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  1. Gap junctions.

    PubMed

    Goodenough, Daniel A; Paul, David L

    2009-07-01

    Gap junctions are aggregates of intercellular channels that permit direct cell-cell transfer of ions and small molecules. Initially described as low-resistance ion pathways joining excitable cells (nerve and muscle), gap junctions are found joining virtually all cells in solid tissues. Their long evolutionary history has permitted adaptation of gap-junctional intercellular communication to a variety of functions, with multiple regulatory mechanisms. Gap-junctional channels are composed of hexamers of medium-sized families of integral proteins: connexins in chordates and innexins in precordates. The functions of gap junctions have been explored by studying mutations in flies, worms, and humans, and targeted gene disruption in mice. These studies have revealed a wide diversity of function in tissue and organ biology.

  2. Gap Junctions

    PubMed Central

    Goodenough, Daniel A.; Paul, David L.

    2009-01-01

    Gap junctions are aggregates of intercellular channels that permit direct cell–cell transfer of ions and small molecules. Initially described as low-resistance ion pathways joining excitable cells (nerve and muscle), gap junctions are found joining virtually all cells in solid tissues. Their long evolutionary history has permitted adaptation of gap-junctional intercellular communication to a variety of functions, with multiple regulatory mechanisms. Gap-junctional channels are composed of hexamers of medium-sized families of integral proteins: connexins in chordates and innexins in precordates. The functions of gap junctions have been explored by studying mutations in flies, worms, and humans, and targeted gene disruption in mice. These studies have revealed a wide diversity of function in tissue and organ biology. PMID:20066080

  3. 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

  4. Carbon Tetrachloride at Hepatotoxic Levels Blocks Reversibly Gap Junctions between Rat Hepatocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saez, J. C.; Bennett, M. V. L.; Spray, D. C.

    1987-05-01

    Electrical coupling and dye coupling between pairs of rat hepatocytes were reversibly reduced by brief exposure to halogenated methanes (CBrCl3, CCl4, and CHCl3). The potency of different halomethanes in uncoupling hepatocytes was comparable to their hepatotoxicity in vivo, and the rank order was the same as that of their tendency to form free radicals. The effect of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) on hepatocytes was substantially reduced by prior treatment with SKF 525A, an inhibitor of cytochrome P-450, and by exposure to the reducing reagent β -mercaptoethanol. Halomethane uncoupling occurred with or without extracellular calcium and did not change intracellular concentrations of calcium and hydrogen ions or the phosphorylation state of the main gap-junctional protein. Thus the uncoupling appears to depend on cytochrome P-450 oxidative metabolism in which free radicals are generated and may result from oxidation of the gap-junctional protein or of a regulatory molecule that leads to closure of gap-junctional channels. Decreases in junctional conductance may be a rapid cellular response to injury that protects healthy cells by uncoupling them from unhealthy ones.

  5. Cumulus Cells Block Oocyte Meiotic Resumption via Gap Junctions in Cumulus Oocyte Complexes Subjected to DNA Double-Strand Breaks.

    PubMed

    Sun, Ming-Hong; Zheng, Jie; Xie, Feng-Yun; Shen, Wei; Yin, Shen; Ma, Jun-Yu

    2015-01-01

    During mammalian oocyte growth, genomic DNA may accumulate DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) induced by factors such as reactive oxygen species. Recent evidence demonstrated that slight DSBs do not activate DNA damage checkpoint proteins in denuded oocytes. These oocytes, even with DNA DSBs, can resume meiosis and progress to metaphase of meiosis II. Meiotic resumption in oocytes is also controlled by the surrounding cumulus cells; accordingly, we analyzed whether cumulus-cell enclosed oocytes (CEOs) with DNA damage are able to resume meiosis. Compared with DNA-damaged denuded oocytes, we found that meiotic resumption rates of CEOs significantly decreased. To assess the mechanism by which cumulus cells block meiotic resumption in CEOs with DNA DSBs, we treated the cumulus oocyte complex with the gap junction inhibitor carbenoxolone and found that carbenoxolone can rescue the block in CEO meiosis induced by DNA DSBs. Since cumulus cell-synthesized cAMPs can pass through the gap junctions between oocyte and cumulus cell to block oocyte meiosis, we measured the expression levels of adenylate cyclase 1 (Adcy1) in cumulus cells, and G-protein coupled receptor 3 (Gpr3) and phosphodiesterase 3A (Pde3a) in oocytes, and found that the mRNA expression level of Adcy1 increased significantly in DNA-damaged cumulus cells. In conclusion, our results indicate that DNA DSBs promote cAMP synthesis in cumulus cells, and cumulus cAMPs can inhibit meiotic resumption of CEOs through gap junctions.

  6. 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.

  7. Gap junction- and hemichannel-independent actions of connexins

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Jean X.; Gu, Sumin

    2007-01-01

    Connexins have been known to be the protein building blocks of gap junctions and mediate cell–cell communication. In contrast to the conventional dogma, recent evidence suggests that in addition to forming gap junction channels, connexins possess gap junction-independent functions. One important gap junction-independent function for connexins is to serve as the major functional component for hemichannels, the un-apposed halves of gap junctions. Hemichannels, as independent functional units, play roles that are different from that of gap junctions in the cell. The other functions of connexins appear to be gap junction- and hemichannel-independent. Published studies implicate the latter functions of connexins in cell growth, differentiation, tumorigenicity, injury, and apoptosis, although the mechanistic aspects of these actions remain largely unknown. In this review, gap junction- and hemichannel-independent functions of connexins are summarized, and the molecular mechanisms underlying these connexin functions are speculated and discussed. PMID:15955305

  8. [Gap junctions and cancer: implications and perspectives].

    PubMed

    Mesnil, Marc

    2004-02-01

    Gap junctions are made of intercellular channels which permit the diffusion from cytoplasm to cytoplasm of small hydrophilic molecules (<1,200 Da) such as ions, sugars, amino acids, nucleotides, second messengers (calcium, inositol triphosphate, etc.). Since their discovery in the early sixties, several groups have described the loss of their function in cancer cells. The accumulation of such data led to the hypothesis that gap junctions are involved in the carcinogenesis process. This assumption has been confirmed by data establishing that gap junctional intercellular communication is inhibited by most of the tumor promoters and that the restoration of such a communication, by transfection of cDNAs encoding gap junction proteins (connexins), inhibits the aberrant growth rates of tumorigenic cells. Despite these important informations, several fundamental questions remain still open. First, we do not know how gap junctions mediate such a tumor suppressor effect and whether it may depend either on the cell type or on the connexin type. Moreover, most of the data concerning a possible involvement of gap junctions in carcinogenesis have been obtained from in vitro and animal models. The very few results which have been currently collected from human tumors are not sufficient to have a clear idea concerning the real involvement of gap junctions in sporadic human cancers. These points as well as other unresolved questions about the role of gap junctional intercellular communication in carcinogenesis are mentioned. To bring some answers, some prospects are proposed with the objective to use gap junctions for increasing the effect of anticancer therapies.

  9. In vitro formation of gap junction vesicles.

    PubMed

    Goodenough, D A

    1976-02-01

    A method is described that uses trypsin digestion combined with collagenase-hyaluronidase which produces a population of gap junction vesicles. The hexagonal lattice of subunits ("connexons") comprising the gapjunctions appears unaltered by various structural criteria and by buoyant density measurements. The gap junction vesciles are closed by either a single or a double profile of nonjunctional "membrane," which presents a smooth, particle-free fracture face. Horseradish peroxidase and cytochrome c studies have revealed that about 20% of the gap junction vesicles are impermeable to proteins 12,000 daltons or larger. The increased purity of the trypsinized junction preparation suggests that one of the disulfide reduction products of the gap-junction principal protein may be a nonjunctional contaminating peptide. The gap junction appears to be composed of a single 18,000-dalton protein, connexin, which may be reduced to a single 9,000-dalton peak. The number of peptides in this reduced peak are still unknown.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Non-invasive microfluidic gap junction assay.

    PubMed

    Chen, Sisi; Lee, Luke P

    2010-03-01

    Gap junctions are protein channels between cells that allow direct electrical and metabolic coupling via the exchange of biomolecules and ions. Their expression, though ubiquitous in most mammalian cell types, is especially important for the proper functioning of cardiac and neuronal systems. Many existing methods for studying gap junction communication suffer from either unquantifiable data or difficulty of use. Here, we measure the extent of dye spread and effective diffusivities through gap junction connected cells using a quantitative microfluidic cell biology platform. After loading dye by hydrodynamic focusing of calcein/AM, dye transfer dynamics into neighboring, unexposed cells can be monitored via timelapse fluorescent microscopy. By using a selective microfluidic dye loading over a confluent layer of cells, we found that high expression of gap junctions in C6 cells transmits calcein across the monolayer with an effective diffusivity of 3.4 x 10(-13) m(2)/s, which are highly coupled by Cx43. We also found that the gap junction blocker 18alpha-GA works poorly in the presence of serum even at high concentrations (50 microM); however, it is highly effective down to 2.5 microM in the absence of serum. Furthermore, when the drug is washed out, dye spread resumes rapidly within 1 min for all doses, indicating the drug does not affect transcriptional regulation of connexins in these Cx43+ cells, in contrast to previous studies. This integrated microfluidic platform enables the in situ monitoring of gap junction communication, yielding dynamic information about intercellular molecular transfer and pharmacological inhibition and recovery.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Structure and function of gap junction proteins: role of gap junction proteins in embryonic heart development.

    PubMed

    Ahir, Bhavesh K; Pratten, Margaret K

    2014-01-01

    Intercellular (cell-to-cell) communication is a crucial and complex mechanism during embryonic heart development. In the cardiovascular system, the beating of the heart is a dynamic and key regulatory process, which is functionally regulated by the coordinated spread of electrical activity through heart muscle cells. Heart tissues are composed of individual cells, each bearing specialized cell surface membrane structures called gap junctions that permit the intercellular exchange of ions and low molecular weight molecules. Gap junction channels are essential in normal heart function and they assist in the mediated spread of electrical impulses that stimulate synchronized contraction (via an electrical syncytium) of cardiac tissues. This present review describes the current knowledge of gap junction biology. In the first part, we summarise some relevant biochemical and physiological properties of gap junction proteins, including their structure and function. In the second part, we review the current evidence demonstrating the role of gap junction proteins in embryonic development with particular reference to those involved in embryonic heart development. Genetics and transgenic animal studies of gap junction protein function in embryonic heart development are considered and the alteration/disruption of gap junction intercellular communication which may lead to abnormal heart development is also discussed.

  16. Gap junctional communication during limb cartilage differentiation.

    PubMed

    Coelho, C N; Kosher, R A

    1991-03-01

    The onset of cartilage differentiation in the developing limb bud is characterized by a transient cellular condensation process in which prechondrogenic mesenchymal cells become closely apposed to one another prior to initiating cartilage matrix deposition. During this condensation process intimate cell-cell interactions occur which are necessary to trigger chondrogenic differentiation. In the present study, we demonstrate that extensive cell-cell communication via gap junctions as assayed by the intercellular transfer of lucifer yellow dye occurs during condensation and the onset of overt chondrogenesis in high density micromass cultures prepared from the homogeneous population of chondrogenic precursor cells comprising the distal subridge region of stage 25 embryonic chick wing buds. Furthermore, in heterogeneous micromass cultures prepared from the mesodermal cells of whole stage 23/24 limb buds, extensive gap junctional communication is limited to differentiating cartilage cells, while the nonchondrogenic cells of the cultures that are differentiating into the connective tissue lineage exhibit little or no intercellular communication via gap junctions. These results provide a strong incentive for considering and further investigating the possible involvement of cell-cell communication via gap junctions in the regulation of limb cartilage differentiation.

  17. Gap junctions in several tissues share antigenic determinants with liver gap junctions.

    PubMed Central

    Dermietzel, R; Leibstein, A; Frixen, U; Janssen-Timmen, U; Traub, O; Willecke, K

    1984-01-01

    Using affinity-purified antibodies against mouse liver gap junction protein (26 K), discrete fluorescent spots were seen by indirect immunofluorescence labelling on apposed membranes of contiguous cells in several mouse and rat tissues: pancreas (exocrine part), kidney, small intestine (epithelium and circular smooth muscle), Fallopian tube, endometrium, and myometrium of delivering rats. No reaction was seen on sections of myocardium, ovaries and lens. Specific labelling of gap junction plaques was demonstrated by immunoelectron microscopy on ultrathin frozen sections through liver and the exocrine part of pancreas after treatment with gold protein A. Weak immunoreactivity was found on the endocrine part of the pancreas (i.e., Langerhans islets) after glibenclamide treatment of mice and rats, which causes an increase of insulin secretion and of the size as well as the number of gap junction plaques in cells of Langerhans islets. Furthermore, the affinity purified anti-liver 26 K antibodies were shown by immunoblot to react with proteins of similar mol. wt. in pancreas and kidney membranes. Taken together these results suggest that gap junctions from several, morphogenetically different tissues have specific antigenic sites in common. The different extent of specific immunoreactivity of anti-liver 26 K antibodies with different tissues is likely due to differences in size and number of gap junctions although structural differences cannot be excluded. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. PMID:6209130

  18. Neuro-muscular junction block stimulator simulator.

    PubMed

    Sprick, Cyle

    2006-03-01

    Improved technology and higher fidelity are making medical simulations increasingly popular. A simulated peripheral nerve stimulator and thumb actuator has been developed for use with the SimMan Universal Patient Simulator. This device incorporates a handheld control box, a McKibben pneumatic muscle and articulated thumb, and a remote software interface for the simulation facilitator. The system simulates the action of a peripheral nerve stimulator on the ulnar nerve, and the effects of neuromuscular junction blocking agents on the thumb motion.

  19. Structure, regulation and function of gap junctions in liver

    PubMed Central

    Maes, Michaël; Decrock, Elke; Wang, Nan; Leybaert, Luc; da Silva, Tereza Cristina; Veloso Alves Pereira, Isabel; Jaeschke, Hartmut; Cogliati, Bruno; Vinken, Mathieu

    2016-01-01

    Gap junctions are a specialized group of cell-to-cell junctions that mediate direct intercellular communication between cells. They arise from the interaction of 2 hemichannels of adjacent cells, which in turn are composed of 6 connexin proteins. In liver, gap junctions are predominantly found in hepatocytes and play critical roles in virtually all phases of the hepatic life cycle, including cell growth, differentiation, liver-specific functionality and cell death. Liver gap junctions are directed through a broad variety of mechanisms ranging from epigenetic control of connexin expression to posttranslational regulation of gap junction activity. This paper reviews established and novel aspects regarding the architecture, control and functional relevance of liver gap junctions. PMID:27001459

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Comparative analysis of the gap junction protein from rat heart and liver: is there a tissue specificity of gap junctions?

    PubMed

    Gros, D B; Nicholson, B J; Revel, J P

    1983-12-01

    Gap junctions have been isolated from both rat heart and liver, tissues where junctions are typical in appearance and physiology. The purity of the fractions obtained was monitored by electron microscopy (thin-sectioning and negative staining) and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The myocardial gap junctions are comprised of a single polypeptide of Mr 28,000, apparently derived from a protein of Mr 30,000. Hepatic gap junctions are also comprised of a single native protein of Mr 28,000 as previously reported. Exhaustive trypsin digestion of the isolated junctions cleaves both of these proteins similarly, while leaving their characteristic junctional lattice structures intact. However, comparison of heart and liver junctional proteins by two-dimensional peptide mapping of tryptic and alpha-chymotryptic fragments, followed by high pressure liquid chromatography, reveals no homology between these proteins.

  3. 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

  4. Regulation of gap junctional communication during human trophoblast differentiation.

    PubMed

    Cronier, L; Hervé, J C; Délèze, J; Malassiné, A

    During pregnancy, the trophoblast, supporting the main functions of the placenta, develops from the fusion of cytotrophoblastic cells into a syncytiotrophoblast. Gap junction channels consisting of connexins link the cytosols of cells in contact. Gap junctional communication has been involved in the control of cell and tissue differentiation. Recently, a gap junctional communication was demonstrated in trophoblast cell culture by means of the fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (gap-FRAP) technique. This gap junctional communication appeared to be stimulated by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Therefore, the specificity of hCG action and the signalling mechanisms implicated in gap junctional communication were investigated by means of gap-FRAP. In culture, cytotrophoblastic cells develop into cellular aggregates, then into a syncytium, within 1-2 days after plating. During this in vitro differentiation, gap junctional communication was measured, and the maximum percentage of coupling between adjacent cells occurred on the fourth day. In the presence of 500 mIU/ml hCG, the percentage of coupled cells was increased at all stages of culture, and the highest proportion of coupled cells was observed after 2 days instead of 4 days in control conditions. The hCG action was specific, since the addition of heat-inactivated hCG of oFSH or of bTSH did not affect gap junctional communication in trophoblastic cells. The addition of a polyclonal hCG antibody decreased basal gap junctional communication as well as the response to exogenous hCG. Moreover, the presence of 8Br-cAMP (0.5 or 1 mM) mimicked the stimulation by hCG. Interestingly, H89 (2 microM), a specific protein kinase-A inhibitor, dramatically decreased the responses to hCG (500 mIU/ml) and the 8Br-cAMP (0.5 mM) stimulation of trophoblastic gap junctional communication. Calphostin (1 or 2 microM), a specific protein kinase-C inhibitor, strongly stimulated gap junctional communication. In conclusion, the

  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.

  6. Chaos synchronization in gap-junction-coupled neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshioka, Masahiko

    2005-06-01

    Depending on temperature, the modified Hodgkin-Huxley (MHH) equations exhibit a variety of dynamical behaviors, including intrinsic chaotic firing. We analyze synchronization in a large ensemble of MHH neurons that are interconnected with gap junctions. By evaluating tangential Lyapunov exponents we clarify whether the synchronous state of neurons is chaotic or periodic. Then, we evaluate transversal Lyapunov exponents to elucidate if this synchronous state is stable against infinitesimal perturbations. Our analysis elucidates that with weak gap junctions, the stability of the synchronization of MHH neurons shows rather complicated changes with temperature. We, however, find that with strong gap junctions, the synchronous state is stable over the wide range of temperature irrespective of whether synchronous state is chaotic or periodic. It turns out that strong gap junctions realize the robust synchronization mechanism, which well explains synchronization in interneurons in the real nervous system.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Oocyte triplet pairing for electrophysiological investigation of gap junctional coupling

    PubMed Central

    Hayar, Abdallah; Charlesworth, Amanda; Garcia-Rill, Edgar

    2010-01-01

    Gap junctions formed by expressing connexin subunits in Xenopus oocytes provide a valuable tool for revealing the gating properties of intercellular gap junctions in electrically coupled cells. We describe a new method that consists of simultaneous triple recordings from 3 apposed oocytes expressing exogenous connexins. The advantages of this method is that in one single experiment, one oocyte serves as control while a pair of oocytes, which have been manipulated differently, may be tested for different gap junctional properties. Moreover, we can study simultaneously the gap junctional coupling of 3 different pairs of oocytes in the same preparation. If the experiment consists of testing the effect of a single drug, this approach will reduce the time required, as background coupling in control pairs of oocytes does not need to be measured separately as with the conventional 2 oocyte pairing. The triplet approach also increases confidence that any changes seen in junctional communication are due to the experimental treatment and not variation in the preparation of oocytes or execution of the experiment. In this study, we show the example of testing the gap junctional properties among three oocytes, two of which are expressing rat connexin36. PMID:20230857

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Transfer of functional microRNAs between glioblastoma and microvascular endothelial cells through gap junctions

    PubMed Central

    Thuringer, Dominique; Boucher, Jonathan; Jego, Gaetan; Pernet, Nicolas; Cronier, Laurent; Hammann, Arlette; Solary, Eric; Garrido, Carmen

    2016-01-01

    Extensive invasion and angiogenesis are hallmark features of malignant glioblastomas. Here, we co-cultured U87 human glioblastoma cells and human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC) to demonstrate the exchange of microRNAs that initially involve the formation of gap junction communications between the two cell types. The functional inhibition of gap junctions by carbenoxolone blocks the transfer of the anti-tumor miR-145-5p from HMEC to U87, and the transfer of the pro-invasive miR-5096 from U87 to HMEC. These two microRNAs exert opposite effects on angiogenesis in vitro. MiR-5096 was observed to promote HMEC tubulogenesis, initially by increasing Cx43 expression and the formation of heterocellular gap junctions, and secondarily through a gap-junction independent pathway. Our results highlight the importance of microRNA exchanges between tumor and endothelial cells that in part involves the formation of functional gap junctions between the two cell types. PMID:27661112

  13. Transfer of functional microRNAs between glioblastoma and microvascular endothelial cells through gap junctions.

    PubMed

    Thuringer, Dominique; Boucher, Jonathan; Jego, Gaetan; Pernet, Nicolas; Cronier, Laurent; Hammann, Arlette; Solary, Eric; Garrido, Carmen

    2016-11-08

    Extensive invasion and angiogenesis are hallmark features of malignant glioblastomas. Here, we co-cultured U87 human glioblastoma cells and human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC) to demonstrate the exchange of microRNAs that initially involve the formation of gap junction communications between the two cell types. The functional inhibition of gap junctions by carbenoxolone blocks the transfer of the anti-tumor miR-145-5p from HMEC to U87, and the transfer of the pro-invasive miR-5096 from U87 to HMEC. These two microRNAs exert opposite effects on angiogenesis in vitro. MiR-5096 was observed to promote HMEC tubulogenesis, initially by increasing Cx43 expression and the formation of heterocellular gap junctions, and secondarily through a gap-junction independent pathway. Our results highlight the importance of microRNA exchanges between tumor and endothelial cells that in part involves the formation of functional gap junctions between the two cell types.

