slo-1 to inhibit calcium signaling. In addition, nsy-5-dependent asymmetric expression of slo-1 and slo-2 in the AWCON neuron is necessary and sufficient for AWC asymmetry. SLO-1 and SLO-2 localize close to UNC-2 and EGL-19 in AWC, suggesting a role of possible functional coupling between SLO BK channels and voltage-activated calcium channels in AWC asymmetry. Furthermore, slo-1 and slo-2 regulate the localization of synaptic markers, UNC-2 and RAB-3, in AWC neurons to control AWC asymmetry. We also identify the requirement of bkip-1, which encodes a previously identified auxiliary subunit of SLO-1, for slo-1 and slo-2 function in AWC asymmetry. Together, these results provide an unprecedented molecular link between gap junctions and calcium pathways for terminal differentiation of olfactory neurons. PMID:26771544

  9. Lateral interactions among membrane proteins. Implications for the organization of gap junctions.

    PubMed Central

    Abney, J R; Braun, J; Owicki, J C

    1987-01-01

    We have studied the relationship between interprotein forces and the lateral distribution of proteins in disordered mouse liver gap junctions. Data on protein positions are obtained from freeze-fracture electron micrographs. Short-ranged correlations in observed positions are characteristic of interacting particles in a fluid state. An analysis derived from statistical mechanics allows the determination of the magnitude and functional form of interprotein forces. We find that jap junction proteins are mutually repulsive, in a manner consistent with electrostatics and excluded volume. This dictates that long-ranged protein aggregation into jap junction plaques cannot arise solely from interparticle interactions. An alternative is the balance of lateral pressures between the junction and the surrounding glycocalyx. This idea is quantified into a model. Junctional pressure arises from protein-protein interactions and is computed from a pressure equation based on the force and a radial distribution function describing order. The pressure from the glycocalyx is assumed to arise from mixing, electrostatic, and elastic interactions of sugar residues, and is described with terms from Flory-Krigbaum and McMillan-Mayer theories. The results of this modeling are in reasonable agreement with available experimental data. Images FIGURE 1 PMID:3651562

  10. Osteocytes up-regulate the terminal differentiation of pre-osteoblasts via gap junctions.

    PubMed

    Nishikawa, Yoichi; Akiyama, Yuko; Yamamoto, Kiyofumi; Kobayashi, Masayuki; Watanabe, Eri; Watanabe, Nobukazu; Shimizu, Noriyoshi; Mikami, Yoshikazu; Komiyama, Kazuo

    2015-01-01

    We examined cell-to-cell interaction between pre-osteoblasts and osteocytes using MC3T3-E1 and MLO-Y4, respectively. First, GFP expressing MC3T3-E1 (E1-GFP) cells were generated to isolate the cells from co-culture with MLO-Y4. No changes were observed in the expression of osteogenic transcription factors Runx2, Osterix, Dlx5 and Msx2, but expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and bone sialoprotein (BSP) in E1-GFP co-cultured with MLO-Y4 was 300-400-fold greater than that in mono-cultured E1-GFP. In addition, mineralized nodule formation was drastically increased in co-cultured E1-GFP cells compared to mono-cultured cells. Patch clamp assay showed the presence of gap junctions between E1-GFP and MLO-Y4. Furthermore, when the gap junction inhibitor carbenoxolone (CBX) was added to the culture, increased expression of ALP and BSP in E1-GFP co-cultured with MLO-Y4 was suppressed. These results suggest that gap junction detected between pre-osteoblasts and osteocytes plays an important role on the terminal differentiation of pre-osteoblasts. PMID:25450679

  11. Expression and role of connexin-based gap junctions in pulmonary inflammatory diseases.

    PubMed

    Freund-Michel, Véronique; Muller, Bernard; Marthan, Roger; Savineau, Jean-Pierre; Guibert, Christelle

    2016-08-01

    Connexins are transmembrane proteins that can generate intercellular communication channels known as gap junctions. They contribute to the direct movement of ions and larger cytoplasmic solutes between various cell types. In the lung, connexins participate in a variety of physiological functions, such as tissue homeostasis and host defence. In addition, emerging evidence supports a role for connexins in various pulmonary inflammatory diseases, such as asthma, pulmonary hypertension, acute lung injury, lung fibrosis or cystic fibrosis. In these diseases, the altered expression of connexins leads to disruption of normal intercellular communication pathways, thus contributing to various pathophysiological aspects, such as inflammation or tissue altered reactivity and remodeling. The present review describes connexin structure and organization in gap junctions. It focuses on connexins in the lung, including pulmonary bronchial and arterial beds, by looking at their expression, regulation and physiological functions. This work also addresses the issue of connexin expression alteration in various pulmonary inflammatory diseases and describes how targeting connexin-based gap junctions with pharmacological tools, synthetic blocking peptides or genetic approaches, may open new therapeutic perspectives in the treatment of these diseases. PMID:27126473

  12. Structure of the extracellular surface of the gap junction by atomic force microscopy.

    PubMed Central

    Hoh, J H; Sosinsky, G E; Revel, J P; Hansma, P K

    1993-01-01

    The extracellular surface of the gap junction cell-to-cell channels was imaged in phosphate-buffered saline with an atomic force microscope. The fully hydrated isolated gap junction membranes adsorbed to mica were irregular sheets approximately 1-2 microns across and 13.2 (+/- 1.3) nm thick. The top bilayer of the gap junction was dissected by increasing the force applied to the tip or sometimes by increasing the scan rate at moderate forces. The exposed extracellular surface revealed a hexagonal array with a center-to-center spacing of 9.4 (+/- 0.9) nm between individual channels (connexons). Images of individual connexons with a lateral resolution of < 3.5 nm, and in the best case approximately 2.5 nm, were reliably and reproducibly obtained with high-quality tips. These membrane channels protruded 1.4 (+/- 0.4) nm from the extracellular surface of the lipid membrane, and the atomic force microscope tip reached up to 0.7 nm into the pore, which opened up to a diameter of 3.8 (+/- 0.6) nm on the extracellular side. Images FIGURE 2 FIGURE 1 FIGURE 3 FIGURE 4 FIGURE 5 FIGURE 6 FIGURE 7 FIGURE 8 FIGURE 9 FIGURE 10 PMID:8396452

  13. Connexin 43 mediated gap junctional communication enhances breast tumor cell diapedesis in culture

    PubMed Central

    Pollmann, Mary-Ann; Shao, Qing; Laird, Dale W; Sandig, Martin

    2005-01-01

    Introduction Metastasis involves the emigration of tumor cells through the vascular endothelium, a process also known as diapedesis. The molecular mechanisms regulating tumor cell diapedesis are poorly understood, but may involve heterocellular gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) between tumor cells and endothelial cells. Method To test this hypothesis we expressed connexin 43 (Cx43) in GJIC-deficient mammary epithelial tumor cells (HBL100) and examined their ability to form gap junctions, establish heterocellular GJIC and migrate through monolayers of human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC) grown on matrigel-coated coverslips. Results HBL100 cells expressing Cx43 formed functional heterocellular gap junctions with HMVEC monolayers within 30 minutes. In addition, immunocytochemistry revealed Cx43 localized to contact sites between Cx43 expressing tumor cells and endothelial cells. Quantitative analysis of diapedesis revealed a two-fold increase in diapedesis of Cx43 expressing cells compared to empty vector control cells. The expression of a functionally inactive Cx43 chimeric protein in HBL100 cells failed to increase migration efficiency, suggesting that the observed up-regulation of diapedesis in Cx43 expressing cells required heterocellular GJIC. This finding is further supported by the observation that blocking homocellular and heterocellular GJIC with carbenoxolone in co-cultures also reduced diapedesis of Cx43 expressing HBL100 tumor cells. Conclusion Collectively, our results suggest that heterocellular GJIC between breast tumor cells and endothelial cells may be an important regulatory step during metastasis. PMID:15987459

  14. Phylogenetic and bioinformatic analysis of gap junction-related proteins, innexins, pannexins and connexins.

    PubMed

    Fushiki, Daisuke; Hamada, Yasuo; Yoshimura, Ryoichi; Endo, Yasuhisa

    2010-04-01

    All multi-cellular animals, including hydra, insects and vertebrates, develop gap junctions, which communicate directly with neighboring cells. Gap junctions consist of protein families called connexins in vertebrates and innexins in invertebrates. Connexins and innexins have no homology in their amino acid sequence, but both are thought to have some similar characteristics, such as a tetra-membrane-spanning structure, formation of a channel by hexamer, and transmission of small molecules (e.g. ions) to neighboring cells. Pannexins were recently identified as a homolog of innexins in vertebrate genomes. Although pannexins are thought to share the function of intercellular communication with connexins and innexins, there is little information about the relationship among these three protein families of gap junctions. We phylgenetically and bioinformatically examined these protein families and other tetra-membrane-spanning proteins using a database and three analytical softwares. The clades formed by pannexin families do not belong to the species classification but do to paralogs of each member of pannexins. Amino acid sequences of pannexins are closely related to those of innexins but less to those of connexins. These data suggest that innexins and pannexins have a common origin, but the relationship between innexins/pannexins and connexins is as slight as that of other tetra-membrane-spanning members. PMID:20460741

  15. Modulation of human cell responses to space radiation by gap-junction communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Autsavapromporn, Narongchai; de Toledo, Sonia M.; Buonanno, Manuela; Yang, Zhi; Harris, Andrew; Jay-Gerin, Jean-Paul; Azzam, Edouard

    Understanding the biological effects of space radiation and their underlying mechanism is critical to estimating the health risk associated with human exploration of space. A coordinated interaction of multiple cellular processes is likely involved in the sensing and processing of stressful effects induced by different types of space radiation. Here, we focused on the role of gap-junction intercellular communication (GJIC) in responses of human cells exposed to 1 GeV/n protons or 56 Fe-ions. We compared the results with data obtained in human cells exposed, in parallel, to γ-rays or α-particles. As expected, a higher level of cell killing and DNA damage, per unit dose, was induced in confluent, density-inhibited cells (98% in G0 /G1 ) exposed to α-particles or energetic 56 Fe-ions than γ-rays or protons. Strikingly, greatly attenuated effects occurred when sub-confluent cultures, synchronized in G0 /G1 ,were exposed to 56 Fe-ions. These data suggest that direct intercellular communication is involved in the effects of high linear energy transfer (LET) 56 Fe-ions. To examine the role of gap-junctions in propagating stressful effect, confluent cultures were exposed to 56 Fe-ions or α-particles and incubated for various time periods at 37° C in the presence or absence of the gap-junction inhibitor α-glycyrrhetinic acid (AGA). No repair of potentially lethal radiation damage occurred in cells incubated in the absence of AGA. In contrast, inhibition of functional GJIC significantly enhanced clonogenic survival of irradiated cells. To test the role of junctional channel permeability in the observed effects, we used human adenocarcinoma (HeLa) cells in which specific connexins (Cx) can be expressed in the absence of endogenous connexins. Whereas HeLa cells with selective inducible expression of Cx26 gap-junctions promoted radiation toxic effects, expression of Cx32 junctional channels in HeLa cells promoted pro-survival effects. Experiments are in progress to

  16. Enhanced effect of gap junction uncouplers on macroscopic electrical properties of reperfused myocardium.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Sinovas, Antonio; García-Dorado, David; Ruiz-Meana, Marisol; Soler-Soler, Jordi

    2004-08-15

    Transient inhibition of gap junction (GJ)-mediated communication with heptanol during myocardial reperfusion limits infarct size. However, inhibition of cell coupling in normal myocardium may be arrhythmogenic. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the consequences of GJ inhibition may be magnified in reperfused myocardium compared with normal tissue, thus allowing the inhibition of GJs in reperfused tissue while only minimally modifying overall macroscopic cell coupling in normal myocardium. Concentration-response curves were defined for the effects of heptanol, 18alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid, halothane, and palmitoleic acid on conduction velocity, tissue electrical impedance, developed tension and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release in normoxically perfused rat hearts (n= 17). Concentrations lacking significant effects on tissue impedance were added during the initial 15 min of reperfusion in hearts submitted to 60 min (n= 43) or 30 min (n= 35) of ischaemia. These concentrations markedly increased myocardial electrical impedance (resistivity and phase angle) in myocardium reperfused after either 30 or 60 min of ischaemia, and reduced reperfusion-induced LDH release after 1 h of ischaemia by 83.6, 57.9, 51.7 and 52.5% for heptanol, 18alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid, halothane and palmitoleic acid, respectively. LDH release was minimal in hearts submitted to 30 min of ischaemia, independently of group allocation. In conclusion, the present results strongly support the hypothesis that intercellular communication in postischaemic myocardium may be effectively reduced by concentrations of GJ inhibitors affecting only minimally overall electrical impedance in normal myocardium. Reduction of cell coupling during initial reperfusion was consistently associated with attenuated lethal reperfusion injury. PMID:15218064

  17. Enhanced effect of gap junction uncouplers on macroscopic electrical properties of reperfused myocardium

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez-Sinovas, Antonio; García-Dorado, David; Ruiz-Meana, Marisol; Soler-Soler, Jordi

    2004-01-01

    Transient inhibition of gap junction (GJ)-mediated communication with heptanol during myocardial reperfusion limits infarct size. However, inhibition of cell coupling in normal myocardium may be arrhythmogenic. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the consequences of GJ inhibition may be magnified in reperfused myocardium compared with normal tissue, thus allowing the inhibition of GJs in reperfused tissue while only minimally modifying overall macroscopic cell coupling in normal myocardium. Concentration–response curves were defined for the effects of heptanol, 18α-glycyrrhetinic acid, halothane, and palmitoleic acid on conduction velocity, tissue electrical impedance, developed tension and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release in normoxically perfused rat hearts (n = 17). Concentrations lacking significant effects on tissue impedance were added during the initial 15 min of reperfusion in hearts submitted to 60 min (n = 43) or 30 min (n = 35) of ischaemia. These concentrations markedly increased myocardial electrical impedance (resistivity and phase angle) in myocardium reperfused after either 30 or 60 min of ischaemia, and reduced reperfusion-induced LDH release after 1 h of ischaemia by 83.6, 57.9, 51.7 and 52.5% for heptanol, 18α-glycyrrhetinic acid, halothane and palmitoleic acid, respectively. LDH release was minimal in hearts submitted to 30 min of ischaemia, independently of group allocation. In conclusion, the present results strongly support the hypothesis that intercellular communication in postischaemic myocardium may be effectively reduced by concentrations of GJ inhibitors affecting only minimally overall electrical impedance in normal myocardium. Reduction of cell coupling during initial reperfusion was consistently associated with attenuated lethal reperfusion injury. PMID:15218064

  18. Cell communication across gap junctions: a historical perspective and current developments.

    PubMed

    Evans, W Howard

    2015-06-01

    Collaborative communication lies at the centre of multicellular life. Gap junctions (GJs) are surface membrane structures that allow direct communication between cells. They were discovered in the 1960s following the convergence of the detection of low-resistance electrical interactions between cells and anatomical studies of intercellular contact points. GJs purified from liver plasma membranes contained a 27 kDa protein constituent; it was later named Cx32 (connexin 32) after its full sequence was determined by recombinant technology. Identification of Cx43 in heart and later by a further GJ protein, Cx26 followed. Cxs have a tetraspan organization in the membrane and oligomerize during intracellular transit to the plasma membrane; these were shown to be hexameric hemichannels (connexons) that could interact end-to-end to generate GJs at areas of cell-to-cell contact. The structure of the GJ was confirmed and refined by a combination of biochemical and structural approaches. Progress continues towards obtaining higher atomic 3D resolution of the GJ channel. Today, there are 20 and 21 highly conserved members of the Cx family in the human and mouse genomes respectively. Model organisms such as Xenopus oocytes and zebra fish are increasingly used to relate structure to function. Proteins that form similar large pore membrane channels in cells called pannexins have also been identified in chordates. Innexins form GJs in prechordates; these two other proteins, although functionally similar, are very different in amino acid sequence to the Cxs. A time line tracing the historical progression of wide ranging research in GJ biology over 60 years is mapped out. The molecular basis of channel dysfunctions in disease is becoming evident and progress towards addressing Cx channel-dependent pathologies, especially in ischaemia and tissue repair, continues. PMID:26009190

  19. Combined electric field and gap junctions on propagation of action potentials in cardiac muscle and smooth muscle in PSpice simulation.

    PubMed

    Sperelakis, Nicholas

    2003-10-01

    Propagation of action potentials in cardiac muscle and smooth muscle were simulated using the PSpice program. Excitation was transmitted from cell to cell along a strand of 6 cells (cardiac muscle) or 10 cells (smooth muscle) either not connected (control) or connected by low-resistance tunnels (gap-junction connexons). A significant negative cleft potential (V(jv) ) develops in the narrow junctional cleft when the pre-JM fires. V(jc) depolarizes the postjunctional membrane (post-JM) to threshold by a patch-clamp action. With few connecting tunnels, cell-to-cell transmission by the EF mechanism was facilitated. With many tunnels, propagation was dominated by the low-resistance mechanism, and propagation velocity (theta) became very fast and nonphysiological. In conclusion, when the 2 mechanisms for cell-to-cell transfer of excitation were combined, the two mechanisms facilitated each other in a synergistic manner. When there were many connecting tunnels, the tunnel mechanism was dominant. PMID:14661164

  20. The Carboxyl Tail of Connexin32 Regulates Gap Junction Assembly in Human Prostate and Pancreatic Cancer Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Katoch, Parul; Mitra, Shalini; Ray, Anuttoma; Kelsey, Linda; Roberts, Brett J.; Wahl, James K.; Johnson, Keith R.; Mehta, Parmender P.

    2015-01-01

    Connexins, the constituent proteins of gap junctions, are transmembrane proteins. A connexin (Cx) traverses the membrane four times and has one intracellular and two extracellular loops with the amino and carboxyl termini facing the cytoplasm. The transmembrane and the extracellular loop domains are highly conserved among different Cxs, whereas the carboxyl termini, often called the cytoplasmic tails, are highly divergent. We have explored the role of the cytoplasmic tail of Cx32, a Cx expressed in polarized and differentiated cells, in regulating gap junction assembly. Our results demonstrate that compared with the full-length Cx32, the cytoplasmic tail-deleted Cx32 is assembled into small gap junctions in human pancreatic and prostatic cancer cells. Our results further document that the expression of the full-length Cx32 in cells, which express the tail-deleted Cx32, increases the size of gap junctions, whereas the expression of the tail-deleted Cx32 in cells, which express the full-length Cx32, has the opposite effect. Moreover, we show that the tail is required for the clustering of cell-cell channels and that in cells expressing the tail-deleted Cx32, the expression of cell surface-targeted cytoplasmic tail alone is sufficient to enhance the size of gap junctions. Our live-cell imaging data further demonstrate that gap junctions formed of the tail-deleted Cx32 are highly mobile compared with those formed of full-length Cx32. Our results suggest that the cytoplasmic tail of Cx32 is not required to initiate the assembly of gap junctions but for their subsequent growth and stability. Our findings suggest that the cytoplasmic tail of Cx32 may be involved in regulating the permeability of gap junctions by regulating their size. PMID:25548281

  1. Gap junction blockage promotes cadmium-induced apoptosis in BRL 3A derived from Buffalo rat liver cells

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Di; Zou, Hui; Han, Tao; Xie, Junze; Dai, Nannan; Zhuo, Liling; Gu, Jianhong; Bian, Jianchun; Yuan, Yan; Liu, Xuezhong

    2016-01-01

    Gap junctions mediate direct communication between cells; however, toxicological cascade triggered by nonessential metals can abrogate cellular signaling mediated by gap junctions. Although cadmium (Cd) is known to induce apoptosis in organs and tissues, the mechanisms that underlie gap junction activity in Cd-induced apoptosis in BRL 3A rat liver cells has yet to be established. In this study, we showed that Cd treatment decreased the cell index (a measure of cellular electrical impedance) in BRL 3A cells. Mechanistically, we found that Cd exposure decreased expression of connexin 43 (Cx43), increased expression of p-Cx43 and elevated intracellular free Ca2+ concentration, corresponding to a decrease in gap junctional intercellular communication. Gap junction blockage pretreatment with 18β-glycyrrhizic acid (GA) promoted Cd-induced apoptosis, involving changes in expression of Bax, Bcl-2, caspase-3 and the mitochondrial transmembrane electrical potential (Δψm). Additionally, GA was found to enhance ERK and p38 activation during Cd-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases, but had no significant effect on JNK activation. Our results indicated the apoptosis-related proteins and the ERK and p38 signaling pathways may participate in gap junction blockage promoting Cd-induced apoptosis in BRL 3A cells. PMID:27051341

  2. Gap junctions on hippocampal mossy fiber axons demonstrated by thin-section electron microscopy and freeze fracture replica immunogold labeling.

    PubMed

    Hamzei-Sichani, Farid; Kamasawa, Naomi; Janssen, William G M; Yasumura, Thomas; Davidson, Kimberly G V; Hof, Patrick R; Wearne, Susan L; Stewart, Mark G; Young, Steven R; Whittington, Miles A; Rash, John E; Traub, Roger D

    2007-07-24

    Gap junctions have been postulated to exist between the axons of excitatory cortical neurons based on electrophysiological, modeling, and dye-coupling data. Here, we provide ultrastructural evidence for axoaxonic gap junctions in dentate granule cells. Using combined confocal laser scanning microscopy, thin-section transmission electron microscopy, and grid-mapped freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling, 10 close appositions revealing axoaxonic gap junctions ( approximately 30-70 nm in diameter) were found between pairs of mossy fiber axons ( approximately 100-200 nm in diameter) in the stratum lucidum of the CA3b field of the rat ventral hippocampus, and one axonal gap junction ( approximately 100 connexons) was found on a mossy fiber axon in the CA3c field of the rat dorsal hippocampus. Immunogold labeling with two sizes of gold beads revealed that connexin36 was present in that axonal gap junction. These ultrastructural data support computer modeling and in vitro electrophysiological data suggesting that axoaxonic gap junctions play an important role in the generation of very fast (>70 Hz) network oscillations and in the hypersynchronous electrical activity of epilepsy. PMID:17640909

  3. Analysis of longitudinal vibration band gaps in periodic carbon nanotube intramolecular junctions using finite element method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jiaqian; Shen, Haijun

    2015-12-01

    The longitudinal vibration band gaps in periodic (n, 0)-(2n, 0) single-walled carbon nanotube(SWCNT) intramolecular junctions(IMJs) are investigated based on the finite element calculation. The frequency ranges of band gaps in frequency response functions(FRF) simulated by finite element method (FEM) show good agreement with those in band structure obtained by simple spring-mass model. Moreover, a comprehensive parametric study is also conducted to highlight the influences of the geometrical parameters such as the size of unit cell, component ratios of the IMJs and diameters of the CNT segments as well as geometric imperfections on the first band gap. The results show that the frequency ranges and the bandwidth of the gap strongly depend on the geometrical parameters. Furthermore, the influences of geometrical parameters on gaps are nuanced in IMJs with different topological defects. The existence of vibration band gaps in periodic IMJs lends a new insight into the development of CNT-based nano-devices in application of vibration isolation.

  4. Electric-field-induced magnetization switching in CoFeB/MgO magnetic tunnel junctions with high junction resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanai, S.; Matsukura, F.; Ohno, H.

    2016-05-01

    We show the electric-field induced magnetization switching for CoFeB/MgO magnetic tunnel junctions with thick MgO barrier layer of 2.8 nm, whose resistance-area product is 176 kΩ μm2, and achieve the small switching energy of 6.3 fJ/bit. The increase of the junction resistance is expected to suppress the energy consumption due to the Joule heating during the switching; however, the energy is still dominated by the Joule energy rather than the charging energy. This is because the junction resistance decreases more rapidly for junctions with thicker MgO as bias voltage increases.

  5. Entrainment, retention, and transport of freely swimming fish in junction gaps between commercial barges operating on the Illinois Waterway

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davis, Jeremiah J.; Jackson, Patrick; Engel, Frank; LeRoy, Jessica Z.; Neeley, Rebecca N.; Finney, Samuel T.; Murphy, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    Large Electric Dispersal Barriers were constructed in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) to prevent the transfer of invasive fish species between the Mississippi River Basin and the Great Lakes Basin while simultaneously allowing the passage of commercial barge traffic. We investigated the potential for entrainment, retention, and transport of freely swimming fish within large gaps (> 50 m3) created at junction points between barges. Modified mark and capture trials were employed to assess fish entrainment, retention, and transport by barge tows. A multi-beam sonar system enabled estimation of fish abundance within barge junction gaps. Barges were also instrumented with acoustic Doppler velocity meters to map the velocity distribution in the water surrounding the barge and in the gap formed at the junction of two barges. Results indicate that the water inside the gap can move upstream with a barge tow at speeds near the barge tow travel speed. Water within 1 m to the side of the barge junction gaps was observed to move upstream with the barge tow. Observed transverse and vertical water velocities suggest pathways by which fish may potentially be entrained into barge junction gaps. Results of mark and capture trials provide direct evidence that small fish can become entrained by barges, retained within junction gaps, and transported over distances of at least 15.5 km. Fish entrained within the barge junction gap were retained in that space as the barge tow transited through locks and the Electric Dispersal Barriers, which would be expected to impede fish movement upstream.

  6. Sub-harmonic gap structure and Magneto-transport in suspended graphene -Superconductor ballistic junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumaravadivel, Piranavan; Du, Xu

    2015-03-01

    Inducing superconductivity in graphene via the proximity effect enables to study the rich transport of the massless Dirac fermions at the Superconductor(S) - Graphene (G) interface. Some of the predictions are pseudo diffusive transport in Ballistic SGS junctions at low carrier densities and the unique specular and retro Andreev reflections in graphene. One of the challenges in observing these experimentally is to fabricate highly transparent ballistic SGS junctions that can be probed at low carrier densities near the Dirac point. In this talk we will present our recent results on suspended graphene- Niobium Josephson weak links. Our devices exhibit a mobility of ~ 350000 cm2V-1s-1 with a carrier density as low as 109 cm-2. Below the Superconducting transition temperature (Tc) ~ 9K, the devices show supercurrent and sub-harmonic gap structure due to Multiple Andreev reflections. In the vicinity of the Dirac point, the sub-harmonic gap structure becomes more pronounced, which as predicated, is indicative of pseudo-diffusive transport. With a fine scanning of gate voltage close to Dirac point we see emergence of some unusual sub- gap structures. We also report on our study of these samples below the upper critical field of Nb (~ 3.5T), where superconducting proximity effect coexists with Quantum Hall effect.

  7. Connexin 33: a rodent-specific member of the gap junction protein family?

    PubMed

    Fischer, Petra; Brehm, Ralph; Konrad, Lutz; Hartmann, Sonja; Kliesch, Sabine; Bohle, Rainer M; Bergmann, Martin

    2005-01-01

    Gap junctional intercellular communication between Sertoli cells and between Sertoli cells and spermatogonia is considered to play a key role in the regulation of both proliferation and differentiation of germ cells. A member of the gap junction protein family, Connexin 33 (cx33), probably has an inhibitory effect on the formation of gap junctions and so far it is the only cx that has been exclusively found in rat and mouse testes. Thus, this connexin seems to be a special member of the cx family. Using immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis, polymerase chain reaction, and reverse transcription (RT)-PCR (tissue homogenate and microdissected cells), we studied the possible occurrence of cx33 at the protein, the DNA, and the RNA level in human testis. Whereas immunohistochemistry using the only commercially available anti-cx33 antibody showed similar labeling to the rat within the seminiferous epithelium, we could not find any further evidence for the existence of cx33 using Western blot analysis, PCR, and RT-PCR in human testis. Based on the demonstration of the staining pattern of mitochondria in human germ cells and on preabsorption studies, we could demonstrate anti-cx33 antibody cross-reacting with mitochondrial ferritin, a protein localized in the mitochondria of human testicular spermatids. Therefore, we were not able to abide by the suspicion that cx33 is present in human testis. Additionally, it was not possible to demonstrate cx33 via PCR and immunohistochemistry in the testis of different mammals (dog, cattle, pig, horse, and marmoset monkey) with normal spermatogenesis. These data indicate that cx33 seems to be the first rodent-specific testicular cx. PMID:15611570

  8. Regulation of gap junction function and Connexin 43 expression by cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR)

    SciTech Connect

    Polusani, Srikanth R.; Kar, Rekha; Riquelme, Manuel A.; Masters, Bettie Sue; Panda, Satya P.

    2011-08-05

    Highlights: {yields} Humans with severe forms of cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) mutations show bone defects as observed in Antley-Bixler Syndrome. {yields} First report showing knockdown of CYPOR in osteoblasts decreased Connexin 43 (Cx43) protein levels. Cx43 is known to play an important role in bone modeling. {yields} Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication and hemichannel activity. {yields} Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Cx43 in mouse primary calvarial osteoblasts. {yields} Decreased Cx43 expression was observed at the transcriptional level. -- Abstract: Cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) is a microsomal electron-transferring enzyme containing both FAD and FMN as co-factors, which provides the reducing equivalents to various redox partners, such as cytochromes P450 (CYPs), heme oxygenase (HO), cytochrome b{sub 5} and squalene monooxygenase. Human patients with severe forms of CYPOR mutation show bone defects such as cranio- and humeroradial synostoses and long bone fractures, known as Antley-Bixler-like Syndrome (ABS). To elucidate the role of CYPOR in bone, we knocked-down CYPOR in multiple osteoblast cell lines using RNAi technology. In this study, knock-down of CYPOR decreased the expression of Connexin 43 (Cx43), known to play a critical role in bone formation, modeling, and remodeling. Knock-down of CYPOR also decreased Gap Junction Intercellular Communication (GJIC) and hemichannel activity. Promoter luciferase assays revealed that the decrease in expression of Cx43 in CYPOR knock-down cells was due to transcriptional repression. Primary osteoblasts isolated from bone specific Por knock-down mice calvariae confirmed the findings in the cell lines. Taken together, our study provides novel insights into the regulation of gap junction function by CYPOR and suggests that Cx43 may play an important role(s) in CYPOR-mediated bone defects seen in patients.

  9. Simvastatin Sodium Salt and Fluvastatin Interact with Human Gap Junction Gamma-3 Protein.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Andrew; Casey-Green, Katherine; Probert, Fay; Withall, David; Mitchell, Daniel A; Dilly, Suzanne J; James, Sean; Dimitri, Wade; Ladwa, Sweta R; Taylor, Paul C; Singer, Donald R J

    2016-01-01

    Finding pleiomorphic targets for drugs allows new indications or warnings for treatment to be identified. As test of concept, we applied a new chemical genomics approach to uncover additional targets for the widely prescribed lipid-lowering pro-drug simvastatin. We used mRNA extracted from internal mammary artery from patients undergoing coronary artery surgery to prepare a viral cardiovascular protein library, using T7 bacteriophage. We then studied interactions of clones of the bacteriophage, each expressing a different cardiovascular polypeptide, with surface-bound simvastatin in 96-well plates. To maximise likelihood of identifying meaningful interactions between simvastatin and vascular peptides, we used a validated photo-immobilisation method to apply a series of different chemical linkers to bind simvastatin so as to present multiple orientations of its constituent components to potential targets. Three rounds of biopanning identified consistent interaction with the clone expressing part of the gene GJC3, which maps to Homo sapiens chromosome 7, and codes for gap junction gamma-3 protein, also known as connexin 30.2/31.3 (mouse connexin Cx29). Further analysis indicated the binding site to be for the N-terminal domain putatively 'regulating' connexin hemichannel and gap junction pores. Using immunohistochemistry we found connexin 30.2/31.3 to be present in samples of artery similar to those used to prepare the bacteriophage library. Surface plasmon resonance revealed that a 25 amino acid synthetic peptide representing the discovered N-terminus did not interact with simvastatin lactone, but did bind to the hydrolysed HMG CoA inhibitor, simvastatin acid. This interaction was also seen for fluvastatin. The gap junction blockers carbenoxolone and flufenamic acid also interacted with the same peptide providing insight into potential site of binding. These findings raise key questions about the functional significance of GJC3 transcripts in the vasculature and

  10. Octanol, a gap junction uncoupling agent, changes intracellular [H+] in rat astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Pappas, C A; Rioult, M G; Ransom, B R

    1996-01-01

    Octanol rapidly closes gap junction channels but its mechanism of action is not known. Because intracellular [H+], pHi, also affects the conductance of gap junctions, we studied octanol's effects on pHi in cultured rat astrocytes, which are highly coupled cells. Octanol (1 mM) caused an acid shift in the pHi of 90% of rat hippocampal astrocytes which averaged -0.19 +/- 0.09 pH units in magnitude. In 58% of the cells tested, a biphasic change in pHi was seen; octanol produced an initial acidification lasting approximately 10 min that was followed by a persistent alkalinization. The related gap junction uncoupling agent, heptanol, had similar effects on pHi. Octanol-induced changes in pHi were similar in nominally HCO(3-)-free and HCO(3-)-containing solutions, although the rate of initial acidification was significantly greater in the presence of HCO3-. The initial acidification was inhibited in the presence of the stilbene DIDS, an inhibitor of Na+/HCO3- cotransport, indicating that octanol caused acidification by blocking this powerful acid extruder. The alkalinization was inhibited by amiloride which blocks the Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE), an acid extruder, suggesting that the alkaline shift induced by octanol was caused by stimulation of NHE. As expected, octanol's effects on astrocytic pHi were prevented by removal of external Na+, which blocks both Na+/HCO3- cotransport and NHE. Octanol had only small effects on intracellular Ca2+ (Ca2+i) in astrocytes. Hepatocytes which, like astrocytes, are strongly coupled to one another, showed no change in pHi with octanol application. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) was used to study the effect of changes in astrocyte pHi on degree of coupling in hippocampal astrocytes. Coupling was decreased by intracellular acid shifts approximately -0.2 pH units in size. Octanol's effects on astrocyte pHi were complex but a prompt initial acidification was nearly always seen and could contribute to the uncoupling action of

  11. Voltage-dependent gating of single gap junction channels in an insect cell line.

    PubMed Central

    Bukauskas, F F; Weingart, R

    1994-01-01

    De novo formation of cell pairs was used to examine the gating properties of single gap junction channels. Two separate cells of an insect cell line (clone C6/36, derived from the mosquito Aedes albopictus) were pushed against each other to provoke formation of gap junction channels. A dual voltage-clamp method was used to control the voltage gradient between the cells (Vj) and measure the intercellular current (Ij). The first sign of channel activity was apparent 4.7 min after cell contact. Steady-state coupling reached after 30 min revealed a conductance of 8.7 nS. Channel formation involved no leak between the intra- and extracellular space. The first opening of a newly formed channel was slow (25-28 ms). Each preparation passed through a phase with only one operational gap junction channel. This period was exploited to examine the single channel properties. We found that single channels exhibit several conductance states with different conductances gamma j; a fully open state (gamma j(main state)), several substates (gamma j(substates)), a residual state (gamma j(residual)) and a closed state (gamma j(closed)). The gamma j(main state) was 375 pS, and gamma j(residual) ranged from 30 to 90 pS. The transitions between adjacent substates were 1/7-1/4 of gamma j(main state). Vj had no effect on gamma j(main state), but slightly affected gamma j (residual). The lj transitions involving gamma j(closed) were slow (15-60 ms), whereas those not involving gamma j(closed) were fast (< 2 ms). An increase in Vj led to a decrease in open channel probability. Depolarization of the membrane potential (Vm) increased the incidence of slow transitions leading to gamma j(closed). We conclude that insect gap junctions possess two gates, a fast gate controlled by Vj and giving rise to gamma j(substates) and gamma j(residual), and a slow gate sensitive to Vm and able to close the channel completely. PMID:7524710

  12. Blockade of Gap Junction Hemichannel Suppresses Disease Progression in Mouse Models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Takeuchi, Hideyuki; Mizoguchi, Hiroyuki; Doi, Yukiko; Jin, Shijie; Noda, Mariko; Liang, Jianfeng; Li, Hua; Zhou, Yan; Mori, Rarami; Yasuoka, Satoko; Li, Endong; Parajuli, Bijay; Kawanokuchi, Jun; Sonobe, Yoshifumi; Sato, Jun; Yamanaka, Koji; Sobue, Gen; Mizuno, Tetsuya; Suzumura, Akio

    2011-01-01

    Background Glutamate released by activated microglia induces excitotoxic neuronal death, which likely contributes to non-cell autonomous neuronal death in neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. Although both blockade of glutamate receptors and inhibition of microglial activation are the therapeutic candidates for these neurodegenerative diseases, glutamate receptor blockers also perturbed physiological and essential glutamate signals, and inhibitors of microglial activation suppressed both neurotoxic/neuroprotective roles of microglia and hardly affected disease progression. We previously demonstrated that activated microglia release a large amount of glutamate specifically through gap junction hemichannel. Hence, blockade of gap junction hemichannel may be potentially beneficial in treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Methods and Findings In this study, we generated a novel blood-brain barrier permeable gap junction hemichannel blocker based on glycyrrhetinic acid. We found that pharmacologic blockade of gap junction hemichannel inhibited excessive glutamate release from activated microglia in vitro and in vivo without producing notable toxicity. Blocking gap junction hemichannel significantly suppressed neuronal loss of the spinal cord and extended survival in transgenic mice carrying human superoxide dismutase 1 with G93A or G37R mutation as an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mouse model. Moreover, blockade of gap junction hemichannel also significantly improved memory impairments without altering amyloid β deposition in double transgenic mice expressing human amyloid precursor protein with K595N and M596L mutations and presenilin 1 with A264E mutation as an Alzheimer's disease mouse model. Conclusions Our results suggest that gap junction hemichannel blockers may represent a new therapeutic strategy to target neurotoxic microglia specifically and prevent microglia-mediated neuronal death in various

  13. Gapped graphene-based Josephson junction with d-wave pair coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goudarzi, H.; Khezerlou, M.; Dezhaloud, T.

    2013-06-01

    The Josephson current passing through a S/I/S gapped graphene-based junction, where superconductivity in the S region is induced by depositing unconventional d-wave superconductor is investigated. The energy levels of massive Dirac fermions are exactly found for Andreev bound states. We illustrate the effect of characteristic of d-wave pairing symmetry on the Andreev bound states and the Josephson current. It is shown that the Josephson current vanishes for special range of superconductivity phase, φ = φ1 - φ2 and the position of the maximum current depends on the mass gap of graphene. The critical supercurrent varies in an oscillatory manner as function of the barrier strength, so that the period of oscillations does not change by increasing the effective mass of quasiparticles.

  14. Junction-to-Case Thermal Resistance of a Silicon Carbide Bipolar Junction Transistor Measured

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedra, Janis M.

    2006-01-01

    Junction temperature of a prototype SiC-based bipolar junction transistor (BJT) was estimated by using the base-emitter voltage (V(sub BE)) characteristic for thermometry. The V(sub BE) was measured as a function of the base current (I(sub B)) at selected temperatures (T), all at a fixed collector current (I(sub C)) and under very low duty cycle pulse conditions. Under such conditions, the average temperature of the chip was taken to be the same as that of the temperature-controlled case. At increased duty cycle such as to substantially heat the chip, but same I(sub C) pulse height, the chip temperature was identified by matching the V(sub BE) to the thermometry curves. From the measured average power, the chip-to-case thermal resistance could be estimated, giving a reasonable value. A tentative explanation for an observed bunching with increasing temperature of the calibration curves may relate to an increasing dopant atom ionization. A first-cut analysis, however, does not support this.

  15. Tracking Dynamic Gap Junctional Coupling in Live Cells by Local Photoactivation and Fluorescence Imaging.

    PubMed

    Yang, Song; Li, Wen-Hong

    2016-01-01

    Intercellular communication through gap junction channels is crucial for maintaining cell homeostasis and synchronizing physiological functions of tissues and organs. In this chapter, we present a noninvasive fluorescence imaging assay termed LAMP (local activation of a molecular fluorescent probe) that consists of the following steps: loading cells with a caged and cell permeable coumarin probe (NPE-HCCC2/AM), locally photolyzing the caged coumarin in one or a subpopulation of coupled cells, monitoring cell-cell dye transfer by digital fluorescence microscopy, and post-acquisition analysis to quantify the rate of junction dye transfer using Fick's equation. The LAMP assay can be conveniently carried out in fully intact cells to assess the extent and degree of cell coupling, and is compatible with other fluorophores emitting at different wavelengths to allow multicolor imaging. Moreover, by carrying out multiple photo-activations in a coupled cell pair, LAMP assay can track changes in cell coupling strength between coupled cells, hence providing a powerful method for investigating the regulation of junctional coupling by cellular biochemical changes. PMID:27207295

  16. The gap junctional protein INX-14 functions in oocyte precursors to promote C. elegans sperm guidance

    PubMed Central

    Edmonds, Johnathan W.; McKinney, Shauna L.; Prasain, Jeevan K.; Miller, Michael A.

    2011-01-01

    Innexins are the subunits of invertebrate gap junctions. Here we show that the innexin INX-14 promotes sperm guidance to the fertilization site in the C. elegans hermaphrodite reproductive tract. inx-14 loss causes cell nonautonomous defects in sperm migration velocity and directional velocity. Results from genetic and immunocytochemical analyses provide strong evidence that INX-14 acts in transcriptionally active oocyte precursors in the distal gonad, not in transcriptionally inactive oocytes that synthesize prostaglandin sperm-attracting cues. Somatic gonadal sheath cell interaction is necessary for INX-14 function, likely via INX-8 and INX-9 expressed in sheath cells. However, electron microscopy has not identified gap junctions in oocyte precursors, suggesting that INX-14 acts in a channel-independent manner or INX-14 channels are difficult to document. INX-14 promotes prostaglandin signaling to sperm at a step after F-series prostaglandin synthesis in oocytes. Taken together, our results support the model that INX-14 functions in a somatic gonad/germ cell signaling mechanism essential for sperm function. We propose that this mechanism regulates the transcription of a factor(s) that modulates prostaglandin metabolism, transport, or activity in the reproductive tract. PMID:21889935

  17. Modulatory Effects of Connexin-43 Expression on Gap Junction Intercellular Communications with Mast Cells and Fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Pistorio, Ashey L.; Ehrlich, H. Paul

    2011-01-01

    The influence of mast cells upon aberrant wound repair and excessive fibrosis has supportive evidence, but the mechanism for these mast cell activities is unclear. It is proposed that heterocellular gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) between fibroblasts and mast cells directs some fibroblast activities. An in vitro model was used employing a rodent derived peritoneal mast cell line (RMC-1) and human dermal derived fibroblasts. The influence of the expression of the gap junction channel structural protein, connexin 43 (Cx-43) on heterocellular GJIC, the expression of microtubule β-tubulin and microfilament α smooth muscle actin (SMA) were investigated. The knockdown of Cx-43 by siRNA in RMC-1 cells completely blocked GJIC between RMC-1 cells. SiRNA knockdown of Cx-43 within fibroblasts only dampened GJIC between fibroblasts. It appears Cx-43 is the only expressed connexin in RMC-1 cells. Fibroblasts express other connexins that participate in GJIC between fibroblasts in the absence of Cx-43 expression. Heterocellular GJIC between RMC-1 cells and fibroblasts transformed fibroblasts into myofibroblasts, expressing α SMA within cytoplasmic stress fibers. The knockdown of Cx-43 in RMC-1 cells increased β-tubulin expression, but its knockdown in fibroblasts reduced β-tubulin expression. Knocking down the expression of Cx-43 in fibroblasts limited α SMA expression. Cx-43 participation is critical for heterocellular GJIC between mast cells and fibroblasts, which may herald a novel direction for controlling fibrosis. PMID:21328609

  18. Degradation of endocytosed gap junctions by autophagosomal and endo-/lysosomal pathways: a perspective

    PubMed Central

    Falk, Matthias M.; Fong, John T.; Kells, Rachael M.; O’Laughlin, Michael C.; Kowal, Tia J.; Thévenin, Anastasia F.

    2012-01-01

    Gap junctions (GJs) are composed of tens to many thousands of double-membrane spanning GJ channels that cluster together to form densely packed channel arrays (termed GJ plaques) in apposing plasma membranes of neighboring cells. In addition to providing direct intercellular communication (GJIC, their hallmark function), GJs, based on their characteristic double-membrane-spanning configuration, likely also significantly contribute to physical cell-to-cell adhesion. Clearly, modulation (up-/down-regulation) of GJIC and of physical cell-to-cell adhesion is as vitally important as the basic ability of GJ formation itself. Others and we have previously described that GJs can be removed from the plasma membrane via the internalization of entire GJ plaques (or portions thereof) in a cellular process that resembles clathrin-mediated endocytosis. GJ endocytosis results in the formation of double-membrane vesicles (termed annular gap junctions [AGJs] or connexosomes) in the cytoplasm of one of the coupled cells. Four recent independent studies, consistent with earlier ultrastructural analyses, demonstrate the degradation of endocytosed AGJ vesicles via autophagy. However, in TPA-treated cells others report degradation of AGJs via the endo-/lysosomal degradation pathway. Here we summarize evidence that supports the concept that autophagy serves as the cellular default pathway for the degradation of internalized GJs. Furthermore, we highlight and discuss structural criteria that seem required for an alternate degradation via the endo-/lysosomal pathway. PMID:22825714

  19. Gap junction channel. Its aqueous nature as indicated by deuterium oxide effects

    SciTech Connect

    Verselis, V.; Brink, P.R.

    1986-11-01

    The effects of temperature and solvent substitution with deuterium oxide (D2O) on axoplasmic (ga) and gap junctional (gj) conductances were examined in the earthworm septate median giant axon (MGA). The temperature coefficients (Q10) for ga and gj were 1.4 and 1.5, respectively, between 5 and 15 degrees C. Substitution with D/sub 2/O rapidly reduced both ga and gj by 20% and increased the Q10's to 1.5 and 1.8, respectively. The reduction in ga upon substitution with D/sub 2/O and with cooling in either solvent reflects the changes that occur in solvent viscosity, which indicates that ion mobility in axoplasm, as in free solution, is primarily governed by viscous properties of the solvent. The similar initial reduction observed for gj suggests that solvent occupies the gap junction channel volume and influences transjunctional ion mobility. With time there was a further reduction in gj at 20 degrees C and a larger Q10 in D/sub 2/O. The enhanced effects of D/sub 2/O on gj cannot be accounted for by solvent viscosity alone and may be due to an increased hydration of the channels and/or the transport ions and by isotope effects of hydrogen-deuterium exchange on the channel protein that reduce gj.

  20. Hereditary mucoepithelial dysplasia: a disease apparently of desmosome and gap junction formation.

    PubMed Central

    Witkop, C J; White, J G; King, R A; Dahl, M V; Young, W G; Sauk, J J

    1979-01-01

    A previously unrecognized autosomal dominant syndrome affecting oral, nasal, vaginal, urethral, anal, bladder, and conjunctival mucosa with cataracts, follicular keratosis, nonscarring alopecia, and terminal lung disease is described in a four-generation kindred of German extraction. Severe photophobia, tearing, and nystagmus in infancy heralds the development of keratitis, corneal vascularization, and lens cataracts. Repeated corneal transplants have failed. Red, periorificial mucosal lesions involving the above structures are noted by 1 year of age and may persist throughout life. Chronic rhinorrhea and repeated upper respiratory infections frequently progress to bilateral pneumonia accompanied by loss of hair, diarrhea, occasional melena, enuresis, pyuria, and hematuria. Spontaneous pneumothorax is frequent, terminating in fibrocystic-type lung disease and cor pulmonale. Women have had repeated abnormal vaginal PAP smears. Histologically the mucosal epithelium shows dyshesion, thinning of the epithelial layer, and dyskeratosis. Mucosal PAP smears show lack of epithelial maturation, cytoplasmic vacuoles and inclusions, and individual cell dyskeratosis. Histochemically there is a lack of cornification and keratinization. Ultrastructural studies show lack of keratohyalin granules, a paucity of desmosomes, intercellular accumulations, cytoplasmic vacuolization, and formation of bands and aggregates of filamentous fibers and structures in the cytoplasm resembling desmosomes and gap junctions. The condition is probably a panepithelial cell defect of desmosomal and gap junction structure most prominently affecting mucosal epithelia associated with an increased susceptibility to a variety of adventitious organisms. Images Fig. 2-5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 PMID:484550

  1. Experimental febrile seizures impair interastrocytic gap junction coupling in juvenile mice.

    PubMed

    Khan, Dilaware; Dupper, Alexander; Deshpande, Tushar; Graan, Pierre N E De; Steinhäuser, Christian; Bedner, Peter

    2016-09-01

    Prolonged and focal febrile seizures (FSs) have been associated with the development of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), although the underlying mechanism and the contribution of predisposing risk factors are still poorly understood. Using a kainate model of TLE, we previously provided strong evidence that interruption of astrocyte gap junction-mediated intercellular communication represents a crucial event in epileptogenesis. To elucidate this aspect further, we induced seizures in immature mice by hyperthermia (HT) to study the consequences of FSs on the hippocampal astrocytic network. Changes in interastrocytic coupling were assessed by tracer diffusion studies in acute slices from mice 5 days after experimental FS induction. The results reveal that HT-induced FSs cause a pronounced reduction of astrocyte gap junctional coupling in the hippocampus by more than 50%. Western blot analysis indicated that reduced connexin43 protein expression and/or changes in the phosphorylation status account for this astrocyte dysfunction. Remarkably, uncoupling occurred in the absence of neuronal death and reactive gliosis. These data provide a mechanistic link between FSs and the subsequent development of TLE and further strengthen the emerging view that astrocytes have a central role in the pathogenesis of this disorder. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26931373

  2. Spatial properties of astrocyte gap junction coupling in the rat hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Anders, Stefanie; Minge, Daniel; Griemsmann, Stephanie; Herde, Michel K.; Steinhäuser, Christian; Henneberger, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Gap junction coupling enables astrocytes to form large networks. Its strength determines how easily a signalling molecule diffuses through the network and how far a locally initiated signal can spread. Changes of coupling strength are well-documented during development and in response to various stimuli. Precise quantification of coupling is needed for studying such modifications and their functional consequences. We therefore explored spatial properties of astrocyte coupling in a model simulating dye loading of single astrocytes. Dye spread into the astrocyte network could be characterized by a coupling length constant and coupling anisotropy. In experiments, the fluorescent marker Alexa Fluor 594 was used to measure these parameters in CA1 and dentate gyrus of the rat hippocampus. Coupling did not differ between regions but showed a temperature-dependence, partially owing to changes of intracellular diffusivity, detected by measuring coupling length constants but not the more variable cell counts of dye-coupled astrocytes. We further found that coupling is anisotropic depending on distance to the pyramidal cell layer, which correlated with regional differences of astrocyte morphology. This demonstrates that applying these new analytical approaches provides useful quantitative information on gap junction coupling and its heterogeneity. PMID:25225094

  3. Spatial properties of astrocyte gap junction coupling in the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Anders, Stefanie; Minge, Daniel; Griemsmann, Stephanie; Herde, Michel K; Steinhäuser, Christian; Henneberger, Christian

    2014-10-19

    Gap junction coupling enables astrocytes to form large networks. Its strength determines how easily a signalling molecule diffuses through the network and how far a locally initiated signal can spread. Changes of coupling strength are well-documented during development and in response to various stimuli. Precise quantification of coupling is needed for studying such modifications and their functional consequences. We therefore explored spatial properties of astrocyte coupling in a model simulating dye loading of single astrocytes. Dye spread into the astrocyte network could be characterized by a coupling length constant and coupling anisotropy. In experiments, the fluorescent marker Alexa Fluor 594 was used to measure these parameters in CA1 and dentate gyrus of the rat hippocampus. Coupling did not differ between regions but showed a temperature-dependence, partially owing to changes of intracellular diffusivity, detected by measuring coupling length constants but not the more variable cell counts of dye-coupled astrocytes. We further found that coupling is anisotropic depending on distance to the pyramidal cell layer, which correlated with regional differences of astrocyte morphology. This demonstrates that applying these new analytical approaches provides useful quantitative information on gap junction coupling and its heterogeneity. PMID:25225094

  4. Spin-dependent transport properties through gapless graphene-based ferromagnet and gapped graphene-based superconductor junction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hajati, Y.; Zargar Shoushtari, M.; Rashedi, G.