  14. Screening of gap junction antagonists on dye coupling in the rabbit retina

    PubMed Central

    PAN, FENG; MILLS, STEPHEN L.; MASSEY, STEPHEN C.

    2008-01-01

    Many cell types in the retina are coupled via gap junctions and so there is a pressing need for a potent and reversible gap junction antagonist. We screened a series of potential gap junction antagonists by evaluating their effects on dye coupling in the network of A-type horizontal cells. We evaluated the following compounds: meclofenamic acid (MFA), mefloquine, 2-aminoethyldiphenyl borate (2-APB), 18-α-glycyrrhetinic acid, 18-β-glycyrrhetinic acid (18-β-GA), retinoic acid, flufenamic acid, niflumic acid, and carbenoxolone. The efficacy of each drug was determined by measuring the diffusion coefficient for Neurobiotin (Mills & Massey, 1998). MFA, 18-β-GA, 2-APB and mefloquine were the most effective antagonists, completely eliminating A-type horizontal cell coupling at a concentration of 200 μM. Niflumic acid, flufenamic acid, and carbenoxolone were less potent. Additionally, carbenoxolone was difficult to wash out and also may be harmful, as the retina became opaque and swollen. MFA, 18-β-GA, 2-APB and mefloquine also blocked coupling in B-type horizontal cells and AII amacrine cells. Because these cell types express different connexins, this suggests that the antagonists were relatively non-selective across several different types of gap junction. It should be emphasized that MFA was water-soluble and its effects on dye coupling were easily reversible. In contrast, the other gap junction antagonists, except carbenoxolone, required DMSO to make stock solutions and were difficult to wash out of the preparation at the doses required to block coupling in A-type HCs. The combination of potency, water solubility and reversibility suggest that MFA may be a useful compound to manipulate gap junction coupling. PMID:17711600

  15. Gap Junctions in the Control of Vascular Function

    PubMed Central

    Duling, Brian R.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Direct intercellular communication via gap junctions is critical in the control and coordination of vascular function. In the cardiovascular system, gap junctions are made up of one or more of four connexin proteins: Cx37, Cx40, Cx43, and Cx45. The expression of more than one gap-junction protein in the vasculature is not redundant. Rather, vascular connexins work in concert, first during the development of the cardiovascular system, and then in integrating smooth muscle and endothelial cell function, and in coordinating cell function along the length of the vessel wall. In addition, connexin-based channels have emerged as an important signaling pathway in the astrocyte-mediated neurovascular coupling. Direct electrical communication between endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells via gap junctions is thought to play a relevant role in the control of vasomotor tone, providing the signaling pathway known as endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF). Consistent with the importance of gap junctions in the regulation of vasomotor tone and arterial blood pressure, the expression of connexins is altered in diseases associated with vascular complications. In this review, we discuss the participation of connexin-based channels in the control of vascular function in physiologic and pathologic conditions, with a special emphasis on hypertension and diabetes. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11, 251–266. PMID:18831678

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2001-01-01

    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. Biochemical analysis of connexin43 intracellular transport, phosphorylation, and assembly into gap junctional plaques

    PubMed Central

    1991-01-01

    We previously demonstrated that the gap junction protein connexin43 is translated as a 42-kD protein (connexin43-NP) that is efficiently phosphorylated to a 46,000-Mr species (connexin43-P2) in gap junctional communication-competent, but not in communication-deficient, cells. In this study, we used a combination of metabolic radiolabeling and immunoprecipitation to investigate the assembly of connexin43 into gap junctions and the relationship of this event to phosphorylation of connexin43. Examination of the detergent solubility of connexin43 in communication-competent NRK cells revealed that processing of connexin43 to the P2 form was accompanied by acquisition of resistance to solubilization in 1% Triton X-100. Immunohistochemical localization of connexin43 in Triton-extracted NRK cells demonstrated that connexin43-P2 (Triton-insoluble) was concentrated in gap junctional plaques, whereas connexin43-NP (Triton-soluble) was predominantly intracellular. Using either a 20 degrees C intracellular transport block or cell-surface protein biotinylation, we determined that connexin43 was transported to the plasma membrane in the Triton-soluble connexin43-NP form. Cell-surface biotinylated connexin43-NP was processed to Triton-insoluble connexin43-P2 at 37 degrees C. Connexin43- NP was also transported to the plasma membrane in communication defective, gap junction-deficient S180 and L929 cells but was not processed to Triton-insoluble connexin43-P2. Taken together, these results demonstrate that gap junction assembly is regulated after arrival of connexin43 at the plasma membrane and is temporally associated with acquisition of insolubility in Triton X-100 and phosphorylation to the connexin43-P2 form. PMID:1659577

  20. [Gap junctions: A new therapeutic target in major depressive disorder?].

    PubMed

    Sarrouilhe, D; Dejean, C

    2015-11-01

    Major depressive disorder is a multifactorial chronic and debilitating mood disease with high lifetime prevalence and is associated with excess mortality, especially from cardiovascular diseases and through suicide. The treatments of this disease with tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors are poorly tolerated and those that selectively target serotonin and norepinephrine re-uptake are not effective in all patients, showing the need to find new therapeutic targets. Post-mortem studies of brains from patients with major depressive disorders described a reduced expression of the gap junction-forming membrane proteins connexin 30 and connexin 43 in the prefrontal cortex and the locus coeruleus. The use of chronic unpredictable stress, a rodent model of depression, suggests that astrocytic gap junction dysfunction contributes to the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder. Chronic treatments of rats with fluoxetine and of rat cultured cortical astrocytes with amitriptyline support the hypothesis that the upregulation of gap junctional intercellular communication between brain astrocytes could be a novel mechanism for the therapeutic effect of antidepressants. In conclusion, astrocytic gap junctions are emerging as a new potential therapeutic target for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder.

  1. Dynamically Active Compartments Coupled by a Stochastically Gated Gap Junction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bressloff, Paul C.; Lawley, Sean D.

    2017-03-01

    We analyze a one-dimensional PDE-ODE system representing the diffusion of signaling molecules between two cells coupled by a stochastically gated gap junction. We assume that signaling molecules diffuse within the cytoplasm of each cell and then either bind to some active region of the cell's membrane (treated as a well-mixed compartment) or pass through the gap junction to the interior of the other cell. We treat the gap junction as a randomly fluctuating gate that switches between an open and a closed state according to a two-state Markov process. This means that the resulting PDE-ODE is stochastic due to the presence of a randomly switching boundary in the interior of the domain. It is assumed that each membrane compartment acts as a conditional oscillator, that is, it sits below a supercritical Hopf bifurcation. In the ungated case (gap junction always open), the system supports diffusion-induced oscillations, in which the concentration of signaling molecules within the two compartments is either in-phase or anti-phase. The presence of a reflection symmetry (for identical cells) means that the stochastic gate only affects the existence of anti-phase oscillations. In particular, there exist parameter choices where the gated system supports oscillations, but the ungated system does not, and vice versa. The existence of oscillations is investigated by solving a spectral problem obtained by averaging over realizations of the stochastic gate.

  2. The psychostimulant modafinil enhances gap junctional communication in cortical astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xinhe; Petit, Jean-Marie; Ezan, Pascal; Gyger, Joël; Magistretti, Pierre; Giaume, Christian

    2013-12-01

    Sleep-wake cycle is characterized by changes in neuronal network activity. However, for the last decade there is increasing evidence that neuroglial interaction may play a role in the modulation of sleep homeostasis and that astrocytes have a critical impact in this process. Interestingly, astrocytes are organized into communicating networks based on their high expression of connexins, which are the molecular constituents of gap junction channels. Thus, neuroglial interactions should also be considered as the result of the interplay between neuronal and astroglial networks. Here, we investigate the effect of modafinil, a wakefulness-promoting agent, on astrocyte gap junctional communication. We report that in the cortex modafinil injection increases the expression of mRNA and protein of connexin 30 but not those of connexin 43, the other major astroglial connexin. These increases are correlated with an enhancement of intercellular dye coupling in cortical astrocytes, which is abolished when neuronal activity is silenced by tetrodotoxin. Moreover, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, which at a millimolar concentration induces sleep, has an opposite effect on astroglial gap junctions in an activity-independent manner. These results support the proposition that astroglia may play an important role in complex physiological brain functions, such as sleep regulation, and that neuroglial networking interaction is modified during sleep-wake cycle. This article is part of the Special Issue Section entitled 'Current Pharmacology of Gap Junction Channels and Hemichannels'.

  3. Effects of the gap junction blocker glycyrrhetinic acid on gastrointestinal smooth muscle cells.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Yukari; Ward, Sean M; Sanders, Kenton M; Koh, Sang Don

    2005-04-01

    In the tunica muscularis of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, gap junctions form low-resistance pathways between pacemaker cells known as interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) and between ICC and smooth muscle cells. Coupling via these junctions facilitates electrical slow-wave propagation and responses of smooth muscle to enteric motor nerves. Glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) has been shown to uncouple gap junctions, but previous studies have shown apparent nonspecific effects of GA in a variety of tissues. We tested the effects of GA using isometric force measurements, intracellular microelectrode recordings, the patch-clamp technique, and the spread of Lucifer yellow within cultured ICC networks. In murine small intestinal muscles, beta-GA (10 muM) decreased phasic contractions and depolarized resting membrane potential. Preincubation of GA inhibited the spread of Lucifer yellow, increased input resistance, and decreased cell capacitance in ICC networks, suggesting that GA uncoupled ICCs. In patch-clamp experiments of isolated jejunal myocytes, GA significantly decreased L-type Ca(2+) current in a dose-dependent manner without affecting the voltage dependence of this current. The IC(50) for Ca(2+) currents was 1.9 muM, which is lower than the concentrations used to block gap junctions. GA also significantly increased large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) currents but decreased net delayed rectifier K(+) currents, including 4-aminopyridine and tetraethylammonium-resistant currents. In conclusion, the reduction of phasic contractile activity of GI muscles by GA is likely a consequence of its inhibitory effects on gap junctions and voltage-dependent Ca(2+) currents. Membrane depolarization may be a consequence of uncoupling effects of GA on gap junctions between ICCs and smooth muscles and inhibition of K(+) conductances in smooth muscle cells.

  4. Requirement of gap junctional intercellular communication for human villous trophoblast differentiation.

    PubMed

    Cronier, Laurent; Frendo, Jean-Louis; Defamie, Norah; Pidoux, Guillaume; Bertin, Gladys; Guibourdenche, Jean; Pointis, Georges; Malassine, Andre

    2003-11-01

    During pregnancy, the villous trophoblast develops from the fusion of cytotrophoblastic cells (CT) into a syncytiotrophoblast (ST), supporting the main physiological functions of the human placenta. Connexin43 (Cx43) is demonstrated in situ and in vitro in the villous trophoblast between CT and between CT and ST. Moreover, the presence of a gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) during in vitro trophoblast differentiation was previously demonstrated. Because the exchange of molecules through gap junctions is considered to play a major role in the control of cell and tissue differentiation, we studied the effects of a gap junctional uncoupler, heptanol, on morphological and functional trophoblast differentiation and on GJIC measured by the fluorescence recovery after photobleaching method. We found that when the GJIC was interrupted, CT still aggregated but fused poorly. This morphological effect was associated with a significant decrease of trophoblastic-specific gene expression (beta human chorionic gonadotropin and human chorionic somatomammotropin). This blocking action was reversible as demonstrated by recovery of GJIC and trophoblast differentiation process after heptanol removal. Moreover, the inhibition of the trophoblast differentiation did not affect Cx43 transcript expression and Cx43 protein expression. These data suggest that the molecular exchanges through gap junctions preceding cellular fusion are essential for trophoblast differentiation generating the multifunctional syncytiotrophoblast.

  5. Gap junctions and tissue business: problems and strategies for developing specific functional reagents.

    PubMed

    Goodenough, D A; Musil, L S

    1993-01-01

    The complex and overlapping tissue distribution of different members of the gap junctional connexin protein family is reviewed. Intermixing of different connexins in the building of intercellular channels and translational and posttranslational regulation of gap junctional channels add additional challenges to the interpretation of the possible functions played by gap junction-mediated intercellular communication in tissue business.

  6. 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.

  7. Gap junctions: their importance for the dynamics of neural circuits.

    PubMed

    Rela, Lorena; Szczupak, Lidia

    2004-12-01

    Electrical coupling through gap junctions constitutes a mode of signal transmission between neurons (electrical synaptic transmission). Originally discovered in invertebrates and in lower vertebrates, electrical synapses have recently been reported in immature and adult mammalian nervous systems. This has renewed the interest in understanding the role of electrical synapses in neural circuit function and signal processing. The present review focuses on the role of gap junctions in shaping the dynamics of neural networks by forming electrical synapses between neurons. Electrical synapses have been shown to be important elements in coincidence detection mechanisms and they can produce complex input-output functions when arranged in combination with chemical synapses. We postulate that these synapses may also be important in redefining neuronal compartments, associating anatomically distinct cellular structures into functional units. The original view of electrical synapses as static connecting elements in neural circuits has been revised and a considerable amount of evidence suggests that electrical synapses substantially affect the dynamics of neural circuits.

  8. Gap Junctional Regulation of Signal Transduction in Bone Cells

    PubMed Central

    Buo, Atum M.; Stains, Joseph P.

    2014-01-01

    The role of gap junctions, particularly that of connexin43 (Cx43), has become an area of increasing interest in bone physiology. An abundance of studies have shown that Cx43 influences the function of osteoblasts and osteocytes, which ultimately impacts bone mass acquisition and skeletal homeostasis. However, the molecular details underlying how Cx43 regulates bone are only coming into focus and have proven to be more complex than originally thought. In this review, we focus on the diverse molecular mechanisms by which Cx43 gap junctions and hemichannels regulate cell signaling pathways, gene expression, mechanotransduction and cell survival in bone cells. This review will highlight key signaling factors that have been identified as downstream effectors of Cx43 and the impact of these pathways on distinct osteoblast and osteocyte functions. PMID:24486014

  9. Gap Junction Intercellular Communication in Bone Marrow Failure

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-10-01

    osteogenesis, osteoblast function, or mesenchymal-derived hematopoietic support. This project postulates that the loss of gap junction ( GJ )-mediated...intercellular communication (IC) in the osteogenic HM is one of the mechanisms involved in dysfunctional mesenchymal hematopoietic support. GJ are cell...bone (30-39). GJ are formed by hexamers (hemichannels) of a family of proteins called connexins, with cell specific expression and functions(40, 41

  10. Myosin VI facilitates connexin 43 gap junction accretion

    PubMed Central

    Waxse, Bennett J.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT In this study, we demonstrate myosin VI enrichment at Cx43 (also known as GJA1)-containing gap junctions (GJs) in heart tissue, primary cardiomyocytes and cell culture models. In primary cardiac tissue and in fibroblasts from the myosin VI-null mouse as well as in tissue culture cells transfected with siRNA against myosin VI, we observe reduced GJ plaque size with a concomitant reduction in intercellular communication, as shown by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and a new method of selective calcein administration. Analysis of the molecular role of myosin VI in Cx43 trafficking indicates that myosin VI is dispensable for the delivery of Cx43 to the cell surface and connexon movement in the plasma membrane. Furthermore, we cannot corroborate clathrin or Dab2 localization at gap junctions and we do not observe a function for the myosin-VI–Dab2 complex in clathrin-dependent endocytosis of annular gap junctions. Instead, we found that myosin VI was localized at the edge of Cx43 plaques by using total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and use FRAP to identify a plaque accretion defect as the primary manifestation of myosin VI loss in Cx43 homeostasis. A fuller understanding of this derangement may explain the cardiomyopathy or gliosis associated with the loss of myosin VI. PMID:28096472

  11. Gap junctions synchronize the firing of inhibitory interneurons in guinea pig hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Yang, Q; Michelson, H B

    2001-07-13

    The convulsant 4-aminopyridine (4AP) facilitates the synchronous firing of interneurons in the hippocampus, eliciting giant inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) in CA3 pyramidal cells. We used the gap junction blocker carbenoxolone to investigate the role of electrotonic coupling in both the initiation and the maintenance of 4AP-facilitated inhibitory circuit oscillations. Carbenoxolone abolished all synchronized IPSPs in CA3 cells elicited by 4AP in the presence of ionotropic glutamate receptor blockers. Carbenoxolone also blocked the isolated synchronized GABA(B) IPSPs generated in CA3 cells by a subpopulation of interneurons. These data confirm that: (1) the interneurons producing GABA(B) responses in CA3 cells are electrotonically coupled, and (2) gap junctions among interneurons are essential for initiating synchronized interneuron oscillatory firing in 4AP.

  12. 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...

  13. Voltage-dependent gap junction channels are formed by connexin32, the major gap junction protein of rat liver.

    PubMed Central

    Moreno, A P; de Carvalho, A C; Verselis, V; Eghbali, B; Spray, D C

    1991-01-01

    We report here experiments undertaken in pairs of hepatocytes that demonstrate a marked voltage sensivity of junctional conductance and, thus, contradict earlier findings reported by this laboratory (Spray, D.C., R.D.ginzberg, E.A., E. A. Morales, Z. Gatmaitan and I.M. Arias, 1986, J. Cell Biol. 101:135-144; Spray C.D. R.L. White, A.C. Campos de Carvalho, and M.V.L. Bennett. 1984. Biophys. J. 45:219-230) and by others (Dahl, G., T. Moller, D. Paul, R. Voellmy, and R. Werner. 1987. Science [Wash. DC] 236:1290-1293; Riverdin, E.C., and R. Weingart. 1988. Am. J. Physiol. 254:C226-C234). Expression in exogenous systems, lipid bilayers in which fragments of isolated gap junction membranes were incorporated (Young, J.D.-E., Z. Cohn, and N.B. Gilula. 1987. Cell. 48:733-743.) and noncommunicating cells transfected with connexin32 cDNA (Eghbali, B., J.A. Kessler, and D.C. Spray. 1990. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 87:1328-1331), support these findings and indicate that the voltage-dependent channel is composed of connexin32, the major gap junction protein of rat liver (Paul, D. 1986. J. Cell Biol. 103:123-134). PMID:1648416

  14. Gap junction structures. V. Structural chemistry inferred from X-ray diffraction measurements on sucrose accessibility and trypsin susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Makowski, L; Caspar, D L; Phillips, W C; Goodenough, D A

    1984-04-15

    X-ray diffraction patterns have been recorded from partially oriented specimens of gap junctions isolated from mouse liver and suspended in sucrose solutions of different concentration and thus of different electron density. Analysis of these diffraction patterns has shown that sucrose is excluded from the 6-fold rotation axis of the junction lattice for a length of about 100 A. This indicates that the aqueous channel of the junctions is in the closed, high resistance state in these preparations. Mapping of the sucrose-accessible space in the junction indicates that the cross-sectional area of the channel entrance on the cytoplasmic side of the membrane could be up to five times larger than the area of the transmembrane channel. Sucrose does not penetrate more than 20 A into the membrane along the channel. Apparently the aqueous channel, 8 to 10 A in radius for most of its length, is narrowed or blocked by a small feature about 50 A from the center of the gap. Very close interactions exist between the gap junction protein and the lipid polar head groups on the cytoplasmic surface of the membrane. In this region, the protein intercalates between the polar head groups. These results suggest that the gap junction protein may have a functional two-domain structure. One domain, with a molecular weight of about 15,000, spans one bilayer and half of the gap and is contained largely within a radius of 25 A from the 6-fold axis. The second domain is smaller and occupies the cytoplasmic surface of the gap junction membrane. Trypsin digestion removes about 4000 Mr from the cytoplasmic surface domain of the junction protein. Most of the material susceptible to trypsin digestion is located more than 28 A from the 6-fold axis.

  15. 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

  16. Reversible interruption of gap junctional communication by testosterone propionate in cultured Sertoli cells and cardiac myocytes.

    PubMed

    Pluciennik, F; Verrecchia, F; Bastide, B; Hervé, J C; Joffre, M; Délèze, J

    1996-02-01

    A direct cell-to-cell exchange of ions and molecules occurs through specialized membrane channels built by the interaction of two half channels, termed connexons, contributed by each of the two adjacent cells. The electrical and diffusional couplings have been investigated by monitoring respectively the cell-to-cell conductance and the fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, in Sertoli and cardiac cells of young rat. In both cell types, a rapid impairment of the intercellular coupling has been observed in the presence of testosterone propionate. This interruption of the cell-to-cell communication through gap junction channels was dose-dependent, observed in the concentration range 1 to 25 microM and was progressively reversed after withdrawing the testosterone ester. Pretreatment with cyproterone acetate, an antiandrogen which blocks the nuclear testosterone receptor by binding, did not prevent the uncoupling action of the androgen ester. This observation, together with the rapid time course of the uncoupling and recoupling, and the rather high effective concentration (micromolar) of the steroid compound, suggests a nongenomic mechanism of action. The uncoupling concentrations were very similar to those of other steroid compounds known to interrupt gap junctional communication. The uncoupling could result from a direct interaction of the steroid with the proteolipidic structure of the membrane, that might alter the conformation of the gap junction channels and their functional state.

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

    PubMed

    Tse, Gary; Yeo, Jie Ming

    2015-12-07

    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.

  18. Analyzing phorbol ester effects on gap junctional communication: a dramatic inhibition of assembly

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

    The effect of 12-O-tetradeconylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) on gap junction assembly between Novikoff hepatoma cells was examined. Cells were dissociated with EDTA to single cells and then reaggregated to form new junctions. When TPA (25 nM) was added to the cells at the onset of the 60-min reaggregation, dye transfer was detected at only 0.6% of the cell-cell interfaces compared to 72% for the untreated control and 74% for 4-alpha TPA, an inactive isomer of TPA. Freeze-fracture electron microscopy of reaggregated control cells showed interfaces containing an average of more than 600 aggregated intramembranous gap junction particles, while TPA-treated cells had no gap junctions. However, Lucifer yellow dye transfer between nondissociated cells via gap junctions was unaffected by 60 min of TPA treatment. Therefore, TPA dramatically inhibited gap junction assembly but did not alter channel gating nor enhance disassembly of preexisting gap junction structures. Short term TPA treatment (< 30 min) increased phosphorylation of the gap junction protein molecular weight of 43,000 (Cx43), but did not change the cellular level of Cx43. Cell surface biotinylation experiments suggested that TPA did not substantially reduce the plasma membrane concentration of Cx43. Therefore, the simple presence of Cx43 in the plasma membrane is not sufficient for gap junction assembly, and protein kinase C probably exerts an effect on assembly of gap junctions at the plasma membrane level. PMID:7806568

  19. Role of Gap Junctions and Hemichannels in Parasitic Infections

    PubMed Central

    Subiabre, Mario; Figueroa, Felipe; Schalper, Kurt Alex; Osorio, Luis; González, Jorge; Sáez, Juan Carlos

    2013-01-01

    In vertebrates, connexins (Cxs) and pannexins (Panxs) are proteins that form gap junction channels and/or hemichannels located at cell-cell interfaces and cell surface, respectively. Similar channel types are formed by innexins in invertebrate cells. These channels serve as pathways for cellular communication that coordinate diverse physiologic processes. However, it is known that many acquired and inherited diseases deregulate Cx and/or Panx channels, condition that frequently worsens the pathological state of vertebrates. Recent evidences suggest that Cx and/or Panx hemichannels play a relevant role in bacterial and viral infections. Nonetheless, little is known about the role of Cx- and Panx-based channels in parasitic infections of vertebrates. In this review, available data on changes in Cx and gap junction channel changes induced by parasitic infections are summarized. Additionally, we describe recent findings that suggest possible roles of hemichannels in parasitic infections. Finally, the possibility of new therapeutic designs based on hemichannel blokers is presented. PMID:24236292

  20. Mefloquine gap junction blockade and risk of pregnancy loss.

    PubMed

    Nevin, Remington Lee

    2012-09-01

    Obstetric use of the antimalarial drug mefloquine has historically been discouraged during the first trimester and immediately before conception owing to concerns of potential fetal harm. With the rise of resistance to the antimalarial drug sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), mefloquine is now being considered as a replacement for SP for universal antenatal administration to women from malaria-endemic regions. Recent recommendations have also suggested that mefloquine may be used cautiously among pregnant travelers who cannot otherwise avoid visiting these areas. Mefloquine has been demonstrated to cause blockade of gap junction protein alpha 1 (GJA1) gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC), and recent evidence suggests that GJA1 GJIC is critical to successful embryonic implantation and early placental development. During routine use, mefloquine accumulates in organ and peripheral tissue, crosses the blood-placental barrier, and may plausibly accumulate in developing decidua and trophoblast at concentrations sufficient to interfere with GJA1 GJIC and, thus, cause deleterious effects on fetal outcomes. This conclusion is supported by epidemiological evidence that demonstrates use of the drug during early development is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Confirmatory studies are pending, but the available experimental and epidemiological evidence support renewed adherence, where feasible, to existing mefloquine package insert guidance that women avoid the drug during the periconceptional period.

  1. 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.

  2. Regulation of Cx43 gap junctions: the gatekeeper and the password.

    PubMed

    Hossain, M Z; Boynton, A L

    2000-10-17

    Gap junctions are regulatable pores that connect the cytoplasms of neighboring cells. Hossain and Boynton focus on connexin 43 gap junctions and their regulation by changing the phosphorylation status of the COOH-terminal domain of connexin 43 or by altering protein-protein interactions in this region. The COOH-terminal domain of connexin 43 appears to be a key player in regulating gap junctional communication (GJC) because many divergent signals in many different cell types modify this domain to inhibit GJC.

  3. Gap junctions are involved in the early generation of left-right asymmetry.

    PubMed

    Levin, M; Mercola, M

    1998-11-01

    Invariant left-right asymmetry of the visceral organs is a fundamental feature of vertebrate embryogenesis. While a cascade of asymmetrically expressed genes has been described, the embryonic mechanism that orients the left-right axis relative to the dorsoventral and anteroposterior axes (a prerequisite for asymmetric gene expression) is unknown. We propose that this process involves dorsoventral differences in cell-cell communication through gap junctions composed of connexin proteins. Global modulation of gap junctional states in Xenopus embryos by pharmacological agents specifically induced heterotaxia involving mirror-image reversals of heart, gut, and gall bladder. Greatest sensitivity was observed between st. 5 and st. 12, well before the onset of organogenesis. Moreover, heterotaxia was also induced following microinjection of dominant negative and wild-type connexin mRNAs to modify the endogenous dorsoventral difference in junctional communication. Heterotaxia was induced by either blocking gap junction communication (GJC) dorsally or by introducing communication ventrally (but not the reverse). Both connexin misexpression and exposure to GJC-modifying drugs altered expression of the normally left-sided gene XNR-1, demonstrating that GJC functions upstream of XNR-1 in the pathway that patterns left-right asymmetry. Finally, lineage analysis to follow the progeny of microinjected cells indicated that they generally do not contribute the asymmetric organs. Together with the early sensitivity window, this suggests that GJC functions as part of a fundamental, early aspect of left-right patterning. In addition, we show that a potential regulatory mutation in Connexin43 is sufficient to cause heterotaxia. Despite uncertainty about the prevalence of the serine364 to proline substitution reported in human patients with laterality defects, the mutant protein is both a mild hypomorph and a potent antimorph as determined by the effect of its expression on left

  4. Gap junction structures. VIII. Membrane cross-sections.

    PubMed

    Sosinsky, G E; Jésior, J C; Caspar, D L; Goodenough, D A

    1988-05-01

    Profiles of negatively stained gap junctions have been measured by grid sectioning. After normal levels of electron irradiation, the membrane thickness shrinks to about half that of unirradiated controls, but no shrinkage occurs in the hexagonal lattice plane. Even under low irradiation conditions, there is significant thinning of the membranes. Edge views, in which rows of connexons are aligned parallel to the beam, were obtained from grid sections, folds in normal negatively stained specimens, and sections of a positively stained specimen. Averaging these micrographs with the translational and mirror symmetry of the projected lattice image displays conserved and variable features in the stain distribution of different specimens. Variations in the relative amount of negative stain in the gap at the surfaces and in the channel are uncorrelated with the irradiation but appear to depend on the local staining conditions and the integrity of the connexons. The dimensions measured from previously unirradiated grid sections, folds, and positively stained sections are in accord with x-ray diffraction measurements. Radiation-induced shrinkage can be accounted for by mass loss principally from the membrane bilayer. Disordering of the surface structure appears to be correlated with the radiation sensitivity of the bilayer; in contrast, the gap structure is well preserved under a variety of conditions.

  5. The organization of adherens junctions and desmosomes at the cardiac intercalated disc is independent of gap junctions.

    PubMed

    Gutstein, David E; Liu, Fang-Yu; Meyers, Marian B; Choo, Andrew; Fishman, Glenn I

    2003-03-01

    Adherens junctions and desmosomes are responsible for mechanically coupling myocytes in the heart and are found closely apposed to gap junction plaques at the intercalated discs of cardiomyocytes. It is not known whether loss of cardiac gap junctions, such as described in cardiac disease states, may influence the expression patterns of other intercalated disc-associated proteins. We investigated whether the major cardiac gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) may be responsible for regulating adherens junctions, desmosomes and their associated catenins, in terms of abundance and localization at the intercalated discs of cardiomyocytes. In order to study the effect of loss of cardiac gap junctions on the intercalated disc-associated proteins, we used a combination of immunoblotting, immunofluorescence with confocal microscopy and electron microscopy to evaluate heart tissue from mice with cardiac-specific conditional knockout of Cx43. We found that the cardiac adherens junctions, desmosomes and their associated catenins, as well as vinculin and ZO-1, maintain their normal abundance, structural appearance and localization in the absence of Cx43. We conclude from these data that Cx43 is not required for the organization of the cell adhesion junctions and their associated catenins at the intercalated disc in the adult cardiac myocyte.

  6. 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.

  7. Oncogenic extracellular HSP70 disrupts the gap-junctional coupling between capillary cells

    PubMed Central

    Thuringer, Dominique; Berthenet, Kevin; Cronier, Laurent; Jego, Gaetan; Solary, Eric; Garrido, Carmen

    2015-01-01

    High levels of circulating heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) are detected in many cancers. In order to explore the effects of extracellular HSP70 on human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC), we initially used gap-FRAP technique. Extracellular human HSP70 (rhHSP70), but not rhHSP27, blocks the gap-junction intercellular communication (GJIC) between HMEC, disrupts the structural integrity of HMEC junction plaques, and decreases connexin43 (Cx43) expression, which correlates with the phosphorylation of Cx43 serine residues. Further exploration of these effects identified a rapid transactivation of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor in a Toll-Like Receptor 4-dependent manner, preceding its internalization. In turn, cytosolic Ca2+ oscillations are generated. Both GJIC blockade and Ca2+ mobilization partially depend on ATP release through Cx43 and pannexin (Panx-1) channels, as demonstrated by blocking activity or expression of channels, and inactivating extracellular ATP. By monitoring dye-spreading into adjacent cells, we show that HSP70 released from human monocytes in response to macrophage colony-stimulating factor, prevents the formation of GJIC between monocytes and HMEC. Therapeutic manipulation of this pathway could be of interest in inflammatory and tumor growth. PMID:25868858

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  10. Distribution of gap junctions and square array junctions in the mammalian lens.

    PubMed

    Costello, M J; McIntosh, T J; Robertson, J D

    1989-05-01

    The morphology of membrane specializations of the cortex and nucleus of bovine lenses has been analyzed for both isolated membrane fractions and intact tissue fragments. Fractions of fiber cell membranes isolated from the outer cortex and the inner nucleus of lenses have been compared using x-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, SDS polyacrylamide gels and Western blots. Each fraction has distinctive structural characteristics. In x-ray experiments, the cortical fraction gives no sharp equatorial reflections (from the plane of the membrane), whereas the nuclear fraction gives sharp equatorial reflections which index on a square lattice of 6.6 nm. In thin-section electron micrographs, the cortical fraction is composed primarily of closed vesicles and flat membrane sheets, some of which contain pentalamellar structures similar in appearance to the 16-18 nm thick gap junctions found in other tissues. The nuclear fraction contains mostly undulating membrane pairs which often show 11-14 nm pentalamellar profiles and occasionally thicker junctions. In freeze-fracture images the cortical membranes display irregular clusters of intramembrane particles which resemble gap junctions, whereas the nuclear membranes contain numerous large square arrays with a 6.6 nm repeat and few irregular clusters or individual intramembrane particles. Images of fragments of intact lenses used in the membrane isolations give similar results; in the cortex the area covered by gap junctions is over 50 times the area covered by square lattices, whereas nuclear fiber cell membranes contain large square arrays. Thus, cortical and nuclear fiber cell membranes have quite different morphologies. In particular, the size of the square arrays of protein increases as the fiber cells mature. SDS polyacrylamide gels from cortical and nuclear fractions are similar in that they both contain MP26 as the major band. However, Western blot analysis shows increasing quantities of lower molecular weight, 25 kD and

  11. 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

  12. Effect of antipeptide antibodies directed against three domains of connexin43 on the gap junctional permeability of cultured heart cells.

    PubMed

    Bastide, B; Jarry-Guichard, T; Briand, J P; Délèze, J; Gros, D

    1996-04-01

    Cell-to-cell communication can be blocked by intracellular injections of antibodies raised against gap junction proteins, but the mechanism of channel obstruction is unknown. Binding to connexins could lead to a conformational change, interfere with regulatory domains or cause a steric hindrance. To address these questions, the effects on cell-to-cell communication of affinity purified polyclonal antibodies raised against peptides reproducing the intracellular sequences 5-17, 314-322 and 363-382 of rat connexin43 were investigated in cultured rat ventricular cells. The antibodies against sequence 363-382 were characterized by immunoblotting and immunocytochemistry. Characterization of antibodies 5-17 and 314-322 has been previously reported. In a first series of experiments, the effect on gap junctional communication was assessed by injecting a junction-permeant fluorescent dye into cells adjacent to one cell previously microinjected with antibodies. In a second series, junctional permeability was quantitatively determined on records of fluorescence recovery after the photobleaching of 6-carboxyfluorescein-loaded cells. Antibodies 5-17 marked a 43 kDa band on immunoblots, but did not immunolabel gap junctions and had no functional effect. Antibodies 314-322 recognized the 43 kDa protein and labeled the intercalated disks, but failed to interfere with junctional permeability. Antibodies to the nearby sequence 363-382, for which all immunospecific tests had been positive, caused a delayed diffusional uncoupling in 50% of the microinjected cells. It is suggested that the blocking of junctional communication by antibodies results from interference with a regulatory domain of the connexin.

  13. Differential regulation of the levels of three gap junction mRNAs in Xenopus embryos

    PubMed Central

    1990-01-01

    Xenopus mRNAs that potentially encode gap junction proteins in the oocyte and early embryo have been identified by low-stringency screening of cDNA libraries with cloned mammalian gap junction cDNAs. The levels of these mRNAs show strikingly different temporal regulation and tissue distribution. Using a nomenclature designed to stress important structural similarities of distinct gap junction gene products, the deduced polypeptides have been designated the Xenopus alpha 1 and alpha 2 gap junction proteins. The alpha 2 gap junction mRNA is a maternal transcript that disappears by the late gastrula stage. It is not detected in any organ of the adult except the ovary, and resides primarily, if not exclusively, in the oocytes and early embryos. The alpha 1 gap junction mRNA appears during organogenesis, and is detected in RNA from a wide variety of organs. It is also found in full-grown oocytes, but is rapidly degraded upon oocyte maturation, both in vivo and in vitro. The alpha 1 and alpha 2 mRNAs encode proteins with different degrees of amino acid sequence similarity to the predominant gap junction subunit of the mammalian heart (connexin 43). Together with our earlier report of a mid-embryonic (beta 1) gap junction mRNA, the results suggest that intercellular communication during oocyte growth and postfertilization development is a complex phenomenon involving the coordinated regulation of several genes. PMID:2155241

  14. 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...

  15. Molecular basis of gap junctional communication in the CNS of the leech Hirudo medicinalis.

    PubMed

    Dykes, Iain M; Freeman, Fiona M; Bacon, Jonathan P; Davies, Jane A

    2004-01-28

    Gap junctions are intercellular channels that allow the passage of ions and small molecules between cells. In the nervous system, gap junctions mediate electrical coupling between neurons. Despite sharing a common topology and similar physiology, two unrelated gap junction protein families exist in the animal kingdom. Vertebrate gap junctions are formed by members of the connexin family, whereas invertebrate gap junctions are composed of innexin proteins. Here we report the cloning of two innexins from the leech Hirudo medicinalis. These innexins show a differential expression in the leech CNS: Hm-inx1 is expressed by every neuron in the CNS but not in glia, whereas Hm-inx2 is expressed in glia but not neurons. Heterologous expression in the paired Xenopus oocyte system demonstrated that both innexins are able to form functional homotypic gap junctions. Hm-inx1 forms channels that are not strongly gated. In contrast, Hm-inx2 forms channels that are highly voltage-dependent; these channels demonstrate properties resembling those of a double rectifier. In addition, Hm-inx1 and Hm-inx2 are able to cooperate to form heterotypic gap junctions in Xenopus oocytes. The behavior of these channels is primarily that predicted from the properties of the constituent hemichannels but also demonstrates evidence of an interaction between the two. This work represents the first demonstration of a functional gap junction protein from a Lophotrochozoan animal and supports the hypothesis that connexin-based communication is restricted to the deuterostome clade.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. The role of gap junctions in inflammatory and neoplastic disorders (Review)

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Pui; Laxton, Victoria; Srivastava, Saurabh; Chan, Yin Wah Fiona; Tse, Gary

    2017-01-01

    Gap junctions are intercellular channels made of connexin proteins, mediating both electrical and biochemical signals between cells. The ability of gap junction proteins to regulate immune responses, cell proliferation, migration, apoptosis and carcinogenesis makes them attractive therapeutic targets for treating inflammatory and neoplastic disorders in different organ systems. Alterations in gap junction profile and expression levels are observed in hyperproliferative skin disorders, lymphatic vessel diseases, inflammatory lung diseases, liver injury and neoplastic disorders. It is now recognized that the therapeutic effects mediated by traditional pharmacological agents are dependent upon gap junction communication and may even act by influencing gap junction expression or function. Novel strategies for modulating the function or expression of connexins, such as the use of synthetic mimetic peptides and siRNA technology are considered. PMID:28098880

  19. 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

  20. Emergent central pattern generator behavior in gap-junction-coupled Hodgkin-Huxley style neuron model.

    PubMed

    Horn, Kyle G; 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 (I(AHP)) 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.

  1. Novel model for the mechanisms of glutamate-dependent excitotoxicity: Role of neuronal gap junctions

    PubMed Central

    Belousov, Andrei B.

    2012-01-01

    In the mammalian central nervous system (CNS), coupling of neurons by gap junctions (electrical synapses) increases during early postnatal development, then decreases, but increases in the mature CNS following neuronal injury, such as ischemia, traumatic brain injury and epilepsy. Glutamate-dependent neuronal death also occurs in the CNS during development and neuronal injury, i.e., at the time when neuronal gap junction coupling is increased. Here, we review our recent studies on regulation of neuronal gap junction coupling by glutamate during development and injury and on the role of gap junctions in neuronal cell death. A novel model of the mechanisms of glutamate-dependent neuronal death is discussed, which includes neuronal gap junction coupling as a critical part of these mechanisms. PMID:22771704

  2. Regulation of neuronal axon specification by glia-neuron gap junctions in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Lingfeng; Zhang, Albert; Jin, Yishi; Yan, Dong

    2016-01-01

    Axon specification is a critical step in neuronal development, and the function of glial cells in this process is not fully understood. Here, we show that C. elegans GLR glial cells regulate axon specification of their nearby GABAergic RME neurons through GLR-RME gap junctions. Disruption of GLR-RME gap junctions causes misaccumulation of axonal markers in non-axonal neurites of RME neurons and converts microtubules in those neurites to form an axon-like assembly. We further uncover that GLR-RME gap junctions regulate RME axon specification through activation of the CDK-5 pathway in a calcium-dependent manner, involving a calpain clp-4. Therefore, our study reveals the function of glia-neuron gap junctions in neuronal axon specification and shows that calcium originated from glial cells can regulate neuronal intracellular pathways through gap junctions. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19510.001 PMID:27767956

  3. Analyzing the Effects of Gap Junction Blockade on Neural Synchrony via a Motoneuron Network Computational Model

    PubMed Central

    Memelli, Heraldo; Horn, Kyle G.; Wittie, Larry D.; Solomon, Irene C.

    2012-01-01

    In specific regions of the central nervous system (CNS), gap junctions have been shown to participate in neuronal synchrony. Amongst the CNS regions identified, some populations of brainstem motoneurons are known to be coupled by gap junctions. The application of various gap junction blockers to these motoneuron populations, however, has led to mixed results regarding their synchronous firing behavior, with some studies reporting a decrease in synchrony while others surprisingly find an increase in synchrony. To address this discrepancy, we employ a neuronal network model of Hodgkin-Huxley-style motoneurons connected by gap junctions. Using this model, we implement a series of simulations and rigorously analyze their outcome, including the calculation of a measure of neuronal synchrony. Our simulations demonstrate that under specific conditions, uncoupling of gap junctions is capable of producing either a decrease or an increase in neuronal synchrony. Subsequently, these simulations provide mechanistic insight into these different outcomes. PMID:23365560

  4. 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

  5. Neural differentiation, NCAM-mediated adhesion, and gap junctional communication in neuroectoderm. A study in vitro

    PubMed Central

    1988-01-01

    We studied the development of NCAM and gap junctional communication, and their mutual relationship in chick neuroectoderm in vitro. Expression of NCAM, as detected by monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, and development of junctional communication, as detected by extensive cell-to-cell transfer of 400-500-D fluorescent tracers, occurred in cultures from stage-2 embryos onward. Both expressions presumably required primary induction. The differentiating cells formed discrete fields of expression on the second to third day in culture, with the NCAM fields coinciding with the junctional communication fields delineated by the tracers. Other neural differentiations developed in the following order: tetanus toxin receptors, neurofilament protein, and neurite outgrowth. Chronic treatment with antibody Fab fragments against NCAM interfered with the development of communication, suggesting that NCAM-mediated adhesion promotes formation of cell-to-cell channels. Temperature-sensitive mutant Rous sarcoma virus blocked (reversibly) communication and the subsequent development of neurofilament protein and neurites, but expression of NCAM continued. PMID:2834404

  6. 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.

  7. Peripheral inflammation augments gap junction-mediated coupling among satellite glial cells in mouse sympathetic ganglia.

    PubMed

    Hanani, Menachem; Caspi, Anna; Belzer, Vitali

    2010-02-01

    Intercellular coupling by gap junctions is one of the main features of glial cells, but very little is known about this aspect of satellite glial cells (SGCs) in sympathetic ganglia. We used the dye coupling method to address this question in both a prevertebral ganglion (superior mesenteric) and a paravertebral ganglion (superior cervical) of mice. We found that in control ganglia, the incidence of dye coupling among SGCs that form the envelope around a given neuron was 10-20%, and coupling between SGCs around different envelopes was rare (1.5-3%). The dye injections also provided novel information on the structure of SGCs. Following peripheral inflammation, both types of coupling were increased, but most striking was the augmentation of coupling between SGCs forming envelopes around different neurons, which rose by 8-14.6-fold. This effect appeared to be non-systemic, and was blocked by the gap junction blocker carbenoxolone. These changes in SGCs may affect signal transmission and processing in sympathetic ganglia.