    2012-07-01

    By depositing a superconductor on gapped graphene (graphene grown on SiC substrate), the motion of quasiparticles in this superconductor is explained by the massive Dirac equation. In this paper, we study the spin dependent transport properties of graphene-based ferromagnetic/insulator/superconductor (FIS) junction and graphene-based ferromagnetic/ferromagnetic barrier/superconductor (FFBS) junction in which only the superconducting region is deposited on the gapped graphene and the other graphene regions are gapless. We found that in the graphene-based FIS junction and in the thin barrier approximation, by opening the energy gap in the superconducting region, the charge conductance is an oscillatory function of barrier strength (χG), despite the large Fermi energy mismatch between ferromagnetic and superconductor regions. As an important result, we analytically obtained that for the normal incident of charge carriers, this junction is not totally transparent. This means that the second characteristic of Klein tunneling is not satisfied due to the massive Dirac fermions carrying the current in the superconductor region. For the graphene-based FFBS junction, opening the energy gap causes a phase shift as large as π/2 to appear between the peaks of charge conductance for parallel and antiparallel configuration versus χG. Interestingly, we obtained that by increasing the energy gap in this junction, the magnetoresistance increases and by approaching the energy gap to the Fermi energy of the superconductor, it reaches its maximum value (more than -150%). This characteristic shows that this junction can be a suitable candidate for application in the graphene-based spintronics devices.

  5. Increased incidence of gap junctional coupling between spinal motoneurones following transient blockade of NMDA receptors in neonatal rats

    PubMed Central

    Mentis, George Z; Díaz, Eugenia; Moran, Linda B; Navarrete, Roberto

    2002-01-01

    Neonatal rat motoneurones are electrically coupled via gap junctions and the incidence of this coupling declines during postnatal development. The mechanisms involved in this developmental regulation of gap junctional communication are largely unknown. Here we have studied the role of NMDA receptor-mediated glutamatergic synaptic activity in the regulation of motoneurone coupling. Gap junctional coupling was demonstrated by the presence of graded, short latency depolarising potentials following ventral root stimulation, and by the transfer of the low molecular weight tracer Neurobiotin to neighbouring motoneurones. Sites of close apposition between the somata and/or dendrites of the dye-coupled motoneurones were identified as potential sites of gap junctional coupling. Early postnatal blockade of the NMDA subtype of glutamate receptors using the non-competitive antagonist dizocilpine maleate (MK801) arrested the developmental decrease in electrotonic and dye coupling during the first postnatal week. These results suggest that the postnatal increase in glutamatergic synaptic activity associated with the onset of locomotion promote the loss of gap junctional connections between developing motoneurones. PMID:12411521

  6. Gap junction communication between cells aggregated on a cellulose-coated polystyrene: influence of connexin 43 phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Faucheux, N; Zahm, J M; Bonnet, N; Legeay, G; Nagel, M D

    2004-06-01

    The appropriate functioning of tissues and organ systems depends on intercellular communication such as gap junctions formed by connexin (Cx) protein channels between adjacent cells. We have previously shown that Swiss 3T3 cells aggregated on hydrophilic cellulose substratum Cuprophan (CU) establish short linear gap junctions composed of Cx 43 in cell surface plaques. This phenomenon seems to depend on the high intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) concentration triggered by attachment of the cells to CU. We have now used a cellulose-coated polystyrene inducing the same cell behaviour to analyse the gap junction communication between aggregated cells. The transfer of the dye Lucifer Yellow (LY) between cells showed that cells aggregated on cellulose substratum rapidly (within 90 min) establish functional gap junctions. Inhibitors of cAMP protein kinase (PKI) or protein kinase C (GF109203X) both inhibited the diffusion of LY between neighbouring cells. Western blot analysis showed that this change in permeability was correlated with a decrease in Cx 43 phosphorylation. Thus, cellulose substrata seem to induce cell-cell communication through Cx 43 phosphorylation modulated by PKA and PKC. To understand the mechanisms by which a substratum regulates gap junctional communication is critically important for the emerging fields of tissue engineering and biohybrid devices. PMID:14751734

  7. Virally-expressed connexin26 restores gap junction function in the cochlea of conditional Gjb2 knockout mice

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Qing; Wang, Yunfeng; Chang, Qing; Wang, Jianjun; Gong, Shushen; Li, Huawei; Lin, Xi

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in GJB2, which codes for the gap junction protein connexin26, are the most common causes of human nonsyndromic hereditary deafness. We inoculated modified adeno-associated viral vectors into the scala media of early postnatal conditional Gjb2 knockout mice to drive exogenous connexin26 expression. We found extensive virally-expressed connexin26 in cells lining the scala media, and intercellular gap junction network was re-established in the organ of Corti of mutant mouse cochlea. Widespread ectopic connexin26 expression neither formed ectopic gap junctions nor affected normal hearing thresholds in wild type mice, suggesting that autonomous cellular mechanisms regulate proper membrane trafficking of exogenously-expressed connexin26 and govern the functional manifestation of them. Functional recovery of gap-junction-mediated coupling among the supporting cells was observed. We found that both cell death in the organ of Corti and degeneration of spiral ganglion neurons in the cochlea of mutant mice were substantially reduced, although auditory brainstem responses did not show significant hearing improvement. This is the first report demonstrating that virally-mediated gene therapy restored extensive gap junction intercellular network among cochlear non-sensory cells in vivo. Such a treatment performed at early postnatal stages resulted in a partial rescue of disease phenotypes in the cochlea of the mutant mice. PMID:24225640

  8. Connexin-47 and connexin-32 in gap junctions of oligodendrocyte somata, myelin sheaths, paranodal loops and Schmidt-Lanterman incisures: implications for ionic homeostasis and potassium siphoning.

    PubMed

    Kamasawa, N; Sik, A; Morita, M; Yasumura, T; Davidson, K G V; Nagy, J I; Rash, J E

    2005-01-01

    The subcellular distributions and co-associations of the gap junction-forming proteins connexin 47 and connexin 32 were investigated in oligodendrocytes of adult mouse and rat CNS. By confocal immunofluorescence light microscopy, abundant connexin 47 was co-localized with astrocytic connexin 43 on oligodendrocyte somata, and along myelinated fibers, whereas connexin 32 without connexin 47 was co-localized with contactin-associated protein (caspr) in paranodes. By thin-section transmission electron microscopy, connexin 47 immunolabeling was on the oligodendrocyte side of gap junctions between oligodendrocyte somata and astrocytes. By freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling, large gap junctions between oligodendrocyte somata and astrocyte processes contained much more connexin 47 than connexin 32. Along surfaces of internodal myelin, connexin 47 was several times as abundant as connexin 32, and in the smallest gap junctions, often occurred without connexin 32. In contrast, connexin 32 was localized without connexin 47 in newly-described autologous gap junctions in Schmidt-Lanterman incisures and between paranodal loops bordering nodes of Ranvier. Thus, connexin 47 in adult rodent CNS is the most abundant connexin in most heterologous oligodendrocyte-to-astrocyte gap junctions, whereas connexin 32 is the predominant if not sole connexin in autologous ("reflexive") oligodendrocyte gap junctions. These results clarify the locations and connexin compositions of heterologous and autologous oligodendrocyte gap junctions, identify autologous gap junctions at paranodes as potential sites for modulating paranodal electrical properties, and reveal connexin 47-containing and connexin 32-containing gap junctions as conduits for long-distance intracellular and intercellular movement of ions and associated osmotic water. The autologous gap junctions may regulate paranodal electrical properties during saltatory conduction. Acting in series and in parallel, autologous and

  9. Effective nonlocal spin injection through low-resistance oxide junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Yunjiao; Luo, Yongming; Qin, Chuan; Chen, Shuhan; Wu, Yizheng; Ji, Yi

    2016-05-01

    Many (>40) nonlocal spin valves on the same substrate have been characterized at 6 K and 295 K by using a probe station. Low-resistance oxide junctions (0.2-0.8 Ω) are used to inject spin current into mesoscopic Cu channels. Spin signals exceeding 10 mΩ at 6 K have been consistently observed, indicating efficient spin injection and detection. However, complex switching behavior and possible variations between devices pose a challenge to using a standard fitting method to quantify the spin signals. Two methods are used for quantitative analysis. The range of the effective spin polarizations can be estimated by assuming a reasonable range for the Cu spin diffusion lengths. A nonlocal spin polarization is introduced to evaluate the spin current in the Cu channels.

  10. Effect of several uncouplers of cell-to-cell communication on gap junction morphology in mammalian heart.

    PubMed

    Délèze, J; Hervé, J C

    1983-01-01

    Electrical conduction in sheep Purkinje fibers has been blocked by three different procedures: (I) 1 mM 2-4-dinitrophenol, (II) 3.5 mM n-Heptan-1-ol (heptanol), and (III) treatment by a hypotonic (120 mOsmoles) Ca2+-free solution for half an hour, followed by return to normal conditions. The gap junction morphology was analyzed quantitatively in freeze-fracture replicas and compared in electrically conducting and nonconducting fibers. It is found that the three uncouplers of cell-to-cell conduction induce consistent and statistically significant alterations of the gap junction structure. The investigated morphological criteria: (a) P-face junctional particle diameter, control value 8.18 +/- 0.70 nm (mean +/- SD), (b) P-face junctional particles center-to-center spacing, control value 10.23 +/- 1.57 nm, and (c) E-face pits spacing, control value 9.45 +/- 0.98 nm, are, respectively, decreased to 7.46 +/- 0.62 nm, 9.25 +/- 1.34 nm and 8.67 +/- 1.13 nm in Purkinje fibers with complete conduction blocks. All three gap junctional dimensions are seen to decline progressively with time from the onset of an uncoupling treatment towards stable minima reached in half an hour. The observed morphological transitions appear related to the electrical uncoupling for the following reasons: partial electrical uncoupling results in values of the gap junctional dimensions that are intermediate between those measured in electrically coupled and uncoupled preparations, and the three morphological indices are seen to increase again towards control values very soon after electrical conduction has been re-established. It is concluded that the junctional channels closure on electrical uncoupling correlates with a measurable (-0.72 +/- 0.01 nm, difference of the means +/- SE) decrease of the junctional particle diameters. PMID:6887233

  11. Long-range gap junctional signaling controls oncogene-mediated tumorigenesis in Xenopus laevis embryos

    PubMed Central

    Chernet, Brook T.; Fields, Chris; Levin, Michael

    2015-01-01

    In addition to the immediate microenvironment, long-range signaling may be an important component of cancer. Molecular-genetic analyses have implicated gap junctions—key mediators of cell-cell communication—in carcinogenesis. We recently showed that the resting voltage potential of distant cell groups is a key determinant of metastatic transformation and tumor induction. Here, we show in the Xenopus laevis model that gap junctional communication (GJC) is a modulator of the long-range bioelectric signaling that regulates tumor formation. Genetic disruption of GJC taking place within tumors, within remote host tissues, or between the host and tumors significantly lowers the incidence of tumors induced by KRAS mutations. The most pronounced suppression of tumor incidence was observed upon GJC disruption taking place farther away from oncogene-expressing cells, revealing a role for GJC in distant cells in the control of tumor growth. In contrast, enhanced GJC communication through the overexpression of wild-type connexin Cx26 increased tumor incidence. Our data confirm a role for GJC in tumorigenesis, and reveal that this effect is non-local. Based on these results and on published data on movement of ions through GJs, we present a quantitative model linking the GJC coupling and bioelectrical state of cells to the ability of oncogenes to initiate tumorigenesis. When integrated with data on endogenous bioelectric signaling during left-right patterning, the model predicts differential tumor incidence outcomes depending on the spatial configurations of gap junction paths relative to tumor location and major anatomical body axes. Testing these predictions, we found that the strongest influence of GJ modulation on tumor suppression by hyperpolarization occurred along the embryonic left-right axis. Together, these data reveal new, long-range aspects of cancer control by the host's physiological parameters. PMID:25646081

  12. The beneficial effects of cumulus cells and oocyte-cumulus cell gap junctions depends on oocyte maturation and fertilization methods in mice

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Cheng-Jie; Wu, Sha-Na; Shen, Jiang-Peng; Wang, Dong-Hui; Kong, Xiang-Wei; Lu, Angeleem; Li, Yan-Jiao; Zhou, Hong-Xia; Zhao, Yue-Fang

    2016-01-01

    Cumulus cells are a group of closely associated granulosa cells that surround and nourish oocytes. Previous studies have shown that cumulus cells contribute to oocyte maturation and fertilization through gap junction communication. However, it is not known how this gap junction signaling affects in vivo versus in vitro maturation of oocytes, and their subsequent fertilization and embryonic development following insemination. Therefore, in our study, we performed mouse oocyte maturation and insemination using in vivo- or in vitro-matured oocyte-cumulus complexes (OCCs, which retain gap junctions between the cumulus cells and the oocytes), in vitro-matured, denuded oocytes co-cultured with cumulus cells (DCs, which lack gap junctions between the cumulus cells and the oocytes), and in vitro-matured, denuded oocytes without cumulus cells (DOs). Using these models, we were able to analyze the effects of gap junction signaling on oocyte maturation, fertilization, and early embryo development. We found that gap junctions were necessary for both in vivo and in vitro oocyte maturation. In addition, for oocytes matured in vivo, the presence of cumulus cells during insemination improved fertilization and blastocyst formation, and this improvement was strengthened by gap junctions. Moreover, for oocytes matured in vitro, the presence of cumulus cells during insemination improved fertilization, but not blastocyst formation, and this improvement was independent of gap junctions. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, that the beneficial effect of gap junction signaling from cumulus cells depends on oocyte maturation and fertilization methods. PMID:26966678

  13. Functional assessment of gap junctions in monolayer and three-dimensional cultures of human tendon cells using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuzma-Kuzniarska, Maria; Yapp, Clarence; Pearson-Jones, Thomas W.; Jones, Andrew K.; Hulley, Philippa A.

    2014-01-01

    Gap junction-mediated intercellular communication influences a variety of cellular activities. In tendons, gap junctions modulate collagen production, are involved in strain-induced cell death, and are involved in the response to mechanical stimulation. The aim of the present study was to investigate gap junction-mediated intercellular communication in healthy human tendon-derived cells using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). The FRAP is a noninvasive technique that allows quantitative measurement of gap junction function in living cells. It is based on diffusion-dependent redistribution of a gap junction-permeable fluorescent dye. Using FRAP, we showed that human tenocytes form functional gap junctions in monolayer and three-dimensional (3-D) collagen I culture. Fluorescently labeled tenocytes following photobleaching rapidly reacquired the fluorescent dye from neighboring cells, while HeLa cells, which do not communicate by gap junctions, remained bleached. Furthermore, both 18 β-glycyrrhetinic acid and carbenoxolone, standard inhibitors of gap junction activity, impaired fluorescence recovery in tendon cells. In both monolayer and 3-D cultures, intercellular communication in isolated cells was significantly decreased when compared with cells forming many cell-to-cell contacts. In this study, we used FRAP as a tool to quantify and experimentally manipulate the function of gap junctions in human tenocytes in both two-dimensional (2-D) and 3-D cultures.

  14. Neuronal gap junction coupling is regulated by glutamate and plays critical role in cell death during neuronal injury.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yongfu; Song, Ji-Hoon; Denisova, Janna V; Park, Won-Mee; Fontes, Joseph D; Belousov, Andrei B

    2012-01-11

    In the mammalian CNS, excessive release of glutamate and overactivation of glutamate receptors are responsible for the secondary (delayed) neuronal death following neuronal injury, including ischemia, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and epilepsy. The coupling of neurons by gap junctions (electrical synapses) increases during neuronal injury. We report here that the ischemic increase in neuronal gap junction coupling is regulated by glutamate via group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). Specifically, using electrotonic coupling, Western blots, and siRNA in the mouse somatosensory cortex in vivo and in vitro, we demonstrate that activation of group II mGluRs increases background levels of neuronal gap junction coupling and expression of connexin 36 (Cx36) (neuronal gap junction protein), and inactivation of group II mGluRs prevents the ischemia-mediated increases in the coupling and Cx36 expression. We also show that the regulation is via cAMP/PKA (cAMP-dependent protein kinase)-dependent signaling and posttranscriptional control of Cx36 expression and that other glutamate receptors are not involved in these regulatory mechanisms. Furthermore, using the analysis of neuronal death, we show that inactivation of group II mGluRs or genetic elimination of Cx36 both dramatically reduce ischemia-mediated neuronal death in vitro and in vivo. Similar results are obtained using in vitro models of TBI and epilepsy. Our results indicate that neuronal gap junction coupling is a critical component of glutamate-dependent neuronal death. They also suggest that causal link among group II mGluR function, neuronal gap junction coupling, and neuronal death has a universal character and operates in different types of neuronal injuries. PMID:22238107

  15. Distribution of the gap junction protein connexin 35 in the central nervous system of developing zebrafish larvae

    PubMed Central

    Jabeen, Shaista; Thirumalai, Vatsala

    2013-01-01

    Gap junctions are membrane specializations that allow the passage of ions and small molecules from one cell to another. In vertebrates, connexins are the protein subunits that assemble to form gap junctional plaques. Connexin-35 (Cx35) is the fish ortholog of mammalian Cx36, which is enriched in the retina and the brain and has been shown to form neuronal gap junctions. As a first step toward understanding the role of neuronal gap junctions in central nervous system (CNS) development, we describe here the distribution of Cx35 in the CNS during zebrafish development. Cx35 expression is first seen at 1 day post fertilization (dpf) along cell boundaries throughout the nervous system. At 2 dpf, Cx35 immunoreactivity appears in commissures and fiber tracts throughout the CNS and along the edges of the tectal neuropil. In the rhombencephalon, the Mauthner neurons and fiber tracts show strong Cx35 immunoreactivity. As the larva develops, the commissures and fiber tracts continue to be immunoreactive for Cx35. In addition, the area of the tectal neuropil stained increases vastly and tectal commissures are visible. Furthermore, at 4–5 dpf, Cx35 is seen in the habenulae, cerebellum and in radial glia lining the rhombencephalic ventricle. This pattern of Cx35 immunoreactivity is stable at least until 15 dpf. To test whether the Cx35 immunoreactivity seen corresponds to functional gap junctional coupling, we documented the number of dye-coupled neurons in the hindbrain. We found several dye-coupled neurons within the reticulospinal network indicating functional gap junctional connectivity in the developing zebrafish brain. PMID:23717264

  16. GnRH Episodic Secretion Is Altered by Pharmacological Blockade of Gap Junctions: Possible Involvement of Glial Cells.

    PubMed

    Pinet-Charvet, Caroline; Geller, Sarah; Desroziers, Elodie; Ottogalli, Monique; Lomet, Didier; Georgelin, Christine; Tillet, Yves; Franceschini, Isabelle; Vaudin, Pascal; Duittoz, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Episodic release of GnRH is essential for reproductive function. In vitro studies have established that this episodic release is an endogenous property of GnRH neurons and that GnRH secretory pulses are associated with synchronization of GnRH neuron activity. The cellular mechanisms by which GnRH neurons synchronize remain largely unknown. There is no clear evidence of physical coupling of GnRH neurons through gap junctions to explain episodic synchronization. However, coupling of glial cells through gap junctions has been shown to regulate neuron activity in their microenvironment. The present study investigated whether glial cell communication through gap junctions plays a role in GnRH neuron activity and secretion in the mouse. Our findings show that Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein-expressing glial cells located in the median eminence in close vicinity to GnRH fibers expressed Gja1 encoding connexin-43. To study the impact of glial-gap junction coupling on GnRH neuron activity, an in vitro model of primary cultures from mouse embryo nasal placodes was used. In this model, GnRH neurons possess a glial microenvironment and were able to release GnRH in an episodic manner. Our findings show that in vitro glial cells forming the microenvironment of GnRH neurons expressed connexin-43 and displayed functional gap junctions. Pharmacological blockade of the gap junctions with 50 μM 18-α-glycyrrhetinic acid decreased GnRH secretion by reducing pulse frequency and amplitude, suppressed neuronal synchronization and drastically reduced spontaneous electrical activity, all these effects were reversed upon 18-α-glycyrrhetinic acid washout. PMID:26562259

  17. Interleukin-1β Increases Gap Junctional Communication among Synovial Fibroblasts via the Extracellular Signal Regulated Kinase Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Niger, Corinne; Howell, Floyd D.; Stains, Joseph P.

    2009-01-01

    Background information The gap junction protein, connexin43, has been implicated in the etiology of osteoarthritis. Work from others has revealed that the size and number of gap junctions increases in synovial biopsies from patients with osteoarthritis. Further, pharmacologic inhibition of connexin43 function has been shown to reduce interleukin-1β induced metalloproteinase production by synovial fibroblasts in vitro. Results In this study, we examine the link between interleukin-1β and connexin43 function. We demonstrate that treatment of a rabbit synovial fibroblast cell line with interleukin-1β markedly increases connexin43 protein in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The impact on connexin43 protein levels appears to occur post-transcriptionally as mRNA levels are unaffected by interleukin-1β administration. Additionally, we show by fluorescence microscopy that interleukin-1β alters the cellular distribution of connexin43 to cell-cell junctions and is concomitant to a striking increase in gap junction communication. Further, we demonstrate that the increase in connexin43 protein and the associated change in protein localization and gap junction communication following interleukin-1β treatment are dependent upon activation of the extracellular signal regulated kinase signaling cascade. Conclusions These data show that interleukin-1β acts through the extracellular signal regulated kinase signaling cascade to alter the expression and function of connexin43 in synovial fibroblasts. PMID:19656083

  18. Expression of gap junctional connexin proteins in ovine fetal ovaries: Effects of maternal diet

    PubMed Central

    Grazul-Bilska, A.T.; Vonnahme, K.A.; Bilski, J.J.; Borowczyk, E.; Soni, D.; Mikkelson, B.; Johnson, M.L.; Reynolds, L.P.; Redmer, D.A.; Caton, J.S.

    2011-01-01

    Gap junctions have been implicated in the regulation of cellular metabolism and the coordination of cellular functions during growth and differentiation of organs and tissues, and gap junctions play a major role in direct cell-cell communication. Gap junctional channels and connexin (Cx) proteins have been detected in adult ovaries in several species. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that several environmental factors including maternal diet may affect fetal organ growth and function. To determine if maternal diet impacts expression of connexin (Cx) 26, 32, 37 and 43 in fetal ovaries, sheep were fed a maintenance (M) diet with adequate (A) selenium (Se) or high (H) Se levels from 21 days before breeding to day 132 of pregnancy. From day 50 to 132 of pregnancy (tissue collection day), a portion of the ewes from ASe and HSe groups was fed restricted (R; 60% of M) diet. Sections of fetal ovaries were immunostained for the presence of connexins followed by image analysis. All four connexins were detected, but the distribution pattern differed. Cx26 was immunolocalized in the oocytes from primordial, primary, secondary and antral follicles, in granulosa and theca layers of secondary and antral follicles, stroma and blood vessels; Cx32 was in oocytes, granulosa and theca cells in a portion of antral follicles; Cx37 was on the borders between oocyte and granulosa/cumulus cells of primordial to antral follicles, and in endothelium; and Cx43 was on cellular borders in granulosa and theca layers, and between oocyte and granulosa/cumulus cells of primordial to antral follicles. Maternal diet affected Cx26 and Cx43 expression; Cx26 in granulosa layer of antral follicles was decreased (P<0.01) by HSe in M and R diets, and Cx43 in granulosa layer of primary and granulosa and theca of antral follicles was increased (P<0.05) by M diet with HSe. Thus, connexins may be differentially involved in regulation of fetal ovarian function in sheep. These data emphasize the importance

  19. Simvastatin Sodium Salt and Fluvastatin Interact with Human Gap Junction Gamma-3 Protein

    PubMed Central

    Marsh, Andrew; Casey-Green, Katherine; Probert, Fay; Withall, David; Mitchell, Daniel A.; Dilly, Suzanne J.; James, Sean; Dimitri, Wade; Ladwa, Sweta R.; Taylor, Paul C.; Singer, Donald R. J.

    2016-01-01

    Finding pleiomorphic targets for drugs allows new indications or warnings for treatment to be identified. As test of concept, we applied a new chemical genomics approach to uncover additional targets for the widely prescribed lipid-lowering pro-drug simvastatin. We used mRNA extracted from internal mammary artery from patients undergoing coronary artery surgery to prepare a viral cardiovascular protein library, using T7 bacteriophage. We then studied interactions of clones of the bacteriophage, each expressing a different cardiovascular polypeptide, with surface-bound simvastatin in 96-well plates. To maximise likelihood of identifying meaningful interactions between simvastatin and vascular peptides, we used a validated photo-immobilisation method to apply a series of different chemical linkers to bind simvastatin so as to present multiple orientations of its constituent components to potential targets. Three rounds of biopanning identified consistent interaction with the clone expressing part of the gene GJC3, which maps to Homo sapiens chromosome 7, and codes for gap junction gamma-3 protein, also known as connexin 30.2/31.3 (mouse connexin Cx29). Further analysis indicated the binding site to be for the N-terminal domain putatively ‘regulating’ connexin hemichannel and gap junction pores. Using immunohistochemistry we found connexin 30.2/31.3 to be present in samples of artery similar to those used to prepare the bacteriophage library. Surface plasmon resonance revealed that a 25 amino acid synthetic peptide representing the discovered N-terminus did not interact with simvastatin lactone, but did bind to the hydrolysed HMG CoA inhibitor, simvastatin acid. This interaction was also seen for fluvastatin. The gap junction blockers carbenoxolone and flufenamic acid also interacted with the same peptide providing insight into potential site of binding. These findings raise key questions about the functional significance of GJC3 transcripts in the vasculature and

  20. Cx23, a connexin with only four extracellular-loop cysteines, forms functional gap junction channels and hemichannels

    PubMed Central

    Iovine, M. Kathryn; Gumpert, Anna; Falk, Matthias; Mendelson, Tamra C.

    2008-01-01

    Gap junction channels may be comprised of either connexin or pannexin proteins (innexins and pannexins). Membrane topologies of both families are similar, but sequence similarity is lacking. Recently, connexin-like sequences have been identified in mammalian and zebrafish genomes that have only four conserved cysteines in the extracellular domains (Cx23), a feature of the pannexins. Phylogenetic analyses of the non-canonical “C4” connexins reveal that these sequences are indeed connexins. Functional assays reveal that the Cx23 gap junctions are capable of sharing neurobiotin, and further, that Cx23 connexins form hemichannels in vitro. PMID:18068130

  1. Stochastic Model of Gap Junctions Exhibiting Rectification and Multiple Closed States of Slow Gates.

    PubMed

    Snipas, Mindaugas; Kraujalis, Tadas; Paulauskas, Nerijus; Maciunas, Kestutis; Bukauskas, Feliksas F

    2016-03-29

    Gap-junction (GJ) channels formed from connexin (Cx) proteins provide direct pathways for electrical and metabolic cell-cell communication. Earlier, we developed a stochastic 16-state model (S16SM) of voltage gating of the GJ channel containing two pairs of fast and slow gates, each operating between open (o) and closed (c) states. However, experimental data suggest that gates may in fact contain two or more closed states. We developed a model in which the slow gate operates according to a linear reaction scheme, o↔c1↔c2, where c1 and c2 are initial-closed and deep-closed states that both close the channel fully, whereas the fast gate operates between the open state and the closed state and exhibits a residual conductance. Thus, we developed a stochastic 36-state model (S36SM) of GJ channel gating that is sensitive to transjunctional voltage (Vj). To accelerate simulation and eliminate noise in simulated junctional conductance (gj) records, we transformed an S36SM into a Markov chain 36-state model (MC36SM) of GJ channel gating. This model provides an explanation for well-established experimental data, such as delayed gj recovery after Vj gating, hysteresis of gj-Vj dependence, and the low ratio of functional channels to the total number of GJ channels clustered in junctional plaques, and it has the potential to describe chemically mediated gating, which cannot be reflected using an S16SM. The MC36SM, when combined with global optimization algorithms, can be used for automated estimation of gating parameters including probabilities of c1↔c2 transitions from experimental gj-time and gj-Vj dependencies. PMID:27028642

  2. Conduction abnormalities and ventricular arrhythmogenesis: The roles of sodium channels and gap junctions

    PubMed Central

    Tse, Gary; Yeo, Jie Ming

    2015-01-01

    Ventricular arrhythmias arise from disruptions in the normal orderly sequence of electrical activation and recovery of the heart. They can be categorized into disorders affecting predominantly cellular depolarization or repolarization, or those involving action potential (AP) conduction. This article briefly discusses the factors causing conduction abnormalities in the form of unidirectional conduction block and reduced conduction velocity (CV). It then examines the roles that sodium channels and gap junctions play in AP conduction. Finally, it synthesizes experimental results to illustrate molecular mechanisms of how abnormalities in these proteins contribute to such conduction abnormalities and hence ventricular arrhythmogenesis, in acquired pathologies such as acute ischaemia and heart failure, as well as inherited arrhythmic syndromes. PMID:26839915

  3. Effect of reabsorbed recombination radiation on the saturation current of direct gap p-n junctions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Von Roos, O.; Mavromatis, H.

    1984-01-01

    The application of the radiative transfer theory for semiconductors to p-n homojunctions subject to low level injection conditions is discussed. By virtue of the interaction of the radiation field with free carriers across the depletion layer, the saturation current density in Shockley's expression for the diode current is reduced at high doping levels. The reduction, due to self-induced photon generation, is noticeable for n-type material owing to the small electron effective mass in direct band-gap III-V compounds. The effect is insignificant in p-type material. At an equilibrium electron concentration of 2 x 10 to the 18th/cu cm in GaAs, a reduction of the saturation current density by 15 percent is predicted. It is concluded that realistic GaAs p-n junctions possess a finite thickness.

  4. Block of gap junctions eliminates aberrant activity and restores light responses during retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Toychiev, Abduqodir H; Ivanova, Elena; Yee, Christopher W; Sagdullaev, Botir T

    2013-08-28

    Retinal degeneration leads to progressive photoreceptor cell death, resulting in vision loss. Subsequently, inner retinal neurons develop aberrant synaptic activity, compounding visual impairment. In retinal ganglion cells, light responses driven by surviving photoreceptors are obscured by elevated levels of aberrant spiking activity. Here, we demonstrate in rd10 mice that targeting disruptive neuronal circuitry with a gap junction antagonist can significantly reduce excessive spiking. This treatment increases the sensitivity of the degenerated retina to light stimuli driven by residual photoreceptors. Additionally, this enhances signal transmission from inner retinal neurons to ganglion cells, potentially allowing the retinal network to preserve the fidelity of signals either from prosthetic electronic devices, or from cells optogenetically modified to transduce light. Thus, targeting maladaptive changes to the retina allows for treatments to use existing neuronal tissue to restore light sensitivity, and to augment existing strategies to replace lost photoreceptors. PMID:23986234

  5. Managing the complexity of communication: regulation of gap junctions by post-translational modification

    PubMed Central

    Axelsen, Lene N.; Calloe, Kirstine; Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik; Nielsen, Morten S.

    2013-01-01

    Gap junctions are comprised of connexins that form cell-to-cell channels which couple neighboring cells to accommodate the exchange of information. The need for communication does, however, change over time and therefore must be tightly controlled. Although the regulation of connexin protein expression by transcription and translation is of great importance, the trafficking, channel activity and degradation are also under tight control. The function of connexins can be regulated by several post translational modifications, which affect numerous parameters; including number of channels, open probability, single channel conductance or selectivity. The most extensively investigated post translational modifications are phosphorylations, which have been documented in all mammalian connexins. Besides phosphorylations, some connexins are known to be ubiquitinated, SUMOylated, nitrosylated, hydroxylated, acetylated, methylated, and γ-carboxyglutamated. The aim of the present review is to summarize our current knowledge of post translational regulation of the connexin family of proteins. PMID:24155720

  6. Interaction between fractional Josephson vortices in multi-gap superconductor tunnel junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Ju H.

    In a long Josephson junction (LJJ) with two-band superconductors, fractionalization of Josephson vortices (fluxons) can occur in the broken time reversal symmetry state when spatial phase textures (i-solitons) are excited. Excitation of i-solitons in each superconductor layer of the junction, arising due to the presence of two condensates and the interband Josephson effect, leads to spatial variation of the critical current density between the superconductor layers. Similar to the situation in a YBa2 Cu3O7 - x superconductor film grain boundary, this spatial dependence of the crtitical current density can self-generate magnetic flux in the insulator layer, resulting in fractional fluxons with large and small fraction of flux quantum. Similar to fluxons in one-band superconductor LJJ, these fractional fluxons are found to interact with each other. The interaction between large and small fractional fluxons determines the size of a fluxon which includes two (one large and one small) fractional fluxons. We discuss the nature of interaction between fractional fluxons and suggest that i-soliton excitations in multi-gap superconductor LJJs may be probed by using magnetic flux measurements.

  7. Gap junctions are selectively associated with interlocking ball-and-sockets but not protrusions in the lens

    PubMed Central

    Biswas, Sondip K.; Lee, Jai Eun; Brako, Lawrence; Jiang, Jean X.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose Ball-and-sockets and protrusions are specialized interlocking membrane domains between lens fibers of all species studied. Ball-and-sockets and protrusions are similar in their shape, size, and surface morphology, and are traditionally believed to play a key role in maintaining fiber-to-fiber stability. Here, we evaluate the hypothesis that ball-and-sockets and protrusions possess important structural and functional differences during fiber cell differentiation and maturation. Methods Intact lenses of leghorn chickens (E7 days to P62 weeks old) and rhesus monkeys (1.5–20 years old) were studied with SEM, freeze-fracture TEM, freeze-fracture immunogold labeling (FRIL), and filipin cytochemistry for membrane cholesterol detection. Results SEM showed that ball-and-sockets were distributed along the long and short sides of hexagonal fiber cells, whereas protrusions were located along the cell corners, from superficial to deep cortical regions in both chicken and monkey lenses. Importantly, by freeze-fracture TEM, we discovered the selective association of gap junctions with all ball-and-sockets examined, but not with protrusions, in both species. In the embryonic chicken lens (E18), the abundant distribution of ball-and-socket gap junctions was regularly found in an approximate zone extending at least 300 μm deep from the equatorial surface of the superficial cortical fibers. Many ball-and-socket gap junctions often protruded deeply into neighboring cells. However, in the mature fibers of monkey lenses, several ball-and-sockets exhibited only partial occupancy of gap junctions with disorganized connexons, possibly due to degradation of gap junctions during fiber maturation and aging. FRIL analysis confirmed that both connexin46 (Cx46) and connexin50 (Cx50) antibodies specifically labeled ball-and-socket gap junctions, but not protrusions. Furthermore, filipin cytochemistry revealed that the ball-and-socket gap junctions contained different amounts of

  8. N-cadherin haploinsufficiency affects cardiac gap junctions and arrhythmic susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jifen; Levin, Mark D; Xiong, Yanming; Petrenko, Nataliya; Patel, Vickas V.; Radice, Glenn L.

    2008-01-01

    Cardiac-specific deletion of the murine gene (Cdh2) encoding the cell adhesion molecule, N-cadherin, results in disassembly of the intercalated disc (ICD) structure and sudden arrhythmic death. Connexin 43 (Cx43)-containing gap junctions are significantly reduced in the heart after depleting N-cadherin, therefore we hypothesized that animals expressing half the normal levels of N-cadherin would exhibit an intermediate phenotype. We examined the effect of N-cadherin haploinsufficiency on Cx43 expression and susceptibility to induced arrhythmias in mice either wild-type or heterozygous for the Cx43 (Gja1)-null allele. An increase in hypophosphorylated Cx43 accompanied by a modest decrease in total Cx43 protein levels was observed in the N-cadherin heterozygous mice. Consistent with these findings N-cadherin heterozygotes exhibited increased susceptibility to ventricular arrhythmias compared to wild-type mice. Quantitative immunofluorescence microscopy revealed a reduction in size of large Cx43-containing plaques in the N-cadherin heterozygous animals compared to wild-type. Gap junctions were further decreased in number and size in the N-cad/Cx43 compound heterozygous mice with increased arrhythmic susceptibility compared to the single mutants. The scaffold protein, ZO-1, was reduced at the ICD in N-cadherin heterozygous cardiomyocytes providing a possible explanation for the reduction in Cx43 plaque size. These data provide further support for the intimate relationship between N-cadherin and Cx43 in the heart, and suggest that germline mutations in the human N-cadherin (Cdh2) gene may predispose patients to increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias. PMID:18201716

  9. Modulated gap junctional intercellular communication as a biomarker of PAH epigenetic toxicity: structure-function relationship.

    PubMed Central

    Upham, B L; Weis, L M; Trosko, J E

    1998-01-01

    Cancer is a multistage multimechanism process involving gene and/or chromosomal mutations (genotoxic events), altered gene expression at the transcriptional, translational, and post-translational levels (epigenetic events), and altered cell survival (proliferation and apoptosis or necrosis), resulting in an imbalance of the organism's homeostasis. Maintenance of the organism's homeostasis depends on the intricate coordination of genetic and metabolic events between cells via extracellular and intercellular communication mechanisms. The release of a quiescent cell, whether normal or premalignant, from the suppressing effects of communicating neighbors requires the downregulation of intercellular communication via gap junctions, thereby allowing factors that control intracellular events to exceed a critical mass necessary for the cell to either proliferate or undergo apoptosis. Therefore, determining the role an environmental pollutant must play in the multistage carcinogenic process includes mechanisms of epigenetic toxicity such as the effects of a compound on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). A classic example of a class of compounds in which determination of carcinogenicity focused on genotoxic events and ignored epigenetic events is polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The study of structure-activity relationships of PAHs has focused exclusively on the genotoxic and tumor-initiating properties of the compound. We report on the structure-activity relationships of two- to four-ringed PAHs on GJIC in a rat liver epithelial cell line. PAHs containing a bay or baylike region were more potent inhibitors of GJIC than the linear PAHs that do not contain these regions. These are some of the first studies of determine the epigenetic toxicity of PAHs at the epigenetic level. Images Figure 1 PMID:9703481

  10. Radiation induced bystander effect by GAP junction channels in human fibroblast cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furusawa, Y.; Shao, C.; Aoki, M.; Kobayashi, Y.; Funayama, T.; Ando, K.

    The chemical factor involved in bystander effect and its transfer pathway were investigated in a confluent human fibroblast cell (AG1522) population. Micronuclei (MN) and G1-phase arrest were detected in cells irradiated by carbon (~100 keV/μm) ions at HIMAC. A very low dose irradiation showed a high effectiveness in producing MN, suggesting a bystander effect. This effectiveness was enhanced by 8-Br-cAMP treatment that increases gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). On the other hand, the effect was reduced by 5% DMSO treatment, which reduce the reactive oxygen species (ROS), and suppressed by 100 μM lindane treatment, an inhibitor of GJIC. In addition, the radiation-induced G1-phase arrest was also enhanced by cAMP, and reduced or suppressed by DMSO or lindane. A microbeam device (JAERI) was also used for these studies. It was found that exposing one single cell in a confluent cell population to exactly one argon (~1260 keV/μm) or neon (~430 keV/ μm) ion, additional MN could be detected in many other unirradiated cells. The yield of MN increased with the number of irradiated cells. However, there was no significant difference in the MN induction when the cells were irradiated by increasing number of particles. MN induction by bystander effect was partly reduced by DMSO, and effectively suppressed by lindane. Our results obtained from both random irradiation and precise numbered irradiation indicate that both GJIC and ROS contributed to the radiation-induced bystander effect, but the cell gap junction channels likely play an essential role in the release and transfer of radiation-induced chemical factors.

  11. Influence of drugs on gap junctions in glioma cell lines and primary astrocytes in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Moinfar, Zahra; Dambach, Hannes; Faustmann, Pedro M.

    2014-01-01

    Gap junctions (GJs) are hemichannels on cell membrane. Once they are intercellulary connected to the neighboring cells, they build a functional syncytium which allows rapid transfer of ions and molecules between cells. This characteristic makes GJs a potential modulator in proliferation, migration, and development of the cells. So far, several types of GJs are recognized on different brain cells as well as in glioma. Astrocytes, as one of the major cells that maintain neuronal homeostasis, express different types of GJs that let them communicate with neurons, oligodendrocytes, and endothelial cells of the blood brain barrier; however, the main GJ in astrocytes is connexin 43. There are different cerebral diseases in which astrocyte GJs might play a role. Several drugs have been reported to modulate gap junctional communication in the brain which can consequently have beneficial or detrimental effects on the course of treatment in certain diseases. However, the exact cellular mechanism behind those pharmaceutical efficacies on GJs is not well-understood. Accordingly, how specific drugs would affect GJs and what some consequent specific brain diseases would be are the interests of the authors of this chapter. We would focus on pharmaceutical effects on GJs on astrocytes in specific diseases where GJs could possibly play a role including: (1) migraine and a novel therapy for migraine with aura, (2) neuroautoimmune diseases and immunomodulatory drugs in the treatment of demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, (3) glioma and antineoplastic and anti-inflammatory agents that are used in treating brain tumors, and (4) epilepsy and anticonvulsants that are widely used for seizures therapy. All of the above-mentioned therapeutic categories can possibly affect GJs expression of astrocytes and the role is discussed in the upcoming chapter. PMID:24904426

  12. Pannexin-1 channels show distinct morphology and no gap junction characteristics in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Beckmann, Anja; Grissmer, Alexander; Krause, Elmar; Tschernig, Thomas; Meier, Carola

    2016-03-01

    Pannexins (Panx) are proteins with a similar membrane topology to connexins, the integral membrane protein of gap junctions. Panx1 channels are generally of major importance in a large number of system and cellular processes and their function has been thoroughly characterized. In contrast, little is known about channel structure and subcellular distribution. We therefore determine the subcellular localization of Panx1 channels in cultured cells and aim at the identification of channel morphology in vitro. Using freeze-fracture replica immunolabeling on EYFP-Panx1-overexpressing HEK 293 cells, large particles were identified in plasma membranes, which were immunogold-labeled using either GFP or Panx1 antibodies. There was no labeling or particles in the nuclear membranes of these cells, pointing to plasma membrane localization of Panx1-EYFP channels. The assembly of particles was irregular, this being in contrast to the regular pattern of gap junctions. The fact that no counterparts were identified on apposing cells, which would have been indicative of intercellular signaling, supported the idea of Panx1 channels within one membrane. Control cells (transfected with EYFP only, non-transfected) were devoid of both particles and immunogold labeling. Altogether, this study provides the first demonstration of Panx1 channel morphology and assembly in intact cells. The identification of Panx1 channels as large particles within the plasma membrane provides the knowledge required to enable recognition of Panx1 channels in tissues in future studies. Thus, these results open up new avenues for the detailed analysis of the subcellular localization of Panx1 and of its nearest neighbors such as purinergic receptors in vivo. PMID:26386583

  13. Maternal treatment with glucocorticoids modulates gap junction protein expression in the ovine fetal brain.

    PubMed

    Sadowska, G B; Stonestreet, B S

    2014-09-01

    Gap junctions facilitate intercellular communication and are important in brain development. Connexins (Cx) comprise a transmembrane protein family that forms gap junctions. Cx-32 is expressed in oligodendrocytes and neurons, Cx-36 in neurons, and Cx-43 in astrocytes. Although single antenatal steroid courses are recommended for fetal lung maturation, multiple courses can be given to women at recurrent risk for premature delivery. We examined the effects of single and multiple glucocorticoid courses on Cx-32, Cx-36, and Cx-43 protein expressions in the fetal cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and spinal cord, and differences in Cx expression among brain regions under basal conditions. In the single-course groups, the ewes received dexamethasone (6 mg) or placebo as four intramuscular injections every 12h over 48 h. In the multiple-course groups, the ewes received the same treatment, once a week for 5 weeks starting at 76-78 days of gestation. Cx were measured by Western immunoblot on brain samples from 105 to 108-day gestation fetuses. A single dexamethasone course was associated with increases (P<0.05) in cerebral cortical and spinal cord Cx-36 and Cx-43 and multiple courses with increases in cerebellar and spinal cord Cx-36, and cerebral cortical and cerebellar Cx-43. Cx-32 did not change. Cx-32 was higher in the cerebellum than cerebral cortex and spinal cord, Cx-36 higher in the spinal cord than cerebellum, and Cx-43 higher in the cerebellum and spinal cord than cerebral cortex during basal conditions. In conclusion, maternal glucocorticoid therapy increases specific Cx, responses to different maternal courses vary among Cx and brain regions, and Cx expression differs among brain regions under basal conditions. Maternal treatment with glucocorticoids differentially modulates Cx in the fetal brain. PMID:24929069

  14. Phosphorylation on Ser-279 and Ser-282 of connexin43 regulates endocytosis and gap junction assembly in pancreatic cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Kristen E.; Mitra, Shalini; Katoch, Parul; Kelsey, Linda S.; Johnson, Keith R.; Mehta, Parmender P.

    2013-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms regulating the assembly of connexins (Cxs) into gap junctions are poorly understood. Using human pancreatic tumor cell lines BxPC3 and Capan-1, which express Cx26 and Cx43, we show that, upon arrival at the cell surface, the assembly of Cx43 is impaired. Connexin43 fails to assemble, because it is internalized by clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Assembly is restored upon expressing a sorting-motif mutant of Cx43, which does not interact with the AP2 complex, and by expressing mutants that cannot be phosphorylated on Ser-279 and Ser-282. The mutants restore assembly by preventing clathrin-mediated endocytosis of Cx43. Our results also document that the sorting-motif mutant is assembled into gap junctions in cells in which the expression of endogenous Cx43 has been knocked down. Remarkably, Cx43 mutants that cannot be phosphorylated on Ser-279 or Ser-282 are assembled into gap junctions only when connexons are composed of Cx43 forms that can be phosphorylated on these serines and forms in which phosphorylation on these serines is abolished. Based on the subcellular fate of Cx43 in single and contacting cells, our results document that the endocytic itinerary of Cx43 is altered upon cell–cell contact, which causes Cx43 to traffic by EEA1-negative endosomes en route to lysosomes. Our results further show that gap-junctional plaques formed of a sorting motif–deficient mutant of Cx43, which is unable to be internalized by the clathrin-mediated pathway, are predominantly endocytosed in the form of annular junctions. Thus the differential phosphorylation of Cx43 on Ser-279 and Ser-282 is fine-tuned to control Cx43’s endocytosis and assembly into gap junctions. PMID:23363606

  15. Conductance Measurements of Magnesium Diboride-based Josephson Junctions Below 1 Kelvin: Beyond the 2-Gap Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carabello, Steven; Lambert, Joseph; Mlack, Jerome; Dai, Wenqing; Li, Qi; Chen, Ke; Cunnane, Daniel; Zhuang, C. G.; Xi, X. X.; Ramos, Roberto

    2014-03-01

    Theoretical and experimental studies have probed the nature of magnesium diboride's two superconducting energy gaps Δπ and Δσ. Several theoretical analyses have predicted fine structures within each energy gap, with recent experiments revealing similar structures. We have performed high-resolution tunneling measurements of low-transparency Josephson junctions using ``terraced,'' ``columnar,'' and c-axis MgB2 films separated by its native oxide from either lead (Pb) or tin (Sn) counter-electrodes. Using high-resolution I-V data at T as low as 23mK, we observe sub-structures within both energy gaps. We also observe sharp peaks in the subgap that identify, to high precision, the energy gap values of the junction counter-electrodes (Pb and Sn). These lead us to conclude that the substructures seen in the gaps are due to MgB2. We then fit the data using simplified two-gap and four-gap models with variable weights and broadening factors. By demonstrating the inadequacy of a simple two-gap model in fitting the data, we illustrate that some distinctions between theoretical models of energy gap substructures are experimentally observable. R.C.R. acknowledges partial support from National Science Foundation Grant # DMR-1206561.

  16. Resistance of Single Ag Nanowire Junctions and Their Role in the Conductivity of Nanowire Networks.

    PubMed

    Bellew, Allen T; Manning, Hugh G; Gomes da Rocha, Claudia; Ferreira, Mauro S; Boland, John J

    2015-11-24

    Networks of silver nanowires appear set to replace expensive indium tin oxide as the transparent conducting electrode material in next generation devices. The success of this approach depends on optimizing the material conductivity, which until now has largely focused on minimizing the junction resistance between wires. However, there have been no detailed reports on what the junction resistance is, nor is there a known benchmark for the minimum attainable sheet resistance of an optimized network. In this paper, we present junction resistance measurements of individual silver nanowire junctions, producing for the first time a distribution of junction resistance values and conclusively demonstrating that the junction contribution to the overall resistance can be reduced beyond that of the wires through standard processing techniques. We find that this distribution shows the presence of a small percentage (6%) of high-resistance junctions, and we show how these may impact the performance of network-based materials. Finally, through combining experiment with a rigorous model, we demonstrate the important role played by the network skeleton and the specific connectivity of the network in determining network performance. PMID:26448205

  17. Photoperiod-Dependent Effects of 4-tert-Octylphenol on Adherens and Gap Junction Proteins in Bank Vole Seminiferous Tubules

    PubMed Central

    Kuras, Paulina; Lydka-Zarzycka, Marta; Bilinska, Barbara

    2013-01-01

    In the present study we evaluated in vivo and in vitro effects of 4-tert-octylphenol (OP) on the expression and distribution of adherens and gap junction proteins, N-cadherin, β-catenin, and connexin 43 (Cx43), in testes of seasonally breeding rodents, bank voles. We found that in bank vole testes expression and distribution of N-cadherin, β-catenin, and Cx43 were photoperiod dependent. Long-term treatment with OP (200 mg/kg b.w.) resulted in the reduction of junction proteins expressions (P < 0.05, P < 0.01) and their delocalization in the testes of males kept in long photoperiod, whereas in short-day animals slight increase of Cx43 (P < 0.05), N-cadherin, and β-catenin (statistically nonsignificant) levels was observed. Effects of OP appeared to be independent of FSH and were maintained during in vitro organ culture, indicating that OP acts directly on adherens and gap junction proteins in the testes. An experiment performed using an antiestrogen ICI 182,780 demonstrated that the biological effects of OP on β-catenin and Cx43 involve an estrogen receptor-mediated response. Taken together, in bank vole organization of adherens and gap junctions and their susceptibility to OP are related to the length of photoperiod. Alterations in cadherin/catenin and Cx43-based junction may partially result from activation of estrogen receptor α and/or β signaling pathway. PMID:23737770

  18. Intercellular calcium signaling in a gap junction-coupled cell network establishes asymmetric neuronal fates in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Schumacher, Jennifer A.; Hsieh, Yi-Wen; Chen, Shiuhwei; Pirri, Jennifer K.; Alkema, Mark J.; Li, Wen-Hong; Chang, Chieh; Chuang, Chiou-Fen

    2012-01-01

    The C. elegans left and right AWC olfactory neurons specify asymmetric subtypes, one default AWCOFF and one induced AWCON, through a stochastic, coordinated cell signaling event. Intercellular communication between AWCs and non-AWC neurons via a NSY-5 gap junction network coordinates AWC asymmetry. However, the nature of intercellular signaling across the network and how individual non-AWC cells in the network influence AWC asymmetry is not known. Here, we demonstrate that intercellular calcium signaling through the NSY-5 gap junction neural network coordinates a precise 1AWCON/1AWCOFF decision. We show that NSY-5 gap junctions in C. elegans cells mediate small molecule passage. We expressed vertebrate calcium-buffer proteins in groups of cells in the network to reduce intracellular calcium levels, thereby disrupting intercellular communication. We find that calcium in non-AWC cells of the network promotes the AWCON fate, in contrast to the autonomous role of calcium in AWCs to promote the AWCOFF fate. In addition, calcium in specific non-AWCs promotes AWCON side biases through NSY-5 gap junctions. Our results suggest a novel model in which calcium has dual roles within the NSY-5 network: autonomously promoting AWCOFF and non-autonomously promoting AWCON. PMID:23093425

  19. Effect of Mefloquine, a Gap Junction Blocker, on Circadian Period2 Gene Oscillation in the Mouse Suprachiasmatic Nucleus Ex Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Koo, Jinmi; Choe, Han Kyoung; Kim, Hee-Dae; Chun, Sung Kook; Son, Gi Hoon

    2015-01-01

    Background In mammals, the master circadian pacemaker is localized in an area of the ventral hypothalamus known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Previous studies have shown that pacemaker neurons in the SCN are highly coupled to one another, and this coupling is crucial for intrinsic self-sustainability of the SCN central clock, which is distinguished from peripheral oscillators. One plausible mechanism underlying the intercellular communication may involve direct electrical connections mediated by gap junctions. Methods We examined the effect of mefloquine, a neuronal gap junction blocker, on circadian Period 2 (Per2) gene oscillation in SCN slice cultures prepared from Per2::luciferase (PER2::LUC) knock-in mice using a real-time bioluminescence measurement system. Results Administration of mefloquine causes instability in the pulse period and a slight reduction of amplitude in cyclic PER2::LUC expression. Blockade of gap junctions uncouples PER2::LUC-expressing cells, in terms of phase transition, which weakens synchrony among individual cellular rhythms. Conclusion These findings suggest that neuronal gap junctions play an important role in synchronizing the central pacemaker neurons and contribute to the distinct self-sustainability of the SCN master clock. PMID:25491783

  20. Activation of L-type calcium channels is required for gap junction-mediated intercellular calcium signaling in osteoblastic cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jorgensen, Niklas Rye; Teilmann, Stefan Cuoni; Henriksen, Zanne; Civitelli, Roberto; Sorensen, Ole Helmer; Steinberg, Thomas H.