  8. [Introduction to the structure and functions of junction communications or gap junctions].

    PubMed

    Rousset, B

    1996-01-01

    Cell-to-cell communication through gap junctions (GJ) represents a direct route of exchange of informations between neighboring cells within tissues and organs. GJ are formed from the assembly of a large number of channels that differ from the other known channels because they connect the cytoplasm of adjacent cells. The GJ channel is built from two parts: the connexons. A connexon inserted into the plasma membrane of a cell interacts with another connexon belonging to an adjacent cell. Connexons are composed of proteins with four transmembrane domains that are named connexins (Cx). Six Cx form a connexon. Cx belong to a protein family with 13 known members at present. Each Cx is defined by its molecular mass in kDa (ex: Cx32, Cx43...). A given cell type expresses one or several Cx. The cell to cell transfer of molecules through GJ channels exhibit a size selectivity; only molecules with a molecular mass lower than 1000 Da such as ions and second messengers freely pass through GJ. Depending on the Cx they are made of, GJ seem to differ somewhat in their permeability properties. Cell-to-cell communication via GJ is a regulated process. GJ channels can be either open or closed. GJ mediated cell-to-cell communication or junctional coupling can be detected and quantified by visualization of the cell to cell transfer of a fluorescent probe (such as Lucifer Yellow...) previously introduced in a single cell by microinjection. The presence of GJ channels can also be identified by recording the passage of an electric current between contiguous cells. GJ are involved in numerous fundamental biological processes from the embryonic development to the homeostasis in adult tissues and organs. GJ coordinate cell activities and sometimes synchronize cell behaviour. This is the case for the propagation of the excitation wave in the cardiac muscle and smooth muscle. GJ mediate metabolic cooperation between cells; they represent a way of supply of nutrients for tissues that are

  9. Gap Junction Intercellular Communication Mediates Ammonia-Induced Neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Bobermin, Larissa Daniele; Arús, Bernardo Assein; Leite, Marina Concli; Souza, Diogo Onofre; Gonçalves, Carlos-Alberto; Quincozes-Santos, André

    2016-02-01

    Astrocytes are important brain targets of ammonia, a neurotoxin implicated in the development of hepatic encephalopathy. During hyperammonemia, the pivotal role of astrocytes in brain function and homeostasis is impaired. These cells are abundantly interconnected by gap junctions (GJ), which are intercellular channels that allow the exchange of signaling molecules and metabolites. This communication may also increase cellular vulnerability during injuries, while GJ uncoupling could limit the extension of a lesion. Therefore, the current study was performed to investigate whether astrocyte coupling through GJ contributes to ammonia-induced cytotoxicity. We found that carbenoxolone (CBX), an effective GJ blocker, prevented the following effects induced by ammonia in astrocyte primary cultures: (1) decrease in cell viability and membrane integrity; (2) increase in reactive oxygen species production; (3) decrease in GSH intracellular levels; (4) GS activity; (5) pro-inflammatory cytokine release. On the other hand, CBX had no effect on C6 astroglial cells, which are poorly coupled via GJ. To our knowledge, this study provides the first evidence that GJ play a role in ammonia-induced cytotoxicity. Although more studies in vivo are required to confirm our hypothesis, our data suggest that GJ communication between astrocytes may transmit damage signals and excitotoxic components from unhealthy to normal cells, thereby contributing to the propagation of the neurotoxicity of ammonia.

  10. Local dynamics of gap-junction-coupled interneuron networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, Troy; Gage, Gregory J.; Berke, Joshua D.; Zochowski, Michal

    2010-03-01

    Interneurons coupled by both electrical gap-junctions (GJs) and chemical GABAergic synapses are major components of forebrain networks. However, their contributions to the generation of specific activity patterns, and their overall contributions to network function, remain poorly understood. Here we demonstrate, using computational methods, that the topological properties of interneuron networks can elicit a wide range of activity dynamics, and either prevent or permit local pattern formation. We systematically varied the topology of GJ and inhibitory chemical synapses within simulated networks, by changing connection types from local to random, and changing the total number of connections. As previously observed we found that randomly coupled GJs lead to globally synchronous activity. In contrast, we found that local GJ connectivity may govern the formation of highly spatially heterogeneous activity states. These states are inherently temporally unstable when the input is uniformly random, but can rapidly stabilize when the network detects correlations or asymmetries in the inputs. We show a correspondence between this feature of network activity and experimental observations of transient stabilization of striatal fast-spiking interneurons (FSIs), in electrophysiological recordings from rats performing a simple decision-making task. We suggest that local GJ coupling enables an active search-and-select function of striatal FSIs, which contributes to the overall role of cortical-basal ganglia circuits in decision-making.

  11. Nonspecific effects of the gap junction blocker mefloquine on fast hippocampal network oscillations in the adult rat in vitro.

    PubMed

    Behrens, C J; Ul Haq, R; Liotta, A; Anderson, M L; Heinemann, U

    2011-09-29

    It has been suggested that gap junctions are involved in the synchronization during high frequency oscillations as observed during sharp wave-ripple complexes (SPW-Rs) and during recurrent epileptiform discharges (REDs). Ripple oscillations during SPW-Rs, possibly involved in memory replay and memory consolidation, reach frequencies of up to 200 Hz while ripple oscillations during REDs display frequencies up to 500 Hz. These fast oscillations may be synchronized by intercellular interactions through gap junctions. In area CA3, connexin 36 (Cx36) proteins are present and potentially sensitive to mefloquine. Here, we used hippocampal slices of adult rats to investigate the effects of mefloquine, which blocks Cx36, Cx43 and Cx50 gap junctions on both SPW-Rs and REDs. SPW-Rs were induced by high frequency stimulation in the CA3 region while REDs were recorded in the presence of the GABA(A) receptor blocker bicuculline (5 μM). Both, SPW-Rs and REDs were blocked by the gap junction blocker carbenoxolone. Mefloquine (50 μM), which did not affect stimulus-induced responses in area CA3, neither changed SPW-Rs nor superimposed ripple oscillations. During REDs, 25 and 50 μM mefloquine exerted only minor effects on the expression of REDs but significantly reduced the amplitude of superimposed ripples by ∼17 and ∼54%, respectively. Intracellular recordings of CA3 pyramidal cells revealed that mefloquine did not change their resting membrane potential and input resistance but significantly increased the afterhyperpolarization following evoked action potentials (APs) resulting in reduced probability of AP firing during depolarizing current injection. Similarly, mefloquine caused a reduction in AP generation during REDs. Together, our data suggest that mefloquine depressed RED-related ripple oscillations by reducing high frequency discharges and not necessarily by blocking electrical coupling.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Nested transcripts of gap junction gene have distinct expression patterns.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Z; Curtin, K D; Sun, Y A; Wyman, R J

    1999-09-05

    The shaking B locus (shakB, or Passover) codes for structural molecules of gap junctions in Drosophila. This report describes the complex set of transcripts from the shakB locus. A nested set of five transcripts is described. The transcripts share 3' exons, but each has its own 5' exon. The transcripts are arrayed as a series in the genomic DNA stretching over 60 kb. The 5' end of each successive transcript lies further proximal on the chromosome. Each new transcript shares all the 3' exons with the one preceding it, but adds one or two more 5' exons. The different transcripts are expressed in a wide variety of locations in the nervous system and in non-neural tissues. Some tissues express more than one transcript, and the expression pattern of each is developmentally regulated. Within the adult central nervous system (CNS), these transcripts have an expression pattern that is restricted to the giant fiber system (GFS). The GFS is a small set of neurons which mediates the visually induced escape jump. shakB is required for function of the GFS electrical synapses. The transcript previously defined as active in the giant fiber is not, in fact, expressed in that cell. Instead, we find that another transcript, shakB(N3), and perhaps shakB(N4) as well, is expressed in the GFS; this transcript is not expressed elsewhere in the adult CNS. Two other transcripts, shakB(N1) and shakB(N2), are expressed in the optic lamina but not elsewhere in the CNS. This expression pattern explains the neurophysiological and behavioral defects in escape exhibited in mutants of shakB.

  20. CONNEXIN 43 AND BONE: NOT JUST A GAP JUNCTION PROTEIN

    PubMed Central

    Plotkin, Lilian I.

    2012-01-01

    Connexins are essential for the communication of cells among themselves and with their environment. Connexin hexamers assemble at the plasma membrane to form hemichannels that allow the exchange of cellular contents with the extracellular milieu. In addition, hemichannels expressed in neighboring cells align to form gap junction channels that mediate the exchange of contents among cells. Connexin 43 (Cx43) is the most abundant connexin expressed in bone cells and its deletion in all tissues leads to osteoblast dysfunction, as evidenced by reduced expression of osteoblast markers and delayed ossification. Moreover, Cx43 is essential for the survival of osteocytes; and mice lacking Cx43 in these cells exhibit increased prevalence of osteocyte apoptosis and empty lacunae in cortical bone. Work of several groups for the past few years has unveiled the role of Cx43 on the response of bone cells to a variety of stimuli. Thus, the preservation of the viability of osteoblasts and osteocytes by the anti-osteoporotic drugs bisphosphonates depends on Cx43 expression in vitro and in vivo. This survival effect does not require cell-to-cell communication and is mediated by unopposed hemichannels. Cx43 hemichannels are also required for the release of prostaglandins and ATP by osteocytes induced by mechanical stimulation in vitro. More recent evidence showed that the cAMP-mediated survival effect of parathyroid hormone (PTH) also requires Cx43 expression. Moreover, the hormone does not increase bone mineral content in mice haploinsufficient for Cx43 or lacking Cx43 in osteoblastic cells. Since inhibition of osteoblast apoptosis contributes, at least in part, to bone anabolism by PTH, the lack of response to the hormone might be due to the requirement of Cx43 for the effect of PTH on osteoblast survival. In summary, mounting evidence indicate that Cx43 is a key component of the intracellular machinery responsible for the transduction of signals in the skeleton in response to

  1. Apparent AV junctional escape in Wenckebach AV block: markedly slow conduction through the slow AV pathway.

    PubMed

    Kinoshita, Shinji; Katoh, Takakazu; Hagisawa, Kohsuke; Fukushima, Tsutomu; Ikawa, Shinji

    2009-02-01

    We report here two cases of Wenckebach atrioventricular (AV) block in which apparent AV junctional escape was observed, but most likely resulted from markedly slow conduction through the slow pathway of dual AV junctional pathways. In these cases, it seems that a blocked P-wave was followed by an AV junctional escape beat. However, a blocked P-wave occasionally failed to be followed by an escape beat, and the RR interval containing the blocked P-wave was markedly longer than the above escape interval. In one case, apparent AV junctional escape beats with aberrant ventricular conduction were found, and QRS complexes of the same configuration were also found without the preceding ventricular pause. This strengthens the possibility that apparent AV junctional escape occurred because of markedly slow conduction through the slow AV pathway.

  2. 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.

  3. Antidromic-rectifying gap junctions amplify chemical transmission at functionally mixed electrical-chemical synapses.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ping; Chen, Bojun; Mailler, Roger; Wang, Zhao-Wen

    2017-03-20

    Neurons communicate through chemical synapses and electrical synapses (gap junctions). Although these two types of synapses often coexist between neurons, little is known about whether they interact, and whether any interactions between them are important to controlling synaptic strength and circuit functions. By studying chemical and electrical synapses between premotor interneurons (AVA) and downstream motor neurons (A-MNs) in the Caenorhabditis elegans escape circuit, we found that disrupting either the chemical or electrical synapses causes defective escape response. Gap junctions between AVA and A-MNs only allow antidromic current, but, curiously, disrupting them inhibits chemical transmission. In contrast, disrupting chemical synapses has no effect on the electrical coupling. These results demonstrate that gap junctions may serve as an amplifier of chemical transmission between neurons with both electrical and chemical synapses. The use of antidromic-rectifying gap junctions to amplify chemical transmission is potentially a conserved mechanism in circuit functions.

  4. Antidromic-rectifying gap junctions amplify chemical transmission at functionally mixed electrical-chemical synapses

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ping; Chen, Bojun; Mailler, Roger; Wang, Zhao-Wen

    2017-01-01

    Neurons communicate through chemical synapses and electrical synapses (gap junctions). Although these two types of synapses often coexist between neurons, little is known about whether they interact, and whether any interactions between them are important to controlling synaptic strength and circuit functions. By studying chemical and electrical synapses between premotor interneurons (AVA) and downstream motor neurons (A-MNs) in the Caenorhabditis elegans escape circuit, we found that disrupting either the chemical or electrical synapses causes defective escape response. Gap junctions between AVA and A-MNs only allow antidromic current, but, curiously, disrupting them inhibits chemical transmission. In contrast, disrupting chemical synapses has no effect on the electrical coupling. These results demonstrate that gap junctions may serve as an amplifier of chemical transmission between neurons with both electrical and chemical synapses. The use of antidromic-rectifying gap junctions to amplify chemical transmission is potentially a conserved mechanism in circuit functions. PMID:28317880

  5. Passover eliminates gap junctional communication between neurons of the giant fiber system in Drosophila. off.

    PubMed

    Sun, Y A; Wyman, R J

    1996-07-01

    The Passover-related gene family plays significant roles in cellular connectivity. Mutations in three family members from Drosophila and from Caenorhabditis elegans alter a few specific electrical synapses. The passage of cobalt between Drosophila neurons was used to assay the presence of gap junctional connections. The giant fiber in the wild type has specific gap junctional connections in the brain and in the thorax. In flies mutant for Passover, cobalt cannot pass into or out of the giant fiber in either the anterograde or the retrograde directions. A large number of other gap junctional connections remain unaffected. This demonstrates that the Passover gene is necessary for gap-junctional communication between the neurons of the Drosophila giant fiber system.

  6. 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,...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Gap Junction Enhancer Potentiates Cytotoxicity of Cisplatin in Breast Cancer Cells.

    PubMed

    Ding, Ying; Nguyen, Thu Annelise

    2012-11-01

    Cisplatin is one of the most widely used anti-cancer drugs due to its ability to damage DNA and induce apoptosis. However, increasing reports of side effects and drug resistance indicate the limitation of cisplatin in cancer therapeutics. Recent studies showed that inhibition of gap junctions diminishes the cytotoxic effect and contributes to drug resistance. Therefore, identification of molecules that counteract gap junctional inhibition without decreasing the anti-cancer effect of cisplatin could be used in combinational treatment, potentiating cisplatin efficacy and preventing resistance. This study investigates the effects of combinational treatment of cisplatin and PQ1, a gap junction enhancer, in T47D breast cancer cells. Our results showed that combinational treatment of PQ1 and cisplatin increased gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) as well as expressions of connexins (Cx26, Cx32 and Cx43), and subsequently decreased cell viability. Ki67, a proliferation marker, was decreased by 75% with combinational treatment. Expressions of pro-apoptotic factors (cleaved caspase-3/-8/-9 and bax) were increased by the combinational treatment with PQ1 and cisplatin; whereas, the pro-survival factor, bcl-2, was decreased by the combinational treatment. Our study demonstrates for the first time that the combinational treatment with gap junction enhancers can counteract cisplatin induced inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication and reduction of connexin expression, thereby increasing the efficacy of cisplatin in cancer cells.

  10. Dissection of neuronal gap junction circuits that regulate social behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Heeun; Levy, Sagi; Flavell, Steven W.; Mende, Fanny; Latham, Richard; Zimmer, Manuel; Bargmann, Cornelia I.

    2017-01-01

    A hub-and-spoke circuit of neurons connected by gap junctions controls aggregation behavior and related behavioral responses to oxygen, pheromones, and food in Caenorhabditis elegans. The molecular composition of the gap junctions connecting RMG hub neurons with sensory spoke neurons is unknown. We show here that the innexin gene unc-9 is required in RMG hub neurons to drive aggregation and related behaviors, indicating that UNC-9–containing gap junctions mediate RMG signaling. To dissect the circuit in detail, we developed methods to inhibit unc-9–based gap junctions with dominant-negative unc-1 transgenes. unc-1(dn) alters a stomatin-like protein that regulates unc-9 electrical signaling; its disruptive effects can be rescued by a constitutively active UNC-9::GFP protein, demonstrating specificity. Expression of unc-1(dn) in RMG hub neurons, ADL or ASK pheromone-sensing neurons, or URX oxygen-sensing neurons disrupts specific elements of aggregation-related behaviors. In ADL, unc-1(dn) has effects opposite to those of tetanus toxin light chain, separating the roles of ADL electrical and chemical synapses. These results reveal roles of gap junctions in a complex behavior at cellular resolution and provide a tool for similar exploration of other gap junction circuits. PMID:28143932

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Cross regulation of intercellular gap junction communication and paracrine signaling pathways during organogenesis in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Lechner, Hildegard; Josten, Frank; Fuss, Bernhard; Bauer, Reinhard; Hoch, Michael

    2007-10-01

    The spatial and temporal coordination of patterning and morphogenesis is often achieved by paracrine morphogen signals or by the direct coupling of cells via gap junctions. How paracrine signals and gap junction communication cooperate to control the coordinated behavior of cells and tissues is mostly unknown. We found that hedgehog signaling is required for the expression of wingless and of Delta/Notch target genes in a single row of boundary cells in the foregut-associated proventriculus organ of the Drosophila embryo. These cells coordinate the movement and folding of proventricular cells to generate a multilayered organ. hedgehog and wingless regulate gap junction communication by transcriptionally activating the innexin2 gene, which encodes a member of the innexin family of gap junction proteins. In innexin2 mutants, gap junction-mediated cell-to-cell communication is strongly reduced and the proventricular cell layers fail to fold and invaginate, similarly as in hedgehog or wingless mutants. We further found that innexin2 is required in a feedback loop for the transcriptional activation of the hedgehog and wingless morphogens and of Delta in the proventriculus primordium. We propose that the transcriptional cross regulation of paracrine and gap junction-mediated signaling is essential for organogenesis in Drosophila.

  14. Connexin 43 expression on peripheral blood eosinophils: role of gap junctions in transendothelial migration.

    PubMed

    Vliagoftis, Harissios; Ebeling, Cory; Ilarraza, Ramses; Mahmudi-Azer, Salahaddin; Abel, Melanie; Adamko, Darryl; Befus, A Dean; Moqbel, Redwan

    2014-01-01

    Eosinophils circulate in the blood and are recruited in tissues during allergic inflammation. Gap junctions mediate direct communication between adjacent cells and may represent a new way of communication between immune cells distinct from communication through cytokines and chemokines. We characterized the expression of connexin (Cx)43 by eosinophils isolated from atopic individuals using RT-PCR, Western blotting, and confocal microscopy and studied the biological functions of gap junctions on eosinophils. The formation of functional gap junctions was evaluated measuring dye transfer using flow cytometry. The role of gap junctions on eosinophil transendothelial migration was studied using the inhibitor 18-a-glycyrrhetinic acid. Peripheral blood eosinophils express Cx43 mRNA and protein. Cx43 is localized not only in the cytoplasm but also on the plasma membrane. The membrane impermeable dye BCECF transferred from eosinophils to epithelial or endothelial cells following coculture in a dose and time dependent fashion. The gap junction inhibitors 18-a-glycyrrhetinic acid and octanol did not have a significant effect on dye transfer but reduced dye exit from eosinophils. The gap junction inhibitor 18-a-glycyrrhetinic acid inhibited eosinophil transendothelial migration in a dose dependent manner. Thus, eosinophils from atopic individuals express Cx43 constitutively and Cx43 may play an important role in eosinophil transendothelial migration and function in sites of inflammation.

  15. Reversible blockade of gap junctional communication by 2,3-butanedione monoxime in rat cardiac myocytes.

    PubMed

    Verrecchia, F; Hervé, J C

    1997-03-01

    2,3-Butanedione monoxime (BDM), a nucleophilic agent endowed with a "phosphatase-like" activity, is often used as a tool for investigating the effects of changes in phosphorylation level of protein constituents on membrane channel function. BDM produced a rapid, dosc-dependent, and reversible abolition of the cytosolic continuity existing between cells via gap junctional channels. The persistence of this effect when a nonhydrolyzable analogue of ATP [adenosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate) (ATP(gamma)S)] was introduced in the cytosol suggests that the acute suppressant effect of BDM was not due to dephosphorylation. However, the higher reversibility after BDM withdrawal in presence of ATP(gamma)S could signify that a protein-dephosphorylating activity gradually occurred during the oxime treatment. Junctional uncoupling took place even when the moderate increase in cytosolic Ca2+ concentration induced by BDM was prevented by ryanodine. These results are consistent with the model of dual mechanism of BDM action proposed for some other membrane channels, consisting of a quick channel block and a parallel slow inhibition, plausibly through dephosphorylation.

  16. The modulation of gap-junctional intercellular communication by lipid rafts.

    PubMed

    Defamie, Norah; Mesnil, Marc

    2012-08-01

    Lipid rafts are specific microdomains of plasma membrane which are enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipids. These domains seem to favour the interactions of particular proteins and the regulation of signalling pathways in the cells. Recent data have shown that among the proteins, which are preferentially localized in lipid rafts, are connexins that are the structural proteins of gap junctions. Since gap junctional intercellular communication is involved in various cellular processes and pathologies such as cancer, we were interested to review the various observations concerning this specific localization of connexins in lipid rafts and its consequences on gap junctional intercellular communication capacity. In particular, we will focus our discussion on the role of the lipid raft-connexin connection in cancer progression. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Communicating junctions, composition, structure and characteristics.

  17. Reduced gap junctional coupling leads to uncorrelated motor neuron firing and precocious neuromuscular synapse elimination.