    2003-01-01

    The propagation of mechanically induced intercellular calcium waves (ICW) among osteoblastic cells occurs both by activation of P2Y (purinergic) receptors by extracellular nucleotides, resulting in "fast" ICW, and by gap junctional communication in cells that express connexin43 (Cx43), resulting in "slow" ICW. Human osteoblastic cells transmit intercellular calcium signals by both of these mechanisms. In the current studies we have examined the mechanism of slow gap junction-dependent ICW in osteoblastic cells. In ROS rat osteoblastic cells, gap junction-dependent ICW were inhibited by removal of extracellular calcium, plasma membrane depolarization by high extracellular potassium, and the L-type voltage-operated calcium channel inhibitor, nifedipine. In contrast, all these treatments enhanced the spread of P2 receptor-mediated ICW in UMR rat osteoblastic cells. Using UMR cells transfected to express Cx43 (UMR/Cx43) we confirmed that nifedipine sensitivity of ICW required Cx43 expression. In human osteoblastic cells, gap junction-dependent ICW also required activation of L-type calcium channels and influx of extracellular calcium.

  1. GAP JUNCTION COMMUNICATION MEDIATES TRANSFORMING GROWTH FACTOR-BETA ACTIVATION AND ENDOTHELIAL-INDUCED MURAL CELL DIFFERENTIATION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During blood vessel assembly, endothelial cells recruit mesenchymal progenitors and induce their differentiation into mural cells via contact-dependent transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) activation. We investigated whether gap junction channels are formed between endothelial cells and recrui...

  2. The B[a]P-increased intercellular communication via translocation of connexin-43 into gap junctions reduces apoptosis

    SciTech Connect

    Tekpli, X.; Rivedal, E.; Gorria, M.; Landvik, N.E.; Rissel, M.; Dimanche-Boitrel, M.-T.; Baffet, G.; Holme, J.A.; Lagadic-Gossmann, D.

    2010-01-15

    Gap junctions are channels in plasma membrane composed of proteins called connexins. These channels are organized in special domains between cells, and provide for direct gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), allowing diffusion of signalling molecules < 1 kD. GJIC regulates cell homeostasis and notably the balance between proliferation, cell cycle arrest, cell survival and apoptosis. Here, we have investigated benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) effects on GJIC and on the subcellular localization of the major protein of gap junction: connexin-43 (Cx43). Our results showed that B[a]P increased GJIC between mouse hepatoma Hepa1c1c7 cells via translocation of Cx43 from Golgi apparatus and lipid rafts into gap junction plaques. Interestingly, inhibition of GJIC by chlordane or small interference RNA directed against Cx43 enhanced B[a]P-induced apoptosis in Hepa1c1c7 cells. The increased apoptosis caused by inhibition of GJIC appeared to be mediated by ERK/MAPK pathway. It is suggested that B[a]P could induce transfer of cell survival signal or dilute cell death signal via regulation of ERK/MAPK through GJIC.

  3. Oxidative-Dependent Integration of Signal Transduction with Intercellular Gap Junctional Communication in the Control of Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Trosko, James E.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Research on oxidative stress focused primarily on determining how reactive oxygen species (ROS) damage cells by indiscriminate reactions with their macromolecular machinery, particularly lipids, proteins, and DNA. However, many chronic diseases are not always a consequence of tissue necrosis, DNA, or protein damage, but rather to altered gene expression. Gene expression is highly regulated by the coordination of cell signaling systems that maintain tissue homeostasis. Therefore, much research has shifted to the understanding of how ROS reversibly control gene expression through cell signaling mechanisms. However, most research has focused on redox regulation of signal transduction within a cell, but we introduce a more comprehensive-systems biology approach to understanding oxidative signaling that includes gap junctional intercellular communication, which plays a role in coordinating gene expression between cells of a tissue needed to maintain tissue homeostasis. We propose a hypothesis that gap junctions are critical in modulating the levels of second messengers, such as low molecular weight reactive oxygen, needed in the transduction of an external signal to the nucleus in the expression of genes. Thus, any comprehensive-systems biology approach to understanding oxidative signaling must also include gap junctions, in which aberrant gap junctions have been clearly implicated in many human diseases. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11, 297–307. PMID:18834329

  4. Homotypic gap junctional communication associated with metastasis increases suppression increases with PKA kinase activity and is unaffected by P13K inhibition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Loss of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) between cancer cells is a common characteristic of malignant transformation. This communication is mediated by connexin proteins that make up the functional units of gap junctions. Connexins are highly regulated at the protein level and phosp...

  5. Gap junctional communication modulates gene transcription by altering the recruitment of Sp1 and Sp3 to connexin-response elements in osteoblast promoters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stains, Joseph P.; Lecanda, Fernando; Screen, Joanne; Towler, Dwight A.; Civitelli, Roberto

    2003-01-01

    Loss-of-function mutations of gap junction proteins, connexins, represent a mechanism of disease in a variety of tissues. We have shown that recessive (gene deletion) or dominant (connexin45 overexpression) disruption of connexin43 function results in osteoblast dysfunction and abnormal expression of osteoblast genes, including down-regulation of osteocalcin transcription. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of gap junction-sensitive transcriptional regulation, we systematically analyzed the rat osteocalcin promoter for sensitivity to gap junctional intercellular communication. We identified an Sp1/Sp3 containing complex that assembles on a minimal element in the -70 to -57 region of the osteocalcin promoter in a gap junction-dependent manner. This CT-rich connexin-response element is necessary and sufficient to confer gap junction sensitivity to the osteocalcin proximal promoter. Repression of osteocalcin transcription occurs as a result of displacement of the stimulatory Sp1 by the inhibitory Sp3 on the promoter when gap junctional communication is perturbed. Modulation of Sp1/Sp3 recruitment also occurs on the collagen Ialpha1 promoter and translates into gap junction-sensitive transcriptional control of collagen Ialpha1 gene expression. Thus, regulation of Sp1/Sp3 recruitment to the promoter may represent a potential general mechanism for transcriptional control of target genes by signals passing through gap junctions.

  6. Deficiency of transcription factor Brn4 disrupts cochlear gap junction plaques in a model of DFN3 non-syndromic deafness.

    PubMed

    Kidokoro, Yoshinobu; Karasawa, Keiko; Minowa, Osamu; Sugitani, Yoshinobu; Noda, Tetsuo; Ikeda, Katsuhisa; Kamiya, Kazusaku

    2014-01-01

    Brn4, which encodes a POU transcription factor, is the gene responsible for DFN3, an X chromosome-linked, non-syndromic type of hearing loss. Brn4-deficient mice have a low endocochlear potential (EP), hearing loss, and ultrastructural alterations in spiral ligament fibrocytes, however the molecular pathology through which Brn4 deficiency causes low EP is still unclear. Mutations in the Gjb2 and Gjb6 genes encoding the gap junction proteins connexin26 (Cx26) and connexin30 (Cx30) genes, respectively, which encode gap junction proteins and are expressed in cochlear fibrocytes and non-sensory epithelial cells (i.e., cochlear supporting cells) to maintain the proper EP, are responsible for hereditary sensorineural deafness. It has been hypothesized that the gap junction in the cochlea provides an intercellular passage by which K+ is transported to maintain the EP at the high level necessary for sensory hair cell excitation. Here we analyzed the formation of gap junction plaques in cochlear supporting cells of Brn4-deficient mice at different stages by confocal microscopy and three-dimensional graphic reconstructions. Gap junctions from control mice, which are composed mainly of Cx26 and Cx30, formed linear plaques along the cell-cell junction sites with adjacent cells. These plaques formed pentagonal or hexagonal outlines of the normal inner sulcus cells and border cells. Gap junction plaques in Brn4-deficient mice did not, however, show the normal linear structure but instead formed small spots around the cell-cell junction sites. Gap junction lengths were significantly shorter, and the level of Cx26 and Cx30 was significantly reduced in Brn4-deficient mice compared with littermate controls. Thus the Brn4 mutation affected the assembly and localization of gap junction proteins at the cell borders of cochlear supporting cells, suggesting that Brn4 substantially contributes to cochlear gap junction properties to maintain the proper EP in cochleae, similar to connexin

  7. Endothelium-Derived Hyperpolarization and Coronary Vasodilation: Diverse and Integrated Roles of Epoxyeicosatrienoic Acids, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Gap Junctions.

    PubMed

    Ellinsworth, David C; Sandow, Shaun L; Shukla, Nilima; Liu, Yanping; Jeremy, Jamie Y; Gutterman, David D

    2016-01-01

    Myocardial perfusion and coronary vascular resistance are regulated by signaling metabolites released from the local myocardium that act either directly on the VSMC or indirectly via stimulation of the endothelium. A prominent mechanism of vasodilation is EDH of the arteriolar smooth muscle, with EETs and H(2)O(2) playing important roles in EDH in the coronary microcirculation. In some cases, EETs and H(2)O(2) are released as transferable hyperpolarizing factors (EDHFs) that act directly on the VSMCs. By contrast, EETs and H(2)O(2) can also promote endothelial KCa activity secondary to the amplification of extracellular Ca(2+) influx and Ca(2+) mobilization from intracellular stores, respectively. The resulting endothelial hyperpolarization may subsequently conduct to the media via myoendothelial gap junctions or potentially lead to the release of a chemically distinct factor(s). Furthermore, in human isolated coronary arterioles dilator signaling involving EETs and H(2)O(2) may be integrated, being either complimentary or inhibitory depending on the stimulus. With an emphasis on the human coronary microcirculation, this review addresses the diverse and integrated mechanisms by which EETs and H(2)O(2) regulate vessel tone and also examines the hypothesis that myoendothelial microdomain signaling facilitates EDH activity in the human heart. PMID:26541094

  8. Engineered Cx40 variants increased docking and function of heterotypic Cx40/Cx43 gap junction channels.

    PubMed

    Jassim, Arjewan; Aoyama, Hiroshi; Ye, Willy G; Chen, Honghong; Bai, Donglin

    2016-01-01

    Gap junction (GJ) channels provide low resistance passages for rapid action potential propagation in the heart. Both connexin40 (Cx40) and Cx43 are abundantly expressed in and frequently co-localized between atrial myocytes, possibly forming heterotypic GJ channels. However, conflicting results have been obtained on the functional status of heterotypic Cx40/Cx43 GJs. Here we provide experimental evidence that the docking and formation of heterotypic Cx40/Cx43 GJs can be substantially increased by designed Cx40 variants on the extracellular domains (E1 and E2). Specifically, Cx40 D55N and P193Q, substantially increased the probability to form GJ plaque-like structures at the cell-cell interfaces with Cx43 in model cells. More importantly the coupling conductance (Gj) of D55N/Cx43 and P193Q/Cx43 GJ channels are significantly increased from the Gj of Cx40/Cx43 in N2A cells. Our homology models indicate the electrostatic interactions and surface structures at the docking interface are key factors preventing Cx40 from docking to Cx43. Improving heterotypic Gj of these atrial connexins might be potentially useful in improving the coupling and synchronization of atrial myocardium. PMID:26625713

  9. pH-dependent modulation of connexin-based gap junctional uncouplers

    PubMed Central

    Skeberdis, Vytenis A; Rimkute, Lina; Skeberdyte, Aiste; Paulauskas, Nerijus; Bukauskas, Feliksas F

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Gap junction (GJ) channels formed from connexin (Cx) proteins provide a direct pathway for electrical and metabolic cell–cell communication exhibiting high sensitivity to intracellular pH (pHi). We examined pHi-dependent modulation of junctional conductance (gj) of GJs formed of Cx26, mCx30.2, Cx36, Cx40, Cx43, Cx45, Cx46, Cx47 and Cx50 by reagents representing several distinct groups of uncouplers, such as long carbon chain alkanols (LCCAs), arachidonic acid, carbenoxolone, isoflurane, flufenamic acid and mefloquine. We demonstrate that alkalization by NH4Cl to pH ∼8 increased gj in cells expressing mCx30.2 and Cx45, yet did not affect gj of Cx26, Cx40, Cx46, Cx47 and Cx50 and decreased it in Cx43 and Cx36 GJs. Unexpectedly, cells expressing Cx45, but not other Cxs, exhibited full coupling recovery after alkalization with NH4Cl under the continuous presence of LCCAs, isoflurane and mefloquine. There was no coupling recovery by alkalization in the presence of arachidonic acid, carbenoxolone and flufenamic acid. In cells expressing Cx45, IC50 for octanol was 0.1, 0.25 and 2.68 mm at pHi values of 6.9, 7.2 and 8.1, respectively. Histidine modification of Cx45 protein by N-bromosuccinimide reduced the coupling-promoting effect of NH4Cl as well as the uncoupling effect of octanol. This suggests that LCCAs and some other uncouplers may act through the formation of hydrogen bonds with the as-of-yet unidentified histidine/s of the Cx45 GJ channel protein. PMID:21606109

  10. pH-dependent modulation of connexin-based gap junctional uncouplers.

    PubMed

    Skeberdis, Vytenis A; Rimkute, Lina; Skeberdyte, Aiste; Paulauskas, Nerijus; Bukauskas, Feliksas F

    2011-07-15

    Gap junction (GJ) channels formed from connexin (Cx) proteins provide a direct pathway for electrical and metabolic cell–cell communication exhibiting high sensitivity to intracellular pH (pH(i)). We examined pH(i)-dependent modulation of junctional conductance (g(j)) of GJs formed of Cx26, mCx30.2, Cx36, Cx40, Cx43, Cx45, Cx46, Cx47 and Cx50 by reagents representing several distinct groups of uncouplers, such as long carbon chain alkanols (LCCAs), arachidonic acid, carbenoxolone, isoflurane, flufenamic acid and mefloquine. We demonstrate that alkalization by NH4Cl to pH ∼8 increased g(j) in cells expressing mCx30.2 and Cx45, yet did not affect g(j) of Cx26, Cx40, Cx46, Cx47 and Cx50 and decreased it in Cx43 and Cx36 GJs. Unexpectedly, cells expressing Cx45, but not other Cxs, exhibited full coupling recovery after alkalization with NH4Cl under the continuous presence of LCCAs, isoflurane and mefloquine. There was no coupling recovery by alkalization in the presence of arachidonic acid, carbenoxolone and flufenamic acid. In cells expressing Cx45, IC50 for octanol was 0.1, 0.25 and 2.68 mm at pH(i) values of 6.9, 7.2 and 8.1, respectively. Histidine modification of Cx45 protein by N-bromosuccinimide reduced the coupling-promoting effect of NH4Cl as well as the uncoupling effect of octanol. This suggests that LCCAs and some other uncouplers may act through the formation of hydrogen bonds with the as-of-yet unidentified histidine/s of the Cx45 GJ channel protein. PMID:21606109

  11. Experimental determination of series resistance of p-n junction diodes and solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, P. J.; Pao, S. C.; Neugroschel, A.; Lindholm, F. A.

    1978-01-01

    Various methods for determining the series resistance of p-n junction diodes and solar cells are described and compared. New methods involving the measurement of the ac admittance are shown to have certain advantages over methods proposed earlier.

  12. Resistance of single polyaniline fibers and their junctions measured by double-probe atomic force microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higuchi, Rintaro; Shingaya, Yoshitaka; Nakayama, Tomonobu

    2016-08-01

    Electrical properties of polyaniline (PANI) fibers are of our interest as a component of network materials. Using a multiple-probe atomic force microscope with tuning fork probes, we investigated the resistance of single PANI fibers and their cross-point junction where the fibers contact each other. The resistivity of single PANI fibers was measured to be on the order of 10 Ω cm, and the contact resistance between PANI fibers was on the order of GΩ. The resistances through single cross-point junctions between two PANI fibers were very much dependent on the experimental condition, that is, the cross-point junction is stabilized or destabilized by physically placing the probes onto the two fibers. This suggests the nanomechanical instability of the cross-point junctions and a possibility to construct strain-responsive PANI fiber networks.

  13. Illuminating Myocyte-Fibroblast Homotypic and Heterotypic Gap Junction Dynamics Using Dynamic Clamp.

    PubMed

    Brown, Tashalee R; Krogh-Madsen, Trine; Christini, David J

    2016-08-23

    Fibroblasts play a significant role in the development of electrical and mechanical dysfunction of the heart; however, the underlying mechanisms are only partially understood. One widely studied mechanism suggests that fibroblasts produce excess extracellular matrix, resulting in collagenous septa that slow propagation, cause zig-zag conduction paths, and decouple cardiomyocytes, resulting in a substrate for cardiac arrhythmia. An emerging mechanism suggests that fibroblasts promote arrhythmogenesis through direct electrical interactions with cardiomyocytes via gap junction (GJ) channels. In the heart, three major connexin (Cx) isoforms, Cx40, Cx43, and Cx45, form GJ channels in cell-type-specific combinations. Because each Cx is characterized by a unique time- and transjunctional voltage-dependent profile, we investigated whether the electrophysiological contributions of fibroblasts would vary with the specific composition of the myocyte-fibroblast (M-F) GJ channel. Due to the challenges of systematically modifying Cxs in vitro, we coupled native cardiomyocytes with in silico fibroblast and GJ channel electrophysiology models using the dynamic-clamp technique. We found that there is a reduction in the early peak of the junctional current during the upstroke of the action potential (AP) due to GJ channel gating. However, effects on the cardiomyocyte AP morphology were similar regardless of the specific type of GJ channel (homotypic Cx43 and Cx45, and heterotypic Cx43/Cx45 and Cx45/Cx43). To illuminate effects at the tissue level, we performed multiscale simulations of M-F coupling. First, we developed a cell-specific model of our dynamic-clamp experiments and investigated changes in the underlying membrane currents during M-F coupling. Second, we performed two-dimensional tissue sheet simulations of cardiac fibrosis and incorporated GJ channels in a cell type-specific manner. We determined that although GJ channel gating reduces junctional current, it does not

  14. Communication of cAMP by connexin43 gap junctions regulates osteoblast signaling and gene expression.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Aditi; Anderson, Hidayah; Buo, Atum M; Moorer, Megan C; Ren, Margaret; Stains, Joseph P

    2016-08-01

    Connexin43 (Cx43) containing gap junctions play an important role in bone homeostasis, yet little is known about the second messengers communicated by Cx43 among bone cells. Here, we used MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblasts and UMR106 rat osteosarcoma cells to test the hypothesis that cAMP is a second messenger communicated by bone cells through Cx43 containing gap junctions in a manner that is sufficient to impact osteoblast function. Overexpression of Cx43 markedly enhanced the activity of a cAMP-response element driven transcriptional luciferase reporter (CRE-luc) and increased phospho-CREB and phospho-ERK1/2 levels following expression of a constitutively active Gsα or by treatment with prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), 3-Isobutyl-1-methyl xanthine (IBMX) or forskolin. The Cx43-dependent potentiation of signaling in PGE2 treated cells was not accompanied by a further increase in cAMP levels, suggesting that the cAMP was shared between cells rather than Cx43 enhancing cAMP production. To support this, we developed a novel assay in which one set of cells expressing constitutively active Gsα (donor cells) were co-cultured with a second set of cells expressing a CRE-luc reporter (acceptor cells). Using this assay, activation of a CRE-luc reporter in the acceptor cells was both Cx43- and cell contact-dependent, indicating communication of cAMP among cells. Finally, we showed that Cx43 increased the cAMP-dependent mRNA expression of receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand (RANKL) and enhanced the repression of the sclerostin mRNA, implying a potential mechanism for the modulation of tissue remodeling. In total, these data demonstrate that Cx43 can communicate cAMP between cells and, more importantly, that the communicated cAMP is sufficient to impact signal transduction cascades and the expression of key bone effector molecules between interconnected cells. PMID:27156839

  15. Regulation of photoreceptor gap junction phosphorylation by adenosine in zebrafish retina

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hongyan; Chuang, Alice Z.; O’Brien, John

    2014-01-01

    Electrical coupling of photoreceptors through gap junctions suppresses voltage noise, routes rod signals into cone pathways, expands the dynamic range of rod photoreceptors in high scotopic and mesopic illumination, and improves detection of contrast and small stimuli. In essentially all vertebrates, connexin 35/36 (gene homologues Cx36 in mammals, Cx35 in other vertebrates) is the major gap junction protein observed in photoreceptors, mediating rod-cone, cone-cone, and possibly rod-rod communication. Photoreceptor coupling is dynamically controlled by the day/night cycle and light/dark adaptation, and is directly correlated with phosphorylation of Cx35/36 at two sites, serine110 and serine 276/293 (homologous sites in teleost fish and mammals respectively). Activity of protein kinase A (PKA) plays a key role during this process. Previous studies have shown that activation of dopamine D4 receptors on photoreceptors inhibits adenylyl cyclase, down-regulates cAMP and PKA activity, and leads to photoreceptor uncoupling, imposing the daytime/light condition. In this study we explored the role of adenosine, a nighttime signal with a high extracellular concentration at night and a low concentration in the day, in regulating photoreceptor coupling by examining photoreceptor Cx35 phosphorylation in zebrafish retina. Adenosine enhanced photoreceptor Cx35 phosphorylation in daytime, but with a complex dose-response curve. Selective pharmacological manipulations revealed that adenosine A2a receptors provide a potent positive drive to phosphorylate photoreceptor Cx35 under the influence of endogenous adenosine at night. A2a receptors can be activated in the daytime as well by micromolar exogenous adenosine. However, the higher affinity adenosine A1 receptors are also present and have an antagonistic though less potent effect. Thus the nighttime/darkness signal adenosine provides a net positive drive on Cx35 phosphorylation at night, working in opposition to dopamine to

  16. Regulation of photoreceptor gap junction phosphorylation by adenosine in zebrafish retina.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongyan; Chuang, Alice Z; O'Brien, John

    2014-05-01

    Electrical coupling of photoreceptors through gap junctions suppresses voltage noise, routes rod signals into cone pathways, expands the dynamic range of rod photoreceptors in high scotopic and mesopic illumination, and improves detection of contrast and small stimuli. In essentially all vertebrates, connexin 35/36 (gene homologs Cx36 in mammals, Cx35 in other vertebrates) is the major gap junction protein observed in photoreceptors, mediating rod-cone, cone-cone, and possibly rod-rod communication. Photoreceptor coupling is dynamically controlled by the day/night cycle and light/dark adaptation, and is directly correlated with phosphorylation of Cx35/36 at two sites, serine110 and serine 276/293 (homologous sites in teleost fish and mammals, respectively). Activity of protein kinase A (PKA) plays a key role during this process. Previous studies have shown that activation of dopamine D4 receptors on photoreceptors inhibits adenylyl cyclase, down-regulates cAMP and PKA activity, and leads to photoreceptor uncoupling, imposing the daytime/light condition. In this study, we explored the role of adenosine, a nighttime signal with a high extracellular concentration at night and a low concentration in the day, in regulating photoreceptor coupling by examining photoreceptor Cx35 phosphorylation in zebrafish retina. Adenosine enhanced photoreceptor Cx35 phosphorylation in daytime, but with a complex dose-response curve. Selective pharmacological manipulations revealed that adenosine A2a receptors provide a potent positive drive to phosphorylate photoreceptor Cx35 under the influence of endogenous adenosine at night. A2a receptors can be activated in the daytime as well by micromolar exogenous adenosine. However, the higher affinity adenosine A1 receptors are also present and have an antagonistic though less potent effect. Thus, the nighttime/darkness signal adenosine provides a net positive drive on Cx35 phosphorylation at night, working in opposition to dopamine to

  17. Heart Rate and Extracellular Sodium and Potassium Modulation of Gap Junction Mediated Conduction in Guinea Pigs

    PubMed Central

    Entz, Michael; George, Sharon A.; Zeitz, Michael J.; Raisch, Tristan; Smyth, James W.; Poelzing, Steven

    2016-01-01

    Background: Recent studies suggested that cardiac conduction in murine hearts with narrow perinexi and 50% reduced connexin43 (Cx43) expression is more sensitive to relatively physiological changes of extracellular potassium ([K+]o) and sodium ([Na+]o). Purpose: Determine whether similar [K+]o and [Na+]o changes alter conduction velocity (CV) sensitivity to pharmacologic gap junction (GJ) uncoupling in guinea pigs. Methods: [K+]o and [Na+]o were varied in Langendorff perfused guinea pig ventricles (Solution A: [K+]o = 4.56 and [Na+]o = 153.3 mM. Solution B: [K+]o = 6.95 and [Na+]o = 145.5 mM). Gap junctions were inhibited with carbenoxolone (CBX) (15 and 30 μM). Epicardial CV was quantified by optical mapping. Perinexal width was measured with transmission electron microscopy. Total and phosphorylated Cx43 were evaluated by western blotting. Results: Solution composition did not alter CV under control conditions or with 15μM CBX. Decreasing the basic cycle length (BCL) of pacing from 300 to 160 ms decreased CV uniformly with both solutions. At 30 μM CBX, a change in solution did not alter CV either longitudinally or transversely at BCL = 300 ms. However, reducing BCL to 160 ms caused CV to decrease more in hearts perfused with Solution B than A. Solution composition did not alter perinexal width, nor did it change total or phosphorylated serine 368 Cx43 expression. These data suggest that the solution dependent CV changes were independent of altered perinexal width or GJ coupling. Action potential duration was always shorter in hearts perfused with Solution B than A, independent of pacing rate and/or CBX concentration. Conclusions: Increased heart rate and GJ uncoupling can unmask small CV differences caused by changing [K+]o and [Na+]o. These data suggest that modulating extracellular ionic composition may be a novel anti-arrhythmic target in diseases with abnormal GJ coupling, particularly when heart rate cannot be controlled. PMID:26869934

  18. Selective astrocytic gap junctional trafficking of molecules involved in the glycolytic pathway: Impact on cellular brain imaging

    PubMed Central

    Gandhi, Gautam K.; Cruz, Nancy F.; Ball, Kelly K.; Theus, Sue A.; Dienel, Gerald A.

    2009-01-01

    To assess the specificity of metabolite trafficking among gap junction-coupled astrocytes, we developed novel, real-time, single-cell enzymatic fluorescence assays to assay cell-to-cell transfer of unlabeled glycolytic intermediates and report (i) highly restricted transfer of glucose-6-phosphate(P) and two analogs, deoxyglucose-6-P (DG-6-P), and 2-NBDG-6-P, compared to DG and 2- and 6-NBDG, (ii) extensive junctional diffusion of glyceraldehyde-3-P, NADH, and NADPH plus three anionic fluorescent dyes used as internal standards for transfer assays, and (iii) stimulation of gap junctional communication by increased intracellular Na+ that also evokes metabolic responses in nearby coupled astrocytes. Thus, dye transfer does not predict gap junctional permeability of endogenous metabolites. Intracellular retention of flux-regulating compounds (e.g., glucose-6-P) may be necessary for local metabolic control, whereas ‘syncytial sharing’ may dissipate the work load on peri-synaptic astrocytes. Imaging of brain functional activity depends on local accumulation of exogenous or endogenous signals, and DG-6-P is trapped in the cell where it is phosphorylated, whereas rapid dispersal of cytoplasmic NAD(P)H and labeled glucose metabolites throughout the astrocytic syncytium can interfere with cellular assessment of neuron-astrocyte relationships in autoradiographic, fluorescence microscopic, and magnetic resonance spectroscopic studies. PMID:19457076

  19. Lactic acid inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication in in vitro astrocytes as measured by fluorescence recovery after laser photobleaching

    SciTech Connect

    Anders, J.J.

    1988-01-01

    Lactic acid can permeate plasma membranes, causing intracellular acidosis. Gap junctions are sensitive to pHi and can be reversibly uncoupled by weak acids. In this study, dye coupling between in vitro astrocytes, presumably mediated by gap junctions, was measured in the absence and presence of lactic acid. Fluorescence recovery after laser photobleaching (gap-FRAP analysis) was used to measure dye coupling. Astrocytes bathed in Eagle's minimum essential medium (EMEM) with lactic acid, pHo 5.5-6, showed no difference in their dye coupling (mean recovery of fluorescence 30%) when compared to control astrocytes (mean recovery of fluorescence 26%). However, 24 mM lactic acid in EMEM, pHo 4.5, decreased dye coupling (mean recovery of fluorescence 2.0%). This effect occurred within 5 min of treatment. When lactic acid-EMEM, pH 4.5, was removed from astrocytes after 30 min and the cells were incubated in EMEM for 24 hr, decreased coupling was not reversed (mean recovery 4.0%). When lactic acid-treated astrocytes were incubated in EMEM for 48 hr, the mean recovery of fluorescence increased to 15% (i.e., 42% of the recovery seen in controls). These observations suggest that brief exposure to high concentrations of lactic acid can have immediate and long-lasting effects on glial gap junctional communication. Under pathological circumstances, such a sequence could be initiated, and this might impair astrocytic control of the central nervous system microenvironment mediated by spatial buffering.

  20. Anomalous Inner-Gap Structure in Transport Characteristics of Superconducting Junctions with Degraded Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Zhitlukhina, E; Devyatov, I; Egorov, O; Belogolovskii, M; Seidel, P

    2016-12-01

    Quantitative description of charge transport across tunneling and break-junction devices with novel superconductors encounters some problems not present or not as severe for traditional superconducting materials. In this work, we explain unexpected features in related transport characteristics as an effect of a degraded nanoscaled sheath at the superconductor surface. A model capturing the main aspects of the ballistic charge transport across hybrid superconducting structures with normally conducting nanometer-thick interlayers is proposed. The calculations are based on a scattering formalism taking into account Andreev electron-into-hole (and inverse) reflections at normal metal-superconductor interfaces as well as transmission and backscattering events in insulating barriers between the electrodes. Current-voltage characteristics of such devices exhibit a rich diversity of anomalous (from the viewpoint of the standard theory) features, in particular shift of differential-conductance maxima at gap voltages to lower positions and appearance of well-defined dips instead expected coherence peaks. We compare our results with related experimental data. PMID:26842791

  1. Characterization of connexin36 gap junctions in the human outer retina.

    PubMed

    Kántor, Orsolya; Benkő, Zsigmond; Énzsöly, Anna; Dávid, Csaba; Naumann, Angela; Nitschke, Roland; Szabó, Arnold; Pálfi, Emese; Orbán, József; Nyitrai, Miklós; Németh, János; Szél, Ágoston; Lukáts, Ákos; Völgyi, Béla

    2016-07-01

    Retinal connexins (Cx) form gap junctions (GJ) in key circuits that transmit average or synchronize signals. Expression of Cx36, -45, -50 and -57 have been described in many species but there is still a disconcerting paucity of information regarding the Cx makeup of human retinal GJs. We used well-preserved human postmortem samples to characterize Cx36 GJ constituent circuits of the outer plexiform layer (OPL). Based on their location, morphometric characteristics and co-localizations with outer retinal neuronal markers, we distinguished four populations of Cx36 plaques in the human OPL. Three of these were comprised of loosely scattered Cx36 plaques; the distalmost population 1 formed cone-to-rod GJs, population 2 in the mid-OPL formed cone-to-cone GJs, whereas the proximalmost population 4 likely connected bipolar cell dendrites. The fourth population (population 3) of Cx36 plaques conglomerated beneath cone pedicles and connected dendritic tips of bipolar cells that shared a common presynaptic cone. Overall, we show that the human outer retina displays a diverse cohort of Cx36 GJ that follows the general mammalian scheme and display a great functional diversity. PMID:26173976

  2. Augmentation of differentiation and gap junction function by kaempferol in partially differentiated colon cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Yasushi; Chang, Chia-Cheng; Mori, Toshio; Sato, Kenji; Ohtsuki, Kozo; Upham, Brad L; Trosko, James E

    2005-03-01

    Kaempferol induces differentiation in partially differentiated colon cancer cells which express low levels of connexin43 protein and connexin43 mRNA (KNC cells). Differentiation was observed as changes in cell morphology and the activity of alkaline phosphatase. Increased differentiation in kaempferol-treated KNC cells correlated with restoration of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), increased levels of connexin43 protein and its phosphorylation status. Phosphorylation (activation) of Stat3 and Erk was also reduced by kaempferol. An inhibitor of Stat3 phosphorylation also induced morphological changes in KNC cells similar to those in kaempferol-treated cells, suggesting that kaempferol-induced differentiation may be mediated by inhibition of Stat3 phosphorylation. These effects were not observed in HCT116 cells, a poorly differentiated colon cancer cell line deficient in expression of connexin43 mRNA and connexin43 protein. In conclusion, kaempferol might function as an anticancer agent by re-establishing GJIC through enhancement of the expression and phosphorylation of connexin43 protein in a tumorigenic colon cancer cell line that already expresses connexin43 mRNA via a Stat3-dependent mechanism. In contrast, kaempferol had no effect in a tumorigenic colon cancer cell line that did not express connexin43 mRNA and was deficient in GJIC. PMID:15618237

  3. TLR2 mediates gap junctional intercellular communication through connexin-43 in intestinal epithelial barrier injury.

    PubMed

    Ey, Birgit; Eyking, Annette; Gerken, Guido; Podolsky, Daniel K; Cario, Elke

    2009-08-14

    Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) coordinates cellular functions essential for sustaining tissue homeostasis; yet its regulation in the intestine is not well understood. Here, we identify a novel physiological link between Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and GJIC through modulation of Connexin-43 (Cx43) during acute and chronic inflammatory injury of the intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) barrier. Data from in vitro studies reveal that TLR2 activation modulates Cx43 synthesis and increases GJIC via Cx43 during IEC injury. The ulcerative colitis-associated TLR2-R753Q mutant targets Cx43 for increased proteasomal degradation, impairing TLR2-mediated GJIC during intestinal epithelial wounding. In vivo studies using mucosal RNA interference show that TLR2-mediated mucosal healing depends functionally on intestinal epithelial Cx43 during acute inflammatory stress-induced damage. Mice deficient in TLR2 exhibit IEC-specific alterations in Cx43, whereas administration of a TLR2 agonist protects GJIC by blocking accumulation of Cx43 and its hyperphosphorylation at Ser368 to prevent spontaneous chronic colitis in MDR1alpha-deficient mice. Finally, adding the TLR2 agonist to three-dimensional intestinal mucosa-like cultures of human biopsies preserves intestinal epithelial Cx43 integrity and polarization ex vivo. In conclusion, Cx43 plays an important role in innate immune control of commensal-mediated intestinal epithelial wound repair. PMID:19528242

  4. Anomalous Inner-Gap Structure in Transport Characteristics of Superconducting Junctions with Degraded Interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhitlukhina, E.; Devyatov, I.; Egorov, O.; Belogolovskii, M.; Seidel, P.

    2016-02-01

    Quantitative description of charge transport across tunneling and break-junction devices with novel superconductors encounters some problems not present or not as severe for traditional superconducting materials. In this work, we explain unexpected features in related transport characteristics as an effect of a degraded nanoscaled sheath at the superconductor surface. A model capturing the main aspects of the ballistic charge transport across hybrid superconducting structures with normally conducting nanometer-thick interlayers is proposed. The calculations are based on a scattering formalism taking into account Andreev electron-into-hole (and inverse) reflections at normal metal-superconductor interfaces as well as transmission and backscattering events in insulating barriers between the electrodes. Current-voltage characteristics of such devices exhibit a rich diversity of anomalous (from the viewpoint of the standard theory) features, in particular shift of differential-conductance maxima at gap voltages to lower positions and appearance of well-defined dips instead expected coherence peaks. We compare our results with related experimental data.

  5. Formation of antiwaves in gap-junction-coupled chains of neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urban, Alexander; Ermentrout, Bard

    2012-07-01

    Using network models consisting of gap-junction-coupled Wang-Buszaki neurons, we demonstrate that it is possible to obtain not only synchronous activity between neurons but also a variety of constant phase shifts between 0 and π. We call these phase shifts intermediate stable phase-locked states. These phase shifts can produce a large variety of wavelike activity patterns in one-dimensional chains and two-dimensional arrays of neurons, which can be studied by reducing the system of equations to a phase model. The 2π periodic coupling functions of these models are characterized by prominent higher order terms in their Fourier expansion, which can be varied by changing model parameters. We study how the relative contribution of the odd and even terms affects what solutions are possible, the basin of attraction of those solutions, and their stability. These models may be applicable to the spinal central pattern generators of the dogfish and also to the developing neocortex of the neonatal rat.

  6. Regulation of Hemichannels and Gap Junction Channels by Cytokines in Antigen-Presenting Cells

    PubMed Central

    Shoji, Kenji F.; Aguirre, Adam; Sáez, Juan C.

    2014-01-01

    Autocrine and paracrine signals coordinate responses of several cell types of the immune system that provide efficient protection against different challenges. Antigen-presenting cells (APCs) coordinate activation of this system via homocellular and heterocellular interactions. Cytokines constitute chemical intercellular signals among immune cells and might promote pro- or anti-inflammatory effects. During the last two decades, two membrane pathways for intercellular communication have been demonstrated in cells of the immune system. They are called hemichannels (HCs) and gap junction channels (GJCs) and provide new insights into the mechanisms of the orchestrated response of immune cells. GJCs and HCs are permeable to ions and small molecules, including signaling molecules. The direct intercellular transfer between contacting cells can be mediated by GJCs, whereas the release to or uptake from the extracellular milieu can be mediated by HCs. GJCs and HCs can be constituted by two protein families: connexins (Cxs) or pannexins (Panxs), which are present in almost all APCs, being Cx43 and Panx1 the most ubiquitous members of each protein family. In this review, we focus on the effects of different cytokines on the intercellular communication mediated by HCs and GJCs in APCs and their impact on purinergic signaling. PMID:25301274

  7. Left-right patterning in Xenopus conjoined twin embryos requires serotonin signaling and gap junctions.

    PubMed

    Vandenberg, Laura N; Blackiston, Douglas J; Rea, Adam C; Dore, Timothy M; Levin, Michael

    2014-01-01

    A number of processes operating during the first cell cleavages enable the left-right (LR) axis to be consistently oriented during Xenopus laevis development. Prior work showed that secondary organizers induced in frog embryos after cleavage stages (i.e. conjoined twins arising from ectopic induced primary axes) correctly pattern their own LR axis only when a primary (early) organizer is also present. This instructive effect confirms the unique LR patterning functions that occur during early embryogenesis, but leaves open the question: which mechanisms that operate during early stages are also involved in the orientation of later-induced organizers? We sought to distinguish the two phases of LR patterning in secondary organizers (LR patterning of the primary twin and the later transfer of this information to the secondary twin) by perturbing only the latter process. Here, we used reagents that do not affect primary LR patterning at the time secondary organizers form to inhibit each of 4 mechanisms in the induced twin. Using pharmacological, molecular-genetic, and photo-chemical tools, we show that serotonergic and gap-junctional signaling, but not proton or potassium flows, are required for the secondary organizer to appropriately pattern its LR axis in a multicellular context. We also show that consistently-asymmetric gene expression begins prior to ciliary flow. Together, our data highlight the importance of physiological signaling in the propagation of cleavage-derived LR orientation to multicellular cell fields. PMID:25896280

  8. Chemopreventive Agents Attenuate Rapid Inhibition of Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication Induced by Environmental Toxicants.

    PubMed

    Babica, Pavel; Čtveráčková, Lucie; Lenčešová, Zuzana; Trosko, James E; Upham, Brad L

    2016-07-01

    Altered gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) has been associated with chemical carcinogenesis, where both chemical tumor promoters and chemopreventive agents (CPAs) are known to conversely modulate GJIC. The aim of this study was to investigate whether attenuation of chemically inhibited GJIC represents a common outcome induced by different CPAs, which could be effectively evaluated using in vitro methods. Rat liver epithelial cells WB-F344 were pretreated with a CPA for either 30 min or 24 h, and then exposed to GJIC-inhibiting concentration of a selected tumor promoter or environmental toxicant [12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), lindane, fluoranthene, 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane (DDT), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), or pentachlorophenol]. Out of nine CPAs tested, quercetin and silibinin elicited the most pronounced effects, preventing the dysregulation of GJIC by all the GJIC inhibitors, but DDT. Metformin and curcumin attenuated the effects of three GJIC inhibitors, whereas the other CPAs prevented the effects of two (diallyl sulfide, emodin) or one (indole-3-carbinol, thymoquinone) GJIC inhibitor. Significant attenuation of chemically induced inhibition of GJIC was observed in 27 (50%) out of 54 possible combinations of nine CPAs and six GJIC inhibitors. Our data demonstrate that in vitro evaluation of GJIC can be used as an effective screening tool for identification of chemicals with potential chemopreventive activity. PMID:27266532

  9. Bay or baylike regions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were potent inhibitors of Gap junctional intercellular communication.

    PubMed Central

    Weis, L M; Rummel, A M; Masten, S J; Trosko, J E; Upham, B L

    1998-01-01

    Many polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are known carcinogens, and a considerable amount of research has been devoted to predicting the tumor-initiating potential of PAHs based on chemical structure. However, there has been little research into the effects of PAHs on the epigenetic events of tumor promotion and no structural correlation has been made thereof. Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) activity was used in this study as an epigenetic biomarker to determine the structure-activity relationships of twelve different PAHs. The PAHs used were naphthalene, 1-methylnaphthalene, 2-methylnaphthalene, anthracene, 1-methylanthracene, 2-methylanthracene, 9-methylanthracene, 9, 10-dimethylanthracene, phenanthrene, fluorene, 1-methylfluorene, and fluoranthene. Results showed that PAHs containing bay or baylike regions inhibited GJIC more than did the linear PAHs. The nonnaphthalene PAHs were not cytotoxic as determined by a vital dye uptake assay, but the naphthalene compounds were cytotoxic at the higher doses, indicating that the down regulation of GJIC by these naphthalenes could be a consequence of general membrane damage. Inhibition of GJIC by all the inhibitory PAHs was reversed when the cells were refreshed with PAH-free growth medium. Inhibition of GJIC occurred within 0.5-5 min and correlated with the aqueous solubility of the PAHs. The present study revealed that there are structural determinants of epigenetic toxicity as determined by GJIC activity. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 Figure 10 PMID:9417772

  10. Loss of gap junctional intercellular communication in rat lung epithelial cells exposed to quartz particles.

    PubMed

    Ale-Agha, Niloofar; Albrecht, Catrin; Klotz, Lars-Oliver

    2009-12-01

    Chronic inhalation of quartz particles has been implicated in lung diseases including silicosis and cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate whether quartz particles affect gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in rat lung epithelial cells (RLE-6TN). Here, we demonstrate that exposure of RLE-6TN cells to subtoxic doses of DQ12 standard quartz resulted in an up to 55% reduction of GJIC, as determined in a dye transfer assay. We show that connexin-43 (Cx43) is the major connexin responsible for intercellular communication in these lung epithelial cells and that exposure to quartz particles induces a significant internalization of Cx43. Downregulation of GJIC was attenuated by N-acetyl cysteine, suggesting the involvement of reactive oxygen species and/or cellular thiol homeostasis in the regulation of GJIC. Furthermore, an inhibitor of activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases prevented the loss of GJIC in cells exposed to DQ12 quartz, although no direct phosphorylation of Cx43 upon exposure to DQ12 was detected. PMID:19766597

  11. Two Functionally Distinct Networks of Gap Junction-Coupled Inhibitory Neurons in the Thalamic Reticular Nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Patrick, Saundra L.; Richardson, Kristen A.

    2014-01-01

    Gap junctions (GJs) electrically couple GABAergic neurons of the forebrain. The spatial organization of neuron clusters coupled by GJs is an important determinant of network function, yet it is poorly described for nearly all mammalian brain regions. Here we used a novel dye-coupling technique to show that GABAergic neurons in the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) of mice and rats form two types of GJ-coupled clusters with distinctive patterns and axonal projections. Most clusters are elongated narrowly along functional modules within the plane of the TRN, with axons that selectively inhibit local groups of relay neurons. However, some coupled clusters have neurons arrayed across the thickness of the TRN and target their axons to both first- and higher-order relay nuclei. Dye coupling was reduced, but not abolished, among cells of connexin36 knock-out mice. Our results suggest that GJs form two distinct types of inhibitory networks that correlate activity either within or across functional modules of the thalamus. PMID:25253862

  12. Extract from the Zooxanthellate Jellyfish Cotylorhiza tuberculata Modulates Gap Junction Intercellular Communication in Human Cell Cultures

    PubMed Central

    Leone, Antonella; Lecci, Raffaella Marina; Durante, Miriana; Piraino, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    On a global scale, jellyfish populations in coastal marine ecosystems exhibit increasing trends of abundance. High-density outbreaks may directly or indirectly affect human economical and recreational activities, as well as public health. As the interest in biology of marine jellyfish grows, a number of jellyfish metabolites with healthy potential, such as anticancer or antioxidant activities, is increasingly reported. In this study, the Mediterranean “fried egg jellyfish” Cotylorhiza tuberculata (Macri, 1778) has been targeted in the search forputative valuable bioactive compounds. A medusa extract was obtained, fractionated, characterized by HPLC, GC-MS and SDS-PAGE and assayed for its biological activity on breast cancer cells (MCF-7) and human epidermal keratinocytes (HEKa). The composition of the jellyfish extract included photosynthetic pigments, valuable ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids, and polypeptides derived either from jellyfish tissues and their algal symbionts. Extract fractions showed antioxidant activity and the ability to affect cell viability and intercellular communication mediated by gap junctions (GJIC) differentially in MCF-7and HEKa cells. A significantly higher cytotoxicity and GJIC enhancement in MCF-7 compared to HEKa cells was recorded. A putative action mechanism for the anticancer bioactivity through the modulation of GJIC has been hypothesized and its nutraceutical and pharmaceutical potential was discussed. PMID:23697954

  13. ``Hybrid'' multi-gap/single-gap Josephson junctions: Evidence of macroscopic quantum tunneling in superconducting-to-normal switching experiments on MgB2/I/Pb and MgB2/I/Sn junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carabello, Steve; Lambert, Joseph; Dai, Wenqing; Li, Qi; Chen, Ke; Cunnane, Daniel; Xi, X. X.; Ramos, Roberto

    We report results of superconducting-to-normal switching experiments on MgB2/I/Pb and MgB2/I/Sn junctions, with and without microwaves. These results suggest that the switching behavior is dominated by quantum tunneling through the washboard potential barrier, rather than thermal excitations or electronic noise. Evidence includes a leveling in the standard deviation of the switching current distribution below a crossover temperature, a Lorentzian shape of the escape rate enhancement peak upon excitation by microwaves, and a narrowing in the histogram of escape counts in the presence of resonant microwave excitation relative to that in the absence of microwaves. These are the first such results reported in ``hybrid'' Josephson tunnel junctions, consisting of multi-gap and single-gap superconducting electrodes.

  14. Low Level Pro-inflammatory Cytokines Decrease Connexin36 Gap Junction Coupling in Mouse and Human Islets through Nitric Oxide-mediated Protein Kinase Cδ.

    PubMed

    Farnsworth, Nikki L; Walter, Rachelle L; Hemmati, Alireza; Westacott, Matthew J; Benninger, Richard K P

    2016-02-12

    Pro-inflammatory cytokines contribute to the decline in islet function during the development of diabetes. Cytokines can disrupt insulin secretion and calcium dynamics; however, the mechanisms underlying this are poorly understood. Connexin36 gap junctions coordinate glucose-induced calcium oscillations and pulsatile insulin secretion across the islet. Loss of gap junction coupling disrupts these dynamics, similar to that observed during the development of diabetes. This study investigates the mechanisms by which pro-inflammatory cytokines mediate gap junction coupling. Specifically, as cytokine-induced NO can activate PKCδ, we aimed to understand the role of PKCδ in modulating cytokine-induced changes in gap junction coupling. Isolated mouse and human islets were treated with varying levels of a cytokine mixture containing TNF-α, IL-1β, and IFN-γ. Islet dysfunction was measured by insulin secretion, calcium dynamics, and gap junction coupling. Modulators of PKCδ and NO were applied to determine their respective roles in modulating gap junction coupling. High levels of cytokines caused cell death and decreased insulin secretion. Low levels of cytokine treatment disrupted calcium dynamics and decreased gap junction coupling, in the absence of disruptions to insulin secretion. Decreases in gap junction coupling were dependent on NO-regulated PKCδ, and altered membrane organization of connexin36. This study defines several mechanisms underlying the disruption to gap junction coupling under conditions associated with the development of diabetes. These mechanisms will allow for greater understanding of islet dysfunction and suggest ways to ameliorate this dysfunction during the development of diabetes. PMID:26668311

  15. Gap Junction Proteins in the Blood-Brain Barrier Control Nutrient-Dependent Reactivation of Drosophila Neural Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Spéder, Pauline; Brand, Andrea H.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Neural stem cells in the adult brain exist primarily in a quiescent state but are reactivated in response to changing physiological conditions. How do stem cells sense and respond to metabolic changes? In the Drosophila CNS, quiescent neural stem cells are reactivated synchronously in response to a nutritional stimulus. Feeding triggers insulin production by blood-brain barrier glial cells, activating the insulin/insulin-like growth factor pathway in underlying neural stem cells and stimulating their growth and proliferation. Here we show that gap junctions in the blood-brain barrier glia mediate the influence of metabolic changes on stem cell behavior, enabling glia to respond to nutritional signals and reactivate quiescent stem cells. We propose that gap junctions in the blood-brain barrier are required to translate metabolic signals into synchronized calcium pulses and insulin secretion. PMID:25065772

  16. Functional chromaffin cell plasticity in response to stress: focus on nicotinic, gap junction, and voltage-gated Ca2+ channels.

    PubMed

    Guérineau, Nathalie C; Desarménien, Michel G; Carabelli, Valentina; Carbone, Emilio

    2012-10-01

    An increase in circulating catecholamines constitutes one of the mechanisms whereby human body responds to stress. In response to chronic stressful situations, the adrenal medullary tissue exhibits crucial morphological and functional changes that are consistent with an improvement of chromaffin cell stimulus-secretion coupling efficiency. Stimulus-secretion coupling encompasses multiple intracellular (chromaffin cell excitability, Ca(2+) signaling, exocytosis, endocytosis) and intercellular pathways (splanchnic nerve-mediated synaptic transmission, paracrine and endocrine communication, gap junctional coupling), each of them being potentially subjected to functional remodeling upon stress. This review focuses on three chromaffin cell incontrovertible actors, the cholinergic nicotinic receptors and the voltage-dependent T-type Ca(2+) channels that are directly involved in Ca(2+)-dependent events controlling catecholamine secretion and electrical activity, and the gap junctional communication involved in the modulation of catecholamine secretion. We show here that these three actors react differently to various stressors, sometimes independently, sometimes in concert or in opposition. PMID:22252244

  17. Functional chromaffin cell plasticity in response to stress: focus on nicotinic, gap junction, and voltage-gated Ca2+ channels

    PubMed Central

    Guérineau, Nathalie C.; Desarménien, Michel G.; Carabelli, Valentina; Carbone, Emilio

    2012-01-01

    An increase in circulating catecholamines constitutes one of the mechanisms whereby human body responds to stress. In response to chronic stressful situations, the adrenal medullary tissue exhibits crucial morphological and functional changes that are consistent with an improvement of chromaffin cell stimulus-secretion coupling efficiency. Stimulus-secretion coupling encompasses multiple intracellular (chromaffin cell excitability, Ca2+ signaling, exocytosis, endocytosis) and intercellular pathways (splanchnic nerve-mediated synaptic transmission, paracrine and endocrine communication, gap junctional coupling), each of them being potentially subjected to functional remodeling upon stress. This review focuses on three chromaffin cell incontrovertible actors, the cholinergic nicotinic receptors and the voltage-dependent T-type Ca2+ channels that are directly involved in Ca2+-dependent events controlling catecholamine secretion and electrical activity, and the gap junctional communication involved in the modulation of catecholamine secretion. We show here that these three actors react differently to various stressors, sometimes independently, sometimes in concert or in opposition. PMID:22252244

  18. A high efficiency bulk graded band gap/PN junction solar cell structure at high concentration ratios

    SciTech Connect

    Borrego, J.M.; Gandhi, S.K.; Page, D.A.

    1984-05-01

    This paper presents an analysis of a solar cell structure for achieving high efficiency at high concentration ratios. The structure consists of a bulk graded band gap P region followed by a PN junction at the smaller band gap side. The advantage of this structure is that the open circuit voltage is determined by the value of the higher band gap and the short circuit current by the lower band gap. A structure with E /SUB G1/ = 2.0 eV and E /SUB G2/ = 0.7 eV has an estimated efficiency of 45% at 1000 suns. Material systems which can be used for the realization of this structure are briefly described.

  19. ATP-sensitive K(+) channels (Kir6.1/SUR1) regulate gap junctional coupling in cochlear-supporting cells.

    PubMed

    Blödow, Alexander; Begandt, Daniela; Bader, Almke; Becker, Annegret; Burghard, Alice; Kühne, Daniela; Kral, Andrej; Ngezahayo, Anaclet

    2016-07-01

    Using the double whole-cell patch-clamp technique, we found that the absence of intracellular ATP led to gap junction uncoupling in cochlear-supporting Hensen cells. The uncoupling was observed as a progressive reduction of the gap junctional electrical conductance from a starting value of approximately 40 nS to less than 0.04 nS within 10-20 min. The conductance rundown was partly avoided by at least 3 mM ATP and completely suppressed by 5 mM ATP or 5'-adenylyl-imidodiphosphate (AMP-PNP), the non-hydrolysable ATP analog, in the pipette filling solution, suggesting that ATP was needed as ligand and not as a hydrolysable energy supplier or substrate for enzymatic reactions. The effect of intracellular ATP was mimicked by the external application of barium, a nonselective blocker of inwardly rectifying K(+) (Kir) channels, and glibenclamide, an inhibitor of the ATP-sensitive Kir channels (KATP). Moreover a Ba(2+)-sensitive whole-cell inward current was observed in absence of internal ATP. We propose that the internal ATP kept the KATP channels in a closed state, thereby maintaining the gap junction coupling of Hensen cells. The immunostaining of guinea pig cochlear tissue revealed for the first time the expression of the KATP channel subunits Kir6.1 and SUR1 in Hensen cells and supported the proposed hypothesis. The results suggest that KATP channels, as regulator of the gap junction coupling in Hensen cells, could be the physiological link between the metabolic state of the supporting cells and K(+) recycling in the organ of Corti. PMID:27030354

  20. Temperature dependent resistance of magnetic tunnel junctions as a quality proof of the barrier

    SciTech Connect

    Rudiger, U.; Calarco, R.; May, U.; Samm, K.; Hauch, J.; Kittur, H.; Sperlich, M.; Guntherodt, G.

    2001-06-01

    Tunnel junctions of Co(10 nm)/AlO{sub x} (nominally 2 nm)/Co(20 nm) have been prepared by molecular beam epitaxy applying a shadow mask technique in conjunction with an UV light-assisted oxidation process of the AlO{sub x} barrier. The quality of the AlO{sub x} barrier has been proven by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and temperature dependent tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) measurements. Optimum-oxidized tunnel junctions show a TMR of 20% at 285 K and up to 36% at 100 K. At 285 K the TMR values as a function of oxidation time are not symmetric about the optimum time. For underoxidized junctions the TMR is reduced more strongly than for overoxidized junctions. The temperature dependence of the junction{close_quote}s resistance is a clear and reliable indicator whether pinholes (or imperfections) contribute to the conduction across the barrier. {copyright} 2001 American Institute of Physics.

  1. Diabetes Increases Cryoinjury Size with Associated Effects on Cx43 Gap Junction Function and Phosphorylation in the Mouse Heart

    PubMed Central

    Palatinus, Joseph A.; Gourdie, Robert G.

    2016-01-01

    Diabetic patients develop larger myocardial infarctions and have an increased risk of death following a heart attack. The poor response to myocardial injury in the diabetic heart is likely related to the many metabolic derangements from diabetes that create a poor substrate in general for wound healing, response to injury and infection. Studies in rodents have implicated a role for the gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43) in regulating the injury response in diabetic skin wounds. In this study, we sought to determine whether diabetes alters Cx43 molecular interactions or intracellular communication in the cryoinjured STZ type I diabetic mouse heart. We found that epicardial cryoinjury size is increased in diabetic mice and this increase is prevented by preinjury insulin administration. Consistent with these findings, we found that intercellular coupling via gap junctions is decreased after insulin administration in diabetic and nondiabetic mice. This decrease in coupling is associated with a concomitant increase in phosphorylation of Cx43 at serine 368, a residue known to decrease channel conductance. Taken together, our results suggest that insulin regulates both gap junction-mediated intercellular communication and injury propagation in the mouse heart. PMID:27034963

  2. Microfluidic application-specific integrated device for monitoring direct cell-cell communication via gap junctions between individual cell pairs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Philip J.; Hung, Paul J.; Shaw, Robin; Jan, Lily; Lee, Luke P.

    2005-05-01

    Direct cell-cell communication between adjacent cells is vital for the development and regulation of functional tissues. However, current biological techniques are difficult to scale up for high-throughput screening of cell-cell communication in an array format. In order to provide an effective biophysical tool for the analysis of molecular mechanisms of gap junctions that underlie intercellular communication, we have developed a microfluidic device for selective trapping of cell-pairs and simultaneous optical characterizations. Two different cell populations can be brought into membrane contact using an array of trapping channels with a 2μm by 2μm cross section. Device operation was verified by observation of dye transfer between mouse fibroblasts (NIH3T3) placed in membrane contact. Integration with lab-on-a-chip technologies offers promising applications for cell-based analytical tools such as drug screening, clinical diagnostics, and soft-state biophysical devices for the study of gap junction protein channels in cellular communications. Understanding electrical transport mechanisms via gap junctions in soft membranes will impact quantitative biomedical sciences as well as clinical applications.

  3. Diabetes Increases Cryoinjury Size with Associated Effects on Cx43 Gap Junction Function and Phosphorylation in the Mouse Heart.

    PubMed

    Palatinus, Joseph A; Gourdie, Robert G

    2016-01-01

    Diabetic patients develop larger myocardial infarctions and have an increased risk of death following a heart attack. The poor response to myocardial injury in the diabetic heart is likely related to the many metabolic derangements from diabetes that create a poor substrate in general for wound healing, response to injury and infection. Studies in rodents have implicated a role for the gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43) in regulating the injury response in diabetic skin wounds. In this study, we sought to determine whether diabetes alters Cx43 molecular interactions or intracellular communication in the cryoinjured STZ type I diabetic mouse heart. We found that epicardial cryoinjury size is increased in diabetic mice and this increase is prevented by preinjury insulin administration. Consistent with these findings, we found that intercellular coupling via gap junctions is decreased after insulin administration in diabetic and nondiabetic mice. This decrease in coupling is associated with a concomitant increase in phosphorylation of Cx43 at serine 368, a residue known to decrease channel conductance. Taken together, our results suggest that insulin regulates both gap junction-mediated intercellular communication and injury propagation in the mouse heart. PMID:27034963

  4. Gap junctions composed of connexins 41.8 and 39.4 are essential for colour pattern formation in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Irion, Uwe; Frohnhöfer, Hans Georg; Krauss, Jana; Çolak Champollion, Tuǧba; Maischein, Hans-Martin; Geiger-Rudolph, Silke; Weiler, Christian; Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane

    2014-01-01

    Interactions between all three pigment cell types are required to form the stripe pattern of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio), but their molecular nature is poorly understood. Mutations in leopard (leo), encoding Connexin 41.8 (Cx41.8), a gap junction subunit, cause a phenotypic series of spotted patterns. A new dominant allele, leotK3, leads to a complete loss of the pattern, suggesting a dominant negative impact on another component of gap junctions. In a genetic screen, we identified this component as Cx39.4 (luchs). Loss-of-function alleles demonstrate that luchs is required for stripe formation in zebrafish; however, the fins are almost not affected. Double mutants and chimeras, which show that leo and luchs are only required in xanthophores and melanophores, but not in iridophores, suggest that both connexins form heteromeric gap junctions. The phenotypes indicate that these promote homotypic interactions between melanophores and xanthophores, respectively, and those cells instruct the patterning of the iridophores. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05125.001 PMID:25535837

  5. Blockade of gap junction hemichannel protects secondary spinal cord injury from activated microglia-mediated glutamate exitoneurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Umebayashi, Daisuke; Natsume, Atsushi; Takeuchi, Hideyuki; Hara, Masahito; Nishimura, Yusuke; Fukuyama, Ryuichi; Sumiyoshi, Naoyuki; Wakabayashi, Toshihiko

    2014-12-15

    We previously demonstrated that activated microglia release excessive glutamate through gap junction hemichannels and identified a novel gap junction hemichannel blocker, INI-0602, that was proven to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and be an effective treatment in mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer disease. Spinal cord injury causes tissue damage in two successive waves. The initial injury is mechanical and directly causes primary tissue damage, which induces subsequent ischemia, inflammation, and neurotoxic factor release resulting in the secondary tissue damage. These lead to activation of glial cells. Activated glial cells such as microglia and astrocytes are common pathological observations in the damaged lesion. Activated microglia release glutamate, the major neurotoxic factor released into the extracellular space after neural injury, which causes neuronal death at high concentration. In the present study, we demonstrate that reduction of glutamate-mediated exitotoxicity via intraperitoneal administration of INI-0602 in the microenvironment of the injured spinal cord elicited neurobehavioral recovery and extensive suppression of glial scar formation by reducing secondary tissue damage. Further, this intervention stimulated anti-inflammatory cytokines, and subsequently elevated brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Thus, preventing microglial activation by a gap junction hemichannel blocker, INI-0602, may be a promising therapeutic strategy in spinal cord injury. PMID:24588281

  6. Ser364 of connexin43 and the upregulation of gap junction assembly by cAMP

    PubMed Central

    TenBroek, Erica M.; Lampe, Paul D.; Solan, Joell L.; Reynhout, James K.; Johnson, Ross G.

    2001-01-01

    The assembly of gap junctions (GJs) is a process coordinated by growth factors, kinases, and other signaling molecules. GJ assembly can be enhanced via the elevation of cAMP and subsequent stimulation of connexon trafficking to the plasma membrane. To study the positive regulation of GJ assembly, fibroblasts derived from connexin (Cx)43 knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice were transfected with WT Cx43 (WTCx43) or mutant Cx43. GJ assembly between untransfected WT fibroblasts or stably transfected WTCx43/KO fibroblasts was increased two- to fivefold by 8Br-cAMP, and this increase could be blocked by inhibition of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) or truncation of the Cx43 COOH terminus (CT). Although serine 364 (S364) of the Cx43 CT was determined to be a major site of phosphorylation, the molar ratio of Cx43 phosphorylation was not increased by 8Br-cAMP. Importantly, GJ assembly between either S364ECx43/KO or S364ECx43/WT fibroblasts was stimulated by 8Br-cAMP, but that between S364ACx43/KO or S364PCx43/KO fibroblasts was not stimulated, indicating that phosphorylation or a negative charge at S364 is required for enhancement of GJ assembly by cAMP. Furthermore, GJ assembly between S364ACx43/WT fibroblasts could be stimulated by 8Br-cAMP, but could not be between S364PCx43/WT fibroblasts. Thus, S364PCx43 interferes with enhanced GJ assembly when coexpressed with WTCx43. PMID:11756479

  7. The role of connexin-36 gap junctions in alcohol intoxication and consumption.

    PubMed

    Steffensen, Scott C; Bradley, Katie D; Hansen, David M; Wilcox, Jeffrey D; Wilcox, Rebecca S; Allison, David W; Merrill, Collin B; Edwards, Jeffrey G

    2011-08-01

    Ventral tegmental area (VTA) GABA neurons appear to be critical substrates underlying the acute and chronic effects of ethanol on dopamine (DA) neurotransmission in the mesocorticolimbic system implicated in alcohol reward. The aim of this study was to examine the role of midbrain connexin-36 (Cx36) gap junctions (GJs) in ethanol intoxication and consumption. Using behavioral, molecular, and electrophysiological methods, we compared the effects of ethanol in mature Cx36 knockout (KO) mice and age-matched wild-type (WT) controls. Compared to WT mice, Cx36 KO mice exhibited significantly more ethanol-induced motor impairment in the open field test, but less disruption in motor coordination in the rotarod paradigm. Cx36 KO mice, and WT mice treated with the Cx36 antagonist mefloquine (MFQ), consumed significantly less ethanol than their WT controls in the drink-in-the-dark procedure. The firing rate of VTA GABA neurons in WT mice was inhibited by ethanol with an IC₅₀ of 0.25 g/kg, while VTA GABA neurons in KO mice were significantly less sensitive to ethanol. Dopamine neuron GABA-mediated sIPSC frequency was reduced by ethanol (30 mM) in WT mice, but not affected in KO mice. Cx36 KO mice evinced a significant up-regulation in DAT and D2 receptors in the VTA, as assessed by quantitative RT-PCR. These findings demonstrate the behavioral relevance of Cx36 GJ-mediated electrical coupling between GABA neurons in mature animals, and suggest that loss of coupling between VTA GABA neurons results in disinhibition of DA neurons, a hyper-DAergic state and lowered hedonic valence for ethanol consumption. PMID:21638336

  8. Gap junctional communication in osteocytes is amplified by low intensity vibrations in vitro.

    PubMed

    Uzer, Gunes; Pongkitwitoon, Suphannee; Ian, Cheng; Thompson, William R; Rubin, Janet; Chan, Meilin E; Judex, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    The physical mechanism by which cells sense high-frequency mechanical signals of small magnitude is unknown. During exposure to vibrations, cell populations within a bone are subjected not only to acceleratory motions but also to fluid shear as a result of fluid-cell interactions. We explored displacements of the cell nucleus during exposure to vibrations with a finite element (FE) model and tested in vitro whether vibrations can affect osteocyte communication independent of fluid shear. Osteocyte like MLO-Y4 cells were subjected to vibrations at acceleration magnitudes of 0.15 g and 1 g and frequencies of 30 Hz and 100 Hz. Gap junctional intracellular communication (GJIC) in response to these four individual vibration regimes was investigated. The FE model demonstrated that vibration induced dynamic accelerations caused larger relative nuclear displacement than fluid shear. Across the four regimes, vibrations significantly increased GJIC between osteocytes by 25%. Enhanced GJIC was independent of vibration induced fluid shear; there were no differences in GJIC between the four different vibration regimes even though differences in fluid shear generated by the four regimes varied 23-fold. Vibration induced increases in GJIC were not associated with altered connexin 43 (Cx43) mRNA or protein levels, but were dependent on Akt activation. Combined, the in silico and in vitro experiments suggest that externally applied vibrations caused nuclear motions and that large differences in fluid shear did not influence nuclear motion (<1%) or GJIC, perhaps indicating that vibration induced nuclear motions may directly increase GJIC. Whether the increase in GJIC is instrumental in modulating anabolic and anti-catabolic processes associated with the application of vibrations remains to be determined. PMID:24614887

  9. Gap Junctional Communication in Osteocytes Is Amplified by Low Intensity Vibrations In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Uzer, Gunes; Pongkitwitoon, Suphannee; Ian, Cheng; Thompson, William R.; Rubin, Janet; Chan, Meilin E.; Judex, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    The physical mechanism by which cells sense high-frequency mechanical signals of small magnitude is unknown. During exposure to vibrations, cell populations within a bone are subjected not only to acceleratory motions but also to fluid shear as a result of fluid-cell interactions. We explored displacements of the cell nucleus during exposure to vibrations with a finite element (FE) model and tested in vitro whether vibrations can affect osteocyte communication independent of fluid shear. Osteocyte like MLO-Y4 cells were subjected to vibrations at acceleration magnitudes of 0.15 g and 1 g and frequencies of 30 Hz and 100 Hz. Gap junctional intracellular communication (GJIC) in response to these four individual vibration regimes was investigated. The FE model demonstrated that vibration induced dynamic accelerations caused larger relative nuclear displacement than fluid shear. Across the four regimes, vibrations significantly increased GJIC between osteocytes by 25%. Enhanced GJIC was independent of vibration induced fluid shear; there were no differences in GJIC between the four different vibration regimes even though differences in fluid shear generated by the four regimes varied 23-fold. Vibration induced increases in GJIC were not associated with altered connexin 43 (Cx43) mRNA or protein levels, but were dependent on Akt activation. Combined, the in silico and in vitro experiments suggest that externally applied vibrations caused nuclear motions and that large differences in fluid shear did not influence nuclear motion (<1%) or GJIC, perhaps indicating that vibration induced nuclear motions may directly increase GJIC. Whether the increase in GJIC is instrumental in modulating anabolic and anti-catabolic processes associated with the application of vibrations remains to be determined. PMID:24614887

  10. Functional role of gap junctions in cytokine-induced leukocyte adhesion to endothelium in vivo.

    PubMed

    Véliz, Loreto P; González, Francisco G; Duling, Brian R; Sáez, Juan C; Boric, Mauricio P

    2008-09-01

    To assess the hypothesis that gap junctions (GJs) participate on leukocyte-endothelium interactions in the inflammatory response, we compared leukocyte adhesion and transmigration elicited by cytokine stimulation in the presence or absence of GJ blockers in the hamster cheek pouch and also in the cremaster muscle of wild-type (WT) and endothelium-specific connexin 43 (Cx43) null mice (Cx43e(-/-)). In the cheek pouch, topical tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha; 150 ng/ml, 15 min) caused a sustained increment in the number of leukocytes adhered to venular endothelium (LAV) and located at perivenular regions (LPV). Superfusion with the GJ blockers 18-alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid (AGA; 75 microM) or 18-beta-glycyrrhetinic acid (50 microM) abolished the TNF-alpha-induced increase in LAV and LPV; carbenoxolone (75 microM) or oleamide (100 microM) reduced LAV by 50 and 75%, respectively, and LPV to a lesser extent. None of these GJ blockers modified venular diameter, blood flow, or leukocyte rolling. In contrast, glycyrrhizin (75 microM), a non-GJ blocker analog of AGA, was devoid of effect. Interestingly, when AGA was removed 90 min after TNF-alpha stimulation, LAV started to rise at a similar rate as in control. Conversely, application of AGA 90 min after TNF-alpha reduced the number of previously adhered cells. In WT mice, intrascrotal injection of TNF-alpha (0.5 microg/0.3 ml) increased LAV (fourfold) and LPV (threefold) compared with saline-injected controls. In contrast to the observations in WT animals, TNF-alpha stimulation did not increase LAV or LPV in Cx43e(-/-) mice. These results demonstrate an important role for GJ communication in leukocyte adhesion and transmigration during acute inflammation in vivo and further suggest that endothelial Cx43 is key in these processes. PMID:18599597

  11. Structural and molecular mechanisms of gap junction remodeling in epicardial border zone myocytes following myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Kieken, Fabien; Mutsaers, Nancy; Dolmatova, Elena; Virgil, Kelly; Wit, Andrew L; Kellezi, Admir; Hirst-Jensen, Bethany J; Duffy, Heather S; Sorgen, Paul L

    2009-05-01

    Lateralization of the ventricular gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43) occurs in epicardial border zone myocytes following myocardial infarction (MI) and is arrhythmogenic. Alterations in Cx43 protein partners have been hypothesized to play a role in lateralization although mechanisms by which this occurs are unknown. To examine potential mechanisms we did nuclear magnetic resonance, yeast 2-hybrid, and surface plasmon resonance studies and found that the SH3 domain of the tyrosine kinase c-Src binds to the Cx43 scaffolding protein zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) with a higher affinity than does Cx43. This suggests c-Src outcompetes Cx43 for binding to ZO-1, thus acting as a chaperone for ZO-1 and causing unhooking from Cx43. To determine whether c-Src/ZO-1 interactions affect Cx43 lateralization within the epicardial border zone, we performed Western blot, immunoprecipitation, and immunolocalization for active c-Src (p-cSrc) post-MI using a canine model of coronary occlusion. We found that post-MI p-cSrc interacts with ZO-1 as Cx43 begins to decrease its interaction with ZO-1 and undergo initial loss of intercalated disk localization. This indicates that the molecular mechanisms by which Cx43 is lost from the intercalated disk following MI includes an interaction of p-cSrc with ZO-1 and subsequent loss of scaffolding of Cx43 leaving Cx43 free to diffuse in myocyte membranes from areas of high Cx43, as at the intercalated disk, to regions of lower Cx43 content, the lateral myocyte membrane. Therefore shifts in Cx43 protein partners may underlie, in part, arrhythmogenesis in the post-MI heart. PMID:19342602

  12. Panglial gap junctional communication is essential for maintenance of myelin in the CNS.

    PubMed

    Tress, Oliver; Maglione, Marta; May, Dennis; Pivneva, Tatjyana; Richter, Nadine; Seyfarth, Julia; Binder, Sonja; Zlomuzica, Armin; Seifert, Gerald; Theis, Martin; Dere, Ekrem; Kettenmann, Helmut; Willecke, Klaus

    2012-05-30

    In this study, we have investigated the contribution of oligodendrocytic connexin47 (Cx47) and astrocytic Cx30 to panglial gap junctional networks as well as myelin maintenance and function by deletion of both connexin coding DNAs in mice. Biocytin injections revealed complete disruption of oligodendrocyte-to-astrocyte coupling in the white matter of 10- to 15-d-old Cx30/Cx47 double-deficient mice, while oligodendrocyte-to-oligodendrocyte coupling was maintained. There were no quantitative differences regarding cellular networks in acute brain slices obtained from Cx30/Cx47 double-null mice and control littermates, probably caused by the upregulation of oligodendrocytic Cx32 in Cx30/Cx47 double-deficient mice. We observed early onset myelin pathology, and ∼40% of Cx30/Cx47 double-deficient animals died within 42 to 90 d after birth, accompanied by severe motor impairments. Histological and ultrastructural analyses revealed severe vacuolization and myelination defects in all white matter tracts of the CNS. Furthermore, Cx30/Cx47 double-deficient mice exhibited a decreased number of oligodendrocytes, severe astrogliosis, and microglial activation in white matter tracts. Although less affected concerning motor impairment, surviving double-knock-out (KO) mice showed behavioral alterations in the open field and in the rotarod task. Vacuole formation and thinner myelin sheaths were evident also with adult surviving double-KO mice. Since interastrocytic coupling due to Cx43 expression and interoligodendrocytic coupling because of Cx32 expression are still maintained, Cx30/Cx47 double-deficient mice demonstrate the functional role of both connexins for interastrocytic, interoligodendrocytic, and panglial coupling, and show that both connexins are required for maintenance of myelin. PMID:22649229

  13. Probe of local impurity states by bend resistance measurements in graphene cross junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, J.; Li, J. Y.; Kang, N.; Lin, Li; Peng, Hailin; Liu, Zhongfan; Xu, H. Q.

    2016-06-01

    We report on low-temperature transport measurements on four-terminal cross junction devices fabricated from high-quality graphene grown by chemical vapor deposition. At high magnetic fields, the bend resistance reveals pronounced peak structures at the quantum Hall plateau transition, which can be attributed to the edge state transport through the junctions. We further demonstrate that the bend resistance is drastically affected by the presence of local impurity states in the junction regions, and exhibits an unusual asymmetric behavior with respect to the magnetic field direction. The observations can be understood in a model taking into account the combination of the edge transport and an asymmetric scatterer. Our results demonstrate that a graphene cross junction may serve as a sensitive probe of local impurity states in graphene at the nanoscale.

  14. Probe of local impurity states by bend resistance measurements in graphene cross junctions.

    PubMed

    Du, J; Li, J Y; Kang, N; Lin, Li; Peng, Hailin; Liu, Zhongfan; Xu, H Q

    2016-06-17

    We report on low-temperature transport measurements on four-terminal cross junction devices fabricated from high-quality graphene grown by chemical vapor deposition. At high magnetic fields, the bend resistance reveals pronounced peak structures at the quantum Hall plateau transition, which can be attributed to the edge state transport through the junctions. We further demonstrate that the bend resistance is drastically affected by the presence of local impurity states in the junction regions, and exhibits an unusual asymmetric behavior with respect to the magnetic field direction. The observations can be understood in a model taking into account the combination of the edge transport and an asymmetric scatterer. Our results demonstrate that a graphene cross junction may serve as a sensitive probe of local impurity states in graphene at the nanoscale. PMID:27159926

  15. Calcium signaling is involved in ethanol-induced volume decrease and gap junction closure in cultured rat gastric mucosal cells.

    PubMed

    Mustonen, Harri; Kiviluoto, Tuula; Paimela, Hannu; Puolakkainen, Pauli; Kivilaakso, Eero

    2005-01-01

    Ethanol is a well-established "barrier breaker" in gastric mucosa, but its detailed effects at the cellular level remain unclear. We have previously shown that the intracellular free calcium concentration is increased, gap junctions are closed, and cell volume is decreased after exposure to 5% (v/v) ethanol in primarily cultured rabbit gastric epithelial cells. Rat gastric mucosal (RGM) cells were grown to confluence on a coverslip or on a filter membrane. Gap junctional diffusion was measured in 5-carboxyfluorescein-loaded cells by bleaching a small area with a laser and measuring the recovery with confocal microscope. Intracellular calcium was measured spectrofluorometrically in fura-2-loaded cells. For cell volume measurements the cell monolayer was loaded with calcein and imaged along the Z-axis with a confocal microscope. The changes in fluorescence intensity were intercepted as a measure of cell volume change. TMB-8 was used to inhibit intracellular calcium release and lanthanum to block plasma membrane calcium selective ion channels, while BABTA served as an intracellular calcium chelating agent. Results showed that ethanol (7.5%, v/v) exposure increased intracellular calcium from 69 +/- 7 to 142 +/- 11 nM (N = 5; P < 0.05), decreased cell volume by -23 +/- 5% (N = 8; P < 0.05), and induced gap junction closure (fluorescence recovery from 37 +/- 9 to 15 +/- 3%; N = 6; P < 0.05). A serosal potassium channel blocker, quinine, almost completely prevented the ethanol-induced cell volume decrease (from -23 +/- 5 to -3 +/- 3%), suggesting that opening of basolateral potassium channels underlies cell shrinkage. BABTA inhibited completely (from 35 +/- 3 to 39 +/- 4 nM; N = 6; P < 0.05), and TMB-8 + lanthanum partially (from 60 +/- 6 to 92 +/- 12 nM; N = 6; P < 0.05), the ethanol-induced intracellular calcium increase. BABTA also abolished the ethanol-induced volume decrease (from -23 +/- 5 to 1 +/- 4%; N = 6; P < 0.05), while TMB-8 + lanthanum had a lesser effect on

  16. INHIBITION OF GAP JUNCTIONAL INTERCELLULAR COMMUNICATION BY PERFLUORINATED COMPOUNDS IN RAT LIVER AND DOLPHIN KIDNEY EPITHELIAL CELL LINES IN VITRO AND SPRAGUE-DAWLEY RATS IN VIVO

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract

    Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication (GJIC) is the major pathway of intercellular signal transduction, and is, thus, important for normal cell growth and function. Recent studies have revealed a global distribution of some perfluorinated organic compounds e...

  17. A Transient Diffusion Model Yields Unitary Gap Junctional Permeabilities from Images of Cell-to-Cell Fluorescent Dye Transfer Between Xenopus Oocytes

    PubMed Central

    Nitsche, Johannes M.; Chang, Hou-Chien; Weber, Paul A.; Nicholson, Bruce J.

    2004-01-01

    As ubiquitous conduits for intercellular transport and communication, gap junctional pores have been the subject of numerous investigations aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying permeability and selectivity. Dye transfer studies provide a broadly useful means of detecting coupling and assessing these properties. However, given evidence for selective permeability of gap junctions and some anomalous correlations between junctional electrical conductance and dye permeability by passive diffusion, the need exists to give such studies a more quantitative basis. This article develops a detailed diffusion model describing experiments (reported separately) involving transport of fluorescent dye from a “donor” region to an “acceptor” region within a pair of Xenopus oocytes coupled by gap junctions. Analysis of transport within a single oocyte is used to determine the diffusion and binding characteristics of the cellular cytoplasm. Subsequent double-cell calculations then yield the intercellular junction permeability, which is translated into a single-channel permeability using concomitant measurements of intercellular conductance, and known single-channel conductances of gap junctions made up of specific connexins, to count channels. The preceding strategy, combined with use of a graded size series of Alexa dyes, permits a determination of absolute values of gap junctional permeability as a function of dye size and connexin type. Interpretation of the results in terms of pore theory suggests significant levels of dye-pore affinity consistent with the expected order of magnitude of typical (e.g., van der Waals) intermolecular attractions. PMID:15041648

  18. Polarization and resistive switching behavior of ferroelectric tunnel junctions with transition metal dichalcogenides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Tao; Lipatov, Alexey; Sharma, Pankaj; Lee, Hyungwoo; Eom, Chang-Beom; Sinitskii, Alexander; Gruverman, Alexei; Alexei Gruverman Team; Alexander Sinitskii Team; Chang-Beom Eom Team

    Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) are emerging 2-dimensional (2D) materials of the MX2 type, where M is a transition metal atom (Mo, W, Ti, Sn, Zr, etc.) and X is a chalcogen atom (S, Se, or Te.). Comparing to graphene, TMDs have a sizable band gap and can be metal, half-metal, semiconductor or superconductor. Their band structures can be tuned by external bias voltage, mechanical force, or light illumination. Their rich physical properties make TMDs potential candidates for a variety of applications in nanoelectronics and optoelectronics. Ferroelectric tunnel junctions (FTJs) are actively studied as a next-generation of non-volatile memory elements. An FTJ comprises a ferroelectric tunnel barrier sandwiched between two electrodes. In this work, we investigate the resistive switching behavior of MoS2/BaTiO3-based FTJs. The ON/OFF ratio can be modulated via electric or mechanical control of the switched polarization fraction opening a possibility of tunable electroresistance effect. Effect of optical illumination on the polarization reversal dynamics has been observed and analyzed based on the polarization-induced modulation of the MoS2 layered electronic properties.

  19. A 100 GHz Josephson mixer using resistively-shunted Nb tunnel junctions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schoelkopf, R. J.; Phillips, T. G.; Zmuidzinas, J.

    1993-01-01

    The authors describe preliminary mixer results using resistively shunted Nb/AlO(x)/Nb tunnel junctions in a 100-GHz waveguide mixer mount. The mixer utilizes robust, lithographically defined devices which have nonhysteretic I-V curves. A receiver temperature of 390 K (DSB) has been obtained with a conversion loss of -6.5 dB. The receiver's behavior agrees qualitatively with the behavior predicted by the resistively shunted junction model. Substantial improvements in performance are expected with the use of better-optimized shunted junctions, and numerical simulations suggest that, if devices with higher ICRN (critical current-normal state resistance) products can be obtained, Josephson effect mixers could be competitive with SIS mixers at high frequencies.

  20. Luteinizing hormone causes MAP kinase-dependent phosphorylation and closure of connexin 43 gap junctions in mouse ovarian follicles: one of two paths to meiotic resumption

    PubMed Central

    Norris, Rachael P.; Freudzon, Marina; Mehlmann, Lisa M.; Cowan, Ann E.; Simon, Alexander M.; Paul, David L.; Lampe, Paul D.; Jaffe, Laurinda A.

    2008-01-01

    SUMMARY Luteinizing hormone (LH) acts on ovarian follicles to reinitiate meiosis in prophase-arrested mammalian oocytes, and this has been proposed to occur by interruption of a meioisis-inhibitory signal that is transmitted through gap junctions into the oocyte from the somatic cells that surround it. To investigate this idea, we microinjected fluorescent tracers into live antral follicle-enclosed mouse oocytes, and demonstrate for the first time that LH causes a decrease in the gap junction permeability between the somatic cells, prior to nuclear envelope breakdown (NEBD). The decreased permeability results from MAP kinase-dependent phosphorylation of connexin 43 on serines 255, 262, and 279/282. We then tested whether inhibition of gap junction communication is sufficient and necessary for the reinitiation of meiosis. Inhibitors that reduced gap junction permeability caused NEBD, but an inhibitor of MAP kinase activation that blocked gap junction closure in response to LH did not prevent NEBD. Thus both MAP kinase-dependent gap junction closure and another redundant pathway function in parallel to ensure that meiosis resumes in response to LH. PMID:18776144

  1. Adipocytes in both brown and white adipose tissue of adult mice are functionally connected via gap junctions: implications for Chagas disease.

    PubMed

    Burke, Shoshana; Nagajyothi, Fnu; Thi, Mia M; Hanani, Menachem; Scherer, Philipp E; Tanowitz, Herbert B; Spray, David C

    2014-11-01

    Adipose tissue serves as a host reservoir for the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative organism in Chagas disease. Gap junctions interconnect cells of most tissues, serving to synchronize cell activities including secretion in glandular tissue, and we have previously demonstrated that gap junctions are altered in various tissues and cells infected with T. cruzi. Herein, we examined the gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43) expression in infected adipose tissues. Adipose tissue is the largest endocrine organ of the body and is also involved in other physiological functions. In mammals, it is primarily composed of white adipocytes. Although gap junctions are a prominent feature of brown adipocytes, they have not been explored extensively in white adipocytes, especially in the setting of infection. Thus, we examined functional coupling in both white and brown adipocytes in mice. Injection of electrical current or the dye Lucifer Yellow into adipocytes within fat tissue spread to adjacent cells, which was reduced by treatment with agents known to block gap junctions. Moreover, Cx43 was detected in both brown and white fat tissue. At thirty and ninety days post-infection, Cx43 was downregulated in brown adipocytes and upregulated in white adipocytes. Gap junction-mediated intercellular communication likely contributes to hormone secretion and other functions in white adipose tissue and to nonshivering thermogenesis in brown fat, and modulation of the coupling by T. cruzi infection is expected to impact these functions. PMID:25150689

  2. Adipocytes in both brown and white adipose tissue of adult mice are functionally connected via gap junctions: implications for Chagas disease

    PubMed Central

    Burke, Shoshana; Nagajyothi, Fnu; Thi, Mia M.; Hanani, Menachem; Scherer, Philipp E.; Tanowitz, Herbert B.; Spray, David C.

    2015-01-01

    Adipose tissue serves as a host reservoir for the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative organism in Chagas disease. Gap junctions interconnect cells of most tissues, serving to synchronize cell activities including secretion in glandular tissue, and we have previously demonstrated that gap junctions are altered in various tissues and cells infected with T. cruzi. Herein, we examined the gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43) expression in infected adipose tissues. Adipose tissue is the largest endocrine organ of the body and is also involved in other physiological functions. In mammals, it is primarily composed of white adipocytes. Although gap junctions are a prominent feature of brown adipocytes, they have not been explored extensively in white adipocytes, especially in the setting of infection. Thus, we examined functional coupling in both white and brown adipocytes in mice. Injection of electrical current or the dye Lucifer Yellow into adipocytes within fat tissue spread to adjacent cells, which was reduced by treatment with agents known to block gap junctions. Moreover, Cx43 was detected in both brown and white fat tissue. At thirty and ninety days post-infection, Cx43 was downregulated in brown adipocytes and upregulated in white adipocytes. Gap junction-mediated intercellular communication likely contributes to hormone secretion and other functions in white adipose tissue and to nonshivering thermogenesis in brown fat, and modulation of the coupling by T. cruzi infection is expected to impact these functions. PMID:25150689

  3. Gap junctions on hippocampal mossy fiber axons demonstrated by thin-section electron microscopy and freeze–fracture replica immunogold labeling

    PubMed Central

    Hamzei-Sichani, Farid; Kamasawa, Naomi; Janssen, William G. M.; Yasumura, Thomas; Davidson, Kimberly G. V.; Hof, Patrick R.; Wearne, Susan L.; Stewart, Mark G.; Young, Steven R.; Whittington, Miles A.; Rash, John E.; Traub, Roger D.

    2007-01-01

    Gap junctions have been postulated to exist between the axons of excitatory cortical neurons based on electrophysiological, modeling, and dye-coupling data. Here, we provide ultrastructural evidence for axoaxonic gap junctions in dentate granule cells. Using combined confocal laser scanning microscopy, thin-section transmission electron microscopy, and grid-mapped freeze–fracture replica immunogold labeling, 10 close appositions revealing axoaxonic gap junctions (≈30–70 nm in diameter) were found between pairs of mossy fiber axons (≈100–200 nm in diameter) in the stratum lucidum of the CA3b field of the rat ventral hippocampus, and one axonal gap junction (≈100 connexons) was found on a mossy fiber axon in the CA3c field of the rat dorsal hippocampus. Immunogold labeling with two sizes of gold beads revealed that connexin36 was present in that axonal gap junction. These ultrastructural data support computer modeling and in vitro electrophysiological data suggesting that axoaxonic gap junctions play an important role in the generation of very fast (>70 Hz) network oscillations and in the hypersynchronous electrical activity of epilepsy. PMID:17640909

  4. Vinculin directly binds zonula occludens-1 and is essential for stabilizing connexin-43-containing gap junctions in cardiac myocytes

    PubMed Central

    Zemljic-Harpf, Alice E.; Godoy, Joseph C.; Platoshyn, Oleksandr; Asfaw, Elizabeth K.; Busija, Anna R.; Domenighetti, Andrea A.; Ross, Robert S.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Vinculin (Vcl) links actin filaments to integrin- and cadherin-based cellular junctions. Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1, also known as TJP1) binds connexin-43 (Cx43, also known as GJA1), cadherin and actin. Vcl and ZO-1 anchor the actin cytoskeleton to the sarcolemma. Given that loss of Vcl from cardiomyocytes causes maldistribution of Cx43 and predisposes cardiomyocyte-specific Vcl-knockout mice with preserved heart function to arrhythmia and sudden death, we hypothesized that Vcl and ZO-1 interact and that loss of this interaction destabilizes gap junctions. We found that Vcl, Cx43 and ZO-1 colocalized at the intercalated disc. Loss of cardiomyocyte Vcl caused parallel loss of ZO-1 from intercalated dics. Vcl co-immunoprecipitated Cx43 and ZO-1, and directly bound ZO-1 in yeast two-hybrid studies. Excision of the Vcl gene in neonatal mouse cardiomyocytes caused a reduction in the amount of Vcl mRNA transcript and protein expression leading to (1) decreased protein expression of Cx43, ZO-1, talin, and β1D-integrin, (2) reduced PI3K activation, (3) increased activation of Akt, Erk1 and Erk2, and (4) cardiomyocyte necrosis. In summary, this is the first study showing a direct interaction between Vcl and ZO-1 and illustrates how Vcl plays a crucial role in stabilizing gap junctions and myocyte integrity. PMID:24413171

  5. Estrogenic compounds inhibit gap junctional intercellular communication in mouse Leydig TM3 cells

    SciTech Connect

    Iwase, Yumiko . E-mail: Iwase.Yumiko@mg.m-pharma.co.jp; Fukata, Hideki . E-mail: fukata@faculty.chiba-u.jp; Mori, Chisato . E-mail: cmori@faculty.chiba-u.jp

    2006-05-01

    Some estrogenic compounds are reported to cause testicular disorders in humans and/or experimental animals by direct action on Leydig cells. In carcinogenesis and normal development, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) plays an essential role in maintaining homeostasis. In this study, we examine the effects of diethylstilbestrol (DES, a synthetic estrogen), 17{beta}-estradiol (E{sub 2}, a natural estrogen), and genistein (GEN, a phytoestrogen) on GJIC between mouse Leydig TM3 cells using Lucifer yellow microinjection. The three compounds tested produced GJIC inhibition in the TM3 cells after 24 h. Gradually, 10 {mu}M DES began to inhibit GJIC for 24 h and this effect was observed until 72 h. On the other hand, both 20 {mu}M E{sub 2} and 25 {mu}M GEN rapidly inhibited GJIC in 6 h and 2 h, respectively. The effects continued until 24 h, but weakened by 72 h. Furthermore, a combined effect at {mu}M level between DES and E{sub 2} on GJIC inhibition was observed, but not between GEN and E{sub 2}. DES and E{sub 2} showed GJIC inhibition at low dose levels (nearly physiological estrogen levels) after 72 h, but GEN did not. DES-induced GJIC inhibition at 10 pM and 10 {mu}M was completely counteracted by ICI 182,780 (ICl), an estrogen receptor antagonist. On the other hand, the inhibitory effects on GJIC with E{sub 2} (10 pM and 20 {mu}M) and GEN (25 {mu}M) were partially blocked by ICI or calphostin C, a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, and were completely blocked by the combination of ICI and calphostin C. These results demonstrate that DES inhibits GJIC between Leydig cells via the estrogen receptor (ER), and that E{sub 2} and GEN inhibit GJIC via ER and PKC. These estrogenic compounds may have different individual nongenotoxic mechanism including PKC pathway on testicular carcinogenesis or development.

  6. Regional Changes of AQP0-dependent Square Array Junction and Gap Junction Associated with Cortical Cataract Formation in the Emory Mutant Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Biswas, Sondip K.; Brako, Lawrence; Gu, Sumin; Jiang, Jean X.; Lo, Woo-Kuen

    2014-01-01

    The Emory mutant mouse has been widely used as an animal model for human senile cataract since it develops late-onset hereditary cataract. Here, we focus on the regional changes of aquaporin-0 (AQP0) and connexins that are associated with the cortical cataract formation in the Emory mutant mice. Emory mutant and CFW wild-type mice at age 1 to 16 months were used in this study. By using an established photography system with dissecting microscopy, the opacities were first detected at the anterior or posterior lens center surface in Emory mice at age 7 months, and gradually extended toward the equator during the 16 months examined. Scanning EM verified that disorganized and fragmented fiber cells were associated with the areas of opacities within approximately 200 µm from the lens surface, indicating that Emory mouse cataracts belong to the cortical cataracts. Freeze-fracture TEM further confirmed that cortical cataracts exhibited extensive wavy square array junctions, small gap junctions and globules. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that in contrast to the high labeling intensity of AQP0-loop antibody, the labeling of AQP0 C-terminus antibody was decreased considerably in superficial fibers in Emory cataracts. Similarly, a significant decrease in the labeling of the antibody against Cx50 C-terminus, but not Cx46 C-terminus, occurred in superficial and outer cortical fibers in Emory cataracts. Western blotting further revealed that the C-termini of both AQP0 and Cx50 in Emory cataracts were decreased to over 50% to that of the wild-type. Thus, this systematic study concludes that the Emory mouse cataract belongs to the cortical cataract which is due to regional breakdown of superficial fibers associated with formation of AQP0-dependent wavy square array junctions, small gap junctions and globules. The marked decreases of the C-termini of both AQP0 and Cx50 in the superficial fibers may disturb the needed interaction between these two proteins during fiber cell

  7. Resistive switching and its suppression in Pt/Nb:SrTiO3 junctions

    PubMed Central

    Mikheev, Evgeny; Hoskins, Brian D.; Strukov, Dmitri B.; Stemmer, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    Oxide-based resistive switching devices are promising candidates for new memory and computing technologies. Poor understanding of the defect-based mechanisms that give rise to resistive switching is a major impediment for engineering reliable and reproducible devices. Here we identify an unintentional interface layer as the origin of resistive switching in Pt/Nb:SrTiO3 junctions. We clarify the microscopic mechanisms by which the interface layer controls the resistive switching. We show that appropriate interface processing can eliminate this contribution. These findings are an important step towards engineering more reliable resistive switching devices. PMID:24886761

  8. Physical model of the contact resistivity of metal-graphene junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Chaves, Ferney A. Jiménez, David; Cummings, Aron W.; Roche, Stephan

    2014-04-28

    While graphene-based technology shows great promise for a variety of electronic applications, including radio-frequency devices, the resistance of the metal-graphene contact is a technological bottleneck for the realization of viable graphene electronics. One of the most important factors in determining the resistance of a metal-graphene junction is the contact resistivity. Despite the large number of experimental works that exist in the literature measuring the contact resistivity, a simple model of it is still lacking. In this paper, we present a comprehensive physical model for the contact resistivity of these junctions, based on the Bardeen Transfer Hamiltonian method. This model unveils the role played by different electrical and physical parameters in determining the specific contact resistivity, such as the chemical potential of interaction, the work metal-graphene function difference, and the insulator thickness between the metal and graphene. In addition, our model reveals that the contact resistivity is strongly dependent on the bias voltage across the metal-graphene junction. This model is applicable to a wide variety of graphene-based electronic devices and thus is useful for understanding how to optimize the contact resistance in these systems.

  9. Light-induced new memory states in electronic resistive switching of NiO/NSTO junction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Ling; Li, G. Q.; Zhang, W. F.

    2016-02-01

    n-type and p-type NiO films were prepared on SrTiO3:Nb (NSTO) by controlling oxygen pressures during the process of pulsed laser deposition. The results of current-voltage (I-V) characteristics and photocurrent investigation indicate that the junction shows a typical electronic bipolar resistive switching (RS) behavior and the optical injection can add new resistance states. Photocurrents can obviously be modulated by different resistance states of NiO/NSTO junction. The linear fitting results of I-V curves reveal that the low resistance state follows Ohmic behavior and the high resistance state follows Schottky-emission mechanism. The depletion widths under forward and reverse bias in the dark and with the illumination were estimated respectively. Combined with the energy band structure, the mechanism of RS and photoresponse in the NiO/NSTO junction can be attributed to the variance of interfacial barrier during electrical and optical injection. These results pave the way for the application of the NiO/NSTO junction in the multilevel storage of optical-electrical devices.

  10. Determination of effective optical gap in dye/TiO{sub 2} systems inspired by p-n junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Hwang, Kyung-Jun; Jeong, Yonkil E-mail: widipark@gist.ac.kr; Park, Dong-Won E-mail: widipark@gist.ac.kr

    2015-04-06

    The effective optical gap and device current limits of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) were investigated. Optical gap determination was based on an approach that assumes the presence of a nanoscale p-n junction in the DSCs between the bulk TiO{sub 2} semiconductor and the dye-cluster with quantum size effect. On the basis of this approach, the effective optical gap of the dye-absorber was extracted from a relation between external quantum efficiency and photon energy. The short-circuit current density of the fabricated DSCs showed a current loss in the range from 3.7 to 5.1 mA cm{sup −2} compared to the device current limit. This current loss can be mainly attributed to the light reflection of the window layer and the native charge-transfer loss by device imperfections, including subsidiary charge-transfer loss by a nanoscale Schottky junction between TiO{sub 2} and the electrolyte.

  11. NOS inhibition synchronizes calcium oscillations in human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells by increasing gap-junctional coupling.

    PubMed

    Sauer, Heinrich; Sharifpanah, Fatemeh; Hatry, Myriam; Steffen, Paul; Bartsch, Caroline; Heller, Regine; Padmasekar, Manju; Howaldt, Hans-Peter; Bein, Gregor; Wartenberg, Maria

    2011-06-01

    Adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) are a promising stem cell source for cell transplantation. We demonstrate that undifferentiated ASCs display robust oscillations of intracellular calcium [Ca(2+) ](i) which may be associated with stem cell maintenance since oscillations were absent in endothelial cell differentiation medium supplemented with FGF-2. [Ca(2+) ](i) oscillations were dependent on extracellular Ca(2+) and Ca(2+) release from intracellular stores since they were abolished in Ca(2+) -free medium and in the presence of the store-depleting agent thapsigargin. They were inhibited by the phospholipase C antagonist U73,122, the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP(3) ) receptor antagonist 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2-APB) as well as by the gap-junction uncouplers 1-heptanol and carbenoxolone, indicating regulation by the InsP(3) pathway and dependence on gap-junctional coupling. Cells endogenously generated nitric oxide (NO), expressed NO synthase 1 (NOS 1) and connexin 43 (Cx 43). The nitric oxide NOS inhibitors NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA), N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), 2-ethyl-2-thiopseudourea, and diphenylene iodonium as well as si-RNA-mediated down-regulation of NOS 1 synchronized [Ca(2+) ](i) oscillations between individual cells, whereas the NO-donors S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) as well as the soluble guanylate cyclase inhibitor 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo-[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ) were without effects. The synchronization of [Ca(2+) ](i) oscillations was due to an improvement of intracellular coupling since fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) revealed increased reflow of fluorescent calcein into the bleached area in the presence of the NOS inhibitors DPI and L-NAME. In summary our data demonstrate that intracellular NO levels regulate synchronization of [Ca(2+) ](i) oscillations in undifferentiated ASCs by controlling gap-junctional coupling. PMID:21413022

  12. A variant in the carboxyl-terminus of connexin 40 alters GAP junctions and increases risk for tetralogy of Fallot

    PubMed Central

    Guida, Valentina; Ferese, Rosangela; Rocchetti, Marcella; Bonetti, Monica; Sarkozy, Anna; Cecchetti, Serena; Gelmetti, Vania; Lepri, Francesca; Copetti, Massimiliano; Lamorte, Giuseppe; Cristina Digilio, Maria; Marino, Bruno; Zaza, Antonio; den Hertog, Jeroen; Dallapiccola, Bruno; De Luca, Alessandro

    2013-01-01

    GJA5 gene (MIM no. 121013), localized at 1q21.1, encodes for the cardiac gap junction protein connexin 40. In humans, copy number variants of chromosome 1q21.1 have been associated with variable phenotypes comprising congenital heart disease (CHD), including isolated TOF. In mice, the deletion of Gja5 can cause a variety of complex CHDs, in particular of the cardiac outflow tract, corresponding to TOF in many cases. In the present study, we screened for mutations in the GJA5 gene 178 unrelated probands with isolated TOF. A heterozygous nucleotide change (c.793C>T) in exon 2 of the gene leading to the p.Pro265Ser variant at the carboxyl-terminus of the protein was found in two unrelated sporadic patients, one with classic anatomy and one with pulmonary atresia. This GJA5 missense substitution was not observed in 1568 ethnically-matched control chromosomes. Immunofluorescent staining and confocal microscopy revealed that cells expressing the mutant protein form sparse or no visible gap-junction plaques in the region of cell–cell contact. Moreover, analysis of the transfer of the gap junction permanent tracer lucifer yellow showed that cells expressing the mutant protein have a reduced rate of dye transfer compared with wild-type cells. Finally, use of a zebrafish model revealed that microinjection of the GJA5-p.Pro265Ser mutant disrupts overall morphology of the heart tube in the 37% (22/60) of embryos, compared with the 6% (4/66) of the GJA5 wild-type-injected embryos. These findings implicate GJA5 gene as a novel susceptibility gene for TOF. PMID:22713807

  13. Human and Mouse Microglia Express Connexin36, and Functional Gap Junctions Are Formed Between Rodent Microglia and Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Dobrenis, K.; Chang, H.-Y.; Pina-Benabou, M.H.; Woodroffe, A.; Lee, S.C.; Rozental, R.; Spray, D.C.; Scemes, E.