    PubMed

    Personius, Kirkwood E; Chang, Qiang; Mentis, George Z; O'Donovan, Michael J; Balice-Gordon, Rita J

    2007-07-10

    During late embryonic and early postnatal life, neuromuscular junctions undergo synapse elimination that is modulated by patterns of motor neuron activity. Here, we test the hypothesis that reduced spinal neuron gap junctional coupling decreases temporally correlated motor neuron activity that, in turn, modulates neuromuscular synapse elimination, by using mutant mice lacking connexin 40 (Cx40), a developmentally regulated gap junction protein expressed in motor and other spinal neurons. In Cx40-/- mice, electrical coupling among lumbar motor neurons, measured by whole-cell recordings, was reduced, and single motor unit recordings in awake, behaving neonates showed that temporally correlated motor neuron activity was also reduced. Immunostaining and intracellular recording showed that the neuromuscular synapse elimination was accelerated in muscles from Cx40-/- mice compared with WT littermates. Our work shows that gap junctional coupling modulates neuronal activity patterns that, in turn, mediate synaptic competition, a process that shapes synaptic circuitry in the developing brain.

  18. Reduced gap junctional coupling leads to uncorrelated motor neuron firing and precocious neuromuscular synapse elimination

    PubMed Central

    Personius, Kirkwood E.; Chang, Qiang; Mentis, George Z.; O'Donovan, Michael J.; Balice-Gordon, Rita J.

    2007-01-01

    During late embryonic and early postnatal life, neuromuscular junctions undergo synapse elimination that is modulated by patterns of motor neuron activity. Here, we test the hypothesis that reduced spinal neuron gap junctional coupling decreases temporally correlated motor neuron activity that, in turn, modulates neuromuscular synapse elimination, by using mutant mice lacking connexin 40 (Cx40), a developmentally regulated gap junction protein expressed in motor and other spinal neurons. In Cx40−/− mice, electrical coupling among lumbar motor neurons, measured by whole-cell recordings, was reduced, and single motor unit recordings in awake, behaving neonates showed that temporally correlated motor neuron activity was also reduced. Immunostaining and intracellular recording showed that the neuromuscular synapse elimination was accelerated in muscles from Cx40−/− mice compared with WT littermates. Our work shows that gap junctional coupling modulates neuronal activity patterns that, in turn, mediate synaptic competition, a process that shapes synaptic circuitry in the developing brain. PMID:17609378

  19. Trafficking of gap junction channels at a vertebrate electrical synapse in vivo.

    PubMed

    Flores, Carmen E; Nannapaneni, Srikant; Davidson, Kimberly G V; Yasumura, Thomas; Bennett, Michael V L; Rash, John E; Pereda, Alberto E

    2012-02-28

    Trafficking and turnover of transmitter receptors required to maintain and modify the strength of chemical synapses have been characterized extensively. In contrast, little is known regarding trafficking of gap junction components at electrical synapses. By combining ultrastructural and in vivo physiological analysis at identified mixed (electrical and chemical) synapses on the goldfish Mauthner cell, we show here that gap junction hemichannels are added at the edges of GJ plaques where they dock with hemichannels in the apposed membrane to form cell-cell channels and, simultaneously, that intact junctional regions are removed from centers of these plaques into either presynaptic axon or postsynaptic dendrite. Moreover, electrical coupling is readily modified by intradendritic application of peptides that interfere with endocytosis or exocytosis, suggesting that the strength of electrical synapses at these terminals is sustained, at least in part, by fast (in minutes) turnover of gap junction channels. A peptide corresponding to a region of the carboxy terminus that is conserved in Cx36 and its two teleost homologs appears to interfere with formation of new gap junction channels, presumably by reducing insertion of hemichannels on the dendritic side. Thus, our data indicate that electrical synapses are dynamic structures and that their channels are turned over actively, suggesting that regulated trafficking of connexons may contribute to the modification of gap junctional conductance.

  20. A histone octamer blocks branch migration of a Holliday junction.

    PubMed Central

    Grigoriev, M; Hsieh, P

    1997-01-01

    The Holliday junction is a key intermediate in genetic recombination. Here, we examine the effect of a nucleosome core on movement of the Holliday junction in vitro by spontaneous branch migration. Histone octamers consisting of H2A, H2B, H3, and H4 are reconstituted onto DNA duplexes containing an artificial nucleosome-positioning sequence consisting of a tandem array of an alternating AT-GC sequence motif. Characterization of the reconstituted branch migration substrates by micrococcal nuclease mapping and exonuclease III and hydroxyl radical footprinting reveal that 70% of the reconstituted octamers are positioned near the center of the substrate and the remaining 30% are located at the distal end, although in both cases some translational degeneracy is observed. Branch migration assays with the octamer-containing substrates reveal that the Holliday junction cannot migrate spontaneously through DNA organized into a nucleosomal core unless DNA-histone interactions are completely disrupted. Similar results are obtained with branch migration substrates containing an octamer positioned on a naturally occurring sequence derived from the yeast GLN3 locus. Digestion of Holliday junctions with T7 endonuclease I establishes that the junction is not trapped by the octamer but can branch migrate in regions free of histone octamers. Our findings suggest that migration of Holliday junctions during recombination and the recombinational repair of DNA damage requires proteins not only to accelerate the intrinsic rate of branch migration but also to facilitate the passage of the Holliday junction through a nucleosome. PMID:9372946

  1. 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.

  2. The extracellular matrix component laminin promotes gap junction formation in the rat anterior pituitary gland.

    PubMed

    Horiguchi, Kotaro; Kouki, Tom; Fujiwara, Ken; Kikuchi, Motoshi; Yashiro, Takashi

    2011-03-01

    Folliculo-stellate (FS) cells in the anterior pituitary gland are believed to have multifunctional properties. FS cells connect to each other not only by mechanical means, but also by gap junctional cell-to-cell communication. Using transgenic rats that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) specifically in FS cells in the anterior pituitary gland (S100b-GFP rats), we recently revealed that FS cells in primary culture markedly change their shape, and form numerous interconnections with neighboring FS cells in the presence of laminin, an extracellular matrix (ECM) component of the basement membrane. Morphological and functional changes in cells are believed to be partly modified by matricrine signaling, by which ECM components function as cellular signals. In the present study, we examined whether gap junction formation between FS cells is affected by matricrine cues. A cell sorter was used to isolate FS cells from male S100b-GFP rat anterior pituitary for primary culture. We observed that mRNA and protein levels of connexin 43 in gap junction channels were clearly higher in the presence of laminin. In addition, we confirmed the formation of gap junctions between FS cells in primary culture by electron microscopy. Interestingly, we also observed that FS cells in the presence of laminin displayed well-developed rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. Our findings suggest that, in anterior pituitary gland, FS cells may facilitate functional roles such as gap junctional cell-to-cell communication by matricrine signaling.

  3. 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.

  4. Gap junctional communication during human trophoblast differentiation: influence of human chorionic gonadotropin.

    PubMed

    Cronier, L; Bastide, B; Hervé, J C; Délèze, J; Malassiné, A

    1994-07-01

    During pregnancy, the trophoblast develops from the fusion of cytotrophoblastic cells into a syncytiotrophoblast. As the exchange of molecules through gap junctions is considered to play a role in the control of cell and tissue differentiation, the cell to cell diffusion of a fluorescent dye was investigated in human trophoblastic cells differentiating in culture. The fluorescence recovery after photobleaching technique was used to estimate the transfer of 6-carboxyfluorescein from contiguous cellular elements into photobleached cells. Fluorescence recovery follows a slow exponential time course when the cell to cell exchange process is rate limited by the presence of gap junctional channels between contiguous cells, contrasting with a much faster step-like course in the case of fusion of the plasma membranes. In the presence of 10% fetal calf serum, Percoll-purified cytotrophoblastic cells develop into cellular aggregates, then into a syncytium, within 24-48 h after plating. During this in vitro differentiation, fluorescence recoveries after photobleaching with a time course typical for gap junctions were observed between aggregated cytotrophoblastic cells, between cytotrophoblastic cells and syncytiotrophoblasts, and between contiguous syncytiotrophoblasts. The maximum percentage of gap junctional coupling occurs on the fourth day. This fluorescence recovery is attributed to the diffusion of dye through gap junctions, because it can be interrupted by exposure to a known junctional uncoupler (3 mM heptanol). The effects of hCG on this gap junctional communication during trophoblast differentiation were investigated. In the presence of 500 mIU/ml hCG in the culture medium, the percentage of coupled cells was increased at all stages of culture, and the highest proportion of coupled cells was observed after 2 days of culture vs. 4 days in control medium. Moreover, the diffusion rate constant k (the inverse value of the time constant measured on recovery curves) was

  5. Closing the gap in the Andreev spectrum in a three-terminal superconducting junction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padurariu, Ciprian; Melin, Régis; Jonckheere, Thibaut; Rech, Jérôme; Martin, Thierry; Feinberg, Denis; Douçot, Benoît; Nazarov, Yuli

    2015-03-01

    Quasiclassical circuit theory is used to investigate transport in a mesoscopic junction with three superconducting terminals. Our study reveals the closing of the gap in the Andreev spectrum for a wide range of phase-biases and transparencies, in agreement with previous work. In this regime a superconducting current flows in the junction, while the proximity mini-gap is closed. The corresponding parameter region is studied systematically, both analytically in the low transparency limit and numerically. We provide a microscopic explanation for the closing of the gap in terms of multiple pair processes that correlate the superconducting currents flowing between different pairs of terminals. We show that multi-terminal superconducting junctions provide unique opportunities for applications in quantum devices based on Josephson and/or Majorana physics.

  6. Gap junctions enhancer combined with Vaughan Williams class III antiarrhythmic drugs, a promising antiarrhythmic method?

    PubMed

    Li, Lian-dong; Zhang, Cun-tai; Ruan, Lei; Ni, Ming-ke; Quan, Xiao-qing

    2011-01-01

    Arrhythmias is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Current antiarrhythmic drugs are limited by unsatisfactory efficacy and adverse effects such as proarrhythmias. Reentry mechanism plays an important role in persistence of arrhythmias. Reentry can only continue when reentry path-length is longer than cardiac wavelength which is equal to the product of conduction velocity (CV) and effective refractory period (ERP). Gap junctions uncoupling is associated with proarrhythmic CV slowing and transmural dispersion of repolarization (TDR) increasing in many cardiac diseases. Vaughan Williams class III antiarrhythmic drugs prolong ERP with an augmented TDR which is the main mechanism of the proarrhythmic effects. Gap junctions enhancer can augment CV and diminish TDR. As a result, gap junctions enhancer combined with class III drugs may be a promising antiarrhythmic method.

  7. Spatially resolved gap closing in single Josephson junctions constructed on Bi2Te3 surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pang, Yuan; Wang, Junhua; Lyu, Zhaozheng; Yang, Guang; Fan, Jie; Liu, Guangtong; Ji, Zhongqing; Jing, Xiunian; Yang, Changli; Lu, Li

    2016-11-01

    Full gap closing is a prerequisite for hosting Majorana zero modes in Josephson junctions on the surface of topological insulators. Previously, we have observed direct experimental evidence of gap closing in Josephson junctions constructed on Bi2Te3 surface. In this paper we report further investigations on the position dependence of gap closing as a function of magnetic flux in single Josephson junctions constructed on Bi2Te3 surface. Project supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (Grant Nos. 2009CB929101 and 2011CB921702), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 91221203, 11174340, 11174357, 91421303, and 11527806), and the Strategic Priority Research Program B of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDB07010100).

  8. Gap junctions in C. elegans: Their roles in behavior and development.

    PubMed

    Hall, David H

    2016-06-13

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans utilizes gap junctions in different fashions in virtually all of its cells. This model animal has a surprisingly large number of innexin genes within its genome, and many nematode cell types can express multiple innexins at once, leading to the formation of diverse junction types and enough redundancy to limit the effect of single gene knockdowns on animal development or behavioral phenotypes. Here we review the general properties of these junctions, their expression patterns, and their known roles in tissue development and in the animal's connectome. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  9. 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

  10. Gap junctions of the medial collateral ligament: structure, distribution, associations and function

    PubMed Central

    Chi, Simon S; Rattner, JB; Sciore, Paul; Boorman, Richard; Lo, Ian KY

    2005-01-01

    Ligaments are composed of two major components: cells and extracellular matrix. The cells express gap junction proteins and are arranged into a series of rows that traverse the tissue, suggesting that all the cells of the tissue are functionally interconnected. The results of our study demonstrate that medial collateral ligament (MCL) cells do not have a uniform fusiform morphology or placement along a row of cells as previously suggested, but rather display a complex placement and form that weaves within the collagen matrix in a manner that is far more extensive and complex than previously appreciated. Within this morphological context, we find that MCL cells in vivo contain functional gap junctions (verified using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching) that are localized to sites of close cell–cell contact, and this pattern imparts or reflects a bipolarity inherent to each cell. When we studied ligament cells in conventional tissue culture we found that this bipolarity is lost, and the placement of gap junctions and their related proteins, as well as general cell morphology, is also altered. Finally, our study demonstrates, for the first time, that in addition to gap junctions, adherens junctions and desmosomes are also expressed by MCL cells both in vivo and in vitro and map to sites of cell–cell contact. PMID:16050901

  11. Theory of heterotic superconductor-insulator-superconductor Josephson junctions between single- and multiple-gap superconductors.

    PubMed

    Ota, Yukihiro; Machida, Masahiko; Koyama, Tomio; Matsumoto, Hideki

    2009-06-12

    Using the functional integral method, we construct a theory of heterotic superconductor-insulator-superconductor Josephson junctions between one- and two-gap superconductors. The theory predicts the presence of in-phase and out-of-phase collective oscillation modes of superconducting phases. The former corresponds to the Josephson plasma mode whose frequency is drastically reduced for +/- s-wave symmetry, and the latter is a counterpart of Leggett's mode in Josephson junctions. We also reveal that the critical current and the Fraunhofer pattern strongly depend on the symmetry type of the two-gap superconductor.

  12. Gating characteristics of a steeply voltage-dependent gap junction channel in rat Schwann cells

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    The gating properties of macroscopic and microscopic gap junctional currents were compared by applying the dual whole cell patch clamp technique to pairs of neonatal rat Schwann cells. In response to transjunctional voltage pulses (Vj), macroscopic gap junctional currents decayed exponentially with time constants ranging from < 1 to < 10 s before reaching steady-state levels. The relationship between normalized steady-state junctional conductance (Gss) and (Vj) was well described by a Boltzmann relationship with e-fold decay per 10.4 mV, representing an equivalent gating charge of 2.4. At Vj > 60 mV, Gss was virtually zero, a property that is unique among the gap junctions characterized to date. Determination of opening and closing rate constants for this process indicated that the voltage dependence of macroscopic conductance was governed predominantly by the closing rate constant. In 78% of the experiments, a single population of unitary junctional currents was detected corresponding to an unitary channel conductance of approximately 40 pS. The presence of only a limited number of junctional channels with identical unitary conductances made it possible to analyze their kinetics at the single channel level. Gating at the single channel level was further studied using a stochastic model to determine the open probability (Po) of individual channels in a multiple channel preparation. Po decreased with increasing Vj following a Boltzmann relationship similar to that describing the macroscopic Gss voltage dependence. These results indicate that, for Vj of a single polarity, the gating of the 40 pS gap junction channels expressed by Schwann cells can be described by a first order kinetic model of channel transitions between open and closed states. PMID:8301264

  13. 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.

  14. Role of hippocampal CA1 area gap junction channels on morphine state-dependent learning.

    PubMed

    Beheshti, Siamak; Hosseini, Seyyed Akbar Mir Seyyed; Noorbakhshnia, Maryam; Eivani, Mehdi

    2014-12-15

    Morphine produces a state dependent learning. The hippocampus is involved in this kind of learning. Gap junctions (GJs) are involved in some of the effects of morphine and exist in different areas of the hippocampus. We investigated the effects of blocking GJ channels of the hippocampal CA1 area, by means of pre-test bilateral injection of carbenoxolone (CBX), on morphine state dependent learning, using a passive avoidance task. Post-training subcutaneous administrations of morphine (0.5, 2.5, 5 and 7.5 mg/kg) dose-dependently impaired memory retrieval. Pre-test administration of morphine (0.5, 2.5, 5 and 7.5 mg/kg) induced a state-dependent retrieval of the memory acquired under post-training morphine influence. Pre-test injections of CBX (25, 75 and 150 nM) dose dependently prevented memory retrieval by post-training (7.5 mg/kg) and pre-test (0.5, 2.5, 5, 7.5 mg/kg) injections of morphine. The results suggest that intercellular coupling via GJ channels of the hippocampal CA1 area modulates morphine state dependent learning.

  15. Voltage-controlled switching and thermal effects in VO{sub 2} nano-gap junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Joushaghani, Arash; Jeong, Junho; Stewart Aitchison, J.; Poon, Joyce K. S.; Paradis, Suzanne; Alain, David

    2014-06-02

    Voltage-controlled switching in lateral VO{sub 2} nano-gap junctions with different gap lengths and thermal properties was investigated. The effect of Joule heating on the phase transition was found to be strongly influenced by the device geometry, the contact material, and the current. Our results indicate that the VO{sub 2} phase transition was likely initiated electronically, which was sometimes followed by a secondary thermally induced transition.

  16. Variable conformation of GAP junctions linking bone cells: a transmission electron microscopic study of linear, stacked linear, curvilinear, oval, and annular junctions.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, F

    1997-10-01

    There is a marked variability in the conformation of bone cell gap junctions in newborn murine cortical bone as defined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Studies were done in newborn BALB/c mouse and Sprague-Dawley rat femurs and tibias. Femoral and tibial cortices were dissected into 1 mm3 fragments and prepared in standardized fashion using modified Karnovsky fixation, 7.5% EDTA decalcification, 1% osmium tetroxide-sym collidine buffer with 1% lanthanum nitrate postfixation, Epon resin, 60 nm sections, lead citrate/uranyl acetate staining, and examination at 60 kV. Previous TEM descriptions of bone junctions have, with rare exceptions, noted only isolated linear or mildly curvilinear structures. In this study we noted gap junctional shapes on thin-section TEM preparations of osteoblasts and osteocytes to be extremely variable and complex encompassing linear, curvilinear, stacked linear, oval, and annular conformations. Multiple observations revealed linear gap junctions linking surface osteoblast cell bodies; linear, curvilinear, stacked linear, and oval junctions linking osteoblast processes in osteoid; linear and curvilinear junctions where cell processes joined with osteocyte cell bodies and each of the five conformations linking osteocyte processes within canaliculi. The annular junctions were found within osteoblast and osteocyte cytoplasm and in osteocyte cell processes within canaliculi. The annular junctions are intracellular, degenerating structures which appear as ultrastructural markers of gap junction involution. The more complex shapes reported here must be considered in (1) interpreting quantitative studies using freeze-fracture replicas, thin sections, and confocal microscopy immunolabeled junction connexin-43 components and (2) assessing gap junction biogenesis and turnover. 3-D reconstruction of bone junctions will enhance our understanding of these complex conformations.

  17. Intrinsic Islet Heterogeneity and Gap Junction Coupling Determine Spatiotemporal Ca2+ Wave Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Benninger, Richard K.P.; Hutchens, Troy; Head, W. Steven; McCaughey, Michael J.; Zhang, Min; Le Marchand, Sylvain J.; Satin, Leslie S.; Piston, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Insulin is released from the islets of Langerhans in discrete pulses that are linked to synchronized oscillations of intracellular free calcium ([Ca2+]i). Associated with each synchronized oscillation is a propagating calcium wave mediated by Connexin36 (Cx36) gap junctions. A computational islet model predicted that waves emerge due to heterogeneity in β-cell function throughout the islet. To test this, we applied defined patterns of glucose stimulation across the islet using a microfluidic device and measured how these perturbations affect calcium wave propagation. We further investigated how gap junction coupling regulates spatiotemporal [Ca2+]i dynamics in the face of heterogeneous glucose stimulation. Calcium waves were found to originate in regions of the islet having elevated excitability, and this heterogeneity is an intrinsic property of islet β-cells. The extent of [Ca2+]i elevation across the islet in the presence of heterogeneity is gap-junction dependent, which reveals a glucose dependence of gap junction coupling. To better describe these observations, we had to modify the computational islet model to consider the electrochemical gradient between neighboring β-cells. These results reveal how the spatiotemporal [Ca2+]i dynamics of the islet depend on β-cell heterogeneity and cell-cell coupling, and are important for understanding the regulation of coordinated insulin release across the islet. PMID:25468351

  18. 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...

  19. Role of Gap Junctions in Early Brain Injury Following Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

    PubMed Central

    Ayer, Robert; Chen, Wanqiu; Sugawara, Takashi; Suzuki, Hidenori; Zhang, John H.