    2008-01-01

    Microglia, the tissue macrophages of the central nervous system (CNS), intimately interact with neurons physically and through soluble factors that can affect microglial activation state and neuronal survival and physiology. We report here a new mechanism of interaction between these cells, provided by the formation of gap junctions composed of connexin (Cx) 36. Among eight Cxs tested, expression of Cx36 mRNA and protein was found in microglial cultures prepared from human and mouse, and Cx45 mRNA was found in mouse microglial cultures. Electrophysiological measurements found coupling between one-third of human or mouse microglial pairs that averaged below 30 pico-Siemens and displayed electrical properties consistent with Cx36 gap junctions. Importantly, similar frequency of low-strength electrical coupling was also obtained between microglia and neurons in cocultures prepared from neocortical or hippocampal rodent tissue. Lucifer yellow dye coupling between neurons and microglia was observed in 4% of pairs tested, consistent with the low strength and incidence of electrical coupling. Cx36 expression level and/or the degree of coupling between microglia did not significantly change in the presence of activating agents, including lipopolysaccharide, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interferon-γ, and tumor necrosis factor-α, except for some reduction of Cx36 protein when exposed to the latter two agents. Our findings that intercellular coupling occurs between neuronal and microglial populations through Cx36 gap junctions have potentially important implications for normal neural physiology and microglial responses in neuronopathology in the mammalian CNS. PMID:16211561

  14. Controllable resistive switching in Au/Nb:SrTiO3 microscopic Schottky junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yuhang; Shi, Xiaolan; Zhao, Kehan; Xie, Guanlin; Huang, Siyu; Zhang, Liuwan

    2016-02-01

    The reversible resistive switching effect at oxide interface shows promising applications in information storage and artificial intelligence. However, the microscopic switching mechanism is still elusive due to the difficulty of direct observation of the electrical and chemical behavior at the buried interface, which becomes a major barrier to design reliable, scalable, and reproducible devices. Here we used a gold-coated AFM tip as a removable electrode to investigate the resistive switching effect in a microscopic Au/Nb:SrTiO3 Schottky junction. We found that unlike the inhomogeneous random resistive switching in the macroscopic Schottky junctions, the high and low resistance states can be reversibly switched in a controllable way on the Nb-doped SrTiO3 surface by the conductive tip. The switching between the high and low resistance states in vacuum is accompanied by the reversible shift of the surface Fermi level. We indicate that the transfer of the interface oxygen ion in a double-well potential is responsible for the resistive switching in both macroscopic and microscopic Schottky junctions. Our findings provide a guide to optimize the key performance parameters of a resistive switching device such as operation voltage, switching speed, on/off ratio, and state retention time by proper electrode selection and fabrication strategy.

  15. Gap junctions mediate large-scale Turing structures in a mean-field cortex driven by subcortical noise.

    PubMed

    Steyn-Ross, Moira L; Steyn-Ross, D A; Wilson, M T; Sleigh, J W

    2007-07-01

    One of the grand puzzles in neuroscience is establishing the link between cognition and the disparate patterns of spontaneous and task-induced brain activity that can be measured clinically using a wide range of detection modalities such as scalp electrodes and imaging tomography. High-level brain function is not a single-neuron property, yet emerges as a cooperative phenomenon of multiply-interacting populations of neurons. Therefore a fruitful modeling approach is to picture the cerebral cortex as a continuum characterized by parameters that have been averaged over a small volume of cortical tissue. Such mean-field cortical models have been used to investigate gross patterns of brain behavior such as anesthesia, the cycles of natural sleep, memory and erasure in slow-wave sleep, and epilepsy. There is persuasive and accumulating evidence that direct gap-junction connections between inhibitory neurons promote synchronous oscillatory behavior both locally and across distances of some centimeters, but, to date, continuum models have ignored gap-junction connectivity. In this paper we employ simple mean-field arguments to derive an expression for D2, the diffusive coupling strength arising from gap-junction connections between inhibitory neurons. Using recent neurophysiological measurements reported by Fukuda [J. Neurosci. 26, 3434 (2006)], we estimate an upper limit of D2 approximately 0.6cm2. We apply a linear stability analysis to a standard mean-field cortical model, augmented with gap-junction diffusion, and find this value for the diffusive coupling strength to be close to the critical value required to destabilize the homogeneous steady state. Computer simulations demonstrate that larger values of D2 cause the noise-driven model cortex to spontaneously crystalize into random mazelike Turing structures: centimeter-scale spatial patterns in which regions of high-firing activity are intermixed with regions of low-firing activity. These structures are consistent

  16. Electronic and thermal effects in the insulator-metal phase transition in VO{sub 2} nano-gap junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Joushaghani, Arash; Jeong, Junho; Stewart Aitchison, J.; Poon, Joyce K. S.; Paradis, Suzanne; Alain, David

    2014-12-08

    By controlling the thermal transport of VO{sub 2} nano-gap junctions using device geometry, contact material, and applied voltage waveforms, the electronically induced insulator-metal phase transition is investigated in the adiabatic heating and transient carrier injection regimes. With a gradual ramping of an applied voltage on a microsecond time scale, the transition electric field threshold can be directly reduced by the Joule heating. With an abrupt applied voltage, the transition threshold is initiated by carriers injected within the first tens of nanoseconds, but the complete insulator-metal phase transition is limited by thermal redistribution times to hundreds of nanoseconds.

  17. Gap junctions mediate large-scale Turing structures in a mean-field cortex driven by subcortical noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steyn-Ross, Moira L.; Steyn-Ross, D. A.; Wilson, M. T.; Sleigh, J. W.

    2007-07-01

    One of the grand puzzles in neuroscience is establishing the link between cognition and the disparate patterns of spontaneous and task-induced brain activity that can be measured clinically using a wide range of detection modalities such as scalp electrodes and imaging tomography. High-level brain function is not a single-neuron property, yet emerges as a cooperative phenomenon of multiply-interacting populations of neurons. Therefore a fruitful modeling approach is to picture the cerebral cortex as a continuum characterized by parameters that have been averaged over a small volume of cortical tissue. Such mean-field cortical models have been used to investigate gross patterns of brain behavior such as anesthesia, the cycles of natural sleep, memory and erasure in slow-wave sleep, and epilepsy. There is persuasive and accumulating evidence that direct gap-junction connections between inhibitory neurons promote synchronous oscillatory behavior both locally and across distances of some centimeters, but, to date, continuum models have ignored gap-junction connectivity. In this paper we employ simple mean-field arguments to derive an expression for D2 , the diffusive coupling strength arising from gap-junction connections between inhibitory neurons. Using recent neurophysiological measurements reported by Fukuda [J. Neurosci. 26, 3434 (2006)], we estimate an upper limit of D2≈0.6cm2 . We apply a linear stability analysis to a standard mean-field cortical model, augmented with gap-junction diffusion, and find this value for the diffusive coupling strength to be close to the critical value required to destabilize the homogeneous steady state. Computer simulations demonstrate that larger values of D2 cause the noise-driven model cortex to spontaneously crystalize into random mazelike Turing structures: centimeter-scale spatial patterns in which regions of high-firing activity are intermixed with regions of low-firing activity. These structures are consistent with the

  18. Protective effect of INI-0602, a gap junction inhibitor, on dopaminergic neurodegeneration of mice with unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine injection.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Hiromi; Ono, Kenji; Sawada, Makoto

    2014-11-01

    INI-0602, a novel gap junction hemichannel inhibitor, was administered to hemi-Parkinsonism mice generated by striatal 6-hydroxydopamine injection. INI-0602 prevented the toxic activation of microglia, such as the increased number of the activated form, enlargement of cell bodies and induction of proinflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1β and TNFα, in the ipsilateral striatum. On the other hand, INI-0602 induced the expression of neurotrophic factors, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor and NT-4/5, in the 6-hydroxydopamine-treated striatum. INI-0602 treatment blocked not only dopaminergic loss in both the striatum and substantia nigra, but also apomorphine-induced rotational behavior. PMID:24744047

  19. Gold nanoparticle-mediated (GNOME) laser perforation: a new method for a high-throughput analysis of gap junction intercellular coupling.

    PubMed

    Begandt, Daniela; Bader, Almke; Antonopoulos, Georgios C; Schomaker, Markus; Kalies, Stefan; Meyer, Heiko; Ripken, Tammo; Ngezahayo, Anaclet

    2015-10-01

    The present report evaluates the advantages of using the gold nanoparticle-mediated laser perforation (GNOME LP) technique as a computer-controlled cell optoperforation to introduce Lucifer yellow (LY) into cells in order to analyze the gap junction coupling in cell monolayers. To permeabilize GM-7373 endothelial cells grown in a 24 multiwell plate with GNOME LP, a laser beam of 88 μm in diameter was applied in the presence of gold nanoparticles and LY. After 10 min to allow dye uptake and diffusion through gap junctions, we observed a LY-positive cell band of 179 ± 8 μm width. The presence of the gap junction channel blocker carbenoxolone during the optoperforation reduced the LY-positive band to 95 ± 6 μm. Additionally, a forskolin-related enhancement of gap junction coupling, recently found using the scrape loading technique, was also observed using GNOME LP. Further, an automatic cell imaging and a subsequent semi-automatic quantification of the images using a java-based ImageJ-plugin were performed in a high-throughput sequence. Moreover, the GNOME LP was used on cells such as RBE4 rat brain endothelial cells, which cannot be mechanically scraped as well as on three-dimensionally cultivated cells, opening the possibility to implement the GNOME LP technique for analysis of gap junction coupling in tissues. We conclude that the GNOME LP technique allows a high-throughput automated analysis of gap junction coupling in cells. Moreover this non-invasive technique could be used on monolayers that do not support mechanical scraping as well as on cells in tissue allowing an in vivo/ex vivo analysis of gap junction coupling. PMID:26310434

  20. Macro model for stochastic behavior of resistance distribution of magnetic tunnel junction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kil, Gyuhyun; Choi, Juntae; Song, Yunheub

    2015-04-01

    In this work, we fabricated MgO-based magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) samples to observe behavior of resistance variation, and investigated a stochastic behavior model for MTJ resistance from measured real data. We found the relationship between parallel resistance (RP), anti-parallel resistance (RAP), and TMR from the measurements. The variation of barrier thickness affects not only resistance but also TMR. This means that broad RAP distribution is caused by RP distribution. In addition, RAP distribution can be reduced by increasing temperature and bias voltage. We developed a macro model that can evaluate resistance distribution based on the stochastic behavior of MTJ resistance variation from only tox varied. The amount of resistance variation, which is considered with regard to the circuit performance, can be obtained from Δtox designed by designer. In addition, the impact for operating circumstance such as bias and temperature can be considered by using fit equations.

  1. Rescue of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS)-mediated Sertoli cell injury by overexpression of gap junction protein connexin 43

    PubMed Central

    Li, Nan; Mruk, Dolores D.; Chen, Haiqi; Wong, Chris K. C.; Lee, Will M.; Cheng, C. Yan

    2016-01-01

    Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) is an environmental toxicant used in developing countries, including China, as a stain repellent for clothing, carpets and draperies, but it has been banned in the U.S. and Canada since the late 2000s. PFOS perturbed the Sertoli cell tight junction (TJ)-permeability barrier, causing disruption of actin microfilaments in cell cytosol, perturbing the localization of cell junction proteins (e.g., occluden-ZO-1, N-cadherin-ß-catenin). These changes destabilized Sertoli cell blood-testis barrier (BTB) integrity. These findings suggest that human exposure to PFOS might induce BTB dysfunction and infertility. Interestingly, PFOS-induced Sertoli cell injury associated with a down-regulation of the gap junction (GJ) protein connexin43 (Cx43). We next investigated if overexpression of Cx43 in Sertoli cells could rescue the PFOS-induced cell injury. Indeed, overexpression of Cx43 in Sertoli cells with an established TJ-barrier blocked the disruption in PFOS-induced GJ-intercellular communication, resulting in the re-organization of actin microfilaments, which rendered them similar to those in control cells. Furthermore, cell adhesion proteins that utilized F-actin for attachment became properly distributed at the cell-cell interface, resealing the disrupted TJ-barrier. In summary, Cx43 is a good target that might be used to manage PFOS-induced reproductive dysfunction. PMID:27436542

  2. Stochastic 16-state model of voltage gating of gap-junction channels enclosing fast and slow gates.

    PubMed

    Paulauskas, Nerijus; Pranevicius, Henrikas; Mockus, Jonas; Bukauskas, Feliksas F

    2012-06-01

    Gap-junction (GJ) channels formed of connexin (Cx) proteins provide a direct pathway for electrical and metabolic cell-cell interaction. Each hemichannel in the GJ channel contains fast and slow gates that are sensitive to transjunctional voltage (Vj). We developed a stochastic 16-state model (S16SM) that details the operation of two fast and two slow gates in series to describe the gating properties of homotypic and heterotypic GJ channels. The operation of each gate depends on the fraction of Vj that falls across the gate (VG), which varies depending on the states of three other gates in series, as well as on parameters of the fast and slow gates characterizing 1), the steepness of each gate's open probability on VG; 2), the voltage at which the open probability of each gate equals 0.5; 3), the gating polarity; and 4), the unitary conductances of the gates and their rectification depending on VG. S16SM allows for the simulation of junctional current dynamics and the dependence of steady-state junctional conductance (gj,ss) on Vj. We combined global coordinate optimization algorithms with S16SM to evaluate the gating parameters of fast and slow gates from experimentally measured gj,ss-Vj dependencies in cells expressing different Cx isoforms and forming homotypic and/or heterotypic GJ channels. PMID:22713562

  3. Rescue of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS)-mediated Sertoli cell injury by overexpression of gap junction protein connexin 43.

    PubMed

    Li, Nan; Mruk, Dolores D; Chen, Haiqi; Wong, Chris K C; Lee, Will M; Cheng, C Yan

    2016-01-01

    Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) is an environmental toxicant used in developing countries, including China, as a stain repellent for clothing, carpets and draperies, but it has been banned in the U.S. and Canada since the late 2000s. PFOS perturbed the Sertoli cell tight junction (TJ)-permeability barrier, causing disruption of actin microfilaments in cell cytosol, perturbing the localization of cell junction proteins (e.g., occluden-ZO-1, N-cadherin-ß-catenin). These changes destabilized Sertoli cell blood-testis barrier (BTB) integrity. These findings suggest that human exposure to PFOS might induce BTB dysfunction and infertility. Interestingly, PFOS-induced Sertoli cell injury associated with a down-regulation of the gap junction (GJ) protein connexin43 (Cx43). We next investigated if overexpression of Cx43 in Sertoli cells could rescue the PFOS-induced cell injury. Indeed, overexpression of Cx43 in Sertoli cells with an established TJ-barrier blocked the disruption in PFOS-induced GJ-intercellular communication, resulting in the re-organization of actin microfilaments, which rendered them similar to those in control cells. Furthermore, cell adhesion proteins that utilized F-actin for attachment became properly distributed at the cell-cell interface, resealing the disrupted TJ-barrier. In summary, Cx43 is a good target that might be used to manage PFOS-induced reproductive dysfunction. PMID:27436542

  4. Stochastic 16-State Model of Voltage Gating of Gap-Junction Channels Enclosing Fast and Slow Gates

    PubMed Central

    Paulauskas, Nerijus; Pranevicius, Henrikas; Mockus, Jonas; Bukauskas, Feliksas F.

    2012-01-01

    Gap-junction (GJ) channels formed of connexin (Cx) proteins provide a direct pathway for electrical and metabolic cell-cell interaction. Each hemichannel in the GJ channel contains fast and slow gates that are sensitive to transjunctional voltage (Vj). We developed a stochastic 16-state model (S16SM) that details the operation of two fast and two slow gates in series to describe the gating properties of homotypic and heterotypic GJ channels. The operation of each gate depends on the fraction of Vj that falls across the gate (VG), which varies depending on the states of three other gates in series, as well as on parameters of the fast and slow gates characterizing 1), the steepness of each gate's open probability on VG; 2), the voltage at which the open probability of each gate equals 0.5; 3), the gating polarity; and 4), the unitary conductances of the gates and their rectification depending on VG. S16SM allows for the simulation of junctional current dynamics and the dependence of steady-state junctional conductance (gj,ss) on Vj. We combined global coordinate optimization algorithms with S16SM to evaluate the gating parameters of fast and slow gates from experimentally measured gj,ss-Vj dependencies in cells expressing different Cx isoforms and forming homotypic and/or heterotypic GJ channels. PMID:22713562

  5. Rescue of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS)-mediated Sertoli cell injury by overexpression of gap junction protein connexin 43

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Nan; Mruk, Dolores D.; Chen, Haiqi; Wong, Chris K. C.; Lee, Will M.; Cheng, C. Yan

    2016-07-01

    Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) is an environmental toxicant used in developing countries, including China, as a stain repellent for clothing, carpets and draperies, but it has been banned in the U.S. and Canada since the late 2000s. PFOS perturbed the Sertoli cell tight junction (TJ)-permeability barrier, causing disruption of actin microfilaments in cell cytosol, perturbing the localization of cell junction proteins (e.g., occluden-ZO-1, N-cadherin-ß-catenin). These changes destabilized Sertoli cell blood-testis barrier (BTB) integrity. These findings suggest that human exposure to PFOS might induce BTB dysfunction and infertility. Interestingly, PFOS-induced Sertoli cell injury associated with a down-regulation of the gap junction (GJ) protein connexin43 (Cx43). We next investigated if overexpression of Cx43 in Sertoli cells could rescue the PFOS-induced cell injury. Indeed, overexpression of Cx43 in Sertoli cells with an established TJ-barrier blocked the disruption in PFOS-induced GJ-intercellular communication, resulting in the re-organization of actin microfilaments, which rendered them similar to those in control cells. Furthermore, cell adhesion proteins that utilized F-actin for attachment became properly distributed at the cell-cell interface, resealing the disrupted TJ-barrier. In summary, Cx43 is a good target that might be used to manage PFOS-induced reproductive dysfunction.

  6. Fluxes of lactate into, from, and among gap junction-coupled astrocytes and their interaction with noradrenaline.

    PubMed

    Hertz, Leif; Gibbs, Marie E; Dienel, Gerald A

    2014-01-01

    Lactate is a versatile metabolite with important roles in modulation of brain glucose utilization rate (CMRglc), diagnosis of brain-injured patients, redox- and receptor-mediated signaling, memory, and alteration of gene transcription. Neurons and astrocytes release and accumulate lactate using equilibrative monocarboxylate transporters that carry out net transmembrane transport of lactate only until intra- and extracellular levels reach equilibrium. Astrocytes have much faster lactate uptake than neurons and shuttle more lactate among gap junction-coupled astrocytes than to nearby neurons. Lactate diffusion within syncytia can provide precursors for oxidative metabolism and glutamate synthesis and facilitate its release from endfeet to perivascular space to stimulate blood flow. Lactate efflux from brain during activation underlies the large underestimation of CMRglc with labeled glucose and fall in CMRO2/CMRglc ratio. Receptor-mediated effects of lactate on locus coeruleus neurons include noradrenaline release in cerebral cortex and c-AMP-mediated stimulation of astrocytic gap junctional coupling, thereby enhancing its dispersal and release from brain. Lactate transport is essential for its multifunctional roles. PMID:25249930

  7. Induction of synchronous oscillatory activity in the rat lateral amygdala in vitro is dependent on gap junction activity.

    PubMed

    Sinfield, James L; Collins, Dawn R

    2006-12-01

    Synchronized and rhythmic activity within the amygdala is thought to play a pivotal role in the generation of fear- and anxiety-related behaviour. The aim here was to determine the validity of the in vitro amygdala slice preparation to investigate the generation of rhythmic activity similar to that observed in vivo. Extracellular population activity recorded from the lateral nucleus of the amygdala in vitro showed significant enhancement of activity within the theta-band frequency (3-9 Hz) in the presence of kainic acid (100 nm; n=18). Alterations in the patterns of oscillatory activity within the gamma frequency band (20-40 Hz) were observed in the presence of (RS)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (10 microm; n=7) or carbachol (50 microm; n=5). Theta frequency oscillatory activity was blocked in the presence of the gap junction blocker carbenoxolone (100 mm), whereas gamma frequency oscillatory activity showed increased variability in the dominant frequency of rhythmic activity. The results suggest that the neuronal circuitry of the amygdala in vitro is capable of generating and sustaining rhythmic activity and that intercellular communication via gap junctions may play a role in the synchronization of population activity underlying this oscillatory activity. PMID:17156370

  8. Fluxes of lactate into, from, and among gap junction-coupled astrocytes and their interaction with noradrenaline

    PubMed Central

    Hertz, Leif; Gibbs, Marie E.; Dienel, Gerald A.

    2014-01-01

    Lactate is a versatile metabolite with important roles in modulation of brain glucose utilization rate (CMRglc), diagnosis of brain-injured patients, redox- and receptor-mediated signaling, memory, and alteration of gene transcription. Neurons and astrocytes release and accumulate lactate using equilibrative monocarboxylate transporters that carry out net transmembrane transport of lactate only until intra- and extracellular levels reach equilibrium. Astrocytes have much faster lactate uptake than neurons and shuttle more lactate among gap junction-coupled astrocytes than to nearby neurons. Lactate diffusion within syncytia can provide precursors for oxidative metabolism and glutamate synthesis and facilitate its release from endfeet to perivascular space to stimulate blood flow. Lactate efflux from brain during activation underlies the large underestimation of CMRglc with labeled glucose and fall in CMRO2/CMRglc ratio. Receptor-mediated effects of lactate on locus coeruleus neurons include noradrenaline release in cerebral cortex and c-AMP-mediated stimulation of astrocytic gap junctional coupling, thereby enhancing its dispersal and release from brain. Lactate transport is essential for its multifunctional roles. PMID:25249930

  9. Spinal astrocyte gap junction and glutamate transporter expression contributes to a rat model of bortezomib-induced peripheral neuropathy

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Caleb R.; Dougherty, Patrick M.

    2014-01-01

    There is increasing evidence implicating astrocytes in multiple forms of chronic pain, as well as in the specific context of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). However, it is still unclear what the exact role of astrocytes may be in the context of CIPN. Findings in oxaliplatin and paclitaxel models have displayed altered expression of astrocytic gap junctions and glutamate transporters as means by which astrocytes may contribute to observed behavioral changes. The current study investigated whether these changes were also generalizable to the bortezomib CIPN. Changes in mechanical sensitivity were verified in bortezomib-treated animals, and these changes were prevented by co-treatment with a glial activation inhibitor (minocycline), a gap junction decoupler (carbenoxolone), and by a glutamate transporter upregulator (ceftriaxone). Immunohistochemistry data at day 30 in bortezomib-treated animals showed increases in expression of GFAP and connexin 43 but decrease in GLAST expression. These changes were prevented by co-treatment with minocycline. Follow-up Western blotting data showed a shift in connexin 43 from a non-phosphorylated state to a phosphorylated state, indicating increased trafficking of expressed connexin 43 to the cell membrane. These data suggest that increases in behavioral sensitivity to cutaneous stimuli may be tied to persistent synaptic glutamate resulting from increased calcium flow between spinal astrocytes. PMID:25446343

  10. Connexin26 Mutations Causing Palmoplantar Keratoderma and Deafness Interact with Connexin43, Modifying Gap Junction and Hemichannel Properties.

    PubMed

    Shuja, Zunaira; Li, Leping; Gupta, Shashank; Meşe, Gülistan; White, Thomas W

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in GJB2 (connexin [Cx]26) cause either deafness or deafness associated with skin diseases. That different disorders can be caused by distinct mutations within the same gene suggests that unique channel activities are influenced by each class of mutation. We have examined the functional characteristics of two human mutations, Cx26-H73R and Cx26-S183F, causing palmoplantar keratoderma (PPK) and deafness. Both failed to form gap junction channels or hemichannels when expressed alone. Coexpression of the mutants with wild-type Cx43 showed a transdominant inhibition of Cx43 gap junction channels, without reductions in Cx43 protein synthesis. In addition, the presence of mutant Cx26 shifted Cx43 channel gating and kinetics toward a more Cx26-like behavior. Coimmunoprecipitation showed Cx43 being pulled down more efficiently with mutant Cx26 than wild-type, confirming the enhanced formation of heteromeric connexons. Finally, the formation of heteromeric connexons resulted in significantly increased Cx43 hemichannel activity in the presence of Cx26 mutants. These findings suggest a common mechanism whereby Cx26 mutations causing PPK and deafness transdominantly influence multiple functions of wild-type Cx43. They also implicate a role for aberrant hemichannel activity in the pathogenesis of PPK and further highlight an emerging role for Cx43 in genetic skin diseases. PMID:26763442

  11. Connexin26 mutations causing palmoplantar keratoderma and deafness interact with connexin43, modifying gap junction and hemichannel properties

    PubMed Central

    Shuja, Zunaira; Li, Leping; Gupta, Shashank; Meşe, Gülistan; White, Thomas W.

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in GJB2 (Cx26) cause either deafness, or deafness associated with skin diseases. That different disorders can be caused by distinct mutations within the same gene suggests that unique channel activities are influenced by each class of mutation. We have examined the functional characteristics of two human mutations, Cx26-H73R and Cx26-S183F, causing palmoplantar keratoderma (PPK) and deafness. Both failed to form gap junction channels or hemichannels when expressed alone. Co-expression of the mutants with wild-type Cx43 showed a trans-dominant inhibition of Cx43 gap junction channels, without reductions in Cx43 protein synthesis. In addition, the presence of mutant Cx26 shifted Cx43 channel gating and kinetics towards a more Cx26-like behavior. Co-immunoprecipitation showed Cx43 being pulled down more efficiently with mutant Cx26, than wild-type, confirming the enhanced formation of heteromeric connexons. Finally, the formation of heteromeric connexons resulted in significantly increased Cx43 hemichannel activity in the presence of Cx26 mutants. These findings suggest a common mechanism whereby Cx26 mutations causing PPK and deafness trans-dominantly influence multiple functions of wild-type Cx43. They also implicate a role for aberrant hemichannel activity in the pathogenesis of PPK, and further highlight an emerging role for Cx43 in genetic skin diseases. PMID:26763442

  12. Structural analysis of key gap junction domains-Lessons from genome data and disease-linked mutants.

    PubMed

    Bai, Donglin

    2016-02-01

    A gap junction (GJ) channel is formed by docking of two GJ hemichannels and each of these hemichannels is a hexamer of connexins. All connexin genes have been identified in human, mouse, and rat genomes and their homologous genes in many other vertebrates are available in public databases. The protein sequences of these connexins align well with high sequence identity in the same connexin across different species. Domains in closely related connexins and several residues in all known connexins are also well-conserved. These conserved residues form signatures (also known as sequence logos) in these domains and are likely to play important biological functions. In this review, the sequence logos of individual connexins, groups of connexins with common ancestors, and all connexins are analyzed to visualize natural evolutionary variations and the hot spots for human disease-linked mutations. Several gap junction domains are homologous, likely forming similar structures essential for their function. The availability of a high resolution Cx26 GJ structure and the subsequently-derived homology structure models for other connexin GJ channels elevated our understanding of sequence logos at the three-dimensional GJ structure level, thus facilitating the understanding of how disease-linked connexin mutants might impair GJ structure and function. This knowledge will enable the design of complementary variants to rescue disease-linked mutants. PMID:26658099

  13. HDAC inhibition amplifies gap junction communication in neural progenitors: Potential for cell-mediated enzyme prodrug therapy

    SciTech Connect

    Khan, Zahidul . E-mail: Zahidul.Khan@ki.se; Akhtar, Monira; Asklund, Thomas; Juliusson, Bengt . E-mail: Tomas.Ekstrom@ki.se

    2007-08-01

    Enzyme prodrug therapy using neural progenitor cells (NPCs) as delivery vehicles has been applied in animal models of gliomas and relies on gap junction communication (GJC) between delivery and target cells. This study investigated the effects of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors on GJC for the purpose of facilitating transfer of therapeutic molecules from recombinant NPCs. We studied a novel immortalized midbrain cell line, NGC-407 of embryonic human origin having neural precursor characteristics, as a potential delivery vehicle. The expression of gap junction protein connexin 43 (C x 43) was analyzed by western blot and immunocytochemistry. While C x 43 levels were decreased in untreated differentiating NGC-407 cells, the HDAC inhibitor 4-phenylbutyrate (4-PB) increased C x 43 expression along with increased membranous deposition in both proliferating and differentiating cells. Simultaneously, Ser 279/282-phosphorylated form of C x 43 was declined in both culture conditions by 4-PB. The 4-PB effect in NGC-407 cells was verified by using HNSC.100 human neural progenitors and Trichostatin A. Improved functional GJC is of imperative importance for therapeutic strategies involving intercellular transport of low molecular-weight compounds. We show here an enhancement by 4-PB, of the functional GJC among NGC-407 cells, as well as between NGC-407 and human glioma cells, as indicated by increased fluorescent dye transfer.

  14. Alterations in gap junction connexin43/connexin45 ratio mediate a transition from quiescence to excitation in a mathematical model of the myometrium

    PubMed Central

    Sheldon, Rachel E.; Mashayamombe, Chipo; Shi, Shao-Qing; Garfield, Robert E.; Shmygol, Anatoly; Blanks, Andrew M.; van den Berg, Hugo A.

    2014-01-01

    The smooth muscle cells of the uterus contract in unison during delivery. These cells achieve coordinated activity via electrical connections called gap junctions which consist of aggregated connexin proteins such as connexin43 and connexin45. The density of gap junctions governs the excitability of the myometrium (among other factors). An increase in gap junction density occurs immediately prior to parturition. We extend a mathematical model of the myometrium by incorporating the voltage-dependence of gap junctions that has been demonstrated in the experimental literature. Two functional subtypes exist, corresponding to systems with predominantly connexin43 and predominantly connexin45, respectively. Our simulation results indicate that the gap junction protein connexin45 acts as a negative modulator of uterine excitability, and hence, activity. A network with a higher proportion of connexin45 relative to connexin43 is unable to excite every cell. Connexin45 has much more rapid gating kinetics than connexin43 which we show limits the maximum duration of a local burst of activity. We propose that this effect regulates the degree of synchronous excitation attained during a contraction. Our results support the hypothesis that as labour approaches, connexin45 is downregulated to allow action potentials to spread more readily through the myometrium. PMID:25401181

  15. Formation of functional gap junctions in amniotic fluid-derived stem cells induced by transmembrane co-culture with neonatal rat cardiomyocytes

    PubMed Central

    Connell, Jennifer Petsche; Augustini, Emily; Moise, Kenneth J; Johnson, Anthony; Jacot, Jeffrey G

    2013-01-01

    Amniotic fluid-derived stem cells (AFSC) have been reported to differentiate into cardiomyocyte-like cells and form gap junctions when directly mixed and cultured with neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVM). This study investigated whether or not culture of AFSC on the opposite side of a Transwell membrane from NRVM, allowing for contact and communication without confounding factors such as cell fusion, could direct cardiac differentiation and enhance gap junction formation. Results were compared to shared media (Transwell), conditioned media and monoculture media controls. After a 2-week culture period, AFSC did not express cardiac myosin heavy chain or troponin T in any co-culture group. Protein expression of cardiac calsequestrin 2 was up-regulated in direct transmembrane co-cultures and media control cultures compared to the other experimental groups, but all groups were up-regulated compared with undifferentiated AFSC cultures. Gap junction communication, assessed with a scrape-loading dye transfer assay, was significantly increased in direct transmembrane co-cultures compared to all other conditions. Gap junction communication corresponded with increased connexin 43 gene expression and decreased phosphorylation of connexin 43. Our results suggest that direct transmembrane co-culture does not induce cardiomyocyte differentiation of AFSC, though calsequestrin expression is increased. However, direct transmembrane co-culture does enhance connexin-43-mediated gap junction communication between AFSC. PMID:23634988

  16. Rab3Gap1 mediates exocytosis of Claudin-1 and tight junction formation during epidermal barrier acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Youssef, G.; Gerner, L.; Naeem, A.S.; Ralph, O.; Ono, M.; O’Neill, C.A.; O’Shaughnessy, R.F.L.

    2013-01-01

    Epidermal barrier acquisition during late murine gestation is accompanied by an increase in Akt kinase activity and cJun dephosphorlyation. The latter is directed by the Ppp2r2a regulatory subunit of the Pp2a phosphatase. This was accompanied by a change of Claudin-1 localisation to the cell surface and interaction between Occludin and Claudin-1 which are thought to be required for tight junction formation. The aim of this study was to determine the nature of the barrier defect caused by the loss of AKT/Ppp2r2a function. There was a paracellular barrier defect in rat epidermal keratinocytes expressing a Ppp2r2a siRNA. In Ppp2r2a knockdown cells, Claudin-1 was located to the cytoplasm and its expression was increased. Inhibiting cJun phosphorylation restored barrier function and plasma membrane localisation of Claudin-1. Expression of the Rab3 GTPase activating protein, Rab3Gap1, was restored in Ppp2r2a siRNA cells when cJun phosphorylation was inhibited. During normal mouse epidermal development, Claudin-1 plasma membrane localisation and Rab3Gap1 cell surface expression were co-incident with Akt activation in mouse epidermis, strongly suggesting a role of Rab3Gap1 in epidermal barrier acquisition. Supporting this hypothesis, siRNA knockdown of Rab3Gap1 prevented plasma membrane Claudin-1 expression and the formation of a barrier competent epithelium. Replacing Rab3Gap1 in Ppp2r2a knockdown cells was sufficient to rescue Claudin-1 transport to the cell surface. Therefore these data suggest Rab3Gap1 mediated exocytosis of Claudin-1 is an important component of epidermal barrier acquisition during epidermal development. PMID:23685254

  17. Probing the nature and resistance of the molecule-electrode contact in SAM-based junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suchand Sangeeth, C. S.; Wan, Albert; Nijhuis, Christian A.

    2015-07-01

    It is challenging to quantify the contact resistance and to determine the nature of the molecule-electrode contacts in molecular two-terminal junctions. Here we show that potentiodynamic and temperature dependent impedance measurements give insights into the nature of the SAM-electrode interface and other bottlenecks of charge transport (the capacitance of the SAM (CSAM) and the resistance of the SAM (RSAM)), unlike DC methods, independently of each other. We found that the resistance of the top-electrode-SAM contact for junctions with the form of AgTS-SCn//GaOx/EGaIn with n = 10, 12, 14, 16 or 18 is bias and temperature independent and hence Ohmic (non-rectifying) in nature, and is orders of magnitude smaller than RSAM. The CSAM and RSAM are independent of the temperature, indicating that the mechanism of charge transport in these SAM-based junctions is coherent tunneling and the charge carrier trapping at the interfaces is negligible.It is challenging to quantify the contact resistance and to determine the nature of the molecule-electrode contacts in molecular two-terminal junctions. Here we show that potentiodynamic and temperature dependent impedance measurements give insights into the nature of the SAM-electrode interface and other bottlenecks of charge transport (the capacitance of the SAM (CSAM) and the resistance of the SAM (RSAM)), unlike DC methods, independently of each other. We found that the resistance of the top-electrode-SAM contact for junctions with the form of AgTS-SCn//GaOx/EGaIn with n = 10, 12, 14, 16 or 18 is bias and temperature independent and hence Ohmic (non-rectifying) in nature, and is orders of magnitude smaller than RSAM. The CSAM and RSAM are independent of the temperature, indicating that the mechanism of charge transport in these SAM-based junctions is coherent tunneling and the charge carrier trapping at the interfaces is negligible. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Detailed experimental procedure, Nyquist

  18. Giant tunnel magneto-resistance in graphene based molecular tunneling junction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Bin; Li, Jianwei; Yu, Yunjin; Wei, Yadong; Wang, Jian; Guo, Hong

    2016-02-01

    We propose and theoretically investigate a class of stable zigzag graphene nanoribbon (ZGNR) based molecular magnetic tunneling junctions (MTJs). For those junctions having pentagon-connecting formations, huge tunnel magneto-resistance (TMR) is found. Different from most of the other proposed molecular junctions, the huge TMR in our structures is generic, and is not significantly affected by external parameters such as bias voltage, gate voltage, length of the molecule and width of the ZGNRs. The double pentagon-connecting formation between the molecule and ZGNRs is critical for the remarkable TMR ratio, which is as large as ~2 × 105. These molecular MTJs behave as almost perfect spin filters and spin valve devices. Other connecting formations of the ZGNR based MTJs lead to much smaller TMR. By first principles analysis, we reveal the microscopic physics responsible for this phenomenon.

  19. Giant tunnel magneto-resistance in graphene based molecular tunneling junction.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bin; Li, Jianwei; Yu, Yunjin; Wei, Yadong; Wang, Jian; Guo, Hong

    2016-02-14

    We propose and theoretically investigate a class of stable zigzag graphene nanoribbon (ZGNR) based molecular magnetic tunneling junctions (MTJs). For those junctions having pentagon-connecting formations, huge tunnel magneto-resistance (TMR) is found. Different from most of the other proposed molecular junctions, the huge TMR in our structures is generic, and is not significantly affected by external parameters such as bias voltage, gate voltage, length of the molecule and width of the ZGNRs. The double pentagon-connecting formation between the molecule and ZGNRs is critical for the remarkable TMR ratio, which is as large as ∼2 × 10(5). These molecular MTJs behave as almost perfect spin filters and spin valve devices. Other connecting formations of the ZGNR based MTJs lead to much smaller TMR. By first principles analysis, we reveal the microscopic physics responsible for this phenomenon. PMID:26790615

  20. Optical detection by suppression of the gap voltage in niobium junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Osterman, D.P.; Radparvar, M.; Faris, S.M.

    1989-03-01

    The authors are investigating the application of niobium Josephson junctions as detectors in infrared focal plane arrays. They have measured the dependence of the optical response of these junctions on several variables including temperature, frequency of light chopping, and light intensity. In addition, they have investigated the effect of different substrate materials, namely single crystal silicon and amorphous fused quartz, and the effect of two different cyrogenic environments: vacuum and superfluid helium. For measurements in vacuum, cooling is provided by contract between the substrate and a cold surface. Immersion in superfluid helium is expected to reduce heating effects considerably owing to its extremely high thermal conductivity, thus isolating non-equilibrium effects. The NEP and D* of the detectors is limited by noise in the room temperature electronics. For a typical niobium junction of area 100 ..mu..m/sup 2/ on a fused quartz (SiO/sub 2/) substrate in vacuum at 4.2 K the responsivity is 3000 V/W, the NEP is 6 x 10/sup -13/ watts and the D* is 2 x 10/sup 9/ cm (Hz)/sup 1/2//watt for a 1 Hz bandwidth at a wavelength of 1 ..mu..m.

  1. Effect of disorder on longitudinal resistance of a graphene p-n junction in the quantum Hall regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jiang-Chai; Yeung, T. C. Au; Sun, Qing-Feng

    2010-06-01

    The longitudinal resistances of a six-terminal graphene p-n junction under a perpendicular magnetic field are investigated. Because of the chirality of the Hall edge states, the longitudinal resistances on top and bottom edges of the graphene ribbon are not equal. In the presence of suitable disorder, the top-edge and bottom-edge resistances well show the plateau structures in the both unipolar and bipolar regimes, and the plateau values are determined by the Landau filling factors only. These plateau structures are in excellent agreement with the recent experiment. For the unipolar junction, the resistance plateaus emerge in the absence of impurity and they are destroyed by strong disorder. But for the bipolar junction, the resistances are very large without the plateau structures in the clean junction. The disorder can strongly reduce the resistances and leads the formation of the resistance plateaus due to the mixture of the Hall edge states in virtue of the disorder. In addition, the size effect of the junction on the resistances is studied and some extra resistance plateaus are found in the long graphene junction case. This is explained by the fact that only part of the edge states participate in the full mixing.

  2. Impact of obesity on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced altered ovarian connexin gap junction proteins in female mice

    SciTech Connect

    Ganesan, Shanthi Nteeba, Jackson Keating, Aileen F.

    2015-01-01

    The ovarian gap junction proteins alpha 4 (GJA4 or connexin 37; CX37), alpha 1 (GJA1 or connexin 43; CX43) and gamma 1 (GJC1 or connexin 45; CX45) are involved in cell communication and folliculogenesis. 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) alters Cx37 and Cx43 expression in cultured neonatal rat ovaries. Additionally, obesity has an additive effect on DMBA-induced ovarian cell death and follicle depletion, thus, we investigated in vivo impacts of obesity and DMBA on CX protein levels. Ovaries were collected from lean and obese mice aged 6, 12, 18, or 24 wks. A subset of 18 wk old mice (lean and obese) were dosed with sesame oil or DMBA (1 mg/kg; ip) for 14 days and ovaries collected 3 days thereafter. Cx43 and Cx45 mRNA and protein levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 18 wks while Cx37 mRNA and protein levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 24 wks in obese ovaries. Cx37 mRNA and antral follicle protein staining intensity were reduced (P < 0.05) by obesity while total CX37 protein was reduced (P < 0.05) in DMBA exposed obese ovaries. Cx43 mRNA and total protein levels were decreased (P < 0.05) by DMBA in both lean and obese ovaries while basal protein staining intensity was reduced (P < 0.05) in obese controls. Cx45 mRNA, total protein and protein staining intensity level were decreased (P < 0.05) by obesity. These data support that obesity temporally alters gap junction protein expression and that DMBA-induced ovotoxicity may involve reduced gap junction protein function. - Highlights: • Ovarian gap junction proteins are affected by ovarian aging and obesity. • DMBA exposure negatively impacts gap junction proteins. • Altered gap junction proteins may contribute to infertility.

  3. Heterocellular interaction enhances recruitment of {alpha} and {beta}-catenins and ZO-2 into functional gap-junction complexes and induces gap junction-dependant differentiation of mammary epithelial cells

    SciTech Connect

    Talhouk, Rabih S. Mroue, Rana; Mokalled, Mayssa; Abi-Mosleh, Lina; Nehme, Ralda; Ismail, Ayman; Khalil, Antoine; Zaatari, Mira; El-Sabban, Marwan E.

    2008-11-01

    Gap junctions (GJ) are required for mammary epithelial differentiation. Using epithelial (SCp2) and myoepithelial-like (SCg6) mouse-derived mammary cells, the role of heterocellular interaction in assembly of GJ complexes and functional differentiation ({beta}-casein expression) was evaluated. Heterocellular interaction is critical for {beta}-casein expression, independent of exogenous basement membrane or cell anchoring substrata. Functional differentiation of SCp2, co-cultured with SCg6, is more sensitive to GJ inhibition relative to homocellular SCp2 cultures differentiated by exogenous basement membrane. Connexin (Cx)32 and Cx43 levels were not regulated across culture conditions; however, GJ functionality was enhanced under differentiation-permissive conditions. Immunoprecipitation studies demonstrated association of junctional complex components ({alpha}-catenin, {beta}-catenin and ZO-2) with Cx32 and Cx43, in differentiation conditions, and additionally with Cx30 in heterocellular cultures. Although {beta}-catenin did not shuttle between cadherin and GJ complexes, increased association between connexins and {beta}-catenin in heterocellular cultures was observed. This was concomitant with reduced nuclear {beta}-catenin, suggesting that differentiation in heterocellular cultures involves sequestration of {beta}-catenin in GJ complexes.

  4. Functional alterations in gut contractility after connexin36 ablation and evidence for gap junctions forming electrical synapses between nitrergic enteric neurons

    PubMed Central

    Nagy, James Imre; Urena-Ramirez, Viridiana; Ghia, Jean-Eric

    2014-01-01

    Neurons in the enteric nervous system utilize numerous neurotransmitters to orchestrate rhythmic gut smooth muscle contractions. We examined whether electrical synapses formed by gap junctions containing connexin36 also contribute to communication between enteric neurons in mouse colon. Spontaneous contractility properties and responses to electrical field stimulation and cholinergic agonist were altered in gut from connexin36 knockout vs. wild-type mice. Immunofluorescence revealed punctate labelling of connexin36 that was localized at appositions between somata of enteric neurons immunopositive for the enzyme nitric oxide synthase. There is indication for a possible functional role of gap junctions between inhibitory nitrergic enteric neurons. PMID:24548563

  5. Electric Field Control of the Resistance of Multiferroic Tunnel Junctions with Magnetoelectric Antiferromagnetic Barriers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merodio, P.; Kalitsov, A.; Chshiev, M.; Velev, J.

    2016-06-01

    Based on model calculations, we predict a magnetoelectric tunneling electroresistance effect in multiferroic tunnel junctions consisting of ferromagnetic electrodes and magnetoelectric antiferromagnetic barriers. Switching of the antiferromagnetic order parameter in the barrier in applied electric field by means of the magnetoelectric coupling leads to a substantial change of the resistance of the junction. The effect is explained in terms of the switching of the orientations of local magnetizations at the barrier interfaces affecting the spin-dependent interface transmission probabilities. Magnetoelectric multiferroic materials with finite ferroelectric polarization exhibit an enhanced resistive change due to polarization-induced spin-dependent screening. These results suggest that devices with active barriers based on single-phase magnetoelectric antiferromagnets represent an alternative nonvolatile memory concept.

  6. Polarization-induced Zener tunnel junctions in wide-band-gap heterostructures.

    PubMed

    Simon, John; Zhang, Ze; Goodman, Kevin; Xing, Huili; Kosel, Thomas; Fay, Patrick; Jena, Debdeep

    2009-07-10

    The large electronic polarization in III-V nitrides allows for novel physics not possible in other semiconductor families. In this work, interband Zener tunneling in wide-band-gap GaN heterojunctions is demonstrated by using polarization-induced electric fields. The resulting tunnel diodes are more conductive under reverse bias, which has applications for zero-bias rectification and mm-wave imaging. Since interband tunneling is traditionally prohibitive in wide-band-gap semiconductors, these polarization-induced structures and their variants can enable a number of devices such as multijunction solar cells that can operate under elevated temperatures and high fields. PMID:19659229

  7. Application of stochastic automata networks for creation of continuous time Markov chain models of voltage gating of gap junction channels.

    PubMed

    Snipas, Mindaugas; Pranevicius, Henrikas; Pranevicius, Mindaugas; Pranevicius, Osvaldas; Paulauskas, Nerijus; Bukauskas, Feliksas F

    2015-01-01

    The primary goal of this work was to study advantages of numerical methods used for the creation of continuous time Markov chain models (CTMC) of voltage gating of gap junction (GJ) channels composed of connexin protein. This task was accomplished by describing gating of GJs using the formalism of the stochastic automata networks (SANs), which allowed for very efficient building and storing of infinitesimal generator of the CTMC that allowed to produce matrices of the models containing a distinct block structure. All of that allowed us to develop efficient numerical methods for a steady-state solution of CTMC models. This allowed us to accelerate CPU time, which is necessary to solve CTMC models, ~20 times. PMID:25705700

  8. BCS-like gap structure of HgBa{sub 2}CuO{sub 4+{delta}} tunnel junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, J. |; Zasadzinski, J.F.; Gray, K.E.; Wagner, J.L.; Hinks, D.G.; Kouznetsov, K.; Coffey, L.

    1994-12-01

    The authors report point-contact tunneling into polycrystalline HgBa{sub 2}CuO{sub 4+{delta}} superconductors with a T{sub c} onset of 97 K using a superconducting Nb counterelectrode. These SIS tunnel junctions are of unusually high quality for cuprate superconductors, exhibiting low and flat sub-gap conductances and sharp conductance peaks as expected from a BCS density of states. These features are obtained reproducibly and are consistent with earlier published SIN results using an Au counterelectrode. Use of experimental data to simulate the performance of a quasiparticle mixer indicates that HgBa{sub 2}CuO{sub 4+{delta}} may be suitable for use in low noise heterodyne receivers operating at a few THz.

  9. Qigesan inhibits migration and invasion of esophageal cancer cells via inducing connexin expression and enhancing gap junction function.

    PubMed

    Shi, Huijuan; Shi, Dongxuan; Wu, Yansong; Shen, Qiang; Li, Jing

    2016-09-28

    Qigesan (QGS), a well-known traditional Chinese medicinal formula, has long been used to treat patients with esophageal cancer. However, the anticancer mechanisms of action of QGS remain unknown. This study aims to determine whether QGS regulates gap junction (GJ) function and affects the invasiveness of esophageal cancer cells. Our results demonstrate that QGS markedly inhibits the migration and invasion of esophageal cancer cells in vitro. We further show that QGS enhances the function of GJ in esophageal cancer cells. We therefore hypothesized that enhanced connexin expression leads to enhanced GJ function and inhibition of metastasis. We found that QGS enhances expression of connexin 26 and connexin 43 in esophageal cancer cells. This study suggests that QGS increases GJ function via enhancing the expression of connexins, resulting in reduced esophageal cancer cell migration and invasion. PMID:27345741

  10. Role of gap-junctional communication in chemical toxicology. Final report, 15 May 1992-15 July 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Trosko, J.E.

    1995-07-17

    The overall goal of this research project was to study the mechanisms by which non-genotoxic chemicals induced multiple disease end points such as birth defects, tumor promotion, reproductive- and neuro-toxicities. The working hypothesis was that these non-genotoxic chemicals disrupted homeostatic control of cell proliferation, differentiation and adaptive responses of differentiated cells. Specifically, to test this hypothesis, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) was studied. During this grant period, several techniques were developed and applied to study how various model non-genotoxic chemicals, as well as various oncogenes, interfered with GJIC to cause abnormal cell growth and differentiation. The molecular biology, biochemistry and cell biology of non-genotoxic chemical and oncogene interference with GJIC was studied using in vitro techniques, primarily with fluorescent detection of ions and molecules via laser-assisted image analyses.

  11. Critical role of gap junction communication, calcium and nitric oxide signaling in bystander responses to focal photodynamic injury

    PubMed Central

    Calì, Bianca; Ceolin, Stefano; Ceriani, Federico; Bortolozzi, Mario; Agnellini, Andrielly H.R.; Zorzi, Veronica; Predonzani, Andrea; Bronte, Vincenzo

    2015-01-01

    Ionizing and nonionizing radiation affect not only directly targeted cells but also surrounding “bystander” cells. The underlying mechanisms and therapeutic role of bystander responses remain incompletely defined. Here we show that photosentizer activation in a single cell triggers apoptosis in bystander cancer cells, which are electrically coupled by gap junction channels and support the propagation of a Ca2+ wave initiated in the irradiated cell. The latter also acts as source of nitric oxide (NO) that diffuses to bystander cells, in which NO levels are further increased by a mechanism compatible with Ca2+-dependent enzymatic production. We detected similar signals in tumors grown in dorsal skinfold chambers applied to live mice. Pharmacological blockade of connexin channels significantly reduced the extent of apoptosis in bystander cells, consistent with a critical role played by intercellular communication, Ca2+ and NO in the bystander effects triggered by photodynamic therapy. PMID:25868859

  12. Gap-junctional channel and hemichannel activity of two recently identified connexin 26 mutants associated with deafness.

    PubMed

    Dalamon, Viviana; Fiori, Mariana C; Figueroa, Vania A; Oliva, Carolina A; Del Rio, Rodrigo; Gonzalez, Wendy; Canan, Jonathan; Elgoyhen, Ana B; Altenberg, Guillermo A; Retamal, Mauricio A

    2016-05-01

    Gap-junction channels (GJCs) are formed by head-to-head association of two hemichannels (HCs, connexin hexamers). HCs and GJCs are permeable to ions and hydrophilic molecules of up to Mr ~1 kDa. Hearing impairment of genetic origin is common, and mutations of connexin 26 (Cx26) are its major cause. We recently identified two novel Cx26 mutations in hearing-impaired subjects, L10P and G109V. L10P forms functional GJCs with slightly altered voltage dependence and HCs with decrease ATP/cationic dye selectivity. G109V does not form functional GJCs, but forms functional HCs with enhanced extracellular Ca(2+) sensitivity and subtle alterations in voltage dependence and ATP/cationic dye selectivity. Deafness associated with G109V could result from decreased GJCs activity, whereas deafness associated to L10P may have a more complex mechanism that involves changes in HC permeability. PMID:26769242

  13. Critical role of gap junction communication, calcium and nitric oxide signaling in bystander responses to focal photodynamic injury.

    PubMed

    Calì, Bianca; Ceolin, Stefano; Ceriani, Federico; Bortolozzi, Mario; Agnellini, Andrielly H R; Zorzi, Veronica; Predonzani, Andrea; Bronte, Vincenzo; Molon, Barbara; Mammano, Fabio

    2015-04-30

    Ionizing and nonionizing radiation affect not only directly targeted cells but also surrounding "bystander" cells. The underlying mechanisms and therapeutic role of bystander responses remain incompletely defined. Here we show that photosentizer activation in a single cell triggers apoptosis in bystander cancer cells, which are electrically coupled by gap junction channels and support the propagation of a Ca2+ wave initiated in the irradiated cell. The latter also acts as source of nitric oxide (NO) that diffuses to bystander cells, in which NO levels are further increased by a mechanism compatible with Ca(2+)-dependent enzymatic production. We detected similar signals in tumors grown in dorsal skinfold chambers applied to live mice. Pharmacological blockade of connexin channels significantly reduced the extent of apoptosis in bystander cells, consistent with a critical role played by intercellular communication, Ca2+ and NO in the bystander effects triggered by photodynamic therapy. PMID:25868859

  14. Expression and modulation of connexin 30.2, a novel gap junction protein in the mouse retina.

    PubMed

    Müller, Luis Pérez de Sevilla; Dedek, Karin; Janssen-Bienhold, Ulrike; Meyer, Arndt; Kreuzberg, Maria M; Lorenz, Susanne; Willecke, Klaus; Weiler, Reto

    2010-07-01

    Mammalian retinae express multiple connexins that mediate the metabolic and electrical coupling of various cell types. In retinal neurons, only connexin 36, connexin 45, connexin 50, and connexin 57 have been described so far. Here, we present an analysis of a novel retinal connexin, connexin 30.2 (Cx30.2), and its regulation in the mouse retina. To analyze the expression of Cx30.2, we used a transgenic mouse line in which the coding region of Cx30.2 was replaced by lacZ reporter DNA. We detected the lacZ signal in the nuclei of neurons located in the inner nuclear layer and the ganglion cell layer (GCL). In this study, we focused on the GCL and characterized the morphology of the Cx30.2-expressing cells. Using immunocytochemistry and intracellular dye injections, we found six different types of Cx30.2-expressing ganglion cells: one type of ON-OFF, three types of OFF, and two types of ON ganglion cells; among the latter was the RG A1 type. We show that RG A1 cells were heterologously coupled to numerous displaced amacrine cells. Our results suggest that these gap junction channels may be heterotypic, involving Cx30.2 and a connexin yet unidentified in the mouse retina. Gap junction coupling can be modulated by protein kinases, a process that plays a major role in retinal adaptation. Therefore, we studied the protein kinase-induced modulation of coupling between RG A1 and displaced amacrine cells. Our data provide evidence that coupling of RG A1 cells to displaced amacrine cells is mediated by Cx30.2 and that the extent of this coupling is modulated by protein kinase C. PMID:20537217

  15. Modulation of Cx43 and Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication by Androstenedione in Rat Polycystic Ovary and Granulosa Cells in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Talhouk, Rabih; Tarraf, Charbel; Kobrossy, Laila; Shaito, Abdallah; Bazzi, Samer; Bazzoun, Dana; El-Sabban, Marwan

    2012-01-01

    Background Gap-junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is implicated in physicological processes and it is vitally important for granulosa cell (GC) differentiation and oocyte growth. We investigated the expression of connexin 43 (Cx43), a gap junctional protein, in normal and androstenedione-induced polycystic ovary (PCO), the effects of androstenedione on Cx43 expression, GJIC and progesterone production in granulosa cells in vitro. Methods Isolated GCs from rat ovary were supplemented with FSH and dripped with EHS-matrix (EHS-drip) in culture media, were treated with physiological (10−7 M) or pathological (10−5 M) androstenedione concentrations to induce differentiation. Cx43 protein levels were assessed by Western blotting. Immunohistochemistry was also used to determine the localization of Cx43 in GCs and corpus luteum (CL) of controls and PCOs. Differentiation of GCs was determined by progesterone assay and Lucifer yellow dye transfer for GJIC status. The degree of significance of variations between the results was analyzed by ANOVA using SPSS (version 11.5; 2002). Results Cx43 localized in the GC layer of both the control and PCOs. Its protein levels were upregulated in PCO rat ovaries. GCs in culture with or without androstenedione had a punctate membranous distribution of Cx43. However, androstenedione increased GJIC and upregulated progesterone and Cx43 protein levels. Inhibiting GJIC by 18-α GA in androstenedione-treated GCs caused partial inhibition of progesterone production, suggesting a possible role of GJIC in mediating the action of androstenedione on GC differentiation. Conclusion This study presented a suitable culture model for polycystic ovary syndrome and showed that Cx43 and GJIC might contribute to the pathogenesis of polycystic ovary syndrome. PMID:23926521

  16. Autophagy and gap junctional intercellular communication inhibition are involved in cadmium-induced apoptosis in rat liver cells

    SciTech Connect

    Zou, Hui; Zhuo, Liling; Han, Tao; Hu, Di; Yang, Xiaokang; Wang, Yi; Yuan, Yan; Gu, Jianhong; Bian, Jianchun; Liu, Xuezhong; Liu, Zongping

    2015-04-17

    Cadmium (Cd) is known to induce hepatotoxicity, yet the underlying mechanism of how this occurs is not fully understood. In this study, Cd-induced apoptosis was demonstrated in rat liver cells (BRL 3A) with apoptotic nuclear morphological changes and a decrease in cell index (CI) in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. The role of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) and autophagy in Cd-induced apoptosis was investigated. Cd significantly induced GJIC inhibition as well as downregulation of connexin 43 (Cx43). The prototypical gap junction blocker carbenoxolone disodium (CBX) exacerbated the Cd-induced decrease in CI. Cd treatment was also found to cause autophagy, with an increase in mRNA expression of autophagy-related genes Atg-5, Atg-7, Beclin-1, and microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3) conversion from cytosolic LC3-I to membrane-bound LC3-II. The autophagic inducer rapamycin (RAP) prevented the Cd-induced CI decrease, while the autophagic inhibitor chloroquine (CQ) caused a further reduction in CI. In addition, CBX promoted Cd-induced autophagy, as well as changes in expression of Atg-5, Atg-7, Beclin-1 and LC3. CQ was found to block the Cd-induced decrease in Cx43 and GJIC inhibition, whereas RAP had opposite effect. These results demonstrate that autophagy plays a protective role during Cd-induced apoptosis in BRL 3A cells during 6 h of experiment, while autophagy exacerbates Cd-induced GJIC inhibition which has a negative effect on cellular fate. - Highlights: • GJIC and autophagy is crucial for biological processes. • Cd exposure causes GJIC inhibition and autophagy increase in BRL 3A cells. • Autophagy protects Cd induced BRL 3A cells apoptosis at an early stage. • Autophagy exacerbates Cd-induced GJIC inhibition. • GJIC plays an important role in autophagy induced cell death or survival.

  17. Effects of gap junction inhibition on contraction waves in the murine small intestine in relation to coupled oscillator theory

    PubMed Central

    Huizinga, Jan D.

    2014-01-01

    Waves of contraction in the small intestine correlate with slow waves generated by the myenteric network of interstitial cells of Cajal. Coupled oscillator theory has been used to explain steplike gradients in the frequency (frequency plateaux) of contraction waves along the length of the small intestine. Inhibition of gap junction coupling between oscillators should lead to predictable effects on these plateaux and the wave dislocation (wave drop) phenomena associated with their boundaries. It is these predictions that we wished to test. We used a novel multicamera diameter-mapping system to measure contraction along 25- to 30-cm lengths of murine small intestine. There were typically two to three plateaux per length of intestine. Dislocations could be limited to the wavefronts immediately about the terminated wave, giving the appearance of a three-pronged fork, i.e., a fork dislocation; additionally, localized decreases in velocity developed across a number of wavefronts, ending with the terminated wave, which could appear as a fork, i.e., slip dislocations. The gap junction inhibitor carbenoxolone increased the number of plateaux and dislocations and decreased contraction wave velocity. In some cases, the usual frequency gradient was reversed, with a plateau at a higher frequency than its proximal neighbor; thus fork dislocations were inverted, and the direction of propagation was reversed. Heptanol had no effect on the frequency or velocity of contractions but did reduce their amplitude. To understand intestinal motor patterns, the pacemaker network of the interstitial cells of Cajal is best evaluated as a system of coupled oscillators. PMID:25501550

  18. Human immunodeficiency virus infection of human astrocytes disrupts blood-brain barrier integrity by a gap junction-dependent mechanism.

    PubMed

    Eugenin, Eliseo A; Clements, Janice E; Zink, M Christine; Berman, Joan W

    2011-06-29

    HIV infection of the CNS is an early event after primary infection, resulting in neurological complications in a significant number of individuals despite antiretroviral therapy (ART). The main cells infected with HIV within the CNS are macrophages/microglia and a small fraction of astrocytes. The role of these few infected astrocytes in the pathogenesis of neuroAIDS has not been examined extensively. Here, we demonstrate that few HIV-infected astrocytes (4.7 ± 2.8% in vitro and 8.2 ± 3.9% in vivo) compromise blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity. This BBB disruption is due to endothelial apoptosis, misguided astrocyte end feet, and dysregulation of lipoxygenase/cyclooxygenase, BK(Ca) channels, and ATP receptor activation within astrocytes. All of these alterations in BBB integrity induced by a few HIV-infected astrocytes were gap junction dependent, as blocking these channels protected the BBB from HIV-infected astrocyte-mediated compromise. We also demonstrated apoptosis in vivo of BBB cells in contact with infected astrocytes using brain tissue sections from simian immunodeficiency virus-infected macaques as a model of neuroAIDS, suggesting an important role for these few infected astrocytes in the CNS damage seen with HIV infection. Our findings describe a novel mechanism of bystander BBB toxicity mediated by low numbers of HIV-infected astrocytes and amplified by gap junctions. This mechanism of toxicity contributes to understanding how CNS damage is spread even in the current ART era and how minimal or controlled HIV infection still results in cognitive impairment in a large population of infected individuals. PMID:21715610

  19. S-diclofenac Protects against Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiomyopathy in Mice via Ameliorating Cardiac Gap Junction Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Huili; Zhang, Alian; Guo, Changfa; Shi, Chunzhi; Zhang, Yang; Liu, Qing; Sparatore, Anna; Wang, Changqian

    2011-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), as a novel gaseous mediator, plays important roles in mammalian cardiovascular tissues. In the present study, we investigated the cardioprotective effect of S-diclofenac (2-[(2,6-dichlorophenyl)amino] benzeneacetic acid 4-(3H-1,2,dithiol-3-thione-5-yl)phenyl ester), a novel H2S-releasing derivative of diclofenac, in a murine model of doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy. After a single dose injection of doxorubicin (15 mg/kg, i.p.), male C57BL/6J mice were given daily treatment of S-diclofenac (25 and 50 µmol/kg, i.p.), diclofenac (25 and 50 µmol/kg, i.p.), NaHS (50 µmol/kg, i.p.), or same volume of vehicle. The cardioprotective effect of S-diclofenac was observed after 14 days. It showed that S-diclofenac, but not diclofenac, dose-dependently inhibited the doxorubicin-induced downregulation of cardiac gap junction proteins (connexin 43 and connexin 45) and thus reversed the remodeling of gap junctions in hearts. It also dose-dependently suppressed doxorubicin-induced activation of JNK in hearts. Furthermore, S-diclofenac produced a dose-dependent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effect in this model. As a result, S-diclofenac significantly attenuated doxorubicin-related cardiac injury and cardiac dysfunction, and improved the survival rate of mice with doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy. These effects of S-diclofenac were mimicked in large part by NaHS. Therefore, we propose that H2S released from S-diclofenac in vivo contributes to the protective effect in doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy. These data also provide evidence for a critical role of H2S in the pathogenesis of doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy. PMID:22039489

  20. Comparative radiation resistance, temperature dependence and performance of diffused junction indium phosphide solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weinberg, I.; Swartz, C. K.; Hart, R. E., Jr.; Ghandhi, S. K.; Borrego, J. M.

    1987-01-01

    Indium phosphide solar cells whose p-n junctions were processed by the open tube capped diffusion and by the closed tube uncapped diffusion of sulfur into Czochralski-grown p-type substrates are compared. Differences found in radiation resistance were attributed to the effects of increased base dopant concentration. Both sets of cells showed superior radiation resistance to that of gallium arsenide cells, in agreement with previous results. No correlation was, however, found between the open-circuit voltage and the temperature dependence of the maximum power.

  1. Optical modulation of nano-gap tunnelling junctions comprising self-assembled monolayers of hemicyanine dyes

    PubMed Central

    Pourhossein, Parisa; Vijayaraghavan, Ratheesh K.; Meskers, Stefan C. J.; Chiechi, Ryan C.

    2016-01-01

    Light-driven conductance switching in molecular tunnelling junctions that relies on photoisomerization is constrained by the limitations of kinetic traps and either by the sterics of rearranging atoms in a densely packed monolayer or the small absorbance of individual molecules. Here we demonstrate light-driven conductance gating; devices comprising monolayers of hemicyanine dyes trapped between two metallic nanowires exhibit higher conductance under irradiation than in the dark. The modulation of the tunnelling current occurs faster than the timescale of the measurement (∼1 min). We propose a mechanism in which a fraction of molecules enters an excited state that brings the conjugated portion of the monolayer into resonance with the electrodes. This mechanism is supported by calculations showing the delocalization of molecular orbitals near the Fermi energy in the excited and cationic states, but not the ground state and a reasonable change in conductance with respect to the effective barrier width. PMID:27272394

  2. Optical modulation of nano-gap tunnelling junctions comprising self-assembled monolayers of hemicyanine dyes.

    PubMed

    Pourhossein, Parisa; Vijayaraghavan, Ratheesh K; Meskers, Stefan C J; Chiechi, Ryan C

    2016-01-01

    Light-driven conductance switching in molecular tunnelling junctions that relies on photoisomerization is constrained by the limitations of kinetic traps and either by the sterics of rearranging atoms in a densely packed monolayer or the small absorbance of individual molecules. Here we demonstrate light-driven conductance gating; devices comprising monolayers of hemicyanine dyes trapped between two metallic nanowires exhibit higher conductance under irradiation than in the dark. The modulation of the tunnelling current occurs faster than the timescale of the measurement (∼1 min). We propose a mechanism in which a fraction of molecules enters an excited state that brings the conjugated portion of the monolayer into resonance with the electrodes. This mechanism is supported by calculations showing the delocalization of molecular orbitals near the Fermi energy in the excited and cationic states, but not the ground state and a reasonable change in conductance with respect to the effective barrier width. PMID:27272394

  3. Exploring the SERS background using a sandwiched graphene monolayer with gap-plasmon junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Won-Hwa; Cheong, Hyeonsik

    2016-03-01

    We examine the origin of the surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) background mediating with a graphene monolayer at Au nanoparticle-Au thin film junctions. We find the degree of the asymmetric shape of the radial breathing like mode (RBLM) peak at 150 cm-1 is strongly correlated with the accompanied SERS background intensities. The SERS investigation with the out-of-plane modes (300~700 cm-1) of graphene gives significant clues that the SERS background, the degree of the tilted formation from the analysis of the transverse acoustic peaks, and the spectral shape of the RBLM peak are strongly correlated with each other, indicating that electron-phonon coupling plays a crucial role in increasing the SERS background.

  4. Optical modulation of nano-gap tunnelling junctions comprising self-assembled monolayers of hemicyanine dyes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pourhossein, Parisa; Vijayaraghavan, Ratheesh K.; Meskers, Stefan C. J.; Chiechi, Ryan C.

    2016-06-01

    Light-driven conductance switching in molecular tunnelling junctions that relies on photoisomerization is constrained by the limitations of kinetic traps and either by the sterics of rearranging atoms in a densely packed monolayer or the small absorbance of individual molecules. Here we demonstrate light-driven conductance gating; devices comprising monolayers of hemicyanine dyes trapped between two metallic nanowires exhibit higher conductance under irradiation than in the dark. The modulation of the tunnelling current occurs faster than the timescale of the measurement (~1 min). We propose a mechanism in which a fraction of molecules enters an excited state that brings the conjugated portion of the monolayer into resonance with the electrodes. This mechanism is supported by calculations showing the delocalization of molecular orbitals near the Fermi energy in the excited and cationic states, but not the ground state and a reasonable change in conductance with respect to the effective barrier width.

  5. Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Induces Myoblast Differentiation through Cx43 Protein Expression: A Role for a Gap Junction-dependent and -independent Function

    PubMed Central

    Squecco, R.; Sassoli, C.; Nuti, F.; Martinesi, M.; Chellini, F.; Nosi, D.; Zecchi-Orlandini, S.; Francini, F.; Formigli, L.

    2006-01-01

    Although sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) has been considered a potent regulator of skeletal muscle biology, acting as a physiological anti-mitogenic and prodifferentiating agent, its downstream effectors are poorly known. In the present study, we provide experimental evidence for a novel mechanism by which S1P regulates skeletal muscle differentiation through the regulation of gap junctional protein connexin (Cx) 43. Indeed, the treatment with S1P greatly enhanced Cx43 expression and gap junctional intercellular communication during the early phases of myoblast differentiation, whereas the down-regulation of Cx43 by transfection with short interfering RNA blocked myogenesis elicited by S1P. Moreover, calcium and p38 MAPK-dependent pathways were required for S1P-induced increase in Cx43 expression. Interestingly, enforced expression of mutated Cx43Δ130–136 reduced gap junction communication and totally inhibited S1P-induced expression of the myogenic markers, myogenin, myosin heavy chain, caveolin-3, and myotube formation. Notably, in S1P-stimulated myoblasts, endogenous or wild-type Cx43 protein, but not the mutated form, coimmunoprecipitated and colocalized with F-actin and cortactin in a p38 MAPK-dependent manner. These data, together with the known role of actin remodeling in cell differentiation, strongly support the important contribution of gap junctional communication, Cx43 expression and Cx43/cytoskeleton interaction in skeletal myogenesis elicited by S1P. PMID:16957055

  6. Subsets of ATP-sensitive potassium channel (KATP) inhibitors increase gap junctional intercellular communication in metastatic cancer cell lines independent of SUR expression

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is a process whereby cells share molecules and nutrients with each other by physical contact through cell membrane pores. In tumor cells, GJIC is often altered, suggesting that this process may be important in the context of cancer. Certain ion chan...

  7. Hexavalent chromium at low concentration alters Sertoli cell barrier and connexin 43 gap junction but not claudin-11 and N-cadherin in the rat seminiferous tubule culture model

    SciTech Connect

    Carette, Diane; Perrard, Marie-Hélène; Prisant, Nadia; Gilleron, Jérome; Pointis, Georges; Segretain, Dominique; Durand, Philippe

    2013-04-01

    Exposure to toxic metals, specifically those belonging to the nonessential group leads to human health defects and among them reprotoxic effects. The mechanisms by which these metals produce their negative effects on spermatogenesis have not been fully elucidated. By using the Durand's validated seminiferous tubule culture model, which mimics the in vivo situation, we recently reported that concentrations of hexavalent chromium, reported in the literature to be closed to that found in the blood circulation of men, increase the number of germ cell cytogenetic abnormalities. Since this metal is also known to affect cellular junctions, we investigated, in the present study, its potential influence on the Sertoli cell barrier and on junctional proteins present at this level such as connexin 43, claudin-11 and N-cadherin. Cultured seminiferous tubules in bicameral chambers expressed the three junctional proteins and ZO-1 for at least 12 days. Exposure to low concentrations of chromium (10 μg/l) increased the trans-epithelial resistance without major changes of claudin-11 and N-cadherin expressions but strongly delocalized the gap junction protein connexin 43 from the membrane to the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells. The possibility that the hexavalent chromium-induced alteration of connexin 43 indirectly mediates the effect of the toxic metal on the blood–testis barrier dynamic is postulated. - Highlights: ► Influence of Cr(VI) on the Sertoli cell barrier and on junctional proteins ► Use of cultured seminiferous tubules in bicameral chambers ► Low concentrations of Cr(VI) (10 μg/l) altered the trans-epithelial resistance. ► Cr(VI) did not alter claudin-11 and N-cadherin. ► Cr(VI) delocalized connexin 43 from the membrane to the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells.

  8. Reversible inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication, synchronous contraction, and synchronism of intracellular Ca2+ fluctuation in cultured neonatal rat cardiac myocytes by heptanol.

    PubMed

    Kimura, H; Oyamada, Y; Ohshika, H; Mori, M; Oyamada, M

    1995-10-01

    We analyzed by Fotonic Sensor, a fiber-optic displacement measurement instrument, the effects of heptanol on synchronized contraction of primary neonatal rat cardiac myocytes cultured at confluent density. We also examined the effect of heptanol on the changes in gap junctional intercellular communication by using the microinjection dye transfer method, and on intercellular Ca2+ fluctuation by confocal laser scanning microscopy of myocytes loaded with the fluorescent Ca2+ indicator fluo 3. In addition, we studied expression, phosphorylation, and localization of the major cardiac gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43) using immunofluorescence and Western blotting. At Day 6 of culture, numerous myocytes exhibited spontaneous, synchronous contractions, excellent dye coupling, and synchronized intracellular Ca2+ fluctuations. We treated the cells with 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0 mmol/liter heptanol. With 1.5 mmol/liter heptanol, we could not observe significant effects on spontaneous contraction of myocytes. At 3.0 mmol/liter, the highest concentration used in the current experiment, heptanol inhibited synchronous contractions and even after washing out of heptanol, synchronous contraction was not rapidly recovered. On the other hand, at the intermediate concentrations of 2.0 and 2.5 mmol/liter, heptanol reversely inhibited synchronized contraction, gap junctional intercellular communication, and synchronization of intracellular Ca2+ fluctuations in the myocytes without preventing contraction and changes of intracellular Ca2+ in individual cells. Brief exposure (5-20 min) to heptanol (2.0 mmol/liter) did not cause detectable changes in the expression, phosphorylation, or localization of Cx43, despite strong inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication. These results suggest that gap junctional intercellular communication plays an important role in synchronous intracellular Ca2+ fluctuations, which facilitate synchronized contraction of cardiac myocytes. PMID

  9. Study of avalanche mode operation of resistive plate chambers with different gas gap structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ammosov, V. V.; Gapienko, V. A.; Konstantinov, V. F.; Sviridov, Yu. M.; Zaets, V. G.

    2000-03-01

    The operation of narrow gap, wide gap and multigap resistive plate chambers in an avalanche mode was studied. No advantage in avalanche-streamer separation was found for the wide gap and multigap chambers operating with Ar-based mixture as compared with the narrow gap chamber. For dense tetrafluoroethane-based mixture, proportionality was observed between streamer-free plateau width and total gas thickness, in rough agreement with corresponding shift of the maximum of avalanche charge distributions from zero. The best result was obtained for double-gap chamber with the read-out electrode located between two subgaps.

  10. Negative differential resistance behavior in phosphorus-doped armchair graphene nanoribbon junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Yuhong; Zhang, Daoli Zhang, Jianbing; Miao, Xiangshui; Ye, Cong

    2014-02-21

    In this present work, we investigate the electronic transport properties of phosphorus-doped armchair graphene nanoribbon (AGNR) junctions by employing nonequilibrium Green's functions in combination with the density-function theory. Two phosphorus (P) atoms are considered to substitute the central carbon atom with the different width of AGNRs. The results indicate that the electronic transport behaviors are strongly dependent on the width of the P-doped graphene nanoribbons. The current-voltage characteristics of the doped AGNR junctions reveal an interesting negative differential resistance (NDR) and exhibit three distinct family (3 n, 3 n + 1, 3 n + 2) behaviors. These results display that P doping is a very good way to achieve NDR of the graphene nanoribbon devices.

  11. Different gap junction-propagated effects on cisplatin transfer result in opposite responses to cisplatin in normal cells versus tumor cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yuan; Tao, Liang; Fan, Lixia; Peng, Yuexia; Yang, Kefan; Zhao, Yifan; Song, Qi; Wang, Qin

    2015-01-01

    Previous work has shown that gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) enhances cisplatin (Pt) toxicity in testicular tumor cells but decreases it in non-tumor testicular cells. In this study, these different GJIC-propagated effects were demonstrated in tumor versus non-tumor cells from other organ tissues (liver and lung). The downregulation of GJIC by several different manipulations (no cell contact, pharmacological inhibition, and siRNA suppression) decreased Pt toxicity in tumor cells but enhanced it in non-tumor cells. The in vivo results using xenograft tumor models were consistent with those from the above-mentioned cells. To better understand the mechanism(s) involved, we studied the effects of GJIC on Pt accumulation in tumor and non-tumor cells from the liver and lung. The intracellular Pt and DNA-Pt adduct contents clearly increased in non-tumor cells but decreased in tumor cells when GJIC was downregulated. Further analysis indicated that the opposite effects of GJIC on Pt accumulation in normal versus tumor cells from the liver were due to its different effects on copper transporter1 and multidrug resistance-associated protein2, membrane transporters attributed to intracellular Pt transfer. Thus, GJIC protects normal organs from cisplatin toxicity while enhancing it in tumor cells via its different effects on intracellular Pt transfer. PMID:26215139

  12. Analysis of Trafficking, Stability and Function of Human Connexin 26 Gap Junction Channels with Deafness-Causing Mutations in the Fourth Transmembrane Helix

    PubMed Central

    Ambrosi, Cinzia; Walker, Amy E.; DePriest, Adam D.; Cone, Angela C.; Lu, Connie; Badger, John; Skerrett, I. Martha; Sosinsky, Gina E.

    2013-01-01

    Human Connexin26 gene mutations cause hearing loss. These hereditary mutations are the leading cause of childhood deafness worldwide. Mutations in gap junction proteins (connexins) can impair intercellular communication by eliminating protein synthesis, mis-trafficking, or inducing channels that fail to dock or have aberrant function. We previously identified a new class of mutants that form non-functional gap junction channels and hemichannels (connexons) by disrupting packing and inter-helix interactions. Here we analyzed fourteen point mutations in the fourth transmembrane helix of connexin26 (Cx26) that cause non-syndromic hearing loss. Eight mutations caused mis-trafficking (K188R, F191L, V198M, S199F, G200R, I203K, L205P, T208P). Of the remaining six that formed gap junctions in mammalian cells, M195T and A197S formed stable hemichannels after isolation with a baculovirus/Sf9 protein purification system, while C202F, I203T, L205V and N206S formed hemichannels with varying degrees of instability. The function of all six gap junction-forming mutants was further assessed through measurement of dye coupling in mammalian cells and junctional conductance in paired Xenopus oocytes. Dye coupling between cell pairs was reduced by varying degrees for all six mutants. In homotypic oocyte pairings, only A197S induced measurable conductance. In heterotypic pairings with wild-type Cx26, five of the six mutants formed functional gap junction channels, albeit with reduced efficiency. None of the mutants displayed significant alterations in sensitivity to transjunctional voltage or induced conductive hemichannels in single oocytes. Intra-hemichannel interactions between mutant and wild-type proteins were assessed in rescue experiments using baculovirus expression in Sf9 insect cells. Of the four unstable mutations (C202F, I203T, L205V, N206S) only C202F and N206S formed stable hemichannels when co-expressed with wild-type Cx26. Stable M195T hemichannels displayed an increased

  13. Pregnancy, programming and preeclampsia: gap junctions at the nexus of pregnancy-induced adaptation of endothelial function and endothelial adaptive failure in PE.

    PubMed

    Bird, I M; Boeldt, D S; Krupp, J; Grummer, M A; Yi, F X; Magness, R R

    2013-09-01

    The challenge of pregnancy to the mother requires that her own metabolic and endocrine needs be met while also taking on the literally growing demands of the unborn child. While all of the mother's organs require continued support, the uterus and now added placenta must also develop substantially. One critical area of adaptation is thus the ability to provide added blood flow over and above that already serving the preexisting maternal organs. Previous reviews have covered in detail how this is achieved from an endocrine or indeed vascular physiology standpoint and we will not repeat that here. Suffice it to say in addition to new vessel growth, there is also the need to achieve reduced vascular resistance through maintenance of endothelial vasodilation, particularly through NO and PGI2 production in response to multiple agonists and their associated cell signaling systems. In this review, we continue our focus on pregnancy adaptive changes at the level of cell signaling, with a particular emphasis now on the developing story of the critical role of gap junctions. Remapping of cell signaling itself beyond changes in individual hormones and respective receptors brings about global changes in cell function, and recent studies have revealed that such post-receptor changes in cell signaling are equally if not more important in the process of pregnancy adaptation of endothelial function than the upregulated expression of vasodilator synthetic pathways themselves. The principle significance, however, of reviewing this aspect of pregnancy adaptation of endothelial cell function is that these same gap junction proteins that mediate pregnancy-adapted changes in vasodilatory signaling function may also be the focal point of failure in diseased pregnancy, and clues as to how and why are given by comparing studies of Cx43 functional suppression at wound sites with studies of preeclamptic pregnancy. If preeclamptic pregnancy is indeed a pregnancy misconstrued by the body in

  14. Tailoring resistive switching in Pt/SrTiO3 junctions by stoichiometry control

    PubMed Central

    Mikheev, Evgeny; Hwang, Jinwoo; Kajdos, Adam P.; Hauser, Adam J.; Stemmer, Susanne

    2015-01-01

    Resistive switching effects in transition metal oxide-based devices offer new opportunities for information storage and computing technologies. Although it is known that resistive switching is a defect-driven phenomenon, the precise mechanisms are still poorly understood owing to the difficulty of systematically controlling specific point defects. As a result, obtaining reliable and reproducible devices remains a major challenge for this technology. Here, we demonstrate control of resistive switching based on intentional manipulation of native point defects. Oxide molecular beam epitaxy is used to systematically investigate the effect of Ti/Sr stoichiometry on resistive switching in high-quality Pt/SrTiO3 junctions. We demonstrate resistive switching with improved state retention through the introduction of Ti- and Sr-excess into the near-interface region. More broadly, the results demonstrate the utility of high quality metal/oxide interfaces and explicit control over structural defects to improve control, uniformity, and reproducibility of resistive switching processes. Unintentional interfacial contamination layers, which are present if Schottky contacts are processed at low temperature, can easily dominate the resistive switching characteristics and complicate the interpretation if nonstoichiometry is also present. PMID:26056783

  15. "Direct" measurement of sheet resistance in inter-subcell layers of multi-junction solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rumyantsev, Valery D.; Larionov, Valery R.; Pokrovskiy, Pavel V.

    2015-09-01

    The multi-junction cells are sensitive to chromatic aberrations inherent to the lens-type concentrators. At spectrally and spatially inhomogeneous distribution of incident light, considerable lateral currents flow along the inter-subcell layers causing a voltage drop across corresponding sheet resistance and, consequently, a decrease in the cell conversion efficiency. The sheet resistance unit is Ohm-per-square that corresponds to the resistance between two bar-type electrodes on the opposite sides of a thin conductive square. A method of "direct" measurement of this parameter is proposed using lasers for local illumination of the strip-in-shape parts of a rectangular-in-form tested cell. These illuminated parts play a role of electrodes for a lateral current induced by photoexitation. Wavelengths of the lasers have to be chosen to generate photocurrents independently in the neighboring subcells, as well as locally in the upper and lower ones. SPICE model of the method is analyzed and experimental results on the InGaP/InGaAs/Ge triple-junction solar cells are presented.

  16. Deletion of the last five C-terminal amino acid residues of connexin43 leads to lethal ventricular arrhythmias in mice without affecting coupling via gap junction channels.

    PubMed

    Lübkemeier, Indra; Requardt, Robert Pascal; Lin, Xianming; Sasse, Philipp; Andrié, René; Schrickel, Jan Wilko; Chkourko, Halina; Bukauskas, Feliksas F; Kim, Jung-Sun; Frank, Marina; Malan, Daniela; Zhang, Jiong; Wirth, Angela; Dobrowolski, Radoslaw; Mohler, Peter J; Offermanns, Stefan; Fleischmann, Bernd K; Delmar, Mario; Willecke, Klaus

    2013-05-01

    The cardiac intercalated disc harbors mechanical and electrical junctions as well as ion channel complexes mediating propagation of electrical impulses. Cardiac connexin43 (Cx43) co-localizes and interacts with several of the proteins located at intercalated discs in the ventricular myocardium. We have generated conditional Cx43D378stop mice lacking the last five C-terminal amino acid residues, representing a binding motif for zonula occludens protein-1 (ZO-1), and investigated the functional consequences of this mutation on cardiac physiology and morphology. Newborn and adult homozygous Cx43D378stop mice displayed markedly impaired and heterogeneous cardiac electrical activation properties and died from severe ventricular arrhythmias. Cx43 and ZO-1 were co-localized at intercalated discs in Cx43D378stop hearts, and the Cx43D378stop gap junction channels showed normal coupling properties. Patch clamp analyses of isolated adult Cx43D378stop cardiomyocytes revealed a significant decrease in sodium and potassium current densities. Furthermore, we also observed a significant loss of Nav1.5 protein from intercalated discs in Cx43D378stop hearts. The phenotypic lethality of the Cx43D378stop mutation was very similar to the one previously reported for adult Cx43 deficient (Cx43KO) mice. Yet, in contrast to Cx43KO mice, the Cx43 gap junction channel was still functional in the Cx43D378stop mutant. We conclude that the lethality of Cx43D378stop mice is independent of the loss of gap junctional intercellular communication, but most likely results from impaired cardiac sodium and potassium currents. The Cx43D378stop mice reveal for the first time that Cx43 dependent arrhythmias can develop by mechanisms other than impairment of gap junction channel function. PMID:23558439

  17. Deletion of the last five C-terminal amino acid residues of connexin43 leads to lethal ventricular arrhythmias in mice without affecting coupling via gap junction channels

    PubMed Central

    Lübkemeier, Indra; Requardt, Robert Pascal; Lin, Xianming; Sasse, Philipp; Andrié, René; Schrickel, Jan Wilko; Chkourko, Halina; Bukauskas, Feliksas F.; Kim, Jung-Sun; Frank, Marina; Malan, Daniela; Zhang, Jiong; Wirth, Angela; Dobrowolski, Radoslaw; Mohler, Peter J.; Offermanns, Stefan; Fleischmann, Bernd K.; Delmar, Mario

    2013-01-01

    The cardiac intercalated disc harbors mechanical and electrical junctions as well as ion channel complexes mediating propagation of electrical impulses. Cardiac connexin43 (Cx43) co-localizes and interacts with several of the proteins located at intercalated discs in the ventricular myocardium. We have generated conditional Cx43D378stop mice lacking the last five C-terminal amino acid residues, representing a binding motif for zonula occludens protein-1 (ZO-1), and investigated the functional consequences of this mutation on cardiac physiology and morphology. Newborn and adult homozygous Cx43D378stop mice displayed markedly impaired and heterogeneous cardiac electrical activation properties and died from severe ventricular arrhythmias. Cx43 and ZO-1 were co-localized at intercalated discs in Cx43D378stop hearts, and the Cx43D378stop gap junction channels showed normal coupling properties. Patch clamp analyses of isolated adult Cx43D378stop cardiomyocytes revealed a significant decrease in sodium and potassium current densities. Furthermore, we also observed a significant loss of Nav1.5 protein from intercalated discs in Cx43D378stop hearts. The phenotypic lethality of the Cx43D378stop mutation was very similar to the one previously reported for adult Cx43 deficient (Cx43KO) mice. Yet, in contrast to Cx43KO mice, the Cx43 gap junction channel was still functional in the Cx43D378stop mutant. We conclude that the lethality of Cx43D378stop mice is independent of the loss of gap junctional intercellular communication, but most likely results from impaired cardiac sodium and potassium currents. The Cx43D378stop mice reveal for the first time that Cx43 dependent arrhythmias can develop by mechanisms other than impairment of gap junction channel function. PMID:23558439

  18. Resistive Switching in All-Oxide Ferroelectric Tunnel Junctions with Ionic Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Qin, Qi Hang; Äkäslompolo, Laura; Tuomisto, Noora; Yao, Lide; Majumdar, Sayani; Vijayakumar, Jaianth; Casiraghi, Arianna; Inkinen, Sampo; Chen, Binbin; Zugarramurdi, Asier; Puska, Martti; van Dijken, Sebastiaan

    2016-08-01

    Universal, giant and nonvolatile resistive switching is demonstrated for oxide tunnel junctions with ferroelectric PbZr0.2 Ti0.8 O3 , ferroelectric BaTiO3, and paraelectric SrTiO3 tunnel barriers. The effects are caused by reversible migration of oxygen vacancies between the tunnel barrier and bottom La2/3 Sr1/3 MnO3 electrode. The switching process, which is driven by large electric fields, is efficient down to a temperature of 5 K. PMID:27248832

  19. Contact resistance in metal-molecule-metal junctions based on aliphatic SAMs: effects of surface linker and metal work function.

    PubMed

    Beebe, Jeremy M; Engelkes, Vincent B; Miller, Larry L; Frisbie, C Daniel

    2002-09-25

    Using conducting probe atomic force microscopy (CP-AFM), we have formed molecular tunnel junctions consisting of alkanethiols and alkane isonitrile self-assembled monolayers sandwiched between gold, platinum, silver, and palladium contacts. We have measured the resistance of these junctions at low bias (dV/dI |V=0) as a function of alkane chain length. Extrapolation to zero chain length gives the contact resistance, R0 . R0 is strongly dependent on the type of metal used for the contacts and decreases with increasing metal work function; that is, R0,Ag > R0,Au > R0,Pd > R0,Pt. R0 is approximately 10% smaller for Au junctions with isonitrile versus thiol surface linkers. We conclude that the Fermi level of the junction lies much closer to the HOMO than to the LUMO. PMID:12236731

  20. Paramagnetic spin splitting of the conductances for tunnel junctions between partially gapped metals with charge density waves and normal metals or ferromagnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabovich, A. M.; Li, Mai Suan; Pekala, M.; Szymczak, H.; Voitenko, A. I.

    2005-03-01

    We consider tunnelling between a metal partially gapped by charge density waves (CDWM) and an ordinary metal (M) or a ferromagnet (FM) separated by an insulator (I) in an external magnetic field H. Zeeman paramagnetic splitting is assumed to dominate in the CDWM over orbital magnetic effects. The quasiparticle tunnel current J and relevant differential conductance G are calculated as functions of the bias voltage V. The peaks of G(V), originating from the electron density of states singularities near the charge density wave gap edges, were shown to be split in the magnetic field, each peak having a predominant spin polarization. This effect is analogous to the H-induced splitting of G(V) peaks obtained by Tedrow and Meservey for junctions between normal metals and superconductors (S). Thus, it is possible to electrically measure the polarization of current carriers in such a set-up, although the behaviours of G(V) in the two cases are substantially different. The use of M-I-CDWM junctions instead of M-I-S ones has certain advantages. The absence of the Meissner effect, which weakens the constraints upon the junction geometry and electrode materials, comprises the main benefit. The other advantage is the larger energy range of the charge density wave gaps in comparison to that for superconductors' gaps, so that larger Hs may be applied.

  1. Exploring the Membrane Potential of Simple Dual-Membrane Systems as Models for Gap-Junction Channels.

    PubMed

    Escalona, Yerko; Garate, Jose A; Araya-Secchi, Raul; Huynh, Tien; Zhou, Ruhong; Perez-Acle, Tomas

    2016-06-21

    The conductance of ion channels can be modulated by a transmembrane potential difference, due to alterations on ion-mobility and also by changes in the pore structure. Despite the vast knowledge regarding the influence of voltage on transport properties of ion channels, little attention has been paid to describe, with atomic detail, the modulation of ionic transport in gap-junction channels (GJCs). Hence, molecular dynamics simulations were performed to explore the conductance of simple dual-membrane systems that account for the very basic features of GJCs. In doing so, we studied the influence of different charge distributions in the channel surface on these idealized systems under external electric fields, paying attention to the behavior of the electrostatic potential, ion density, ion currents, and equilibrium properties. Our results demonstrate that the incorporation of a charge distribution akin GJCs decreased anionic currents, favoring the transport of cationic species. Moreover, a thermodynamic characterization of ionic transport in these systems demonstrate the existence of a kinetic barrier that hinders anionic currents, reinforcing the role played by the internal arrangement of charges in GJCs. Overall, our results provide insights at the atomic scale on the effects of charge distributions over ionic transport, constituting a step forward into a better understanding of GJCs. PMID:27332126

  2. Hyperthermia Differently Affects Connexin43 Expression and Gap Junction Permeability in Skeletal Myoblasts and HeLa Cells

    PubMed Central

    Antanavičiūtė, Ieva; Mildažienė, Vida; Stankevičius, Edgaras; Herdegen, Thomas; Skeberdis, Vytenis Arvydas

    2014-01-01

    Stress kinases can be activated by hyperthermia and modify the expression level and properties of membranous and intercellular channels. We examined the role of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) in hyperthermia-induced changes of connexin43 (Cx43) expression and permeability of Cx43 gap junctions (GJs) in the rabbit skeletal myoblasts (SkMs) and Cx43-EGFP transfected HeLa cells. Hyperthermia (42°C for 6 h) enhanced the activity of JNK and its target, the transcription factor c-Jun, in both SkMs and HeLa cells. In SkMs, hyperthermia caused a 3.2-fold increase in the total Cx43 protein level and enhanced the efficacy of GJ intercellular communication (GJIC). In striking contrast, hyperthermia reduced the total amount of Cx43 protein, the number of Cx43 channels in GJ plaques, the density of hemichannels in the cell membranes, and the efficiency of GJIC in HeLa cells. Both in SkMs and HeLa cells, these changes could be prevented by XG-102, a JNK inhibitor. In HeLa cells, the changes in Cx43 expression and GJIC under hyperthermic conditions were accompanied by JNK-dependent disorganization of actin cytoskeleton stress fibers while in SkMs, the actin cytoskeleton remained intact. These findings provide an attractive model to identify the regulatory players within signalosomes, which determine the cell-dependent outcomes of hyperthermia. PMID:25143668

  3. Effect of perfluorooctane sulfonate on viability, maturation and gap junctional intercellular communication of porcine oocytes in vitro.

    PubMed

    Domínguez, A; Salazar, Z; Arenas, E; Betancourt, M; Ducolomb, Y; González-Márquez, H; Casas, E; Teteltitla, M; Bonilla, E

    2016-09-01

    Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is a broadly used man-made surfactant whose long half-life has led to bioaccumulation. This perfluorinated compound is ubiquitous in human body fluids. PFOS concentrations as high as 26μM in plasma have been reported in occupationally exposed populations, and high levels of PFOS in human follicular fluid have been associated with subfertility. However, the effect of PFOS on the maturation of oocytes in mammals has not been reported to date. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of PFOS during oocyte maturation. Results indicate that PFOS inhibits oocyte viability (Lethal Concentration50=32μM) and maturation (inhibition of maturation50=22μM) at physiologically relevant concentrations. In order to evaluate the mechanisms of oocyte maturation inhibition by PFOS, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) between oocytes and granulosa cells was assessed. GJIC between granulosa cells and the oocyte was significantly affected during the first 8h of maturation. However, the inhibitory effect of PFOS on GJIC was not due to an alteration on the expression of connexin genes Cx43, Cx45 and Cx60. These findings suggest that occupationally exposed populations could be at risk, and that PFOS might affect oocyte maturation by interfering the GJIC in the cumulus-oocyte complexes during the first hours of maturation. PMID:27233358

  4. Less is more: minimal expression of myoendothelial gap junctions optimizes cell-cell communication in virtual arterioles.

    PubMed

    Hald, Bjørn Olav; Jacobsen, Jens Christian Brings; Sandow, Shaun L; Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik; Welsh, Donald G

    2014-08-01

    Dysfunctional electrical signalling within the arteriolar wall is a major cause of cardiovascular disease. The endothelial cell layer constitutes the primary electrical pathway, co-ordinating contraction of the overlying smooth muscle cell (SMC) layer. As myoendothelial gap junctions (MEGJs) provide direct contact between the cell layers, proper vasomotor responses are thought to depend on a high, uniform MEGJ density. However, MEGJs are observed to be expressed heterogeneously within and among vascular beds. This discrepancy is addressed in the present study. As no direct measures of MEGJ conductance exist, we employed a computational modelling approach to vary the number, conductance and distribution of MEGJs. Our simulations demonstrate that a minimal number of randomly distributed MEGJs augment arteriolar cell-cell communication by increasing conduction efficiency and ensuring appropriate membrane potential responses in SMCs. We show that electrical coupling between SMCs must be tailored to the particular MEGJ distribution. Finally, observation of non-decaying mechanical conduction in arterioles without regeneration has been a long-standing controversy in the microvascular field. As heterogeneous MEGJ distributions provide for different conduction profiles along the cell layers, we demonstrate that a non-decaying conduction profile is possible in the SMC layer of a vessel with passive electrical properties. These intriguing findings redefine the concept of efficient electrical communication in the microcirculation, illustrating how heterogeneous properties, ubiquitous in biological systems, may have a profound impact on system behaviour and how acute local and global flow control is explained from the biophysical foundations. PMID:24907303

  5. Quantitative Analysis of ZO-1 Colocalization with Cx43 Gap Junction Plaques in Cultures of Rat Neonatal Cardiomyocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Ching; Barker, Ralph J.; Hunter, Andrew W.; Zhang, Yuhua; Jourdan, Jane; Gourdie, Robert G.

    2005-06-01

    The gap junction (GJ) is an aggregate of intercellular channels that facilitates cytoplasmic interchange of ions, second messengers, and other molecules of less than 1000 Da between cells. In excitable organs such as heart and brain, GJs configure extended intercellular pathways for stable and long-term propagation of action potential. In a previous study in adult rat heart, we have shown that the Drosophila disks-large related protein ZO-1 shows low to moderate colocalization at myocyte borders with the GJ protein Cx43. In the present study, we detail a protocol for characterizing the pattern and level of colocalization of ZO-1 with Cx43 in cultures of neonatal myocytes at the level of individual GJ plaques. The data indicate that ZO-1 shows on average a partial 26.6% overlap (SD = 11.3%) with Cx43 GJ plaques. There is a strong positive correlation between GJ plaque size and area of ZO-1 colocalization, indicating that the level of associated ZO-1 scales with the area of the GJ plaque. Qualitatively, the most prominent colocalization occurs at the plaque perimeter. These studies may provide insight into the presently unknown biological function of ZO-1 interaction with Cx43.

  6. Electrical signal transmission and gap junction regulation in a bone cell network: a cable model for an osteon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhang, D.; Cowin, S. C.; Weinbaum, S.

    1997-01-01

    A cable model is formulated to estimate the spatial distribution of intracellular electric potential and current, from the cement line to the lumen of an osteon, as the frequency of the loading and the conductance of the gap junction are altered. The model predicts that the characteristic diffusion time for the spread of current along the membrane of the osteocytic processes, 0.03 sec, is nearly the same as the predicted pore pressure relaxation time in Zeng et al. (Annals of Biomedical Engineering. 1994) for the draining of the bone fluid into the osteonal canal. This approximate equality of characteristic times causes the cable to behave as a high-pass, low-pass filter cascade with a maximum in the spectral response for the intracellular potential at approximately 30 Hz. This behavior could be related to the experiments of Rubin and McLeod (Osteoporosis, Academic Press, 1996) which show that live bone appears to be selectively responsive to mechanical loading in a specific frequency range (15-30 Hz) for several species.

  7. Aversive Behavior in the Nematode C. elegans Is Modulated by cGMP and a Neuronal Gap Junction Network.

    PubMed

    Krzyzanowski, Michelle C; Woldemariam, Sarah; Wood, Jordan F; Chaubey, Aditi H; Brueggemann, Chantal; Bowitch, Alexander; Bethke, Mary; L'Etoile, Noelle D; Ferkey, Denise M

    2016-07-01

    All animals rely on their ability to sense and respond to their environment to survive. However, the suitability of a behavioral response is context-dependent, and must reflect both an animal's life history and its present internal state. Based on the integration of these variables, an animal's needs can be prioritized to optimize survival strategies. Nociceptive sensory systems detect harmful stimuli and allow for the initiation of protective behavioral responses. The polymodal ASH sensory neurons are the primary nociceptors in C. elegans. We show here that the guanylyl cyclase ODR-1 functions non-cell-autonomously to downregulate ASH-mediated aversive behaviors and that ectopic cGMP generation in ASH is sufficient to dampen ASH sensitivity. We define a gap junction neural network that regulates nociception and propose that decentralized regulation of ASH signaling can allow for rapid correlation between an animal's internal state and its behavioral output, lending modulatory flexibility to this hard-wired nociceptive neural circuit. PMID:27459302

  8. The Role of Gap Junction Channels During Physiologic and Pathologic Conditions of the Human Central Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Basilio, Daniel; Sáez, Juan C.; Orellana, Juan A.; Raine, Cedric S.; Bukauskas, Feliksas; Bennett, Michael V. L.; Berman, Joan W.

    2013-01-01

    Gap junctions (GJs) are expressed in most cell types of the nervous system, including neuronal stem cells, neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, cells of the blood brain barrier (endothelial cells and astrocytes) and under inflammatory conditions in microglia/macrophages. GJs connect cells by the docking of two hemichannels, one from each cell with each hemichannel being formed by 6 proteins named connexins (Cx). Unapposed hemichannels (uHC) also can be open on the surface of the cells allowing the release of different intracellular factors to the extracellular space. GJs provide a mechanism of cell-to-cell communication between adjacent cells that enables the direct exchange of intracellular messengers, such as calcium, nucleotides, IP3, and diverse metabolites, as well as electrical signals that ultimately coordinate tissue homeostasis, proliferation, differentiation, metabolism, cell survival and death. Despite their essential functions in physiological conditions, relatively little is known about the role of GJs and uHC in human diseases, especially within the nervous system. The focus of this review is to summarize recent findings related to the role of GJs and uHC in physiologic and pathologic conditions of the central nervous system. PMID:22438035

  9. The effects of anthracene and methylated anthracenes on gap junctional intercellular communication in rat liver epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Upham, B L; Weis, L M; Rummel, A M; Masten, S J; Trosko, J E

    1996-12-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), many of which are known carcinogens, are derived from the pyrolysis of organic materials. A rich source of PAHs is cigarette smoke, which contains methylated anthracenes and phenanthrenes as the predominant PAHs. The tumor-promoting activity of cigarette smoke has been well documented. The down-regulation of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) by nongenotoxic chemicals and several oncogenes has been implicated in tumor promotion. Therefore, we determined the effects of the three isomers of methylanthracene on GJIC in WB-F344 rat liver epithelial cells. Anthracene and 2-methylanthracene did not significantly inhibit GJIC, whereas anthracene methylated in the 1 or 9 position reversibly inhibited GJIC with I50 values of 22 and 36 microM, respectively. Inhibition occurred within 15 min. In conclusion, the biological effect of methylanthracene depends on the ring position of the methyl group, and these inhibitory isomers could play a potential role in tumor promotion of methylated PAH-rich mixtures such as cigarette smoke and crude oil products. PMID:8954755

  10. Engineered Cx26 variants established functional heterotypic Cx26/Cx43 and Cx26/Cx40 gap junction channels.

    PubMed

    Karademir, Levent B; Aoyama, Hiroshi; Yue, Benny; Chen, Honghong; Bai, Donglin

    2016-05-15

    Gap junction (GJ) channels mediate direct intercellular communication and are composed of two docked hemichannels (connexin oligomers). It is well documented that the docking and formation of GJs are possible only between compatible hemichannels (or connexins). The mechanisms of heterotypic docking compatibility are not fully clear. We aligned the protein sequences of docking-compatible and -incompatible connexins with that of connexin26 (Cx26). We found that two docking hydrogen bond (HB)-forming residues on the second extracellular domain (E2) of Cx26 and their equivalent residues are well conserved within docking-compatible connexins, but different between docking-incompatible connexins. Replacing one or both of these residues of Cx26 into the corresponding residues in the docking incompatible connexins (K168V, N176H or K168V-N176H) increased the formation of morphological and functional heterotypic GJs with connexin43 (Cx43) or connexin40 (Cx40), indicating that these two residues are important for docking incompatibility between Cx26 and these connexins. Our homology structure models predict that both HBs and hydrophobic interactions at the E2 docking interface are important docking mechanisms in heterotypic Cx26 K168V-N176H/Cx43 GJs and probably other docking compatible connexins. Revealing the key residues and mechanisms of heterotypic docking compatibility will assist us in understanding why these putative docking residues are hotspots of disease-linked mutants. PMID:26987811

  11. Aversive Behavior in the Nematode C. elegans Is Modulated by cGMP and a Neuronal Gap Junction Network

    PubMed Central

    Krzyzanowski, Michelle C.; Wood, Jordan F.; Brueggemann, Chantal; Bowitch, Alexander; Bethke, Mary; L’Etoile, Noelle D.; Ferkey, Denise M.