    2010-01-01

    Gap junction inhibition has been demonstrated to reverse the vascular contraction that follows experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage. This study hypothesizes that the use of established gap junction inhibitors: octonal and carbenoxolone, to interrupt cell to cell communication will provide neuroprotection against early brain injury after SAH. The filament perforation model of SAH was performed in male Sprague–Dawley rats weighing between 300 and 380g. Octanol (260.46mg or 781.38 mg/kg), carbenoxolone (100 mg/kg), or vehicles were given via intraperitoneal injection 1 hour after SAH. Neurologic deficits and cerebral apoptosis were assessed 24 and 72 hours after SAH. In addition, Western blot analysis was performed to confirm the in vivo inhibition of CNS gap junctions. The administration of octanol and carbenoxolone both failed to attenuate the neurological deficits induced by SAH, and they did not reduce neuronal apoptosis. Additionally, carbenoloxone increased post SAH mortality and exacerbated SAH induced apoptosis. Despites previous studies that show gap junction inhibitors reverse vasospasm following experimental SAH, they failed to improve clinical outcomes or provide neuroprotection in this study. PMID:20018179

  20. Endothelin uncouples gap junctions in sustentacular cells and olfactory ensheathing cells of the olfactory mucosa.

    PubMed

    Le Bourhis, Mikaël; Rimbaud, Stéphanie; Grebert, Denise; Congar, Patrice; Meunier, Nicolas

    2014-09-01

    Several factors modulate the first step of odour detection in the rat olfactory mucosa (OM). Among others, vasoactive peptides such as endothelin might play multifaceted roles in the different OM cells. Like their counterparts in the central nervous system, the olfactory sensory neurons are encompassed by different glial-like non-neuronal OM cells; sustentacular cells (SCs) surround their cell bodies, whereas olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) wrap their axons. Whereas SCs maintain both the structural and ionic integrity of the OM, OECs assure protection, local blood flow control and guiding of olfactory sensory neuron axons toward the olfactory bulb. We previously showed that these non-neuronal OM cells are particularly responsive to endothelin in vitro. Here, we confirmed that the endothelin system is strongly expressed in the OM using in situ hybridization. We then further explored the effects of endothelin on SCs and OECs using electrophysiological recordings and calcium imaging approaches on both in vitro and ex vivo OM preparations. Endothelin induced both robust calcium signals and gap junction uncoupling in both types of cells. This latter effect was mimicked by carbenoxolone, a known gap junction uncoupling agent. However, although endothelin is known for its antiapoptotic effect in the OM, the uncoupling of gap junctions by carbenoxolone was not sufficient to limit the cellular death induced by serum deprivation in OM primary culture. The functional consequence of the endothelin 1-induced reduction of the gap junctional communication between OM non-neuronal cells thus remains to be elucidated.

  1. Intercellular communication in sensory ganglia by purinergic receptors and gap junctions: implications for chronic pain.

    PubMed

    Hanani, Menachem

    2012-12-03

    Peripheral injury can cause abnormal activity in sensory neurons, which is a major factor in chronic pain. Recent work has shown that injury induces major changes not only in sensory neurons but also in the main type of glial cells in sensory ganglia-satellite glial cells (SGCs), and that interactions between sensory neurons and SGCs contribute to neuronal activity in pain models. The main functional changes observed in SGCs after injury are an increased gap junction-mediated coupling among these cells, and augmented sensitivity to ATP. There is evidence that the augmented gap junctions contribute to neuronal hyperexcitability in pain models, but the mechanism underlying this effect is not known. The changes in SGCs described above have been found following a wide range of injuries (both axotomy and inflammation) in somatic, orofacial and visceral regions, and therefore appear to be a general feature in chronic pain. We have found that in cultures of sensory ganglia calcium signals can spread from an SGC to neighboring cells by calcium waves, which are mediated by gap junctions and ATP acting on purinergic P2 receptors. A model is proposed to explain how augmented gap junctions and greater sensitivity to ATP can combine to produce enhanced calcium waves, which can lead to neuronal excitation. Thus this simple scheme can account for several major changes in sensory ganglia that are common to a great variety of pain models.

  2. 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.

  3. Atomic structure of the innexin-6 gap junction channel determined by cryo-EM

    PubMed Central

    Oshima, Atsunori; Tani, Kazutoshi; Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2016-01-01

    Innexins, a large protein family comprising invertebrate gap junction channels, play an essential role in nervous system development and electrical synapse formation. Here we report the cryo-electron microscopy structures of Caenorhabditis elegans innexin-6 (INX-6) gap junction channels at atomic resolution. We find that the arrangements of the transmembrane helices and extracellular loops of the INX-6 monomeric structure are highly similar to those of connexin-26 (Cx26), despite the lack of significant sequence similarity. The INX-6 gap junction channel comprises hexadecameric subunits but reveals the N-terminal pore funnel, consistent with Cx26. The helix-rich cytoplasmic loop and C-terminus are intercalated one-by-one through an octameric hemichannel, forming a dome-like entrance that interacts with N-terminal loops in the pore. These observations suggest that the INX-6 cytoplasmic domains are cooperatively associated with the N-terminal funnel conformation, and an essential linkage of the N-terminal with channel activity is presumably preserved across gap junction families. PMID:27905396

  4. 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

  5. Gap junctions and hemichannels composed of connexins: potential therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Takeuchi, Hideyuki; Suzumura, Akio

    2014-01-01

    Microglia are macrophage-like resident immune cells that contribute to the maintenance of homeostasis in the central nervous system (CNS). Abnormal activation of microglia can cause damage in the CNS, and accumulation of activated microglia is a characteristic pathological observation in neurologic conditions such as trauma, stroke, inflammation, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative diseases. Activated microglia secrete high levels of glutamate, which damages CNS cells and has been implicated as a major cause of neurodegeneration in these conditions. Glutamate-receptor blockers and microglia inhibitors (e.g., minocycline) have been examined as therapeutic candidates for several neurodegenerative diseases; however, these compounds exerted little therapeutic benefit because they either perturbed physiological glutamate signals or suppressed the actions of protective microglia. The ideal therapeutic approach would hamper the deleterious roles of activated microglia without diminishing their protective effects. We recently found that abnormally activated microglia secrete glutamate via gap-junction hemichannels on the cell surface. Moreover, administration of gap-junction inhibitors significantly suppressed excessive microglial glutamate release and improved disease symptoms in animal models of neurologic conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. Recent evidence also suggests that neuronal and glial communication via gap junctions amplifies neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Elucidation of the precise pathologic roles of gap junctions and hemichannels may lead to a novel therapeutic strategies that can slow and halt the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25228858

  6. 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...

  7. Opposite effects of the gap junction blocker octanol on focal cerebral ischemia occluded for different durations.

    PubMed

    Ding, Wenting; Zhou, Lequan; Liu, Wei; Guan, Li; Li, Xiaoying; Liu, Haimei; Yan, Fuman; Xu, Jinwen; Zeng, Weiyong; Qiu, Min

    2014-06-01

    Protectants and executioners have been demonstrated to be used by gap junctions in focal cerebral ischemia. Certain researchers hypothesized that the opposite role of gap junctions may be associated with the injury extent, which has been demonstrated to be highly correlated with occlusion duration. In order to examine this hypothesis directly, the effects of octanol, a frequently used drug, were examined to investigate the role of gap junctions, in rats following middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 30 min/2 h and 24 h reperfusion, respectively. Octanol significantly reduced the infarct volume following 2 h of occlusion concomitant with lower neurological deficits, whereas it enlarged the infarct volume following 30 min of occlusion. Consistently, octanol attenuated the number of transferase dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) positive neurons in the hippocampal CA1 region following 2 h of occlusion, while opposite effects were observed for 30 min of occlusion. Further immunohistochemical studies demonstrated that the expression of B-cell leukemia-2 (Bcl-2, anti-apoptotic protein) was upregulated and that Bcl-2-associated X (Bax, proapoptotic protein) was downregulated following 2 h of occlusion in the octanol group compared with the ischemic group. Conversely, octanol downregulated the expression of the Bcl-2 protein concomitant with increased Bax protein following 30 min of occlusion. These results indicated that the gap junction blocker octanol can protect against ischemic injury following long-term occlusion, however, can aggravate ischemic injury following short-term occlusion.

  8. Strain uses gap junctions to reverse stimulation of osteoblast proliferation by osteocytes

    PubMed Central

    Suswillo, Rosemary F.L.; Rawlinson, Simon C.F.; Dowthwaite, Gary P.; Lanyon, Lance E.; Pitsillides, Andrew A.

    2017-01-01

    Identifying mechanisms by which cells of the osteoblastic lineage communicate in vivo is complicated by the mineralised matrix that encases osteocytes, and thus, vital mechanoadaptive processes used to achieve load‐bearing integrity remain unresolved. We have used the coculture of immunomagnetically purified osteocytes and primary osteoblasts from both embryonic chick long bone and calvariae to examine these mechanisms. We exploited the fact that purified osteocytes are postmitotic to examine both their effect on proliferation of primary osteoblasts and the role of gap junctions in such communication. We found that chick long bone osteocytes significantly increased basal proliferation of primary osteoblasts derived from an identical source (tibiotarsi). Using a gap junction inhibitor, 18β‐glycyrrhetinic acid, we also demonstrated that this osteocyte‐related increase in osteoblast proliferation was not reliant on functional gap junctions. In contrast, osteocytes purified from calvarial bone failed to modify basal proliferation of primary osteoblast, but long bone osteocytes preserved their proproliferative action upon calvarial‐derived primary osteoblasts. We also showed that coincubated purified osteocytes exerted a marked inhibitory action on mechanical strain–related increases in proliferation of primary osteoblasts and that this action was abrogated in the presence of a gap junction inhibitor. These data reveal regulatory differences between purified osteocytes derived from functionally distinct bones and provide evidence for 2 mechanisms by which purified osteocytes communicate with primary osteoblasts to coordinate their activity. PMID:28083967

  9. Reversible structure transition in gap junction under Ca++ control seen by high-resolution electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Wrigley, N G; Brown, E; Chillingworth, R K

    1984-01-01

    Deoxycholate-extracted rat liver gap junction was studied by high-resolution low-dose electron microscopy. Communicating channels between two adjoining cells supposedly form along the common axis of two apposed hexameric trans-membrane protein assemblies. These double hexamers are often arranged in large plaques on an ordered hexagonal net (8-9 nm lattice constant) and seem able to undergo structural alteration as a possible permeability control mechanism. Calcium is widely reported to uncouple gap junction, and we observed this alteration on exposure to Ca++ down to 10(-4) M concentration. When EGTA was added at matching concentrations, the alteration was reversible several times over one hour, but with considerable variability. It was imaged in the absence of any negative stain to avoid ionic and other complications. The resulting lack of contrast plus low-dose "shot" noise required digital Fourier filtering and reconstruction, but no detail was recovered below 1.8 nm. In other experiments with negative stain at neutral pH, gap junction connexons were apparently locked in the "closed" configuration and no transition could be induced. However, recovery of repeating detail to nearly 1.0 nm was possible, reproducibly showing a fine connective matrix between connexons . Whether this was formed by unfolded portions of the 28,000-dalton gap junction protein is not known, but its existence could explain the observed lattice invariance during the connexon structural transition.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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
    ...

  14. Adenosine and dopamine receptors co-regulate photoreceptor coupling via gap junction phosphorylation in mouse retina

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hongyan; Zhang, Zhijing; Blackburn, Michael R.; Wang, Steven W.; Ribelayga, Christophe P.; O’Brien, John

    2013-01-01

    Gap junctions in retinal photoreceptors suppress voltage noise and facilitate input of rod signals into the cone pathway during mesopic vision. These synapses are highly plastic and regulated by light and circadian clocks. Recent studies have revealed an important role for connexin36 (Cx36) phosphorylation by protein kinase A (PKA) in regulating cell-cell coupling. Dopamine is a light-adaptive signal in the retina, causing uncoupling of photoreceptors via D4 receptors (D4R), which inhibits adenylyl cyclase (AC) and reduces PKA activity. We hypothesized that adenosine, with its extracellular levels increasing in darkness, may serve as a dark signal to co-regulate photoreceptor coupling through modulation of gap junction phosphorylation. Both D4R and A2a receptor (A2aR) mRNAs were present in photoreceptors, inner nuclear layer neurons, and ganglion cells in C57BL/6 mouse retina, and showed cyclic expression with partially overlapping rhythms. Pharmacologically activating A2aR or inhibiting D4R in light-adapted daytime retina increased photoreceptor coupling. Cx36 among photoreceptor terminals, representing predominantly rod-cone gap junctions but possibly including some rod-rod and cone-cone gap junctions, was phosphorylated in a PKA-dependent manner by the same treatments. Conversely, inhibiting A2aR or activating D4R in daytime dark-adapted retina decreased Cx36 phosphorylation with similar PKA dependence. A2a-deficient mouse retina showed defective regulation of photoreceptor gap junction phosphorylation, fairly regular dopamine release, and moderately down-regulated expression of D4R and AC type I mRNA. We conclude that adenosine and dopamine co-regulate photoreceptor coupling through opposite action on the PKA pathway and Cx36 phosphorylation. In addition, loss of the A2aR hampered D4R gene expression and function. PMID:23407968

  15. 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.

  16. General anesthetics have differential inhibitory effects on gap junction channels and hemichannels in astrocytes and neurons.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xinhe; Gangoso, Ester; Yi, Chenju; Jeanson, Tiffany; Kandelman, Stanislas; Mantz, Jean; Giaume, Christian

    2016-04-01

    Astrocytes represent a major non-neuronal cell population actively involved in brain functions and pathologies. They express a large amount of gap junction proteins that allow communication between adjacent glial cells and the formation of glial networks. In addition, these membrane proteins can also operate as hemichannels, through which "gliotransmitters" are released, and thus contribute to neuroglial interaction. There are now reports demonstrating that alterations of astroglial gap junction communication and/or hemichannel activity impact neuronal and synaptic activity. Two decades ago we reported that several general anesthetics inhibited gap junctions in primary cultures of astrocytes (Mantz et al., (1993) Anesthesiology 78(5):892-901). As there are increasing studies investigating neuroglial interactions in anesthetized mice, we here updated this previous study by employing acute cortical slices and by characterizing the effects of general anesthetics on both astroglial gap junctions and hemichannels. As hemichannel activity is not detected in cortical astrocytes under basal conditions, we treated acute slices with the endotoxin LPS or proinflammatory cytokines to induce hemichannel activity in astrocytes, which in turn activated neuronal hemichannels. We studied two extensively used anesthetics, propofol and ketamine, and the more recently developed dexmedetomidine. We report that these drugs have differential inhibitory effects on gap junctional communication and hemichannel activity in astrocytes when used in their respective, clinically relevant concentrations, and that dexmedetomidine appears to be the least effective on both channel functions. In addition, the three anesthetics have similar effects on neuronal hemichannels. Altogether, our observations may contribute to optimizing the selection of anesthetics for in vivo animal studies.

  17. 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.

  18. Estradiol Reduces Connexin43 Gap Junctions in the Uterus during Adenomyosis in Cows.

    PubMed

    Korzekwa, A J; Łupicka, M; Socha, B M; Szczepańska, A A

    2016-09-01

    Adenomyosis is defined as the presence of glandular foci external to the endometrium of the uterus, either in the myometrium or/and perimetrium, depending on the progress of this dysfunction. To date, we showed that steroids secretion and prolactin expression and proliferative processes are disturbed during uterine adenomyosis in cows. During endometriosis in eutopic endometrium in women, gap junctions are down regulated. The transmembrane gap junction protein, connexin (Cx43) is necessary for endometrial morphological, biochemical and angiogenic functions. The aim of this study is recognition of adenomyosis etiology by determination of the role of Cx43 in this process. Immunolocalization and comparison of Cx43 mRNA and protein expression in healthy (N=9) and adenomyotic uterine tissue (N=9), and Cx43 mRNA expression (real time PCR) in uterine stromal - myometrium co-culture under 24-hour stimulation with 17-beta estradiol (10-7M) isolated from healthy (N=5) and adenomyotic (N=5) cows were determined. Cx43 was localized in healthy and adenomyotic uteri. mRNA and protein expression was down-regulated in uterine tissue in adenomyotic compared with healthy cows (p<0.05). Estradiol stimulated Cx43 mRNA expression in myometrial cell culture and co-culture of stromal and myometrial cells in adenomyotic compared with healthy cows (p<0.05). In summary, down-regulation of Cx43 expression in the junction zone might play an important role in pathogenesis of adenomyosis. Estradiol modulates gap junctions during adenomyosis.

  19. C-reactive protein, sodium azide, and endothelial connexin43 gap junctions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hsueh-Hsiao; Yeh, Hung-I; Wang, Chi-Young; Su, Cheng-Huang; Wu, Yih-Jer; Tseng, Yuen-Yi; Lin, Yi-Chun; Tsai, Cheng-Ho

    2010-04-01

    We investigated the effect of C-reactive protein (CRP) and sodium azide (NaN(3)) on endothelial Cx43 gap junctions. Human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC) were treated with (a) detoxified CRP, (b) detoxified dialyzed CRP, (c) detoxified dialyzed CRP plus NaN(3), (d) NaN(3), or (e) dialyzed NaN(3). The concentration of CRP in all preparations was fixed to 25 microg/ml and that of NaN(3) in the preparations of (c) to (e) was equivalent to that contained in the 25 microg/ml CRP purchased commercially. The results showed that both the expression of Cx43 protein and gap junctional communication function post-48-h incubation were reduced and inhibited by the detoxified CRP, NaN(3), or detoxified dialyzed CRP plus NaN(3), but not by the detoxified dialyzed CRP or dialyzed NaN(3). Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis of cells treated for 72 h also showed a pattern of transcriptional regulation essentially the same as that for the proteins. We concluded that CRP does not have a significant effect on Cx43 gap junctions of HAEC, but NaN(3) inhibited the viability of cells and downregulate their junctions.

  20. Physiological role of gap-junctional hemichannels. Extracellular calcium-dependent isosmotic volume regulation.

    PubMed

    Quist, A P; Rhee, S K; Lin, H; Lal, R

    2000-03-06

    Hemichannels in the overlapping regions of apposing cells plasma membranes join to form gap junctions and provide an intercellular communication pathway. Hemichannels are also present in the nonjunctional regions of individual cells and their activity is gated by several agents, including calcium. However, their physiological roles are unknown. Using techniques of atomic force microscopy (AFM), fluorescent dye uptake assay, and laser confocal immunofluorescence imaging, we have examined the extracellular calcium-dependent modulation of cell volume. In response to a change in the extracellular physiological calcium concentration (1.8 to gap-junctional proteins (connexins). Volume change did not occur in cells that were not expressing connexins. However, after the transient or stable transfection of connexin43, volume change did occur. The volume increase was accompanied by cytochalasin D-sensitive higher cell stiffness, which helped maintain cell integrity. These cellular physical changes were prevented by gap-junctional blockers, oleamide and beta-glycyrrhetinic acid, or were reversed by returning extracellular calcium to the normal level. We conclude that nongap-junctional hemichannels regulate cell volume in response to the change in extracellular physiological calcium in an otherwise isosmotic situation.

  1. Massive Dirac fermion transport in a gapped graphene-based magnetic tunnel junction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-08-01

    The spin transport in a graphene-based magnetic (NG/ferromagnetic barrier (FB)/NG) tunnel junction with the graphene sheet being grown on a SiC substrate is investigated. Zhou et al. [Nat. Mater. 6 (2007) 770] has shown that in these epitaxial grown graphene sheets, the electrons behave like massive relativistic particles with an energy gap of 2 Δ∼260 meV opening up in the energy spectrum of the massive relativistic electron. Basing on assumption that gap in graphene can occur under the influence of the magnetic field, we find that in the case of thick ferromagnetic graphene barriers, the electronic gap causes the barrier to behave as a strong insulator when the gate potential is in the range 400-130 meV< V G<400+130 meV (and the energy level Ef∼400 meV above Dirac point). For these values of V G, the spin polarization of the junction is P(%)∼100% except for V G= E f, where it is P(%)=0%. The current of the junction, for thick FB, can be rapidly switched from a 100% spin up current to a 100% spin down current by small variation of V G from V G< E f to V G> E f , the features of a perfect spin filtering electronic junction.

  2. 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.

  3. Two Drosophila Innexins Are Expressed in Overlapping Domains and Cooperate to Form Gap-Junction Channels

    PubMed Central

    Stebbings, Lucy A.; Todman, Martin G.; Phelan, Pauline; Bacon, Jonathan P.; Davies, Jane A.

    2000-01-01

    Members of the innexin protein family are structural components of invertebrate gap junctions and are analogous to vertebrate connexins. Here we investigate two Drosophila innexin genes, Dm-inx2 and Dm-inx3 and show that they are expressed in overlapping domains throughout embryogenesis, most notably in epidermal cells bordering each segment. We also explore the gap-junction–forming capabilities of the encoded proteins. In paired Xenopus oocytes, the injection of Dm-inx2 mRNA results in the formation of voltage-sensitive channels in only ∼ 40% of cell pairs. In contrast, Dm-Inx3 never forms channels. Crucially, when both mRNAs are coexpressed, functional channels are formed reliably, and the electrophysiological properties of these channels distinguish them from those formed by Dm-Inx2 alone. We relate these in vitro data to in vivo studies. Ectopic expression of Dm-inx2 in vivo has limited effects on the viability of Drosophila, and animals ectopically expressing Dm-inx3 are unaffected. However, ectopic expression of both transcripts together severely reduces viability, presumably because of the formation of inappropriate gap junctions. We conclude that Dm-Inx2 and Dm-Inx3, which are expressed in overlapping domains during embryogenesis, can form oligomeric gap-junction channels. PMID:10888681

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Role of gap junction channel in the development of beat-to-beat action potential repolarization variability and arrhythmias.