    2016-01-01

    All animals rely on their ability to sense and respond to their environment to survive. However, the suitability of a behavioral response is context-dependent, and must reflect both an animal’s life history and its present internal state. Based on the integration of these variables, an animal’s needs can be prioritized to optimize survival strategies. Nociceptive sensory systems detect harmful stimuli and allow for the initiation of protective behavioral responses. The polymodal ASH sensory neurons are the primary nociceptors in C. elegans. We show here that the guanylyl cyclase ODR-1 functions non-cell-autonomously to downregulate ASH-mediated aversive behaviors and that ectopic cGMP generation in ASH is sufficient to dampen ASH sensitivity. We define a gap junction neural network that regulates nociception and propose that decentralized regulation of ASH signaling can allow for rapid correlation between an animal’s internal state and its behavioral output, lending modulatory flexibility to this hard-wired nociceptive neural circuit. PMID:27459302

  12. Temperature dependence of resistance in epitaxial Fe/MgO/Fe magnetic tunnel junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Ma, Q. L.; Wang, Shouguo; Wang, Y.; Zhang, J.; Ward, R. C. C.; Kohn, A.; Zhang, Xiaoguang; Han, Prof. X. F.

    2009-01-01

    The temperature dependence of resistance in parallel P and antiparallel AP configurations RP,AP has been investigated in epitaxial Fe/MgO/Fe junctions with varying MgO barrier thicknesses tMgO. RAP exhibits a substantial decrease with increasing temperature for samples with tMgO ranging from 3.0 to 1.5 nm. In contrast, RP is approximately temperature independent when tMgO =3.0 nm and increases with temperature when tMgO=2.1 and 1.5 nm. Possible origins of this temperature dependence of resistance, which include taking into account a spin independent term and consideration of spin-flip scattering, are discussed. We attribute the temperature dependence of RP,AP to the misalignment of magnetic moments in the electrodes due to thermal excitations and its effect on the spin dependent tunneling.

  13. A low specific on-resistance SOI LDMOS with a novel junction field plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Yin-Chun; Luo, Xiao-Rong; Hu, Gang-Yi; Fan, Yuan-Hang; Li, Peng-Cheng; Wei, Jie; Tan, Qiao; Zhang, Bo

    2014-07-01

    A low specific on-resistance SOI LDMOS with a novel junction field plate (JFP) is proposed and investigated theoretically. The most significant feature of the JFP LDMOS is a PP—N junction field plate instead of a metal field plate. The unique structure not only yields charge compensation between the JFP and the drift region, but also modulates the surface electric field. In addition, a trench gate extends to the buried oxide layer (BOX) and thus widens the vertical conduction area. As a result, the breakdown voltage (BV) is improved and the specific on-resistance (Ron,sp) is decreased significantly. It is demonstrated that the BV of 306 V and the Ron,sp of 7.43 mΩ·cm2 are obtained for the JFP LDMOS. Compared with those of the conventional LDMOS with the same dimensional parameters, the BV is improved by 34.8%, and the Ron,sp is decreased by 56.6% simultaneously. The proposed JFP LDMOS exhibits significant superiority in terms of the trade-off between BV and Ron,sp. The novel JFP technique offers an alternative technique to achieve high blocking voltage and large current capacity for power devices.

  14. THE GAP JUNCTION INHIBITOR 2-AMINOETHOXY-DIPHENYL-BORATE PROTECTS AGAINST ACETAMINOPHEN HEPATOTOXICITY BY INHIBITING CYTOCHROME P450 ENZYMES AND C-JUN N-TERMINAL KINASE ACTIVATION

    PubMed Central

    Du, Kuo; Williams, C. David; McGill, Mitchell R.; Xie, Yuchao; Farhood, Anwar; Vinken, Mathieu; Jaeschke, Hartmut

    2013-01-01

    Acetaminophen (APAP) hepatotoxicity is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the US. Although many aspects of the mechanism are known, recent publications suggest that gap junctions composed of connexin32 function as critical intercellular communication channels which transfer cytotoxic mediators into neighboring hepatocytes and aggravate liver injury. However, these studies did not consider off-target effects of reagents used in these experiments, especially the gap junction inhibitor 2-aminoethoxy-diphenyl-borate (2-APB). In order to assess the mechanisms of protection of 2-APB in vivo, male C56Bl/6 mice were treated with 400 mg/kg APAP to cause extensive liver injury. This injury was prevented when animals were co-treated with 20 mg/kg 2-APB and was attenuated when 2-APB was administered 1.5h after APAP. However, the protection was completely lost when 2-APB was given 4–6h after APAP. Measurement of protein adducts and c-jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation indicated that 2-APB reduced both protein binding and JNK activation, which correlated with hepatoprotection. Although some of the protection was due to the solvent dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), in vitro experiments clearly demonstrated that 2-APB directly inhibits cytochrome P450 activities. In addition, JNK activation induced by phorone and tert-butylhydroperoxide in vivo was inhibited by 2-APB. The effects against APAP toxicity in vivo were reproduced in primary cultured hepatocytes without use of DMSO and in the absence of functional gap junctions. We conclude that the protective effect of 2-APB was caused by inhibition of metabolic activation of APAP and inhibition of the JNK signaling pathway and not by blocking connexin32-based gap junctions. PMID:24070586

  15. The gap junction inhibitor 2-aminoethoxy-diphenyl-borate protects against acetaminophen hepatotoxicity by inhibiting cytochrome P450 enzymes and c-jun N-terminal kinase activation.

    PubMed

    Du, Kuo; Williams, C David; McGill, Mitchell R; Xie, Yuchao; Farhood, Anwar; Vinken, Mathieu; Jaeschke, Hartmut

    2013-12-15

    Acetaminophen (APAP) hepatotoxicity is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the US. Although many aspects of the mechanism are known, recent publications suggest that gap junctions composed of connexin32 function as critical intercellular communication channels which transfer cytotoxic mediators into neighboring hepatocytes and aggravate liver injury. However, these studies did not consider off-target effects of reagents used in these experiments, especially the gap junction inhibitor 2-aminoethoxy-diphenyl-borate (2-APB). In order to assess the mechanisms of protection of 2-APB in vivo, male C56Bl/6 mice were treated with 400 mg/kg APAP to cause extensive liver injury. This injury was prevented when animals were co-treated with 20 mg/kg 2-APB and was attenuated when 2-APB was administered 1.5 h after APAP. However, the protection was completely lost when 2-APB was given 4-6 h after APAP. Measurement of protein adducts and c-jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation indicated that 2-APB reduced both protein binding and JNK activation, which correlated with hepatoprotection. Although some of the protection was due to the solvent dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), in vitro experiments clearly demonstrated that 2-APB directly inhibits cytochrome P450 activities. In addition, JNK activation induced by phorone and tert-butylhydroperoxide in vivo was inhibited by 2-APB. The effects against APAP toxicity in vivo were reproduced in primary cultured hepatocytes without use of DMSO and in the absence of functional gap junctions. We conclude that the protective effect of 2-APB was caused by inhibition of metabolic activation of APAP and inhibition of the JNK signaling pathway and not by blocking connexin32-based gap junctions. PMID:24070586

  16. Connexin43-containing gap junctions potentiate extracellular Ca²⁺-induced odontoblastic differentiation of human dental pulp stem cells via Erk1/2.

    PubMed

    Li, Shiting; He, Haitao; Zhang, Gang; Wang, Fei; Zhang, Ping; Tan, Yinghui

    2015-10-15

    Extracellular Ca(2+) can promote dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP) expression and odontoblastic differentiation of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs). Gap junctions mediated by connexin43 (Cx43) allow diffusion of small molecules (such as Ca(2+)) among cells to regulate cell-to-cell communications. However, it is unclear whether Cx43 is required for the Ca(2+)-induced cell differentiation. Here, we found that the influx of extracellular Ca(2+) through L-type Ca(2+) channels increases intracellular free Ca(2+) levels to promote DSPP expression. Cx43 overexpression potentiated the extracellular Ca(2+)-induced DSPP expression via Erk1/2. Flow cytometry analyses showed that Cx43 increased the percentage of p-Erk1/2 positive cells in response to Ca(2+), indicating that Cx43 in DPSCs possibly acts as a traditional gap junction channel, which permits the sharing of signals among coupled cells to make more DPSCs respond to Ca(2+). Furthermore, inhibition of Cx43 function and gap junction communication decreased Ca(2+)-induced the expression of DSPP, suggesting that cell-to-cell contacts are required for Cx43 to promote the Ca(2+)-induced cell differentiation. Similarly, the study performed on DPSCs cultured at low-density and high-density revealed that intercellular contacts are required to potentiate Erk1/2 activity and DSPP expression. In total, this study indicates that Cx43 increases Ca(2+)-induced DSPP expression and odontoblastic differentiation of DPSCs via Erk1/2 through gap junction-mediated cell-to-cell contacts. PMID:26376117

  17. MgcRacGAP restricts active RhoA at the cytokinetic furrow and both RhoA and Rac1 at cell–cell junctions in epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Breznau, Elaina B.; Semack, Ansley C.; Higashi, Tomohito; Miller, Ann L.

    2015-01-01

    Localized activation of Rho GTPases is essential for multiple cellular functions, including cytokinesis and formation and maintenance of cell–cell junctions. Although MgcRacGAP (Mgc) is required for spatially confined RhoA-GTP at the equatorial cortex of dividing cells, both the target specificity of Mgc's GAP activity and the involvement of phosphorylation of Mgc at Ser-386 are controversial. In addition, Mgc's function at cell–cell junctions remains unclear. Here, using gastrula-stage Xenopus laevis embryos as a model system, we examine Mgc's role in regulating localized RhoA-GTP and Rac1-GTP in the intact vertebrate epithelium. We show that Mgc's GAP activity spatially restricts accumulation of both RhoA-GTP and Rac1-GTP in epithelial cells—RhoA at the cleavage furrow and RhoA and Rac1 at cell–cell junctions. Phosphorylation at Ser-386 does not switch the specificity of Mgc's GAP activity and is not required for successful cytokinesis. Furthermore, Mgc regulates adherens junction but not tight junction structure, and the ability to regulate adherens junctions is dependent on GAP activity and signaling via the RhoA pathway. Together these results indicate that Mgc's GAP activity down-regulates the active populations of RhoA and Rac1 at localized regions of epithelial cells and is necessary for successful cytokinesis and cell–cell junction structure. PMID:25947135

  18. Gap Junctions as Common Cause of High-Frequency Oscillations and Epileptic Seizures in a Computational Cascade of Neuronal Mass and Compartmental Modeling.

    PubMed

    Helling, Robert M; Koppert, Marc M J; Visser, Gerhard H; Kalitzin, Stiliyan N

    2015-09-01

    High frequency oscillations (HFO) appear to be a promising marker for delineating the seizure onset zone (SOZ) in patients with localization related epilepsy. It remains, however, a purely observational phenomenon and no common mechanism has been proposed to relate HFOs and seizure generation. In this work we show that a cascade of two computational models, one on detailed compartmental scale and a second one on neural mass scale can explain both the autonomous generation of HFOs and the presence of epileptic seizures as emergent properties. To this end we introduce axonal-axonal gap junctions on a microscopic level and explore their impact on the higher level neural mass model (NMM). We show that the addition of gap junctions can generate HFOs and simultaneously shift the operational point of the NMM from a steady state network into bistable behavior that can autonomously generate epileptic seizures. The epileptic properties of the system, or the probability to generate epileptic type of activity, increases gradually with the increase of the density of axonal-axonal gap junctions. We further demonstrate that ad hoc HFO detectors used in previous studies are applicable to our simulated data. PMID:26058401

  19. The connexin46 mutant, Cx46T19M, causes loss of gap junction function and alters hemi-channel gating.

    PubMed

    Tong, Jun-Jie; Minogue, Peter J; Kobeszko, Matthew; Beyer, Eric C; Berthoud, Viviana M; Ebihara, Lisa

    2015-02-01

    An N-terminal mutant of connexin46 (T19M) alters a highly conserved threonine and has been linked to autosomal dominant cataracts. To study the cellular and functional consequences of substitution of this amino acid, T19M was expressed in Xenopus oocytes and in HeLa cells. Unlike wild-type Cx46, T19M did not induce intercellular conductances in Xenopus oocytes. In transfected HeLa cells, T19M was largely localized within the cytoplasm, with drastically reduced formation of gap junction plaques. Expression of rat T19M was cytotoxic, as evidenced by an almost complete loss of viable cells expressing the mutant protein by 48-72 h following transfection. When incubated in medium containing physiological concentrations of divalent cations, T19M-expressing cells showed increased uptake of DAPI as compared with cells expressing wild-type Cx46, suggesting aberrant connexin hemi-channel activity. Time-lapse and dye uptake studies suggested that T19M hemi-channels had reduced sensitivity to Ca(2+). Whole cell patch clamp studies of single transfected HeLa cells demonstrated that rat T19M formed functional hemi-channels with altered voltage-dependent gating. These data suggest that T19M causes cataracts by loss of gap junctional channel function and abnormally increased hemi-channel activity. Furthermore, they implicate this conserved threonine in both gap junction plaque formation and channel/hemi-channel gating in Cx46. PMID:25404239

  20. A novel GJA8 mutation is associated with autosomal dominant lamellar pulverulent cataract: further evidence for gap junction dysfunction in human cataract

    PubMed Central

    Arora, A; Minogue, P J; Liu, X; Reddy, M A; Ainsworth, J R; Bhattacharya, S S; Webster, A R; Hunt, D M; Ebihara, L; Moore, A T; Beyer, E C; Berthoud, V M

    2006-01-01

    Purpose To identify the gene responsible for autosomal dominant lamellar pulverulent cataract in a four‐generation British family and characterise the functional and cellular consequences of the mutation. Methods Linkage analysis was used to identify the disease locus. The GJA8 gene was sequenced directly. Functional behaviour and cellular trafficking of connexins were examined by expression in Xenopus oocytes and HeLa cells. Results A 262C>A transition that resulted in the replacement of proline by glutamine (P88Q) in the coding region of connexin50 (Cx50) was identified. hCx50P88Q did not induce intercellular conductance and significantly inhibited gap junctional activity of co‐expressed wild type hCx50 RNA in paired Xenopus oocytes. In transfected cells, immunoreactive hCx50P88Q was confined to the cytoplasm but showed a temperature sensitive localisation at gap junctional plaques. Conclusions The pulverulent cataract described in this family is associated with a novel GJA8 mutation and has a different clinical phenotype from previously described GJA8 mutants. The cataract likely results from lack of gap junction function. The lack of function was associated with improper targeting to the plasma membrane, most probably due to protein misfolding. PMID:16397066

  1. Structural and functional changes in gap junctional intercellular communication in a rat model of overactive bladder syndrome induced by partial bladder outlet obstruction

    PubMed Central

    ZHOU, FENGHAI; LI, HAIYUAN; ZHOU, CHUAN; LV, HAIDI; MA, YULEI; WANG, YANGMIN; SONG, BO

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between connexin (Cx)43 levels and alterations in gap junctional mediation of intercellular communication in overactive bladder syndrome (OAB), and to examine the effects of connexin inhibitor on this condition. Adult female Wistar rats with OAB following partial bladder outlet obstruction (PBBO) (OAB group, n=37) and sham-operated rats (control group, n=17) were studied. The ultrastructure of the rat detrusor was observed by transmission electron microscopy and the protein expression levels of Cx43 were analyzed using western blot analysis. Furthermore, bladder detrusor cells in both groups were cultured and cells in the OAB group were randomly divided into ten groups. In nine of these groups, 18-β glycyrrhetinic acid (18β-GA) was administered at various doses and durations. All groups were compared using fluorescence redistribution after photobleaching and a laser scanning confocal microscope. Cystometry demonstrated that gap junctions were an abundant mechanism among adjacent cells, and Cx43 protein expression levels were increased in the OAB group following 6 weeks of obstruction, as compared with the control group. Mean fluorescence recovery rates in the OAB group were significantly increased, as compared with the control group (P<0.01). Mean fluorescence recovery rates were noted following 18β-GA administration. These results suggested that upregulation of Cx43 induces structural and functional alterations in gap junctional intercellular communication following PBOO, and connexin inhibitors may be a novel therapeutic strategy for the clinical treatment of OAB. PMID:27284295

  2. Keratitis-Ichthyosis-Deafness syndrome-associated Cx26 mutants produce nonfunctional gap junctions but hyperactive hemichannels when co-expressed with wild type Cx43

    PubMed Central

    García, Isaac E.; Maripillán, Jaime; Jara, Oscar; Ceriani, Ricardo; Palacios-Muñoz, Angelina; Ramachandran, Jayalakshimi; Olivero, Pablo; Pérez-Acle, Tomás; González, Carlos; Sáez, Juan C.; Contreras, Jorge E.; Martínez, Agustín D.

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in Cx26 gene are found in most cases of human genetic deafness. Some mutations produce syndromic deafness associated with skin disorders, like Keratitis Ichthyosis Deafness syndrome (KID). Because in the human skin Cx26 is co-expressed with other connexins, like Cx43 and Cx30, and since KID syndrome is inherited as autosomal dominant condition, it is possible that KID mutations change the way Cx26 interacts with other co-expressed connexins. Indeed, some Cx26 syndromic mutations showed gap junction dominant negative effect when co-expressed with wild type connexins, including Cx26 and Cx43. The nature of these interactions and the consequences on hemichannels and gap junction channels functions remain unknown. In this study we demonstrate that syndromic mutations at the N-terminus segment of Cx26, change connexin oligomerization compatibility, allowing aberrant interactions with Cx43. Strikingly, heteromeric oligomer formed by Cx43/Cx26 (syndromic mutants) show exacerbated hemichannel activity, but nonfunctional gap junction channels; this also occurs for those Cx26 KID mutants that do not show functional homomeric hemichannels. Heterologous expression of these hyperactive heteromeric hemichannels increases cell membrane permeability, favoring ATP release and Ca2+ overload. The functional paradox produced by oligomerization of Cx43 and Cx26 KID mutants could underlie the severe syndromic phenotype in human skin. PMID:25625422

  3. Map the gap: missing children with drug-resistant tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Yuen, C. M.; Rodriguez, C. A.; Keshavjee, S.

    2015-01-01

    Background: The lack of published information about children with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is an obstacle to efforts to advocate for better diagnostics and treatment. Objective: To describe the lack of recognition in the published literature of MDR-TB and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) in children. Design: We conducted a systematic search of the literature published in countries that reported any MDR- or XDR-TB case by 2012 to identify MDR- or XDR-TB cases in adults and in children. Results: Of 184 countries and territories that reported any case of MDR-TB during 2005–2012, we identified adult MDR-TB cases in the published literature in 143 (78%) countries and pediatric MDR-TB cases in 78 (42%) countries. Of the 92 countries that reported any case of XDR-TB, we identified adult XDR-TB cases in the published literature in 55 (60%) countries and pediatric XDR-TB cases for 9 (10%) countries. Conclusion: The absence of publications documenting child MDR- and XDR-TB cases in settings where MDR- and XDR-TB in adults have been reported indicates both exclusion of childhood disease from the public discourse on drug-resistant TB and likely underdetection of sick children. Our results highlight a large-scale lack of awareness about children with MDR- and XDR-TB. PMID:26400601

  4. The First Extracellular Domain Plays an Important Role in Unitary Channel Conductance of Cx50 Gap Junction Channels

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Xiaoling; Aoyama, Hiroshi; Sudhakar, Swathy; Chen, Honghong; Shilton, Brian H.; Bai, Donglin

    2015-01-01

    Gap junction (GJ) channels provide direct passage for ions and small molecules to be exchanged between neighbouring cells and are crucial for many physiological processes. GJ channels can be gated by transjunctional voltage (known as Vj-gating) and display a wide range of unitary channel conductance (γj), yet the domains responsible for Vj-gating and γj are not fully clear. The first extracellular domain (E1) of several connexins has been shown to line part of their GJ channel pore and play important roles in Vj-gating properties and/or ion permeation selectivity. To test roles of the E1 of Cx50 GJ channels, we generated a chimera, Cx50Cx36E1, where the E1 domain of Cx50 was replaced with that of Cx36, a connexin showing quite distinct Vj-gating and γj from those of Cx50. Detailed characterizations of the chimera and three point mutants in E1 revealed that, although the E1 domain is important in determining γj, the E1 domain of Cx36 is able to effectively function within the context of the Cx50 channel with minor changes in Vj-gating properties, indicating that sequence differences between the E1 domains in Cx36 and Cx50 cannot account for their drastic differences in Vj-gating and γj. Our homology models of the chimera and the E1 mutants revealed that electrostatic properties of the pore-lining residues and their contribution to the electric field in the pore are important factors for the rate of ion permeation of Cx50 and possibly other GJ channels. PMID:26625162

  5. Effects of maturation-inducing hormone on heterologous gap junctional coupling in ovarian follicles of Atlantic croaker

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yoshizaki, G.; Patino, R.; Thomas, P.; Bolamba, D.; Chang, Xiaotian

    2001-01-01

    A previous ultrastructural study of heterologous (granulosa cell-oocyte) gap junction (GJ) contacts in ovarian follicles of Atlantic croaker suggested that these contacts disappear late during the process of resumption of oocyte meiosis. This observation suggested that, unlike scenarios proposed for a number of other species, uncoupling of GJ is not necessary for the onset of meiotic resumption in croaker follicles. However, the functionality of heterologous GJ contacts and the temporal association between maturation-inducing hormone (MIH)-induced changes in heterologous coupling and resumption of oocyte meiosis have not been examined in Atlantic croaker. These questions were addressed with a cell-cell coupling assay that is based on the transfer of a GJ marker, Lucifer Yellow, from oocytes to granulosa cells. Follicle-enclosed oocytes injected with Lucifer Yellow allowed transfer of the dye into the follicle cell layer, thus confirming that there is functional heterologous coupling between the oocyte and the granulosa cells. Dye transfer was observed in vitellogenic, full-grown/maturation-incompetent, and full-grown /maturation-competent follicles. Treatment of maturation-competent follicles with MIH caused a time-dependent decline in the number of follicles transferring dye. However, although GJ uncoupling in some of the follicles was observed before germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD, index of meiotic resumption), about 50% of the follicles maintained the ability to transfer dye even after GVBD had occurred. Further, a known GJ inhibitor (phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate) blocked heterologous GJ within a time frame similar to that seen with MIH but without inducing any of the morphological changes (including GVBD) associated with follicular maturation. In conclusion, uncoupling of heterologous GJ seems insufficient and unnecessary for the onset of meiotic resumption in ovarian follicles of Atlantic croaker. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science.

  6. Early disruption of glial communication via connexin gap junction in multiple sclerosis, Baló's disease and neuromyelitis optica.

    PubMed

    Masaki, Katsuhisa

    2015-10-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optica (NMO), and Baló's disease (BD) are inflammatory demyelinating diseases of the CNS. We previously reported anti-aquaporin-4 (anti-AQP4) antibody-dependent AQP4 loss occurs in some NMO patients, while antibody-independent AQP4 astrocytopathy can occur in heterogeneous demyelinating conditions, including MS, NMO and BD. To investigate the relationship between astrocytopathy and demyelination, we focused on connexins (Cxs), which form gap junctions (GJs) between astrocytes and oligodendrocytes and maintain homeostasis in the CNS. We evaluated expression of astrocytic Cx43/Cx30 and oligodendrocytic Cx47/Cx32 in autopsied materials from MS, NMO and BD patients. Astrocytic Cx43 and oligodendrocytic Cx32/Cx47 expressions were significantly diminished in both demyelinated and preserved myelin layers in all BD samples. In the leading edge of BD lesions, Cx43 and AQP4 loss preceded Cx32/Cx47 loss. Half of the NMO and MS samples showed preferential loss of astrocytic Cx43 expression in actively demyelinating and chronic active lesions, where heterotypic Cx43/Cx47 astrocyte-oligodendrocyte GJs were lost. Cases with Cx43 loss were significantly associated with rapid disease progression, regardless of the disease phenotype. Pathologically, Cx43 loss was frequently accompanied by distal oligodendrogliopathy. Our findings suggest that Cx43 astrocytopathy can occur in MS, BD and NMO. Moreover, astrocytic Cx43 loss may be associated with disease aggressiveness and distal oligodendrogliopathy in demyelinating conditions. Early disruption of glial communications via GJs may cause loss of glia syncytium, thereby inducing oligodendroglial damage and myelin loss. Inhibition of Cx hemichannels and restoration of GJs may be a possible therapeutic target for demyelinating disorders. PMID:26016402

  7. Gap Junction-Mediated Death of Retinal Neurons Is Connexin and Insult Specific: A Potential Target for Neuroprotection

    PubMed Central

    Akopian, Abram; Atlasz, Tamas; Pan, Feng; Wong, Sze; Zhang, Yi; Völgyi, Béla; Paul, David L.

    2014-01-01

    Secondary cell death via gap junctions (GJs) plays a role in the propagation of neuronal loss under a number of degenerative disorders. Here, we examined the role of GJs in neuronal death in the retina, which has arguably the most diverse expression of GJs in the CNS. Initially, we induced apoptotic death by injecting single retinal ganglion cells and glia with cytochrome C and found that this resulted in the loss of neighboring cells to which they were coupled via GJs. We next found that pharmacological blockade of GJs eradicated nearly all amacrine cell loss and reduced retinal ganglion cell loss by ∼70% after induction of either excitotoxic or ischemic insult conditions. These data indicate that the GJ-mediated secondary cell death was responsible for the death of most cells. Whereas genetic deletion of the GJ subunit Cx36 increased cell survivability by ∼50% under excitotoxic condition, cell loss in Cx45 knock-out mouse retinas was similar to that seen in wild-type mice. In contrast, ablation of Cx45 reduced neuronal loss by ∼50% under ischemic insult, but ablation of Cx36 offered no protection. Immunolabeling of the connexins showed differential changes in protein expression consistent with their differing roles in propagating death signals under the two insults. These data indicate that secondary cell death is mediated by different cohorts of GJs dependent on the connexins they express and the type of initial insult. Our results suggest that targeting specific connexins offers a novel therapeutic strategy to reduce progressive cell loss under different neurodegenerative conditions. PMID:25100592

  8. Functional Requirement for a Highly Conserved Charged Residue at Position 75 in the Gap Junction Protein Connexin 32*

    PubMed Central

    Abrams, Charles K.; Islam, Mahee; Mahmoud, Rola; Kwon, Taekyung; Bargiello, Thaddeus A.; Freidin, Mona M.

    2013-01-01

    Charcot Marie Tooth disease (CMT) is a group of inherited disorders characterized clinically by exclusively or predominantly peripheral nerve dysfunction. CMT1X, the most common form of X-linked CMT is caused by mutations in connexin 32 (Cx32). In this work, we used dual whole cell patch clamp recording to examine the functional effects of mutations at the Arg75 position. This residue is highly conserved among members of the connexin family, and disease-causing mutations have been identified at this (or the corresponding) position in Cx26, Cx43, and Cx46. Thus, a better understanding of the effects of mutations of this position in Cx32 may have relevance to pathogenesis of a number of different human diseases. All three mutants associated with CMT1X (R75P, R75Q, and R75W) showed very low levels of coupling similar to those of the cells transfected with vector alone. Heterotypic pairing with Cx32 WT showed that the absence of coupling for these mutants in the homotypic configuration could be explained by shifts in their hemichannel Gj-Vj relations. Examination of the expression levels and gating characteristics of seven additional mutants (R75A, R75D, R75E, R75H, R75K, R75L, and R75V) at this position suggest that the positive charge at position 75 in Cx32 is required for normal channel function but not for gap junction assembly. Our studies also suggest that disease treatment strategies for CMT1X, which correct trafficking abnormalities in Cx32, may be ineffective for the group of mutations also conferring changes in gating properties of Cx32 channels. PMID:23209285

  9. Impaired gap junctions in human hepatocellular carcinoma limit intrinsic oxaliplatin chemosensitivity: A key role of connexin 26.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yan; Zhu, Jian; Zhang, Na; Zhao, Yu; Li, Wan-Yun; Zhao, Fu-You; Ou, Yu-Rong; Qin, Shu-Kui; Wu, Qiong

    2016-02-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is generally believed to have low sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents including oxaliplatin (OXA). Studies have demonstrated that gap junctions (GJs) composed of connexin (Cx) proteins have the potential to modulate drug chemosensitivity in multiple tumor cells. In the present study, we investigated the characteristics of Cx and GJs in HCC at both histologic and cytologic levels, and the effects of GJ and its effective components on OXA cytotoxicity in HCC cells in vitro. Immunohistochemistry was performed in 76 HCCs and 20 normal liver tissues to detect and locate the expression of Cx26, Cx32 and Cx43. At cytologic levels, the expression and localization of Cxs were evaluated by RT-PCR, western blot and immunofluorescence assay, respectively. The GJ function between adjacent cells was detected using dye transfer assay. The role of GJs in the modulation of OXA toxicity in HCC cells was explored using pharmacologic and molecular biologic methods. We found that Cx expression in HCC tissues was significantly lower than in normal liver tissues, and the 'internalization' from cell membrane to cytoplasm was remarkable. In vitro experiments revealed the presence of functional GJs in the SMMC-7721 HCC cells due to a small amount of Cx protein along the plasma membrane at cell-cell contacts. Regulation of this part of GJs positively influenced OXA cytotoxicity. Using RNA interference, only specific inhibition of Cx26 but not Cx32 or Cx43 reduced OXA cytotoxicity. Conversely, Cx26 overexpression by transfection of Cx26 plasmid DNA enhanced OXA cytotoxicity. This study demonstrated that during hepatocarcinogenesis, the reduced expression and internalization of Cx proteins impaired the GJ function, which further attenuated OXA cytotoxicity. Impaired GJ function may contribute to low intrinsic chemosensitivity of HCC cells to OXA, mediated by Cx26. PMID:26648344

  10. Role of gap junctions and protein kinase A during the development of oocyte maturational competence in Ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yamamoto, Y.; Yoshizaki, G.; Takeuchi, T.; Soyano, K.; Patino, R.

    2008-01-01

    Meiotic resumption in teleost oocytes is induced by a maturation-inducing hormone (MIH). The sensitivity of oocytes to MIH, also known as oocyte maturational competence (OMC), is induced by LH via mechanisms that are not fully understood. A previous study of Ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis) showed the presence of functional heterologous gap junctions (GJs) between oocytes and their surrounding granulosa cells. The objectives of this study were to determine the role of ovarian GJs and of protein kinase A (PKA) during the acquisition of OMC. We examined the effects of the specific GJ inhibitor carbenoxolone (CBX) and 18??-glycyrrhetinic acid (??-GA) on the LH-(hCG)-dependent acquisition of OMC and on MIH-(17,20??-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one)-dependent meiotic resumption; measured the cAMP content of ovarian follicles during the hCG-dependent acquisition of OMC; and determined the effects of PK activators and inhibitors on hCG-dependent OMC. Production of follicular cAMP increased during the hCG-dependent acquisition of OMC. Both GJ inhibitors and the PKA inhibitor H8-dihydrochloride, but not the PKC inhibitor GF109203X, suppressed the hCG-dependent acquisition of OMC in a dose-dependent manner. The PKA activator forskolin induced OMC with a similar potency to hCG. Unlike previous observations with teleosts where disruption of heterologous GJ either blocks or stimulates meiotic resumption, treatment with GJ inhibitors did not affect MIH-dependent meiotic resumption in maturationally competent follicles of Ayu. These observations suggest that ovarian GJs are essential for LH-dependent acquisition of OMC but not for MIH-dependent meiotic resumption, and that the stimulation of OMC by LH is mediated by cAMP-dependent PKA. They are also consistent with the view that a precise balance between GJ-mediated signals (positive or negative) and oocyte maturational readiness is required for hormonally regulated meiotic resumption. ?? 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Natriuretic peptide precursor C delays meiotic resumption and sustains gap junction-mediated communication in bovine cumulus-enclosed oocytes.

    PubMed

    Franciosi, Federica; Coticchio, Giovanni; Lodde, Valentina; Tessaro, Irene; Modina, Silvia C; Fadini, Rubens; Dal Canto, Mariabeatrice; Renzini, Mario Mignini; Albertini, David F; Luciano, Alberto M

    2014-09-01

    Oocyte in vitro maturation (IVM) has become a valuable technological tool for animal breeding and cloning and the treatment of human infertility because it does not require the administration of exogenous gonadotropin to obtain fertilizable oocytes. However, embryo development after IVM is lower compared to in vivo maturation, most likely because oocytes collected for IVM are heterogeneous with respect to their developmental competencies. Attempts to improve IVM outcome have relied upon either prematuration culture (PMC) or two-step maturation strategies in the hope of normalizing variations in developmental competence. Such culture systems invoke the pharmacological arrest of meiosis, in theory providing oocytes sufficient time to complete the acquisition of developmental competence after cumulus-enclosed oocytes isolation from the follicle. The present study was designed to test the efficiency of natriuretic peptide precursor C (NPPC) as a nonpharmacologic meiosis-arresting agent during IVM in a monoovulatory species. NPPC has been shown to maintain meiotic arrest in vivo and in vitro in mice and pigs; however, the use of this molecule for PMC has yet to have been explored. Toward this end, meiotic cell cycle reentry, gap-junction functionality, and chromatin configuration changes were investigated in bovine cumulus-enclosed oocytes cultured in the presence of NPPC. Moreover, oocyte developmental competence was investigated after IVM, in vitro fertilization, and embryo culture and compared to standard IVM-in vitro fertilization protocol without PMC. Our results suggest that NPPC can be used to delay meiotic resumption and increase the developmental competence of bovine oocytes when used in PMC protocols. PMID:25078681

  12. 5-HT4 and 5-HT2 receptors antagonistically influence gap junctional coupling between rat auricular myocytes.

    PubMed

    Derangeon, Mickaël; Bozon, Véronique; Defamie, Norah; Peineau, Nicolas; Bourmeyster, Nicolas; Sarrouilhe, Denis; Argibay, Jorge A; Hervé, Jean-Claude

    2010-01-01

    5-hydroxytryptamine-4 (5-HT(4)) receptors have been proposed to contribute to the generation of atrial fibrillation in human atrial myocytes, but it is unclear if these receptors are present in the hearts of small laboratory animals (e.g. rat). In this study, we examined presence and functionality of 5-HT(4) receptors in auricular myocytes of newborn rats and their possible involvement in regulation of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC, responsible for the cell-to-cell propagation of the cardiac excitation). Western-blotting assays showed that 5-HT(4) receptors were present and real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed that 5-HT(4b) was the predominant isoform. Serotonin (1 microM) significantly reduced cAMP concentration unless a selective 5-HT(4) inhibitor (GR113808 or ML10375, both 1 microM) was present. Serotonin also reduced the amplitude of L-type calcium currents and influenced the strength of GJIC without modifying the phosphorylation profiles of the different channel-forming proteins or connexins (Cxs), namely Cx40, Cx43 and Cx45. GJIC was markedly increased when serotonin exposure occurred in presence of a 5-HT(4) inhibitor but strongly reduced when 5-HT(2A) and 5-HT(2B) receptors were inhibited, showing that activation of these receptors antagonistically regulated GJIC. The serotoninergic response was completely abolished when 5-HT(4), 5-HT(2A) and 5-HT(2B) were simultaneously inhibited. A 24 h serotonin exposure strongly reduced Cx40 expression whereas Cx45 was less affected and Cx43 still less. In conclusion, this study revealed that 5-HT(4) (mainly 5-HT(4b)), 5-HT(2A) and 5-HT(2B) receptors coexisted in auricular myocytes of newborn rat, that 5-HT(4) activation reduced cAMP concentration, I(Ca)(L) and intercellular coupling whereas 5-HT(2A) or 5-HT(2B) activation conversely enhanced GJIC. PMID:19615378

  13. Gingko biloba extracts protect auditory hair cells from cisplatin-induced ototoxicity by inhibiting perturbation of gap junctional intercellular communication.

    PubMed

    Choi, S J; Kim, S W; Lee, J B; Lim, H J; Kim, Y J; Tian, C; So, H S; Park, R; Choung, Y-H

    2013-08-01

    Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) may play an important role in the hearing process. Cisplatin is an anticancer drug that causes hearing loss and Gingko biloba extracts (EGb 761) have been used as an antioxidant and enhancer for GJIC. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficiency of EGb 761 in protecting against cisplatin-induced apoptosis and disturbance of GJIC. House Ear Institute-Organ of Corti 1 auditory cells were cultured and treated with cisplatin (50 μM) and EGb (300 μg/ml) for 24h, and then analyzed by immunocytochemistry (Annexin V/propidium iodide) and Western blots. GJIC was evaluated by scrape-loading dye transfer (SLDT). Basal turn organ of Corti (oC) explants from neonatal (p3) rats were exposed to cisplatin (1-10 μM) and EGb (50-400 μg/ml). The number of intact hair cells was counted by co-labeling with phalloidin and MyoVIIa. EGb prevented cisplatin-induced apoptosis in immunostaining and decreased caspase 3 and poly-ADP-ribose polymerase bands, which were increased in cisplatin-treated cells in Western blots. EGb prevented abnormal intracellular locations of connexin (Cx) 26, 30, 31, and 43 in cells treated with cisplatin and increased quantities of Cx bands. EGb also prevented cisplatin-induced disturbance of GJIC in SLDT. In oC explants, EGb significantly prevented hair cell damage induced by cisplatin. In animal studies, EGb significantly prevented cisplatin-induced hearing loss across 16 and 32 kHz. These results show that cisplatin induces ototoxicity including hearing loss as well as down-regulation of GJIC and inhibition of Cxs in auditory cells. EGb prevents hearing loss in cisplatin-treated rats by inhibiting down-regulation of Cx expression and GJIC. The disturbance of GJIC or Cx expression may be one of the important mechanisms of cisplatin-induced ototoxicity. PMID:23583760

  14. Gap Junctional Blockade Stochastically Induces Different Species-Specific Head Anatomies in Genetically Wild-Type Girardia dorotocephala Flatworms.

    PubMed

    Emmons-Bell, Maya; Durant, Fallon; Hammelman, Jennifer; Bessonov, Nicholas; Volpert, Vitaly; Morokuma, Junji; Pinet, Kaylinnette; Adams, Dany S; Pietak, Alexis; Lobo, Daniel; Levin, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The shape of an animal body plan is constructed from protein components encoded by the genome. However, bioelectric networks composed of many cell types have their own intrinsic dynamics, and can drive distinct morphological outcomes during embryogenesis and regeneration. Planarian flatworms are a popular system for exploring body plan patterning due to their regenerative capacity, but despite considerable molecular information regarding stem cell differentiation and basic axial patterning, very little is known about how distinct head shapes are produced. Here, we show that after decapitation in G. dorotocephala, a transient perturbation of physiological connectivity among cells (using the gap junction blocker octanol) can result in regenerated heads with quite different shapes, stochastically matching other known species of planaria (S. mediterranea, D. japonica, and P. felina). We use morphometric analysis to quantify the ability of physiological network perturbations to induce different species-specific head shapes from the same genome. Moreover, we present a computational agent-based model of cell and physical dynamics during regeneration that quantitatively reproduces the observed shape changes. Morphological alterations induced in a genomically wild-type G. dorotocephala during regeneration include not only the shape of the head but also the morphology of the brain, the characteristic distribution of adult stem cells (neoblasts), and the bioelectric gradients of resting potential within the anterior tissues. Interestingly, the shape change is not permanent; after regeneration is complete, intact animals remodel back to G. dorotocephala-appropriate head shape within several weeks in a secondary phase of remodeling following initial complete regeneration. We present a conceptual model to guide future work to delineate the molecular mechanisms by which bioelectric networks stochastically select among a small set of discrete head morphologies. Taken together

  15. Gap Junctional Blockade Stochastically Induces Different Species-Specific Head Anatomies in Genetically Wild-Type Girardia dorotocephala Flatworms

    PubMed Central

    Emmons-Bell, Maya; Durant, Fallon; Hammelman, Jennifer; Bessonov, Nicholas; Volpert, Vitaly; Morokuma, Junji; Pinet, Kaylinnette; Adams, Dany S.; Pietak, Alexis; Lobo, Daniel; Levin, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The shape of an animal body plan is constructed from protein components encoded by the genome. However, bioelectric networks composed of many cell types have their own intrinsic dynamics, and can drive distinct morphological outcomes during embryogenesis and regeneration. Planarian flatworms are a popular system for exploring body plan patterning due to their regenerative capacity, but despite considerable molecular information regarding stem cell differentiation and basic axial patterning, very little is known about how distinct head shapes are produced. Here, we show that after decapitation in G. dorotocephala, a transient perturbation of physiological connectivity among cells (using the gap junction blocker octanol) can result in regenerated heads with quite different shapes, stochastically matching other known species of planaria (S. mediterranea, D. japonica, and P. felina). We use morphometric analysis to quantify the ability of physiological network perturbations to induce different species-specific head shapes from the same genome. Moreover, we present a computational agent-based model of cell and physical dynamics during regeneration that quantitatively reproduces the observed shape changes. Morphological alterations induced in a genomically wild-type G. dorotocephala during regeneration include not only the shape of the head but also the morphology of the brain, the characteristic distribution of adult stem cells (neoblasts), and the bioelectric gradients of resting potential within the anterior tissues. Interestingly, the shape change is not permanent; after regeneration is complete, intact animals remodel back to G. dorotocephala-appropriate head shape within several weeks in a secondary phase of remodeling following initial complete regeneration. We present a conceptual model to guide future work to delineate the molecular mechanisms by which bioelectric networks stochastically select among a small set of discrete head morphologies. Taken together

  16. Gap junction-mediated cell-to-cell communication in bovine and human adrenal cells. A process whereby cells increase their responsiveness to physiological corticotropin concentrations.

    PubMed Central

    Munari-Silem, Y; Lebrethon, M C; Morand, I; Rousset, B; Saez, J M

    1995-01-01

    We have studied the role of gap junction-mediated intercellular communication on the steroidogenic response of bovine (BAC) and human (HAC) adrenal fasciculo-reticularis cells in culture to corticotropin (ACTH). Indirect immunofluorescence analyses showed that intact human and bovine adreno-cortical tissue as well as HAC and BAC in culture expressed the gap junction protein connexin43 (also termed alpha 1 connexin). Both HAC and BAC were functionally coupled through gap junctions as demonstrated by microinjection of a low molecular mass fluorescent probe, Lucifer yellow. The cell-to-cell transfer of the probe was blocked by 18 alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid (GA), an inhibitor of gap junction-mediated intercellular communication. GA markedly decreased the steroidogenic response (cortisol production) of both HAC and BAC to low (10 pM) but not to high (5 nM) concentrations of ACTH. GA had no inhibitory effect on the steroidogenic response to 8 Br-cAMP (at either low or high concentrations) and did neither modify the binding of 125I-ACTH to its receptor nor the ACTH-induced cAMP production. BAC cultured at high or low cell densities (2.4 x 10(5) vs. 0.24 x 10(5) cells/cm2) exhibited distinct levels of intercellular communication and were differently responsive to sub-maximal ACTH concentrations. The ACTH ED50 values for cortisol production were 8.5 +/- 1.3 and 45 +/- 14 pM (P < 0.02) for BAC cultured at high and low density, respectively. In the presence of GA, there was a shift of the ACTH concentration-response curves in the two culture conditions. The ACTH ED50 of high density and low density cultured BAC increased 25- and 5-fold, respectively, and became similar (220 +/- 90 and 250 +/- 120 pM). These results demonstrate that gap junction-mediated communication between hormone-responsive and nonresponsive cells is one mechanism by which adrenal cells increase their responsiveness to low ACTH concentrations. Images PMID:7706446

  17. Gate-tunable tunneling resistance in graphene/topological insulator vertical junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Liang; Yan, Yuan; Wu, Han-Chun; Liao, Zhi-Min; Yu, Da-Peng

    The emergence of graphene-based vertical heterostructures, especially stacked by various layered materials, opens up new promising possibilities for investigations and applications. The junction based on two famous Dirac materials, graphene and topological insulator, Bi2Se3, can considerably enlarge the family of van der Waals heterostructures, while the experimental approach to obtain controllable interface of these junctions is still a challenge. Here we show the experimental realization of the vertical heterojunction between Bi2Se3 and monolayer graphene. The tunneling-mediated quantum oscillations are identified to arise from several two-dimensional conducting layers. The electrostatic field induced by back gate voltage, as well as the magnetic field, is applied to tailor the available density of states near the Fermi surface. We observe exotic gate-tunable tunneling resistance in high magnetic field, which is attributed to semimetal-quantum Hall insulator transition in the underlying graphene. This work was supported by MOST (Nos. 2013CB934600, 2013CB932602) and NSFC (Nos. 11274014, 11234001).

  18. Radiation resistance diagnostics of wide-gap optical materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feldbach, Eduard; Tõldsepp, Eliko; Kirm, Marco; Lushchik, Aleksandr; Mizohata, Kenichiro; Räisänen, Jyrki

    2016-05-01

    Novel approach in the detection of radiation damage created by ion beams in optical materials was demonstrated. Protons of the energy of 100 keV and fluence of 1017 cm-2 create sufficient amount of crystal lattice defects in the thin surface layer for testing of optical materials needed for future fusion reactors. These structural defects can be detected and analysed using the spectra of cathodoluminescence excited in the irradiated layer by an electron beam with adjustable energy. The method was verified by the enhanced intensity of F-type luminescence that reflects the creation of radiation-induced oxygen vacancies in MgO and Al2O3 crystals. Low radiation resistance of nominally pure (Lu1-xGdx)2SiO5 crystals was demonstrated by almost total suppression of intrinsic luminescence after the same irradiation.

  19. Estrogen Decrease in Tight Junctional Resistance Involves Matrix-Metalloproteinase-7-Mediated Remodeling of Occludin

    PubMed Central

    Gorodeski, George I.

    2008-01-01

    Estrogen modulates tight junctional resistance through estrogen receptor-α-mediated remodeling of occludin. The objective of the study was to understand the mechanisms involved. Experiments using human normal vaginal-cervical epithelial cells showed that human normal vaginal-cervical epithelial cells secrete constitutively matrix-metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7) into the luminal solution and that MMP-7 is necessary and sufficient to produce estrogen decrease of tight junctional resistance and remodeling of occludin. Treatment with estrogen stimulated activation of the pro-MMP-7 intracellularly and augmented secretion of the activated MMP-7 form. Steady-state levels of MMP-7 mRNA and protein were not affected by estrogen. Estrogen modulated phosphorylation of the MMP-7, but the changes were most likely secondary to changes in cellular MMP-7 mass. Estrogen increased coimmunoreactivity of MMP-7 with the Golgi protein GPP130. Tunicamycin and brefeldin-A had no effect on cellular MMP-7 but monensin (inhibitor of Golgi traffic) blocked estrogen effects, suggesting estrogen site of action is at the Golgi system. Estrogen increased generalized secretory activity, including of luminal exocytosis of polycarbohydrates. However, estrogen increased coimmunoreactivity of MMP-7 with synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa in apical membranes, suggesting soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive fusion factor attachment protein receptor-facilitated exocytosis of MMP-7. Treatment with the vesicular-ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin A1 inhibited activation of MMP-7. These data suggest that estrogen up-regulates activation of the MMP-7 intracellularly, at the level of Golgi, and augments secretion of activated MMP-7 through soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive fusion factor attachment protein receptor-dependent exocytosis. On the other hand, estrogen acidification of the luminal solution would tend to alkalinize exocytotic vesicles and may lead to decreased activation of the MMP-7. These mechanisms

  20. The behavior of series resistance of a p-n junction: the diode and the solar cell cases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bueno, Poliana H.; Costa, Diogo F.; Eick, Alexander; Carvalho, André; Monteiro, Davies W. L.

    2016-03-01

    This paper presents a comparison of the impact of the internal parasitic series resistance of a p-n junction, as seen from the microelectronics and photovoltaic communities. The elusive thermal behavior of the aforementioned resistance gave this work its origin. Each community uses a different approach to interpret the operational current-voltage behavior of a p-n junction, which might lead to confusion, since scientists and engineers of these two realms seldom interact. An improvement in the understanding of the different approaches will help one to better model the performance of devices based on p-n junctions and therefore it will favor the performance predictions of photovoltaic cells. For diodes, series resistance is usually determined from a specific forward-bias region of the I-V curve on a semi-logarithmic scale. However, in Photovoltaics this region is not commonly reported and therefore other methods to determine Rs are employed. We mathematically modeled an experimentally obtained I-V curve with various pairs of the ideality factor and Rs and found that more than one pair accurately synthesizes the measured curve. We can conclude that the reported series resistance not only depends on physical parameters, e.g. temperature or irradiance, but also on fitting parameters, i.e. the ideality factor. Generally the behavior of a p-n junction depends on its operating conditions and electrical modeling.

  1. Competitive behavior of photons contributing to junction voltage jump in narrow band-gap semiconductor multi-quantum-well laser diodes at lasing threshold

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Liefeng; Yang, Xiufang; Li, Yang; Li, Ding; Wang, Cunda; Yao, Dongsheng; Hu, Xiaodong; Li, Hongru

    2015-04-01

    The junction behavior of different narrow band-gap multi-quantum-well (MQW) laser diodes (LDs) confirmed that the jump in the junction voltage in the threshold region is a general characteristic of narrow band-gap LDs. The relative change in the 1310 nm LD is the most obvious. To analyze this sudden voltage change, the threshold region is divided into three stages by Ithl and Ithu, as shown in Fig. 2; Ithl is the conventional threshold, and as long as the current is higher than this threshold, lasing exists and the IdV/dI-I plot drops suddenly; Ithu is the steady lasing point, at which the separation of the quasi-Fermi levels of electron and holes across the active region (Vj) is suddenly pinned. Based on the evolutionary model of dissipative structure theory, the rate equations of the photons in a single-mode LD were deduced in detail at Ithl and Ithu. The results proved that the observed behavior of stimulated emission suddenly substituting for spontaneous emission, in a manner similar to biological evolution, must lead to a sudden increase in the injection carriers in the threshold region, which then causes the sudden increase in the junction voltage in this region.