    PubMed

    Magyar, Janos; Banyasz, Tamas; Szentandrassy, Norbert; Kistamas, Kornel; Nanasi, Peter P; Satin, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    The short-term beat-to-beat variability of cardiac action potential duration (SBVR) occurs as a random alteration of the ventricular repolarization duration. SBVR has been suggested to be more predictive of the development of lethal arrhythmias than the action potential prolongation or QT prolongation of ECG alone. The mechanism underlying SBVR is not completely understood but it is known that SBVR depends on stochastic ion channel gating, intracellular calcium handling and intercellular coupling. Coupling of single cardiomyocytes significantly decreases the beat-to-beat changes in action potential duration (APD) due to the electrotonic current flow between neighboring cells. The magnitude of this electrotonic current depends on the intercellular gap junction resistance. Reduced gap junction resistance causes greater electrotonic current flow between cells, and reduces SBVR. Myocardial ischaemia (MI) is known to affect gap junction channel protein expression and function. MI increases gap junction resistance that leads to slow conduction, APD and refractory period dispersion, and an increase in SBVR. Ultimately, development of reentry arrhythmias and fibrillation are associated post-MI. Antiarrhythmic drugs have proarrhythmic side effects requiring alternative approaches. A novel idea is to target gap junction channels. Specifically, the use of gap junction channel enhancers and inhibitors may help to reveal the precise role of gap junctions in the development of arrhythmias. Since cell-to-cell coupling is represented in SBVR, this parameter can be used to monitor the degree of coupling of myocardium.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Molecular cloning of cDNA for rat liver gap junction protein

    PubMed Central

    1986-01-01

    An affinity-purified antibody directed against the 27-kD protein associated with isolated rat liver gap junctions was produced. Light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry showed that this antigen was localized specifically to the cytoplasmic surfaces of gap junctions. The antibody was used to select cDNA from a rat liver library in the expression vector lambda gt11. The largest cDNA selected contained 1,494 bp and coded for a protein with a calculated molecular mass of 32,007 daltons. Northern blot analysis indicated that brain, kidney, and stomach express an mRNA with similar size and homology to that expressed in liver, but that heart and lens express differently sized, less homologous mRNA. PMID:3013898

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Reversible inhibition of gap junctional communication by tamoxifen in cultured cardiac myocytes.

    PubMed

    Verrecchia, F; Hervé, J

    1997-05-01

    Gap junction channels provide a cell-to-cell conduction pathway for direct exchange of ions and small molecules. The intercellular diffusion of a fluorescent dye, quantified in cardiac myocytes from neonatal rats by monitoring the fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, was found to be interrupted after short-term exposure (15 min) to tamoxifen, an anti-oestrogen drug often used in the treatment of human breast cancer. This diffusional uncoupling was dose dependent, occurred in the concentration range 3-25 microM and reversed after tamoxifen withdrawal. Some possible mechanisms of junctional channel closure have been examined. The cytosolic calcium concentration, examined using the fluorescent indicator Indo-1, did not vary during the short-term action of tamoxifen. A second anti-oestrogen agent (clomiphene) was able to impair gap junctional communication, whereas a third (nafoxidine) had no effect. Protein-kinase-C-inhibitor properties of tamoxifen did not seem to be involved in its uncoupling action. The characteristics of tamoxifen's action (i.e. channel inhibition delay, active concentration range, reversibility, etc.) were very similar to the previously observed effects of several other lipophilic compounds (e. g. 17beta-oestradiol, etc.) on junctional channels, and to recently reported effects of tamoxifen on voltage-gated calcium currents.

  17. Horizontal cell gap junctions: single-channel conductance and modulation by dopamine.

    PubMed Central

    McHahon, D G; Knapp, A G; Dowling, J E

    1989-01-01

    Horizontal cells form an electrically coupled network for the transmission of inhibitory signals in the outer retina. In teleosts, horizontal cell coupling is modulated by the neurotransmitter dopamine. Using voltage-clamped pairs of teleost horizontal cells, we have examined the effects of dopamine on the conductance and gating properties of the cell-to-cell channels that mediate electrical synaptic transmission. Variance analysis of the junctional current noise showed that dopamine substantially reduced the open probability of gap junction channels, from 0.75 to 0.14. Direct observation of unitary junctional gating events in poorly coupled cell pairs indicated that these channels have a unitary conductance of 50-60 pS. The elementary conductance of channels in cell pairs treated with dopamine (48.7 +/- 6.6 pS) was statistically indistinguishable from channels in untreated cells (53.2 +/- 7.2 pS). Uncoupling with octanol also yielded a similar unitary conductance (61.1 +/- 11.1 pS). Our results suggest that dopamine reduces the open probability of gap junctional channels by decreasing their open duration. Images PMID:2477845

  18. Application of Stochastic Automata Networks for Creation of Continuous Time Markov Chain Models of Voltage Gating of Gap Junction Channels

    PubMed Central

    Pranevicius, Henrikas; Pranevicius, Mindaugas; Pranevicius, Osvaldas; 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

  19. The Role of Chemical Inhibition of Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication in Toxicology.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-02-14

    cell communication, tumor promoters, terato- 0620 gens, neurotoxins, protein kinase C, chemical toxicity. 19 ABSTRACT (Continue on reverse if necessary...hypothesis that chemical modulation of gap junctional intercellular communication can lead to many toxic endpoints, such as teratogenesis, tumor promotion... tumor promotion, reproductive-, immune- and neurotoxicities. To date, after two years into the project, we have initiated work on all of the specific aims

  20. 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.

  1. The Role of Chemical Inhibition of Gap-Junctional Intercellular Communication in Toxicology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-03-31

    Florida. Inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC has been implicated as an important epigenetic modulation during...Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology, February 1991, Dallas, Texas. A major epigenetic modulation induced by many tumor promoters both in vivo...GJIC in rat pancreatic epithelial cells. The results indicated that many chlorinated pesticides , the phorbol ester tumor promoter, TPA, and a number of

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Extracellular Space Attenuates the Effect of Gap Junctional Remodeling on Wave Propagation: A Computational Study

    PubMed Central

    Cabo, Candido; Boyden, Penelope A.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Ionic channels and gap junctions are remodeled in cells from the 5-day epicardial border zone (EBZ) of the healing canine infarct. The main objective of the study was to determine the effect of gap junctional conductance (Gj) remodeling and Cx43 redistribution to the lateral membrane on conduction velocity (θ) and anisotropic ratio, and how gap junctional remodeling is modulated by the extracellular space. We first implemented subcellular monodomain and two-domain computer models of normal epicardium (NZ) to understand how extracellular space modulates the relationship between Gj and θ in NZ. We found that the extracellular space flattens the Gj-θ relationship, thus θ becomes less sensitive to changes in Gj. We then investigated the functional consequences of Gj remodeling and Cx43 distribution in subcellular computer models of cells of the outer pathway (IZo) and central pathway (IZc) of reentrant circuits. In IZo cells, side-to-side (transverse) Gj is 10% the value in NZ cells. Such Gj remodeling causes a 45% decrease in transverse θ (θT). Inclusion of an extracellular space reduces the decrease in θT to 31%. In IZc cells, Cx43 redistribution along the lateral membrane results in a 29% increase in θT. That increase in θT is a consequence of the decrease in access resistance to the Cx43 plaques that occur with the Cx43 redistribution. Extracellular space reduces the increase in θT to 10%. In conclusion: 1), The extracellular space included in normal epicardial simulations flattens the Gj-θ relationship with θ becoming less sensitive to changes in Gj. 2), The extracellular space attenuates the effects of gap junction epicardial border zone remodeling (i.e., Gj reduction and Cx43 lateralization) on θT. PMID:19383455

  5. 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

  6. Gap junctions linking the dendritic network of GABAergic interneurons in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Fukuda, T; Kosaka, T

    2000-02-15

    The network of GABAergic interneurons connected by chemical synapses is a candidate for the generator of synchronized oscillations in the hippocampus. We present evidence that parvalbumin (PV)-containing GABAergic neurons in the rat hippocampal CA1 region, known to form a network by mutual synaptic contacts, also form another network connected by dendrodendritic gap junctions. Distal dendrites of PV neurons run parallel to the alveus (hippocampal white matter) and establish multiple contacts with one another at the border between the stratum oriens and the alveus. In electron microscopic serial section analysis, gap junctions could be identified clearly at 24% of these contact sites. A dendrodendritic chemical synapse and a mixed synapse also were found between PV-immunoreactive dendrites. Three-dimensional reconstruction of the dendritic arborization revealed that both PV neurons of the well known vertical type (presumptive basket cells and axoaxonic cells) and those of another horizontal type constitute the dendritic network at the light microscopic level. The extent of dendritic fields of single PV neurons in the lateral direction was 538 +/- 201 micrometer (n = 5) in the vertical type and 838 +/- 159 micrometer (n = 6) in the horizontal type. Our previous and present observations indicate that PV-containing GABAergic neurons in the hippocampus form the dual networks connected by chemical and electrical synapses located at axosomatic and dendrodendritic contact sites, respectively. Gap junctions linking the dendritic network may mediate coherent synaptic inputs to distant interneurons and thereby facilitate the synchronization of oscillatory activities generated in the interneuron network.

  7. Experimental Platform for Studying Thermoelectric Properties in Vacuum Gaps and Molecular Junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeong, Wonho; Kim, Youngsang; Kim, Kyeongtae; Lee, Woochul; Reddy, Pramod

    2014-03-01

    Electromigrated break junction (EBJ) based molecular devices have enabled many research groups to study nanoscale charge transport. Although EBJ devices have been extensively used due to the advantages of a three terminal configuration in tuning the electronic structure, it has not been possible to use them to study thermoelectric properties. This is because creating temperature differentials across the nanogap of EBJs is technically challenging. In order to overcome this experimental limitation, we carefully designed and created a new experimental platform (EBJIH, EBJ with integrated heater) that enables us to study thermoelectric properties in vacuum gaps and molecular junctions. To prove that temperature differentials can be established in these three terminal devices, we performed nanometer resolution thermal imaging using scanning thermal microscopy under UHV conditions. The results clearly show that temperature differentials can indeed be established in the devices. Further, we have used these devices to study the thermoelectric properties of vacuum gaps between gold electrodes and found that the thermoelectric properties were very sensitive to gap dimensions. We are also currently adopting this platform to study thermoelectric properties in molecular junctions.

  8. Assembly of the cochlear gap junction macromolecular complex requires connexin 26.

    PubMed

    Kamiya, Kazusaku; Yum, Sabrina W; Kurebayashi, Nagomi; Muraki, Miho; Ogawa, Kana; Karasawa, Keiko; Miwa, Asuka; Guo, Xueshui; Gotoh, Satoru; Sugitani, Yoshinobu; Yamanaka, Hitomi; Ito-Kawashima, Shioko; Iizuka, Takashi; Sakurai, Takashi; Noda, Tetsuo; Minowa, Osamu; Ikeda, Katsuhisa

    2014-04-01

    Hereditary deafness affects approximately 1 in 2,000 children. Mutations in the gene encoding the cochlear gap junction protein connexin 26 (CX26) cause prelingual, nonsyndromic deafness and are responsible for as many as 50% of hereditary deafness cases in certain populations. Connexin-associated deafness is thought to be the result of defective development of auditory sensory epithelium due to connexion dysfunction. Surprisingly, CX26 deficiency is not compensated for by the closely related connexin CX30, which is abundantly expressed in the same cochlear cells. Here, using two mouse models of CX26-associated deafness, we demonstrate that disruption of the CX26-dependent gap junction plaque (GJP) is the earliest observable change during embryonic development of mice with connexin-associated deafness. Loss of CX26 resulted in a drastic reduction in the GJP area and protein level and was associated with excessive endocytosis with increased expression of caveolin 1 and caveolin 2. Furthermore, expression of deafness-associated CX26 and CX30 in cell culture resulted in visible disruption of GJPs and loss of function. Our results demonstrate that deafness-associated mutations in CX26 induce the macromolecular degradation of large gap junction complexes accompanied by an increase in caveolar structures.

  9. [Gap junctional intercellular communication: a new mechanism in pathophysiology of migraine with aura. Therapeutic applications].

    PubMed

    Sarrouilhe, D; Dejean, C

    2012-12-01

    Migraine is a common, recurrent and disabling primary headache disorder, which affects up to 20% of the population. About a third of patients with migraine have attacks with aura, a focal neurological disturbance that manifests itself as visual, sensitive or motor symptoms. Cortical spreading depression, a wave of electrical activity that moves across the cerebral cortex through neuronal-glial cell gap junctions, would be involved in the triggering of migraine aura. Moreover, cortical spreading depression activates perivascular trigeminal afferents in the neocortex, that through central and peripheral reflex, cause inflammatory reaction in the meninges to generate the headache. Tonabersat, a novel benzopyran compound, was selected for clinical trial on the basis of its inhibitory activity on cortical spreading depression and neurogenic inflammation in animal models of migraine. Moreover, tonabersat inhibited trigeminal ganglion neuronal-glial cell gap junctions, suggesting that this compound could prevent peripheral sensitization within the ganglion. In clinical trial, tonabersat showed a preventive effect on attacks of migraine with aura but had no efficacy on non-aura attacks and in the acute treatment of migraine. In conclusion, neuronal-glial cell gap junctional intercellular communication seems to be involved in the pathophysiology of migraine with aura and is emerging as a new promising therapeutic target for prophylactic treatment of patients with chronic attacks.

  10. Activity-Dependent Neuronal Control of Gap-Junctional Communication in Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Rouach, Nathalie; Glowinski, Jacques; Giaume, Christian

    2000-01-01

    A typical feature of astrocytes is their high degree of intercellular communication through gap junction channels. Using different models of astrocyte cultures and astrocyte/neuron cocultures, we have demonstrated that neurons upregulate gap-junctional communication and the expression of connexin 43 (Cx43) in astrocytes. The propagation of intercellular calcium waves triggered in astrocytes by mechanical stimulation was also increased in cocultures. This facilitation depends on the age and number of neurons, indicating that the state of neuronal differentiation and neuron density constitute two crucial factors of this interaction. The effects of neurons on astrocytic communication and Cx43 expression were reversed completely after neurotoxic treatments. Moreover, the neuronal facilitation of glial coupling was suppressed, without change in Cx43 expression, after prolonged pharmacological treatments that prevented spontaneous synaptic activity. Altogether, these results demonstrate that neurons exert multiple and differential controls on astrocytic gap-junctional communication. Since astrocytes have been shown to facilitate synaptic efficacy, our findings suggest that neuronal and astrocytic networks interact actively through mutual setting of their respective modes of communication. PMID:10871289

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Connexin-specific cell-to-cell transfer of short interfering RNA by gap junctions

    PubMed Central

    Valiunas, V; Polosina, YY; Miller, H; Potapova, IA; Valiuniene, L; Doronin, S; Mathias, RT; Robinson, RB; Rosen, MR; Cohen, IS; Brink, PR

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether oligonucleotides the size of siRNA are permeable to gap junctions and whether a specific siRNA for DNA polymerase β (pol β) can move from one cell to another via gap junctions, thus allowing one cell to inhibit gene expression in another cell directly. To test this hypothesis, fluorescently labelled oligonucleotides (morpholinos) 12, 16 and 24 nucleotides in length were synthesized and introduced into one cell of a pair using a patch pipette. These probes moved from cell to cell through gap junctions composed of connexin 43 (Cx43). Moreover, the rate of transfer declined with increasing length of the oligonucleotide. To test whether siRNA for pol β was permeable to gap junctions we used three cell lines: (1) NRK cells that endogenously express Cx43; (2) Mβ16tsA cells, which express Cx32 and Cx26 but not Cx43; and (3) connexin-deficient N2A cells. NRK and Mβ16tsA cells were each divided into two groups, one of which was stably transfected to express a small hairpin RNA (shRNA), which gives rise to siRNA that targets pol β. These two pol β knockdown cell lines (NRK-kcdc and Mβ16tsA-kcdc) were co-cultured with labelled wild type, NRK-wt or Mβ16tsA-wt cells or N2A cells. The levels of pol β mRNA and protein were determined by semiquantitative RT-PCR and immunoblotting. Co-culture of Mβ16tsA-kcdc cells with Mβ16tsA-wt, N2A or NRK-wt cells had no effect on pol β levels in these cells. Similarly, co-culture of NRK-kcdc with N2A cells had no effect on pol β levels in the N2A cells. In contrast, co-culture of NRK-kcdc with NRK-wt cells resulted in a significant reduction in pol β in the wt cells. The inability of Mβ16tsA-kcdc cells to transfer siRNA is consistent with the fact that oligonucleotides of the 12 nucleotide length were not permeable to Cx32/Cx26 channels. This suggested that Cx43 but not Cx32/Cx26 channels allowed the cell-to-cell movement of the siRNA. These results support the novel hypothesis

  14. Degradation and resynthesis of gap junction protein in plasma membranes of regenerating liver after partial hepatectomy or cholestasis

    PubMed Central

    Traub, Otto; Drüge, Petra Maria; Willecke, Klaus

    1983-01-01

    Changes in the total amount of the gap junction protein (Mr 26,000) after partial hepatectomy or bile duct ligation and recanalization were investigated in rat liver membranes by quantitative immunoblot with rabbit antiserum to the Mr 26,000 protein. The loss and reappearance of the Mr 26,000 protein roughly paralleled loss and reappearance of gap junction plaques analyzed previously under similar physiological conditions by freeze-fracture of hepatocyte surfaces. The total amount of the hepatic Mr 26,000 protein in liver plasma membranes and the total area of the hepatocyte surface occupied by gap junction plaques appeared to be proportional under these conditions. However, at the minimum, 28-35 hr after partial hepatectomy we still find about 15% of the Mr 26,000 protein, in contrast to <1% of gap junction plaques, determined by morphometric analysis. This discrepancy is probably due to the fact that very small gap junction plaques, single connexons, and free Mr 26,000 gap junction subunits are missed by the morphometric analysis. At the times of the minimal amount of the Mr 26,000 protein in hepatic plasma membranes after partial hepatectomy or bile duct ligation we found that crude hepatic lysosomal membranes of these rats contained less Mr 26,000 protein than lysosomal membranes of nonoperated control animals. Thus, we conclude that the decrease and increase of the total amount of the Mr 26,000 protein cannot be explained only by dispersal and reuse of gap junction subunits but are largely due to degradation and resynthesis of the Mr 26,000 protein. No significant change in the amount of the Mr 21,000 protein that had been isolated with gap junction plaques was observed in liver plasma membranes after partial hepatectomy. This confirms our previous conclusion that the Mr 26,000 and Mr 21,000 proteins are independent of each other. Images PMID:6298773

  15. Gap junctions and other mechanisms of cell-cell communication regulate basal insulin secretion in the pancreatic islet.

    PubMed

    Benninger, R K P; Head, W Steven; Zhang, Min; Satin, Leslie S; Piston, David W

    2011-11-15

    Cell-cell communication in the islet of Langerhans is important for the regulation of insulin secretion. Gap-junctions coordinate oscillations in intracellular free-calcium ([Ca(2+)](i)) and insulin secretion in the islet following elevated glucose. Gap-junctions can also ensure that oscillatory [Ca(2+)](i) ceases when glucose is at a basal levels. We determine the roles of gap-junctions and other cell-cell communication pathways in the suppression of insulin secretion under basal conditions. Metabolic, electrical and insulin secretion levels were measured from islets lacking gap-junction coupling following deletion of connexion36 (Cx36(-/-)), and these results were compared to those obtained using fully isolated β-cells. K(ATP) loss-of-function islets provide a further experimental model to specifically study gap-junction mediated suppression of electrical activity. In isolated β-cells or Cx36(-/-) islets, elevations in [Ca(2+)](i) persisted in a subset of cells even at basal glucose. Isolated β-cells showed elevated insulin secretion at basal glucose; however, insulin secretion from Cx36(-/-) islets was minimally altered. [Ca(2+)](i) was further elevated under basal conditions, but insulin release still suppressed in K(ATP) loss-of-function islets. Forced elevation of cAMP led to PKA-mediated increases in insulin secretion from islets lacking gap-junctions, but not from islets expressing Cx36 gap junctions. We conclude there is a redundancy in how cell-cell communication in the islet suppresses insulin release. Gap junctions suppress cellular heterogeneity and spontaneous [Ca(2+)](i) signals, while other juxtacrine mechanisms, regulated by PKA and glucose, suppress more distal steps in exocytosis. Each mechanism is sufficiently robust to compensate for a loss of the other and still suppress basal insulin secretion.

  16. Roles of gap junctions and hemichannels in bone cell functions and in signal transmission of mechanical stress

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Jean Xin; Siller-Jackson, Arlene Janel; Burra, Sirisha

    2007-01-01

    Gap junctions formed by connexins (Cx) play an important role in transmitting signals between bone cells such as osteoblasts and osteoclasts, cells responsible for bone formation and bone remodeling, respectively. Gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) has been demonstrated to mediate the process of osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. Furthermore, GJIC propagates Ca2+ signaling, conveys anabolic effects of hormones and growth factors, and regulates gene transcription of osteoblast differentiation markers. GJIC is also implicated to regulate osteoclast formation, survival and apoptosis. Compared with other bone cells, the most abundant type are osteocytes, which express large amounts of connexins. Mechanosensing osteocytes connect and form gap junctions with themselves and other cells only through the tips of their dendritic processes, a relatively small percent of the total cell surface area compared to other cells. Recent studies show that in addition to gap junctions, osteoblasts and osteocytes express functional hemichannels, the un-opposed halves of gap junction channels. Hemichannels are localized at the cell surface and function independently of gap junctions. Hemichannels in osteocytes mediate the immediate release of prostaglandins in response to mechanical stress. The major challenges remaining in the field are how the functions of these two types of channels are coordinated in bone cells and what the asserted, distinct effects of these channels are on bone formation and remodeling processes, and on conveying signals elicited by mechanical loading. PMID:17127393

  17. Roles of gap junctions and hemichannels in bone cell functions and in signal transmission of mechanical stress.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Jean Xin; Siller-Jackson, Arlene Janel; Burra, Sirisha

    2007-01-01

    Gap junctions formed by connexins (Cx) play an important role in transmitting signals between bone cells such as osteoblasts and osteoclasts, cells responsible for bone formation and bone remodeling, respectively. Gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) has been demonstrated to mediate the process of osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. Furthermore, GJIC propagates Ca2+ signaling, conveys anabolic effects of hormones and growth factors, and regulates gene transcription of osteoblast differentiation markers. GJIC is also implicated to regulate osteoclast formation, survival and apoptosis. Compared with other bone cells, the most abundant type are osteocytes, which express large amounts of connexins. Mechanosensing osteocytes connect and form gap junctions with themselves and other cells only through the tips of their dendritic processes, a relatively small percent of the total cell surface area compared to other cells. Recent studies show that in addition to gap junctions, osteoblasts and osteocytes express functional hemichannels, the un-opposed halves of gap junction channels. Hemichannels are localized at the cell surface and function independently of gap junctions. Hemichannels in osteocytes mediate the immediate release of prostaglandins in response to mechanical stress. The major challenges remaining in the field are how the functions of these two types of channels are coordinated in bone cells and what the asserted, distinct effects of these channels are on bone formation and remodeling processes, and on conveying signals elicited by mechanical loading.