  2. Competitive behavior of photons contributing to junction voltage jump in narrow band-gap semiconductor multi-quantum-well laser diodes at lasing threshold

    SciTech Connect

    Feng, Liefeng E-mail: lihongru@nankai.edu.cn; Yang, Xiufang; Wang, Cunda; Yao, Dongsheng; Li, Yang; Li, Ding; Hu, Xiaodong; Li, Hongru E-mail: lihongru@nankai.edu.cn

    2015-04-15

    The junction behavior of different narrow band-gap multi-quantum-well (MQW) laser diodes (LDs) confirmed that the jump in the junction voltage in the threshold region is a general characteristic of narrow band-gap LDs. The relative change in the 1310 nm LD is the most obvious. To analyze this sudden voltage change, the threshold region is divided into three stages by I{sub th}{sup l} and I{sub th}{sup u}, as shown in Fig. 2; I{sub th}{sup l} is the conventional threshold, and as long as the current is higher than this threshold, lasing exists and the IdV/dI-I plot drops suddenly; I{sub th}{sup u} is the steady lasing point, at which the separation of the quasi-Fermi levels of electron and holes across the active region (V{sub j}) is suddenly pinned. Based on the evolutionary model of dissipative structure theory, the rate equations of the photons in a single-mode LD were deduced in detail at I{sub th}{sup l} and I{sub th}{sup u}. The results proved that the observed behavior of stimulated emission suddenly substituting for spontaneous emission, in a manner similar to biological evolution, must lead to a sudden increase in the injection carriers in the threshold region, which then causes the sudden increase in the junction voltage in this region.

  3. Anti-angiogenesis therapy and gap junction inhibition reduce MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell invasion and metastasis in vitro and in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Zibara, Kazem; Awada, Zahraa; Dib, Leila; El-Saghir, Jamal; Al-Ghadban, Sara; Ibrik, Aida; El-Zein, Nabil; El-Sabban, Marwan

    2015-01-01

    Cancer cells secrete VEGF, which plays a key role in their growth, invasion, extravasation and metastasis. Direct cancer cell-endothelial cell interaction, mediated by gap junctions, is of critical importance in the extravasation process. In this study, we evaluated avastin (Av), an anti-VEGF antibody; and oleamide (OL), a gap junction inhibitor, using MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells in vitro and a xenograft murine model in vivo. Results showed that Av/OL significantly decreased proliferation, induced cell cycle arrest and decreased migration and invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells in vitro. In addition, Av/OL significantly decreased homo and hetero-cellular communication interaction between MDA-MDA and MDA-endothelial cells, respectively. The expression levels of several factors including VEGF, HIF1α, CXCR4, Cx26, Cx43, and MMP9 were attenuated upon Av/OL treatment in vitro. On the other hand, avastin, but not oleamide, reduced tumor size of NSG mice injected subdermally (s.d.) with MDA-MB-231 cells, which was also associated with increased survival. Furthermore, Av but also OL, separately, significantly increased the survival rate, and reduced pulmonary and hepatic metastatic foci, of intravenously (i.v.) injected mice. Finally, OL reduced MMP9 protein expression levels, better than Av and in comparisons to control, in the lungs of MDA-MB-231 i.v. injected NSG mice. In conclusion, while avastin has anti-angiogenic, anti-tumor and anti-metastatic activities, oleamide has anti-metastatic activity, presumably at the extravasation level, providing further evidence for the role of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) in cancer cell extravasation. PMID:26218768

  4. Prognostic Impact of Reduced Connexin43 Expression and Gap Junction Coupling of Neoplastic Stromal Cells in Giant Cell Tumor of Bone

    PubMed Central

    Balla, Peter; Maros, Mate Elod; Barna, Gabor; Antal, Imre; Papp, Gergo; Sapi, Zoltan; Athanasou, Nicholas Anthony; Benassi, Maria Serena; Picci, Pierro; Krenacs, Tibor

    2015-01-01

    Missense mutations of the GJA1 gene encoding the gap junction channel protein connexin43 (Cx43) cause bone malformations resulting in oculodentodigital dysplasia (ODDD), while GJA1 null and ODDD mutant mice develop osteopenia. In this study we investigated Cx43 expression and channel functions in giant cell tumor of bone (GCTB), a locally aggressive osteolytic lesion with uncertain progression. Cx43 protein levels assessed by immunohistochemistry were correlated with GCTB cell types, clinico-radiological stages and progression free survival in tissue microarrays of 89 primary and 34 recurrent GCTB cases. Cx43 expression, phosphorylation, subcellular distribution and gap junction coupling was also investigated and compared between cultured neoplastic GCTB stromal cells and bone marow stromal cells or HDFa fibroblasts as a control. In GCTB tissues, most Cx43 was produced by CD163 negative neoplastic stromal cells and less by CD163 positive reactive monocytes/macrophages or by giant cells. Significantly less Cx43 was detected in α-smooth muscle actin positive than α-smooth muscle actin negative stromal cells and in osteoclast-rich tumor nests than in the adjacent reactive stroma. Progressively reduced Cx43 production in GCTB was significantly linked to advanced clinico-radiological stages and worse progression free survival. In neoplastic GCTB stromal cell cultures most Cx43 protein was localized in the paranuclear-Golgi region, while it was concentrated in the cell membranes both in bone marrow stromal cells and HDFa fibroblasts. In Western blots, alkaline phosphatase sensitive bands, linked to serine residues (Ser369, Ser372 or Ser373) detected in control cells, were missing in GCTB stromal cells. Defective cell membrane localization of Cx43 channels was in line with the significantly reduced transfer of the 622 Da fluorescing calcein dye between GCTB stromal cells. Our results show that significant downregulation of Cx43 expression and gap junction coupling in

  5. Impact of obesity on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced altered ovarian connexin gap junction proteins in female mice

    PubMed Central

    Ganesan, Shanthi; Nteeba, Jackson; Keating, Aileen F.

    2014-01-01

    The ovarian gap junction proteins alpha 4 (GJA4 or connexin 37; CX37), alpha 1 (GJA1 or connexin 43; CX43) and gamma 1 (GJC1 or connexin 45; CX45) are involved in cell communication and folliculogenesis. 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) alters Cx37 and Cx43 expression in cultured neonatal rat ovaries. Additionally, obesity has an additive effect on DMBA-induced ovarian cell death and follicle depletion, thus, we investigated in vivo impacts of obesity and DMBA on CX protein levels. Ovaries were collected from lean and obese mice aged 6, 12, 18, or 24 wks. A subset of 18 wk old mice (lean and obese) were dosed with sesame oil or DMBA (1mg/kg; ip) for 14 days and ovaries collected 3 days thereafter. Cx43 and Cx45 mRNA and protein levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 18 wks while Cx37 mRNA and protein levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 24 wks in obese ovaries. Cx37 mRNA and antral follicle protein staining intensity were reduced (P < 0.05) by obesity while total CX37 protein was reduced (P < 0.05) in DMBA exposed obese ovaries. Cx43 mRNA and total protein levels were decreased (P < 0.05) by DMBA in both lean and obese ovaries while basal protein staining intensity was reduced (P < 0.05) in obese controls. Cx45 mRNA, total protein and protein staining intensity level were decreased (P < 0.05) by obesity. These data support that obesity temporally alters gap junction protein expression and that DMBA-induced ovotoxicity may involve reduced gap junction protein function. PMID:25447408

  6. Star junctions and watermelons of pure or random quantum Ising chains: finite-size properties of the energy gap at criticality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monthus, Cécile

    2015-06-01

    We consider M  ⩾  2 pure or random quantum Ising chains of N spins when they are coupled via a single star junction at their origins or when they are coupled via two star junctions at the their two ends leading to the watermelon geometry. The energy gap is studied via a sequential self-dual real-space renormalization procedure that can be explicitly solved in terms of Kesten variables containing the initial couplings and and the initial transverse fields. In the pure case at criticality, the gap is found to decay as a power-law {ΔM}\\propto {{N}-z(M)} with the dynamical exponent z(M)=\\frac{M}{2} for the single star junction (the case M   =   2 corresponds to z   =   1 for a single chain with free boundary conditions) and z(M)   =   M  -  1 for the watermelon (the case M   =   2 corresponds to z   =   1 for a single chain with periodic boundary conditions). In the random case at criticality, the gap follows the Infinite Disorder Fixed Point scaling \\ln {ΔM}=-{{N}\\psi}g with the same activated exponent \\psi =\\frac{1}{2} as the single chain corresponding to M   =   2, and where g is an O(1) random positive variable, whose distribution depends upon the number M of chains and upon the geometry (star or watermelon).

  7. Connexin-dependent gap junction enhancement is involved in the synergistic effect of sorafenib and all-trans retinoic acid on HCC growth inhibition.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yan; Qin, Shu-Kui; Wu, Qiong; Wang, Zi-Shu; Zheng, Rong-Sheng; Tong, Xu-Hui; Liu, Hao; Tao, Liang; He, Xian-Di

    2014-02-01

    Increasing gap junction activity in tumor cells provides a target by which to enhance antineoplastic therapies. Previously, several naturally occurring agents, including all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) have been demonstrated to increase gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in a number of types of cancer cells. In the present study, we investigated in vitro whether ATRA modulates the response of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells to sorafenib, the only proven oral drug for advanced HCC, and the underlying mechanisms. HepG2 and SMMC-7721 cells were treated with sorafenib and/or ATRA, and cell proliferation and apoptosis were analyzed; the role of GJIC was also explored. We found that ATRA, at non-toxic concentrations, enhanced sorafenib-induced growth inhibition in both HCC cell lines, and this effect was abolished by two GJIC inhibitors, 18-α-GA and oleamide. Whereas lower concentrations of sorafenib (5 µM) or ATRA (0.1 or 10 µM) alone modestly induced GJIC activity, the combination of sorafenib plus ATRA resulted in a strong enhancement of GJIC. However, the action paradigm differed in the HepG2 and SMMC-7721 cells, with the dominant effect of GJIC dependent on the cell-specific connexin increase in protein amounts and relocalization. RT-PCR assay further revealed a transcriptional modification of the key structural connexin in the two cell lines. Thus, a connexin-dependent gap junction enhancement may play a central role in ATRA plus sorafenib synergy in inhibiting HCC cell growth. Since both agents are available for human use, the combination treatment represents a future profitable strategy for the treatment of advanced HCC. PMID:24317203

  8. Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid Utilized Ex Vivo to Validate In Vivo Findings: Inhibition of Gap Junction Activity in Lung Tumor Promotion is Toll-Like Receptor 4-Dependent.

    PubMed

    Hill, Thomas; Osgood, Ross S; Velmurugan, Kalpana; Alexander, Carla-Maria; Upham, Brad L; Bauer, Alison K

    2013-12-27

    TLR4 protects against lung tumor promotion and pulmonary inflammation in mice. Connexin 43 (Cx43), a gap junction gene, was increased in Tlr4 wildtype compared to Tlr4-mutant mice in response to promotion, which suggests gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) may be compromised. We hypothesized that the early tumor microenvironment, represented by Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid (BALF) from Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT; promoter)-treated mice, would produce TLR4-dependent changes in pulmonary epithelium, including dysregulation of GJIC in the Tlr4-mutant (BALB (Lps-d) ) compared to the Tlr4-sufficient (BALB; wildtype) mice. BHT (4 weekly doses) was injected ip followed by BALF collection at 24 h. BALF total protein and total macrophages were significantly elevated in BHT-treated BALB (Lps-d) over BALB mice, similar to previous findings. BALF was then utilized in an ex vivo manner to treat C10 cells, a murine alveolar type II cell line, followed by the scrape-load dye transfer assay (GJIC), Cx43 immunostaining, and quantitative RT-PCR (Mcp-1, monocyte chemotactic protein 1). GJIC was markedly reduced in C10 cells treated with BHT-treated BALB (Lps-d) BALF for 4 and 24 h compared to BALB and control BALF from the respective mice (p < 0.05). Mcp-1, a chemokine, was also significantly increased in the BHT-treated BALB (Lps-d) BALF compared to the BALB mice, and Cx43 protein expression in the cell membrane altered. These novel findings suggest signaling from the BALF milieu is involved in GJIC dysregulation associated with promotion and links gap junctions to pulmonary TLR4 protection in a novel ex vivo model that could assist in future potential tumor promoter screening. PMID:25035812

  9. The gap junction inhibitor 2-aminoethoxy-diphenyl-borate protects against acetaminophen hepatotoxicity by inhibiting cytochrome P450 enzymes and c-jun N-terminal kinase activation

    SciTech Connect

    Du, Kuo; Williams, C. David; McGill, Mitchell R.; Xie, Yuchao; Farhood, Anwar; Vinken, Mathieu; Jaeschke, Hartmut

    2013-12-15

    Acetaminophen (APAP) hepatotoxicity is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the US. Although many aspects of the mechanism are known, recent publications suggest that gap junctions composed of connexin32 function as critical intercellular communication channels which transfer cytotoxic mediators into neighboring hepatocytes and aggravate liver injury. However, these studies did not consider off-target effects of reagents used in these experiments, especially the gap junction inhibitor 2-aminoethoxy-diphenyl-borate (2-APB). In order to assess the mechanisms of protection of 2-APB in vivo, male C56Bl/6 mice were treated with 400 mg/kg APAP to cause extensive liver injury. This injury was prevented when animals were co-treated with 20 mg/kg 2-APB and was attenuated when 2-APB was administered 1.5 h after APAP. However, the protection was completely lost when 2-APB was given 4–6 h after APAP. Measurement of protein adducts and c-jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation indicated that 2-APB reduced both protein binding and JNK activation, which correlated with hepatoprotection. Although some of the protection was due to the solvent dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), in vitro experiments clearly demonstrated that 2-APB directly inhibits cytochrome P450 activities. In addition, JNK activation induced by phorone and tert-butylhydroperoxide in vivo was inhibited by 2-APB. The effects against APAP toxicity in vivo were reproduced in primary cultured hepatocytes without use of DMSO and in the absence of functional gap junctions. We conclude that the protective effect of 2-APB was caused by inhibition of metabolic activation of APAP and inhibition of the JNK signaling pathway and not by blocking connexin32-based gap junctions. - Highlights: • 2-APB protected against APAP-induced liver injury in mice in vivo and in vitro • 2-APB protected by inhibiting APAP metabolic activation and JNK signaling pathway • DMSO inhibited APAP metabolic activation as the solvent of 2-APB

  10. The role of engineered materials in superconducting tunnel junction X-ray detectors - Suppression of quasiparticle recombination losses via a phononic band gap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rippert, Edward D.; Ketterson, John B.; Chen, Jun; Song, Shenian; Lomatch, Susanne; Maglic, Stevan R.; Thomas, Christopher; Cheida, M. A.; Ulmer, Melville P.

    1992-01-01

    An engineered structure is proposed that can alleviate quasi-particle recombination losses via the existence of a phononic band gap that overlaps the 2-Delta energy of phonons produced during recombination of quasi-particles. Attention is given to a 1D Kronig-Penny model for phonons normally incident to the layers of a multilayered superconducting tunnel junction as an idealized example. A device with a high density of Bragg resonances is identified as desirable; both Nb/Si and NbN/SiN superlattices have been produced, with the latter having generally superior performance.

  11. Connexin43 gap junctions in normal, regenerating, and cultured mouse bone marrow and in human leukemias: their possible involvement in blood formation.

    PubMed Central

    Krenacs, T.; Rosendaal, M.

    1998-01-01

    Communicating channels called gap junctions are thought to play a ubiquitous part in cell growth and development. Based on earlier work, we have recently found functional evidence of their presence in human and mouse bone marrow. In this study we studied the cell-type association of the gap junction channel-forming protein, connexin, in mouse and human bone marrow under different physiological and pathological conditions and tested the pathway of communication in bone marrow cultures. For high-resolution antigen demonstration we took advantage of semi-thin resin sections, antigen retrieval methods, immunofluorescence, and confocal laser scanning microscopy. Connexin43 (Cx43) and its mRNA were consistently expressed in human and rodent marrow. Cx37 was found only in the arteriolar endothelium, but neither Cx32 nor -26 were expressed. In tissue sections, the immunostained junctions appeared as dots, which were digitally measured and counted. Their average size was 0.40 mm in human and 0.49 mm in mice marrow. There were at least twice as many gap junctions in the femoral midshaft of 6-week-old mice (1.75 x 10(5)/mm3) as in those older than 12 weeks (0.89 x 10(5)/mm3). Most Cx43 was associated with collagen III+ endosteal and adventitial stromal cells and with megakaryocytes. Elsewhere, they were few and randomly distributed between all kinds of hematopoietic cells. In the femoral epiphysis of juvenile mice, stromal cell processes full of Cx43 enmeshed three to six layers of hematopoietic cells near the endosteum. The same pattern was seen in the midshaft of regenerating mouse marrow 3 to 5 days after cytotoxic treatment with 5-fluorouracil. Functional tests in cultures showed the transfer of small fluorescent dyes, Lucifer Yellow and 2',7'-bis-(2-carboxyethyl)-5, 6-carboxyfluorescein, between stromal cells and in rare cases between stromal and hematopoietic cells too. The stromal cells were densely packed with Cx43 and we found aggregates of connexon particles in

  12. Tunneling in Al/Al2 O3 /Al junctions and its direct link with energy gap and tunneling time across the barrier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patino, Edgar; Kelkar, Neelima

    Quantum tunneling has been widely used in order to investigate the density of states of the materials across the barrier and magnetoresistance in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs). In spite of the possible applications there is no clear understanding of the barrier parameters as a function of temperature. Measurements of current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of a high quality Al/Al2O3/Al junction at temperatures ranging from 3.5 K to 300 K have been used to extract the barrier properties. Fitting results using Simmons' model led to a constant value of barrier width s ~20.8 Å and a continuous increase in the barrier height with decreasing temperature. The latter is used to determine the energy band gap temperature dependence and average phonon frequency ω = 2.05 × 1013 sec-1 in Al2O3. Finally from the experimentally extracted barrier height and width parameters we calculate the tunneling time for a solid state tunnel junction. The order of magnitude of this time corresponds to the one obtained in sophisticated experiments.The barrier parameters are used to extract the temperature dependent dwell times in tunneling (τD = 3.6 × 10-16 sec at mid-barrier energies) and locate resonances above the barrier.

  13. Evolution of Microbial Quorum Sensing to Human Global Quorum Sensing: An Insight into How Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication Might Be Linked to the Global Metabolic Disease Crisis

    PubMed Central

    Trosko, James E.

    2016-01-01

    The first anaerobic organism extracted energy for survival and reproduction from its source of nutrients, with the genetic means to ensure protection of its individual genome but also its species survival. While it had a means to communicate with its community via simple secreted molecules (“quorum sensing”), the eventual shift to an aerobic environment led to multi-cellular metazoan organisms, with evolutionary-selected genes to form extracellular matrices, stem cells, stem cell niches, and a family of gap junction or “connexin” genes. These germinal and somatic stem cells responded to extracellular signals that triggered intra-cellular signaling to regulate specific genes out of the total genome. These extra-cellular induced intra-cellular signals also modulated gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in order to regulate the new cellular functions of symmetrical and asymmetrical cell division, cell differentiation, modes of cell death, and senescence. Within the hierarchical and cybernetic concepts, differentiated by neurons organized in the brain of the Homo sapiens, the conscious mind led to language, abstract ideas, technology, myth-making, scientific reasoning, and moral decision–making, i.e., the creation of culture. Over thousands of years, this has created the current collision between biological and cultural evolution, leading to the global “metabolic disease” crisis. PMID:27314399

  14. Functional expression of Ca²⁺ dependent mammalian transmembrane gap junction protein Cx43 in slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Kaufmann, Stefan; Weiss, Ingrid M; Eckstein, Volker; Tanaka, Motomu

    2012-03-01

    In this paper, we expressed murine gap junction protein Cx43 in Dictyostelium discoideum by introducing the specific vector pDXA. In the first step, the successful expression of Cx43 and Cx43-eGFP was verified by (a) Western blot (anti-Cx43, anti-GFP), (b) fluorescence microscopy (eGFP-Cx43 co-expression, Cx43 immunostaining), and (c) flow cytometry analysis (eGFP-Cx43 co-expression). Although the fluorescence signals from cells expressing Cx43-eGFP detected by fluorescence microscopy seem relatively low, analysis by flow cytometry demonstrated that more than 60% of cells expressed Cx43-eGFP. In order to evaluate the function of expressed Cx43 in D. discoideum, we examined the hemi-channel function of Cx43. In this series of experiments, the passive uptake of carboxyfluorescein was monitored using flow cytometric analysis. A significant number of the transfected cells showed a prominent dye uptake in the absence of Ca(2+). The dye uptake by transfected cells in the presence of Ca(2+) was even lower than the non-specific dye uptake by non-transformed Ax3 orf+ cells, confirming that Cx43 expressed in D. discoideum retains its Ca(2+)-dependent, specific gating function. The expression of gap junction proteins expressed in slime molds opens a possibility to the biological significance of intercellular communications in development and maintenance of multicellular organisms. PMID:22330805

  15. Morphological transformation and effect on gap junction intercellular communication in Syrian hamster embryo cells as screening tests for carcinogens devoid of mutagenic activity.

    PubMed

    Rivedal, E; Mikalsen, S O; Sanner, T

    2000-04-01

    A large fraction of chemicals observed to cause cancer in experimental animals is devoid of mutagenic activity. It is therefore of importance to develop methods that can be used to detect and study environmental carcinogenic agents that do not interact directly with DNA. Previous studies have indicated that induction of in vitro cell transformation and inhibition of gap junction intercellular communication are endpoints that could be useful for the detection of non-genotoxic carcinogens. In the present work, 13 compounds [chlordane, Arochlor 1260, di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, 1,1,1-trichloro-2, 2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane, limonene, sodium fluoride, ethionine, o-anisidine, benzoyl peroxide, o-vanadate, phenobarbital, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate and clofibrate] have been tested for their ability to induce morphological transformation and affect intercellular communication in Syrian hamster embryo cells. The substances were selected on the basis of being proven or suspected non-genotoxic carcinogens, and thus difficult to detect in short-term tests. The data show that nine of the 13 compounds induced morphological transformation, and seven of the 13 inhibited intercellular communication in hamster embryo cells. Taken together, 12 of the 13 substances either induced transformation or caused inhibition of communication. The data suggest that the combined use of morphological transformation and gap junction intercellular communication in Syrian hamster embryo cells may be beneficial when screening for non-genotoxic carcinogens. PMID:10793297

  16. Evolution of Microbial Quorum Sensing to Human Global Quorum Sensing: An Insight into How Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication Might Be Linked to the Global Metabolic Disease Crisis.

    PubMed

    Trosko, James E

    2016-01-01

    The first anaerobic organism extracted energy for survival and reproduction from its source of nutrients, with the genetic means to ensure protection of its individual genome but also its species survival. While it had a means to communicate with its community via simple secreted molecules ("quorum sensing"), the eventual shift to an aerobic environment led to multi-cellular metazoan organisms, with evolutionary-selected genes to form extracellular matrices, stem cells, stem cell niches, and a family of gap junction or "connexin" genes. These germinal and somatic stem cells responded to extracellular signals that triggered intra-cellular signaling to regulate specific genes out of the total genome. These extra-cellular induced intra-cellular signals also modulated gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in order to regulate the new cellular functions of symmetrical and asymmetrical cell division, cell differentiation, modes of cell death, and senescence. Within the hierarchical and cybernetic concepts, differentiated by neurons organized in the brain of the Homo sapiens, the conscious mind led to language, abstract ideas, technology, myth-making, scientific reasoning, and moral decision-making, i.e., the creation of culture. Over thousands of years, this has created the current collision between biological and cultural evolution, leading to the global "metabolic disease" crisis. PMID:27314399

  17. Tip-contact related low-bias negative differential resistance and rectifying effects in benzene–porphyrin–benzene molecular junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, Jue-Fei; Zhou, Liping E-mail: leigao@suda.edu.cn; Liu, Man; Yan, Qiang; Han, Qin; Gao, Lei E-mail: leigao@suda.edu.cn

    2014-11-07

    The electronic transport properties of benzene–porphyrin–benzene (BPB) molecules coupled to gold (Au) electrodes were investigated. By successively removing the front-end Au atoms, several BPB junctions with different molecule-electrode contact symmetries were constructed. The calculated current–voltage (I–V) curves depended strongly on the contact configurations between the BPB molecules and the Au electrodes. In particular, a significant low-voltage negative differential resistance effect appeared at −0.3 V in the junctions with pyramidal electrodes on both sides. Along with the breaking of this tip-contact symmetry, the low-bias negative differential resistance effect gradually disappeared. This tip-contact may be ideal for use in the design of future molecular devices because of its similarity with experimental processes.

  18. Tip-contact related low-bias negative differential resistance and rectifying effects in benzene-porphyrin-benzene molecular junctions.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Jue-Fei; Zhou, Liping; Liu, Man; Yan, Qiang; Han, Qin; Gao, Lei

    2014-11-01

    The electronic transport properties of benzene-porphyrin-benzene (BPB) molecules coupled to gold (Au) electrodes were investigated. By successively removing the front-end Au atoms, several BPB junctions with different molecule-electrode contact symmetries were constructed. The calculated current-voltage (I-V) curves depended strongly on the contact configurations between the BPB molecules and the Au electrodes. In particular, a significant low-voltage negative differential resistance effect appeared at -0.3 V in the junctions with pyramidal electrodes on both sides. Along with the breaking of this tip-contact symmetry, the low-bias negative differential resistance effect gradually disappeared. This tip-contact may be ideal for use in the design of future molecular devices because of its similarity with experimental processes. PMID:25381511

  19. Rictor/mTORC2 regulates blood-testis barrier dynamics via its effects on gap junction communications and actin filament network

    PubMed Central

    Mok, Ka-Wai; Mruk, Dolores D.; Lee, Will M.; Cheng, C. Yan

    2013-01-01

    In the mammalian testis, coexisting tight junctions (TJs), basal ectoplasmic specializations, and gap junctions (GJs), together with desmosomes near the basement membrane, constitute the blood-testis barrier (BTB). The most notable feature of the BTB, however, is the extensive network of actin filament bundles, which makes it one of the tightest blood-tissue barriers. The BTB undergoes restructuring to facilitate the transit of preleptotene spermatocytes at stage VIII-IX of the epithelial cycle. Thus, the F-actin network at the BTB undergoes cyclic reorganization via a yet-to-be explored mechanism. Rictor, the key component of mTORC2 that is known to regulate actin cytoskeleton, was shown to express stage-specifically at the BTB in the seminiferous epithelium. Its expression was down-regulated at the BTB in stage VIII-IX tubules, coinciding with BTB restructuring at these stages. Using an in vivo model, a down-regulation of rictor at the BTB was also detected during adjudin-induced BTB disruption, illustrating rictor expression is positively correlated with the status of the BTB integrity. Indeed, the knockdown of rictor by RNAi was found to perturb the Sertoli cell TJ-barrier function in vitro and the BTB integrity in vivo. This loss of barrier function was accompanied by changes in F-actin organization at the Sertoli cell BTB in vitro and in vivo, associated with a loss of interaction between actin and α-catenin or ZO-1. Rictor knockdown by RNAi was also found to impede Sertoli cell-cell GJ communication, disrupting protein distribution (e.g., occludin, ZO-1) at the BTB, illustrating that rictor is a crucial BTB regulator.—Mok, K., Mruk, D. D., Lee, W. M., Cheng, C. Y. Rictor/mTORC2 regulates blood-testis barrier dynamics via its effects on gap junction communications and actin filament network. PMID:23288930

  20. Damage from dissection is associated with reduced neuro-musclar transmission and gap junction coupling between circular muscle cells of guinea pig ileum, in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Carbone, Simona E.; Wattchow, David A.; Spencer, Nick J.; Hibberd, Timothy J.; Brookes, Simon J. H.

    2014-01-01

    Excitatory and inhibitory junction potentials of circular smooth muscle cells in guinea pig ileum and colon are suppressed 30–90 min after setting up in vitro preparations. We have previously shown this “unresponsive” period is associated with a transient loss of dye coupling between smooth muscle cells, which subsequently recovers over the ensuing 30–90 min; junction potentials recover in parallel with dye coupling (Carbone et al., 2012). Here, we investigated which components of dissection trigger the initial loss of coupling. Intracellular recordings were made from circular muscle cells of guinea pig ileum with micropipettes containing 5% carboxyfluorescein. After allowing 90–120 min for junction potentials to reach full amplitude, we re-cut all 4 edges of the preparation more than 1 mm from the recording sites. This caused a reduction in the amplitude of IJPs from 17.2 ± 0.7 mV to 9.5 ± 1.5 mV (P < 0.001, n = 12) and a significant reduction in dye coupling. Both recovered within 60 min. We repeated this experiment (n = 4), recording both 1 and 4 mm from the cut edge: both sites were equally affected by re-cutting the sides of the preparation. Equilibrated preparations were stretched to 150% of their original length, this had no significant effect on junction potentials or dye coupling. Setting up preparations in low calcium solution did not prevent the initial suppression of IJPs and dye coupling. Application of 3 μM indomethacin (n = 3), 10 μM ketotifen (n = 4) or 10 μM forskolin during dissection did not prevent the suppression of IJPs and dye coupling. If dissection damage was reduced, by leaving the mucosa and submucosa attached to the circular muscle, IJPs showed less initial suppression than in preparations where the layers were dissected off. We conclude that physical damage to the gut wall triggers loss of gap junction coupling and neuromuscular transmission, this is not due to stretch, influx of calcium ions, release of prostaglandins or

  1. Far infrared frequency response of a Josephson junction in a self-pumped mixer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henaux, J.-C.; Vernet, G.; Adde, R.

    1983-12-01

    A continuous measurement of the far-infrared frequency response of a point contact Josephson junction is performed between 0.7 and 2 THz. The response at increasing frequencies present three characteristic regions with variations proportional to f-2, f-4, f-6. They illustrate the losses introduced successively at increasing frequencies by the resistively shunted junction model, the junction RC time constant and the attenuation of the Josephson current above the gap frequency.

  2. Solution to the inverse problem of estimating gap-junctional and inhibitory conductance in inferior olive neurons from spike trains by network model simulation.

    PubMed

    Onizuka, Miho; Hoang, Huu; Kawato, Mitsuo; Tokuda, Isao T; Schweighofer, Nicolas; Katori, Yuichi; Aihara, Kazuyuki; Lang, Eric J; Toyama, Keisuke

    2013-11-01

    The inferior olive (IO) possesses synaptic glomeruli, which contain dendritic spines from neighboring neurons and presynaptic terminals, many of which are inhibitory and GABAergic. Gap junctions between the spines electrically couple neighboring neurons whereas the GABAergic synaptic terminals are thought to act to decrease the effectiveness of this coupling. Thus, the glomeruli are thought to be important for determining the oscillatory and synchronized activity displayed by IO neurons. Indeed, the tendency to display such activity patterns is enhanced or reduced by the local administration of the GABA-A receptor blocker picrotoxin (PIX) or the gap junction blocker carbenoxolone (CBX), respectively. We studied the functional roles of the glomeruli by solving the inverse problem of estimating the inhibitory (gi) and gap-junctional conductance (gc) using an IO network model. This model was built upon a prior IO network model, in which the individual neurons consisted of soma and dendritic compartments, by adding a glomerular compartment comprising electrically coupled spines that received inhibitory synapses. The model was used in the forward mode to simulate spike data under PIX and CBX conditions for comparison with experimental data consisting of multi-electrode recordings of complex spikes from arrays of Purkinje cells (complex spikes are generated in a one-to-one manner by IO spikes and thus can substitute for directly measuring IO spike activity). The spatiotemporal firing dynamics of the experimental and simulation spike data were evaluated as feature vectors, including firing rates, local variation, auto-correlogram, cross-correlogram, and minimal distance, and were contracted onto two-dimensional principal component analysis (PCA) space. gc and gi were determined as the solution to the inverse problem such that the simulation and experimental spike data were closely matched in the PCA space. The goodness of the match was confirmed by an analysis of variance

  3. Induction of Apoptosis by PQ1, a Gap Junction Enhancer that Upregulates Connexin 43 and Activates the MAPK Signaling Pathway in Mammary Carcinoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Shishido, Stephanie N.; Nguyen, Thu A.

    2016-01-01

    The mechanism of gap junction enhancer (PQ1) induced cytotoxicity is thought to be attributed to the change in connexin 43 (Cx43) expression; therefore, the effects of Cx43 modulation in cell survival were investigated in mammary carcinoma cells (FMC2u) derived from a malignant neoplasm of a female FVB/N-Tg(MMTV-PyVT)634Mul/J (PyVT) transgenic mouse. PQ1 was determined to have an IC50 of 6.5 µM in FMC2u cells, while inducing an upregulation in Cx43 expression. The effects of Cx43 modulation in FMC2u cell survival was determined through transfection experiments with Cx43 cDNA, which induced an elevated level of protein expression similar to that seen with PQ1 exposure, or siRNA to silence Cx43 protein expression. Overexpression or silencing of Cx43 led to a reduction or an increase in cell viability, respectively. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family has been implicated in the regulation of cell survival and cell death; therefore, the gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC)-independent function of PQ1 and Cx43 in the Raf/Mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase/extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (Raf-MEK-ERK) cascade of cellular survival and p38 MAPK-dependent pathway of apoptosis were explored. PQ1 treatment activated p44/42 MAPK, while the overexpression of Cx43 resulted in a reduced expression. This suggests that PQ1 affects the Raf-MEK-ERK cascade independent of Cx43 upregulation. Both overexpression of Cx43 and PQ1 treatment stimulated an increase in the phosphorylated form of p38-MAPK, reduced levels of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2, and increased the cleavage of pro-caspase-3. Silencing of Cx43 protein expression led to a reduction in the phosphorylation of p38-MAPK and an increase in Bcl-2 expression. The mechanism behind PQ1-induced cytotoxicity in FMC2u mammary carcinoma cells is thought to be attributed to the change in Cx43 expression. Furthermore, PQ1-induced apoptosis through the upregulation of Cx43 may depend on p38

  4. The Role of Gap Junctions and Mechanical Loading on Mineral Formation in a Collagen-I Scaffold Seeded with Osteoprogenitor Cells

    PubMed Central

    Damaraju, Swathi; Matyas, John R.; Rancourt, Derrick E.

    2015-01-01

    Fracture nonunions represent one of many large bone defects where current treatment strategies fall short in restoring both form and function of the injured tissue. In this case, the use of a tissue-engineered scaffold for promoting bone healing offers an accessible and easy-to-manipulate environment for studying bone formation processes in vitro. We have previously shown that mechanical prestimulation using confined compression of differentiating osteoblasts results in an increase in mineralization formed in a 3D collagen-I scaffold. This study builds on this knowledge by evaluating the short and long-term effects of blocking gap junction-mediated intercellular communication among osteogenic cells on their effectiveness to mineralize collagen-I scaffolds in vitro, and in the presence and absence of mechanical stimulation. In this study, confined compression was applied in conjunction with octanol (a general communication blocker) or 18-α-glycerrhetinic acid (AGA, a specific gap junction blocker) using a modified FlexCell plate to collagen-I scaffolds seeded with murine embryonic stem cells stimulated toward osteoblast differentiation using beta-glycerol phosphate. The activity, presence, and expression of osteoblast cadherin, connexin-43, as well as various pluripotent and osteogenic markers were examined at 5–30 days of differentiation. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, immunofluorescence, viability, histology assessments, and reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assessments revealed that inhibiting communication in this scaffold altered the lineage and function of differentiating osteoblasts. In particular, treatment with communication inhibitors caused reduced mineralization in the matrix, and dissociation between connexin-43 and integrin α5β1. This dissociation was not restored even after long-term recovery. Thus, in order for this scaffold to be considered as an alternative strategy for the repair of large bone defects, cell

  5. Current-induced forces: a new mechanism to induce negative differential resistance and current-switching effect in molecular junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Lei; Fu, Hua-Hua

    2015-12-01

    Current-induced forces can excite molecules, polymers and other low-dimensional materials, which in turn leads to an effective gate voltage through Holstein interaction. Here, by taking a short asymmetric DNA junction as an example, and using the Langevin approach, we find that when suppression of charge transport by the effective gate voltage surpasses the current increase from an elevated voltage bias, the current-voltage (I-V) curves display strong negative differential resistance (NDR) and perfect current-switching characteristics. The asymmetric DNA chain differs in mechanical stability under inverse voltages and the I-V curve is asymmetric about inverse biases, which can be used to understand recent transport experiments on DNA chains, and meanwhile provides a new strategy to realize NDR in molecular junctions and other low-dimensional quantum systems.

  6. Current-induced forces: a new mechanism to induce negative differential resistance and current-switching effect in molecular junctions.

    PubMed

    Gu, Lei; Fu, Hua-Hua

    2015-12-01

    Current-induced forces can excite molecules, polymers and other low-dimensional materials, which in turn leads to an effective gate voltage through Holstein interaction. Here, by taking a short asymmetric DNA junction as an example, and using the Langevin approach, we find that when suppression of charge transport by the effective gate voltage surpasses the current increase from an elevated voltage bias, the current-voltage (I-V) curves display strong negative differential resistance (NDR) and perfect current-switching characteristics. The asymmetric DNA chain differs in mechanical stability under inverse voltages and the I-V curve is asymmetric about inverse biases, which can be used to understand recent transport experiments on DNA chains, and meanwhile provides a new strategy to realize NDR in molecular junctions and other low-dimensional quantum systems. PMID:26559504

  7. A role for myosin IXb, a motor-RhoGAP chimera, in epithelial wound healing and tight junction regulation.

    PubMed

    Chandhoke, Surjit K; Mooseker, Mark S

    2012-07-01

    Polymorphisms in the gene encoding the heavy chain of myosin IXb (Myo9b) have been linked to several forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Given that Myo9b contains a RhoGTPase-activating protein domain within its tail, it may play key roles in Rho-mediated actin cytoskeletal modifications critical to intestinal barrier function. In wounded monolayers of the intestinal epithelial cell line Caco2(BBe) (BBe), Myo9b localizes to the extreme leading edge of lamellipodia of migrating cells. BBe cells exhibiting loss of Myo9b expression with RNA interference or Myo9b C-terminal dominant-negative (DN) tail-tip expression lack lamellipodia, fail to migrate into the wound, and form stress fiber-like arrays of actin at the free edges of cells facing the wound. These cells also exhibit disruption of tight junction (TJ) protein localization, including ZO-1, occludin, and claudin-1. Torsional motility and junctional permeability to dextran are greatly increased in cells expressing DN-tail-tip. Of interest, this effect is propagated to neighboring cells. Consistent with a role for Myo9b in regulating levels of active Rho, localization of both RhoGTP and myosin light chain phosphorylation corresponds to Myo9b-knockdown regions of BBe monolayers. These data reveal critical roles for Myo9b during epithelial wound healing and maintenance of TJ integrity-key functions that may be altered in patients with Myo9b-linked IBD. PMID:22573889

  8. Simulation of impact of the Generic Accident-Resistant Packaging (GAP)

    SciTech Connect

    Slavin, A.M.

    1994-10-01

    Finite element simulations modelling impact of the Generic Accident-Resistant Packaging (GAP) have been performed. The GAP is a nuclear weapon shipping container that will be used by accident response groups from both the United States and the United Kingdom. The package is a thin-walled steel structure filled with rigid polyurethane foam and weighs approximately 5100 lbs when loaded. The simulations examined 250 ft/s impacts onto a rigid target at several orientations. The development of the finite element model included studies of modelling assumptions and material parameters. Upon completion of the simulation series, three full-scale impact tests were performed. A comparison of the simulation results to the test data is given. Differences between the results and data are examined, and possible explanations for the differences are discussed.

  9. Detection of the insulating gap and conductive filament growth direction in resistive memories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yalon, E.; Karpov, I.; Karpov, V.; Riess, I.; Kalaev, D.; Ritter, D.

    2015-09-01

    Filament growth is a key aspect in the operation of bipolar resistive random access memory (RRAM) devices, yet there are conflicting reports in the literature on the direction of growth of conductive filaments in valence change RRAM devices. We report here that an insulating gap between the filament and the semiconductor electrode can be detected by the metal-insulator-semiconductor bipolar transistor structure, and thus provide information on the filament growth direction. Using this technique, we show how voltage polarity and electrode chemistry control the filament growth direction during electro-forming. The experimental results and the nature of a gap between the filament and an electrode are discussed in light of possible models of filament formation.

  10. Detection of the insulating gap and conductive filament growth direction in resistive memories.

    PubMed

    Yalon, E; Karpov, I; Karpov, V; Riess, I; Kalaev, D; Ritter, D

    2015-10-01

    Filament growth is a key aspect in the operation of bipolar resistive random access memory (RRAM) devices, yet there are conflicting reports in the literature on the direction of growth of conductive filaments in valence change RRAM devices. We report here that an insulating gap between the filament and the semiconductor electrode can be detected by the metal-insulator-semiconductor bipolar transistor structure, and thus provide information on the filament growth direction. Using this technique, we show how voltage polarity and electrode chemistry control the filament growth direction during electro-forming. The experimental results and the nature of a gap between the filament and an electrode are discussed in light of possible models of filament formation. PMID:26335720

  11. Mutation Analysis of Gap Junction Protein Beta 1 and Genotype–Phenotype Correlation in X-linked Charcot–Marie–Tooth Disease in Chinese Patients

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Bo; Chen, Zhao-Hui; Ling, Li; Li, Yi-Fan; Liu, Li-Zhi; Yang, Fei; Huang, Xu-Sheng

    2016-01-01

    Background: Among patients with Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease (CMT), the X-linked variant (CMTX) caused by gap junction protein beta 1 (GJB1) gene mutation is the second most frequent type, accounting for approximately 90% of all CMTX. More than 400 mutations have been identified in the GJB1 gene that encodes connexin 32 (CX32). CX32 is thought to form gap junctions that promote the diffusion pathway between cells. GJB1 mutations interfere with the formation of the functional channel and impair the maintenance of peripheral myelin, and novel mutations are continually discovered. Methods: We included 79 unrelated patients clinically diagnosed with CMT at the Department of Neurology of the Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital from December 20, 2012, to December 31, 2015. Clinical examination, nerve conduction studies, and molecular and bioinformatics analyses were performed to identify patients with CMTX1. Results: Nine GJB1 mutations (c.283G>A, c.77C>T, c.643C>T, c.515C>T, c.191G>A, c.610C>T, c.490C>T, c.491G>A, and c.44G>A) were discovered in nine patients. Median motor nerve conduction velocities of all nine patients were < 38 m/s, resembling CMT Type 1. Three novel mutations, c.643C>T, c.191G>A, and c.610C>T, were revealed and bioinformatics analyses indicated high pathogenicity. Conclusions: The three novel missense mutations within the GJB1 gene broaden the mutational diversity of CMT1X. Molecular analysis of family members and bioinformatics analyses of the afflicted patients confirmed the pathogenicity of these mutations. PMID:27098783

  12. Reversal of the TPA-induced inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication by Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) extracts: effects on MAP kinases.

    PubMed

    Park, Jung-Ran; Park, Joon-Suk; Jo, Eun-Hye; Hwang, Jae-Woong; Kim, Sun-Jung; Ra, Jeong-Chan; Aruoma, Okezie I; Lee, Yong-Soon; Kang, Kyung-Sun

    2006-01-01

    Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) has continued to receive attention as a folk medicine with indications for the treatment of cancers and digestive diseases. The anticarcinogenic effect of Chaga mushroom extract was investigated using a model system of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in WB-F344 normal rat liver epithelial cells. The cells were pre-incubated with Chaga mushroom extracts (5, 10, 20 microg/ml) for 24 h and this was followed by co-treatment with Chaga mushroom extracts and TPA (12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate, 10 ng/ml) for 1 h. The inhibition of GJIC by TPA (12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate), promoter of cancer, was prevented with treatment of Chaga mushroom extracts. Similarly, the increased phosphorylated ERK1/2 and p38 protein kinases were markedly reduced in Chaga mushroom extracts-treated cells. There was no change in the JNK kinase protein level, suggesting that Chaga mushroom extracts could only block the activation of ERK1/2 and p38 MAP kinase. The Chaga mushroom extracts further prevented the inhibition of GJIC through the blocking of Cx43 phosphorylation. Indeed cell-to-cell communication through gap junctional channels is a critical factor in the life and death balance of cells because GJIC has an important function in maintaining tissue homeostasis through the regulation of cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis and adaptive functions of differentiated cells. Thus Chaga mushroom may act as a natural anticancer product by preventing the inhibition of GJIC through the inactivation of ERK1/2 and p38 MAP kinase. PMID:17012771

  13. Three-junction solar cell

    DOEpatents

    Ludowise, Michael J.

    1986-01-01

    A photovoltaic solar cell is formed in a monolithic semiconductor. The cell contains three junctions. In sequence from the light-entering face, the junctions have a high, a medium, and a low energy gap. The lower junctions are connected in series by one or more metallic members connecting the top of the lower junction through apertures to the bottom of the middle junction. The upper junction is connected in voltage opposition to the lower and middle junctions by second metallic electrodes deposited in holes 60 through the upper junction. The second electrodes are connected to an external terminal.

  14. A Monte Carlo simulation for bipolar resistive memory switching in large band-gap oxides

    SciTech Connect

    Hur, Ji-Hyun E-mail: jeonsh@korea.ac.kr; Lee, Dongsoo; Jeon, Sanghun E-mail: jeonsh@korea.ac.kr

    2015-11-16

    A model that describes bilayered bipolar resistive random access memory (BL-ReRAM) switching in oxide with a large band gap is presented. It is shown that, owing to the large energy barrier between the electrode and thin oxide layer, the electronic conduction is dominated by trap-assisted tunneling. The model is composed of an atomic oxygen vacancy migration model and an electronic tunneling conduction model. We also show experimentally observed three-resistance-level switching in Ru/ZrO{sub 2}/TaO{sub x} BL-ReRAM that can be explained by the two types of traps, i.e., shallow and deep traps in ZrO{sub 2}.

  15. Treatment regimens for rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis: highlighting a research gap.

    PubMed

    Stagg, H R; Hatherell, H-A; Lipman, M C; Harris, R J; Abubakar, I

    2016-07-01

    Treatment guidance for non-multidrug-resistant (MDR) rifampicin-resistant (RMP-R) tuberculosis (TB) is variable. We aimed to undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis of the randomised controlled trial (RCT) data behind such guidelines to identify the most efficacious treatment regimens. Ovid MEDLINE, the Web of Science and EMBASE were mined using search terms for TB, drug therapy and RCTs. Despite 12 604 records being retrieved, only three studies reported treatment outcomes by regimen for patients with non-MDR RMP-R disease, preventing meta-analysis. Our systematic review highlights a substantial gap in the literature regarding evidence-based treatment regimens for RMP-R TB. PMID:27287636

  16. Low-resistance magnetic tunnel junctions prepared by partial remote plasma oxidation of 0.9 nm Al barriers

    SciTech Connect

    Ferreira, Ricardo; Freitas, Paulo P.; MacKenzie, Maureen; Chapman, John N.

    2005-05-09

    Current perpendicular to the plane read-head elements suitable for high-density magnetic storage require low resistance while maintaining a reasonable magnetoresistive (MR) signal (RxA<1 {omega} {mu}m{sup 2} and MR>20% for areal densities >200 Gb/in{sup 2}). This letter shows that competitive low RxA junctions can be produced using underoxidized barriers starting from 0.9 nm thick Al layers. For as-deposited junctions, tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) {approx}20% for RxA{approx}2-15 {omega} {mu}m{sup 2} is obtained, while in the RxA{approx}60-150 {omega} {mu}m{sup 2} range, TMR values between 40% to 45% are achieved. A limited number of junctions exhibits considerably lower RxA values with respect to the average, while keeping a similar MR (down to 0.44 {omega} {mu}m{sup 2} with TMR of 20% and down to 2.2 {omega} {mu}m{sup 2} with TMR of 52%). Experimental data suggest that current confinement to small regions (barrier defects/hot spots) may explain these results.

  17. Negative differential resistance observed from vertical p+-n+ junction device with two-dimensional black phosphorous

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Daeyeong; Jang, Young Dae; Kweon, Jaehwan; Ryu, Jungjin; Hwang, Euyheon; Yoo, Won Jong; Samsung-SKKU Graphene/2D Center (SSGC) Collaboration

    A vertical p+-n+ homojunction was fabricated by using black phosphorus (BP) as a van der Waals two-dimensional (2D) material. The top and bottom layers of the materials were doped by chemical dopants of gold chloride (AuCl3) for p-type doping and benzyl viologen (BV) for n-type doping. The negative differential resistance (NDR) effect was clearly observed from the output curves of the fabricated BP vertical devices. The thickness range of the 2D material showing NDR and the peak to valley current ratio of NDR are found to be strongly dependent on doping condition, gate voltage, and BP's degradation level. Furthermore, the carrier transport of the p+-n+ junction was simulated by using density functional theory (DFT) and non-equilibrium Green's function (NEGF). Both the experimental and simulation results confirmed that the NDR is attributed to the band-to-band tunneling (BTBT) across the 2D BP p+-n+ junction, and further quantitative details on the carrier transport in the vertical p+-n+ junction devices were explored, according to the analyses of the measured transfer curves and the DFT simulation results. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) (2013R1A2A2A01015516).

  18. The inhibitory effects of boldine, glaucine, and probucol on TPA-induced down regulation of gap junction function. Relationships to intracellular peroxides, protein kinase C translocation, and connexin 43 phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Hu, J; Speisky, H; Cotgreave, I A

    1995-11-01

    The naturally occurring antioxidant boldine and its di-methoxy analogue glucine, as well as the drug antioxidant probucol, all inhibit TPA-induced downregulation of gap junctional intercellular communication in WB-F344 rat liver epithelial cells in dose-dependent manners. The compounds were essentially 100% inhibitory to the effect of TPA (10 nM) at 50 microM each. Analysis of the mechanism of the antitumor promotive action of these agents in vitro revealed that boldine and probucol (both at 10 microM) totally inhibited the TPA-induced accumulation of intracellular oxidants. Additionally, boldine, glaucine, and probucol, each at 50 microM, inhibited TPA-induced translocation of protein kinase C (PKC) to the particulate fraction of the cells, with concomitant inhibition of TPA-induced hyperphosphorylation of gap junctional connexin 43 (cx43) and TPA-induced internalisation of cx43 protein from the plasma membrane of the cells. None of the compounds inhibited the binding of (3H)-PDBu to TPA-specific binding sites in the cells. The results indicate that antioxidant molecules, irrespective of structure, possess common antitumor promotive potential in this model of gap junctional intercellular communication. The data also indicate that the compounds may interfere with the promotive function of TPA, at least in part, by the destruction of oxidants within the cells. Xanthine oxidase was excluded as a major source of such intracellular oxidants because allopurinol (50 microM) did not significantly affect either the accumulation of oxidants in the cells or the downregulation of gap junctional communication in response to TPA. Taken together, these data also suggest that TPA-induced oxidants play a role in the translocation of PKC to cellular membranes and it is at this level where the antioxidants may interfere in TPA-induced downregulation of gap junctional function. PMID:7503766

  19. Improved Solar-Cell Tunnel Junction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daud, T.; Kachare, A.

    1986-01-01

    Efficiency of multiple-junction silicon solar cells increased by inclusion of p+/n+ tunnel junctions of highly doped GaP between component cells. Relatively low recombination velocity at GaP junction principal reason for recommending this material. Relatively wide band gap also helps increase efficiency by reducing optical losses.

  20. Evolution of resistive switching and its ionic models in Pt/Nb-doped SrTiO3 junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Mei; Ma, Xiaohua; Wang, Hong; Xi, He; Lv, Ling; Zhang, Peng; Xie, Yong; Gao, Haixia; Cao, Yanrong; Li, Shuwei; Hao, Yue

    2016-07-01

    Charge-trapping or ionic mechanisms of the resistive switching (RS) at metal/Nb-doped SrTiO3 (NSTO) interfaces are still unclear. Here, the electrical properties and RS evolution at Pt/NSTO interfaces are investigated. A volatile RS in the fresh junctions complies with Schottky theory involving an interfacial layer and electrically dependent permittivity. The RS is interpreted by a redox-reaction modulated barrier model. A nonvolatile RS emerges and evolves with increasing the forward voltage. I–V and C–V characteristics imply different conductive filament (CF) configurations in high and low resistance states. An in-barrier ionic CF model is established for the nonvolatile RS. The coherent ionic models are beneficial for understanding the interfacial role in RS and for regulating RS characteristics or realizing high quality metal/oxide diodes.