  18. Gap Junction in the Teleost Fish Lineage: Duplicated Connexins May Contribute to Skin Pattern Formation and Body Shape Determination

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Masakatsu

    2017-01-01

    Gap junctions are intercellular channels that allow passage of ions and small molecules between adjacent cells. Gap junctions in vertebrates are composed of connexons, which are an assembly of six proteins, connexins. Docking of two connexons on the opposite cell surfaces forms a gap junction between the cytoplasm of two neighboring cells. Connexins compose a family of structurally related four-pass transmembrane proteins. In mammals, there are ~20 connexins, each of which contributes to unique permeability of gap junctions, and mutations of some connexin-encoding genes are associated with human diseases. Zebrafish has been predicted to contain 39 connexin-encoding genes; the high number can be attributed to gene duplication during fish evolution, which resulted in diversified functions of gap junctions in teleosts. The determination of body shapes and skin patterns in animal species is an intriguing question. Mathematical models suggest principle mechanisms explaining the diversification of animal morphology. Recent studies have revealed the involvement of gap junctions in fish morphological diversity, including skin pattern formation and body shape determination. This review focuses on connexins in teleosts, which are integrated in the mathematical models explaining morphological diversity of animal skin patterns and body shapes. PMID:28271062

  19. Ginsenoside Rg1-induced antidepressant effects involve the protection of astrocyte gap junctions within the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Jin, Can; Wang, Zhen-Zhen; Zhou, Heng; Lou, Yu-Xia; Chen, Jiao; Zuo, Wei; Tian, Man-Tong; Wang, Zhi-Qi; Du, Guo-Hua; Kawahata, Ichiro; Yamakuni, Tohru; Zhang, Yi; Chen, Nai-Hong; Zhang, Dan-Shen

    2017-04-03

    Ginsenoside Rg1 (Rg1) exhibits antidepressant-like activity by increasing neurogenesis and dendritic spine density without discernible side effects. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying Rg1 antidepressant activity remain poorly understood. As the dysfunction of gap junctions between astrocytes in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is implicated in major depression disorder, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Rg1 on astrocyte gap junctions in the PFC. Rats exposed to chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) were administered Rg1 (5, 10, and 20mg/kg) for 28days and analyzed for depressive symptoms using the sucrose preference and forced swimming tests. Functional and morphological changes of gap junction channels in the PFC were evaluated using dye transfer and electron microscopy, respectively. The expression of connexin 43 (Cx43) was analyzed by western blotting. Rg1 markedly alleviated depression-like behavior in rats. Long-term Rg1 treatment of CUS-exposed rats also significantly prevented the decrease in dye diffusion and improved the ultrastructure of astrocyte gap junctions in the PFC, indicating beneficial effects on the functional activity of gap junction channels in the brain. In addition, Rg1 upregulated Cx43 expression in the PFC reduced by CUS exposure, which significantly correlated with its antidepressant-like effects. The results demonstrate that Rg1-induced antidepressant effects are might be mediated, in part, by protecting astrocyte gap junctions within the prefrontal cortex.

  20. Analysis of Full-Test tools and their limitations as applied to terminal junction blocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, J. L.

    1983-01-01

    Discovery of unlocked contacts in Deutsch Block terminal junctions in Solid Rocket Booster flight hardware prompted an investigation into pull test techniques to help insure against possible failures. Internal frictional forces between socket and pin and between wire and grommet were examined. Pull test force must be greater than internal friction yet less than the crimp strength of the pin or socket. For this reason, a 100 percent accurate test is impossible. Test tools were evaluated. Available tools are adequate for pull testing.

  1. Properties of gap junction channels formed by Cx46 alone and in combination with Cx50.

    PubMed Central

    Hopperstad, M G; Srinivas, M; Spray, D C

    2000-01-01

    Gap junctions formed of connexin46 (Cx46) and connexin50 (Cx50) in lens fiber cells are crucial for maintaining lens transparency. We determined the functional properties of homotypic Cx46, heterotypic Cx46/Cx50, and heteromeric Cx46/Cx50 channels in a communication-deficient neuroblastoma (N2A) cell line, using dual whole-cell recordings. N2A cultures were stably and/or transiently transfected with Cx46, Cx50, and green fluorescent protein (EGFP). The macroscopic voltage sensitivity of homotypic Cx46 conformed to the two-state model (Boltzmann parameters: G(min) = 0.11, V(0) = +/- 48.1 mV, gating charge = 2). Cx46 single channels showed a main-state conductance of 140 +/- 8 pS and multiple subconductance states ranging from < or =10 pS to 60 pS. Conservation of homotypic properties in heterotypic Cx46/Cx50 cell pairs allowed the determination of a positive relative gating polarity for the dominant gating mechanisms in Cx46 and Cx50. Observed gating properties were consistent with a second gating mechanism in Cx46 connexons. Moreover, rectification was observed in heterotypic cell pairs. Some cell pairs in cultures simultaneously transfected with Cx46 and Cx50 exhibited junctional properties not observed in other preparations, suggesting the formation of heteromeric channels. We conclude that different combinations of Cx46 and Cx50 within gap junction channels lead to unique biophysical properties. PMID:11023900

  2. Endogenous protein phosphatase 1 runs down gap junctional communication of rat ventricular myocytes.

    PubMed

    Duthe, F; Plaisance, I; Sarrouilhe, D; Hervé, J C

    2001-11-01

    Gap junctional channels are essential for normal cardiac impulse propagation. In ventricular myocytes of newborn rats, channel opening requires the presence of ATP to allow protein kinase activities; otherwise, channels are rapidly deactivated by the action of endogenous protein phosphatases (PPs). The lack of influence of Mg(2+) and of selective PP2B inhibition is not in favor of the involvements of Mg(2+)-dependent PP2C and PP2B, respectively, in the loss of channel activity. Okadaic acid (1 microM) and calyculin A (100 nM), both inhibitors of PP1 and PP2A activities, significantly retarded the loss of channel activity. However, a better preservation was obtained in the presence of selective PP1 inhibitors heparin (100 microg/ml) or protein phosphatase inhibitor 2 (I2; 100 nM). Conversely, the stimulation of endogenous PP1 activity by p-nitrophenyl phosphate, in the presence of ATP, led to a progressive fading of junctional currents unless I2 was simultaneously added. Together, these results suggest that a basal phosphorylation-dephosphorylation turnover regulates gap junctional communication which is rapidly deactivated by PP1 activity when the phosphorylation pathway is hindered.

  3. Fluxon dynamics in two-gap superconductor-based long Josephson junction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghimire, Bal Ram

    A superconducting tunnel junction with two-gap superconductors, such as MgB2 and iron-based superconductors, can lead to more interesting phase dynamics than those with one-gap superconductors. The phase dynamics in a long Josephson junction (LJJ) may be described by using the sine-Gordon equation. The difference in the phase dynamics between the LJJ with two-gap superconductors and that with the one-gap superconductors arises due to the presence of multiple tunneling channels between the superconductor (S) layers and the inter-band Josephson effect within the same S layer. The inter-band Josephson effect leads to both spatial and temporal modulation of the critical current between the two adjacent S layers. In this work, the effects of critical current modulation on the trajectories of the single Josephson vortex (i.e., fluxon) and the current-voltage characteristics of the two-gap superconductor-based LJJ are estimated. Also, the possibility of a broken time-reversal symmetry state ground state of a single LJJ due to the presence of additional tunneling channels is investigated by using a microscopic model for two-gap superconductors. The consequence of this broken time reversal ground state is discussed. Finally, the equation of motion for fluxon for coupled LJJs interacting via both the magnetic induction effect and charging effect is investigated. As the inter-band Josephson effect is found to affect the dynamics of a single fluxon in a single LJJ, this effect is explicitly taken into account for a two-coupled LJJ stack. This equation of motion is expected to be an excellent starting point for exploring interesting LJJ properties such as collective dynamics of fluxons as well as fractional fluxons.

  4. Band-gaps in long Josephson junctions with periodic phase-shifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmad, Saeed; Susanto, Hadi; Wattis, Jonathan A. D.

    2017-04-01

    We investigate analytically and numerically a long Josephson junction on an infinite domain, having arbitrary periodic phase shift of κ, that is, the so-called 0-κ long Josephson junction. The system is described by a one-dimensional sine-Gordon equation and has relatively recently been proposed as artificial atom lattices. We discuss the existence of periodic solutions of the system and investigate their stability both in the absence and presence of an applied bias current. We find critical values of the phase-discontinuity and the applied bias current beyond which static periodic solutions cease to exist. Due to the periodic discontinuity in the phase, the system admits regions of allowed and forbidden bands. We perturbatively investigate the Arnold tongues that separate the region of allowed and forbidden bands, and discuss the effect of an applied bias current on the band-gap structure. We present numerical simulations to support our analytical results.

  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 A.

    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. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Gap junctions in dorsal root ganglia: possible contribution to visceral pain.

    PubMed

    Huang, Tian-Ying; Belzer, Vitali; Hanani, Menachem

    2010-01-01

    Peripheral injuries can lead to sensitization of neurons in dorsal root ganglia (DRGs), which can contribute to chronic pain. The neurons are sensitized by a combination of physiological and biochemical changes, whose full details are still obscure. Another cellular element in DRGs are satellite glial cells (SGCs), which surround the neurons, but little is known about their role in nociception. We investigated the contribution of SGCs to neuronal sensitization in isolated S1 DRGs from a mouse model of colonic inflammation induced by local application of dinitrosulfonate benzoate (DNBS). Retrograde labeling was used to identify DRG neurons projecting to the colon. Cell-to-cell coupling was determined by intracellular dye injection, and the electrical properties of the neurons were studied with intracellular electrodes. Pain behavior was assessed with von-Frey hairs. The dye injections showed that 10-12 days after DNBS application there was a 6.6-fold increase in gap junction-mediated coupling between SGCs surrounding adjacent neurons, and this occurred preferentially (another 2-fold increase) near neurons that project to the colon. Neuron-neuron coupling incidence increased from 0.7% to 12.1% by colonic inflammation. Inflammation led to an augmented neuronal excitability, and to a reduced pain threshold. Gap junction blockers abolished the inflammation-induced changes in SGCs and neurons, and significantly reversed the pain behavior. We propose that inflammation induces augmented cell coupling in DRGs that contributes to neuronal hyperexcitability, which in turn leads to visceral pain. Gap junction blockers may have potential as analgesic drugs.

  9. Gap Junctional Coupling is Essential for Epithelial Repair in the Avian Cochlea

    PubMed Central

    Nickel, Regina; Forge, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    The loss of auditory hair cells triggers repair responses within the population of nonsensory supporting cells. When hair cells are irreversibly lost from the mammalian cochlea, supporting cells expand to fill the resulting lesions in the sensory epithelium, an initial repair process that is dependent on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). In the chicken cochlea (the basilar papilla or BP), dying hair cells are extruded from the epithelium and supporting cells expand to fill the lesions and then replace hair cells via mitotic and/or conversion mechanisms. Here, we investigated the involvement of GJIC in the initial epithelial repair process in the aminoglycoside-damaged BP. Gentamicin-induced hair cell loss was associated with a decrease of chicken connexin43 (cCx43) immunofluorescence, yet cCx30-labeled gap junction plaques remained. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments confirmed that the GJIC remained robust in gentamicin-damaged explants, but regionally asymmetric coupling was no longer evident. Dye injections in slice preparations from undamaged BP explants identified cell types with characteristic morphologies along the neural-abneural axis, but these were electrophysiologically indistinct. In gentamicin-damaged BP, supporting cells expanded to fill space formerly occupied by hair cells and displayed more variable electrophysiological phenotypes. When GJIC was inhibited during the aminoglycoside damage paradigm, the epithelial repair response halted. Dying hair cells were retained within the sensory epithelium and supporting cells remained unexpanded. These observations suggest that repair of the auditory epithelium shares common mechanisms across vertebrate species and emphasize the importance of functional gap junctions in maintaining a homeostatic environment permissive for subsequent hair cell regeneration. PMID:25429127

  10. 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.

  11. Connexin50 couples axon terminals of mouse horizontal cells by homotypic gap junctions.

    PubMed

    Dorgau, Birthe; Herrling, Regina; Schultz, Konrad; Greb, Helena; Segelken, Jasmin; Ströh, Sebastian; Bolte, Petra; Weiler, Reto; Dedek, Karin; Janssen-Bienhold, Ulrike

    2015-10-01

    Horizontal cells in the mouse retina are of the axon-bearing B-type and contribute to the gain control of photoreceptors and to the center-surround organization of bipolar cells by providing feedback and feedforward signals to photoreceptors and bipolar cells, respectively. Horizontal cells form two independent networks, coupled by dendro-dendritic and axo-axonal gap junctions composed of connexin57 (Cx57). In Cx57-deficient mice, occasionally the residual tracer coupling of horizontal cell somata was observed. Also, negative feedback from horizontal cells to photoreceptors, potentially mediated by connexin hemichannels, appeared unaffected. These results point to the expression of a second connexin in mouse horizontal cells. We investigated the expression of Cx50, which was recently identified in axonless A-type horizontal cells of the rabbit retina. In the mouse retina, Cx50-immunoreactive puncta were predominantly localized on large axon terminals of horizontal cells. Electron microscopy did not reveal any Cx50-immunolabeling at the membrane of horizontal cell tips invaginating photoreceptor terminals, ruling out the involvement of Cx50 in negative feedback. Moreover, Cx50 colocalized only rarely with Cx57 on horizontal cell processes, indicating that both connexins form homotypic rather than heterotypic or heteromeric gap junctions. To check whether the expression of Cx50 is changed when Cx57 is lacking, we compared the Cx50 expression in wildtype and Cx57-deficient mice. However, Cx50 expression was unaffected in Cx57-deficient mice. In summary, our results indicate that horizontal cell axon terminals form two independent sets of homotypic gap junctions, a feature which might be important for light adaptation in the retina.

  12. 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

  13. Dynamic changes of connexin-43, gap junctional protein, in outer layers of cumulus cells are regulated by PKC and PI 3-kinase during meiotic resumption in porcine oocytes.

    PubMed

    Shimada, M; Maeda, T; Terada, T

    2001-04-01

    Mammalian oocytes are surrounded by numerous layers of cumulus cells, and the loss of gap junctional communication in the outer layers of cumulus cells induces meiotic resumption in oocytes. In this study, we investigated the dynamic changes in the gap junctional protein connexin-43 in cumulus cells during the meiotic resumption of porcine oocytes. The amount of connexin-43 in all layers of cumulus cells recovered from cumulus-oocyte complexes was increased after 4-h cultivation. However, at 12-h cultivation, the positive signal for connexin-43 immunoreactivity was markedly reduced in the outer layers of cumulus cells. When these reductions of connexin-43 were blocked by protein kinase C (PKC) or phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase inhibitor, networks of filamentous bivalents (i.e., advanced chromosomal status) were undetectable in the germinal vesicle of the oocyte. After 28-h cultivation, when the majority of oocytes were reaching the metaphase I (MI) stage, the connexin-43 in the inner layers of cumulus cells was phosphorylated, regardless of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase activation. These results suggest that the initiation of meiotic resumption, namely, the formation of networks of filamentous bivalents in germinal vesicle, is associated with the reduction of gap junctional protein connexin-43 in the outer layers of cumulus cells via the PKC and/or PI 3-kinase pathway. Moreover, the connexin-43 in the inner layers of cumulus cells is phosphorylated during meiotic progression beyond the MI stage, regardless of MAP kinase activation in cumulus cells surrounding the oocyte.

  14. Potassium ion recycling pathway via gap junction systems in the mammalian cochlea and its interruption in hereditary nonsyndromic deafness.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, T; Adams, J C; Miyabe, Y; So, E; Kobayashi, T

    2000-01-01

    In the mammalian cochlea, there are two independent gap junction systems, the epithelial cell gap junction system and the connective tissue cell gap junction system. Thus far, four different connexin molecules, including connexin 26, 30, 31, and 43, have been reported in the cochlea. The two networks of gap junctions form the route by which K+ ions that pass through the sensory cells during mechanosensory transduction can be recycled back to the endolymphatic space, from which they reenter the sensory cells. Activation of hair cells by acoustic stimuli induces influx of K+ ions from the endolymph to sensory hair cells. These K+ ions are released basolaterally to the extracellular space of the organ of Corti, from which they enter the cochlear supporting cells. Once inside the supporting cells they move via the epithelial cell gap junction system laterally to the lower part of the spiral ligament. The K+ ions are released into the extracellular space of the spiral ligament by root cells and taken up by type II fibrocytes. This uptake incorporates K+ into the connective tissue gap junction system. Within this system, the K+ ions pass through the tight junctional barrier of the stria vascularis and are released within the intrastrial extracellular space. The marginal cells of the stria vascularis then take up K+ and return it to the endolymphatic space, where it can be used again in sensory transduction. It is highly probable that mutations of connexin genes that result in human nonsyndromic deafness cause dysfunction of cochlear gap junctions and thereby interrupt K+ ion recirculation pathways. In addition to connexin mutations, other conditions may disrupt gap junctions within the ear. For example, mice with a functionally significant mutation of Brain-4, which is expressed in the connective tissue cells within the cochlea, show marked depression of the endolymphatic potential and profound sensorineural hearing loss. It seems likely that disruption of connective

  15. Ultrastructure of smooth muscle, gap junctions and glycogen distribution in Taenia solium tapeworms from experimentally infected hamsters.

    PubMed

    Willms, Kaethe; Robert, Lilia; Caro, José Antonio

    2003-03-01

    Taenia solium adults were grown in hamsters infected by feeding them with cysticerci from pig carcasses. Viable strobilae were collected from the hamster duodenum 20-60 days post-infection, fixed and processed for transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Fourteen strobilae were cut into pieces and embedded in individual blocks. Sections, stained with toluidine blue, were then photographed by light microscopy. Over 1,200 TEM images were obtained from selected blocks. Maturing proglottids exhibited a dense myofilament lattice of connecting fibers, each contained in sarcoplamsic extensions of myocytons and emitting cytoplasmic processes loosely attached to other cells, structures characterized as myocyton-myofilament-pseudopod units, which are interpreted as structures involved in the transport of cells and membrane-bound-glycogen from the germinative tissues to mature proglottids. Densely packed membrane-bound glycogen particles were found between the tegumentary cytons of the neck tissue, and as single-stranded particles between the tegumentary cytons of mature proglottids. These were wrapped around cell bodies in the parenchyma of maturing proglottids and as thin cytoplasmic strands between the testicular lobules of mature proglottids. A large number of cell-to-cell adhesions were identified as gap junctions connected to glycogen strands. We suggest that these are involved in the transport of glucose to differentiating tissues.

  16. Influence of the molecular structure of steroids on their ability to interrupt gap junctional communication.

    PubMed

    Hervé, J C; Pluciennik, F; Verrecchia, F; Bastide, B; Delage, B; Joffre, M; Délèze, J

    1996-02-01

    17 beta-estradiol propionate was found to reduce the gap junctional communication in a concentration range similar to that of testosterone propionate, in primary cultures of rat Sertoli cells and cardiac myocytes. Uncoupling was reversible on washing out and occurred without concomitant rise in the intracellular calcium concentration. Esterification was prerequisite for the activity of extracellularly applied steroid compounds (for example, testosterone was ineffective even at external concentrations up to 100 microM, whereas its intracellular application at 1 microM totally interrupted intercellular communication), but their uncoupling efficiency did not depend on the nature of the ester chain nor on its position on the steroid nucleus. The derivatives of two other androgen hormones (derivatives of the androstane nucleus) were also efficient as junctional uncouplers. Among five steroid molecules belonging to the pregnane family, only one (pregnanediol diacetate) interrupted the junctional communication. Neither cholic acid nor cholesteryl acetate or ouabain showed this effect. Altogether, no correlation with the presence or position of double bonds nor with the trans- or cis-fusion of the A and B rings could be recognized. These results suggest that this reversible, nondeleterious uncoupling effect of steroids is independent of the shape of the molecules and is more probably related to their size and liposolubility, that condition their insertion into the lipid bilayer. Their incorporation into the membrane could disturb the activity of the membrane proteins by a physical mechanism.

  17. Different ionic selectivities for connexins 26 and 32 produce rectifying gap junction channels.

    PubMed Central

    Suchyna, T M; Nitsche, J M; Chilton, M; Harris, A L; Veenstra, R D; Nicholson, B J

    1999-01-01

    The functional diversity of gap junction intercellular channels arising from the large number of connexin isoforms is significantly increased by heterotypic interactions between members of this family. This is particularly evident in the rectifying behavior of Cx26/Cx32 heterotypic channels (. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 88:8410-8414). The channel properties responsible for producing the rectifying current observed for Cx26/Cx32 heterotypic gap junction channels were determined in transfected mouse neuroblastoma 2A (N2A) cells. Transfectants revealed maximum unitary conductances (gamma(j)) of 135 pS for Cx26 and 53 pS for Cx32 homotypic channels in 120 mM KCl. Anionic substitution of glutamate for Cl indicated that Cx26 channels favored cations by 2.6:1, whereas Cx32 channels were relatively nonselective with respect to charge. In Cx26/Cx32 heterotypic cell pairs, the macroscopic fast rectification of the current-voltage relationship was fully explained at the single-channel level by a rectifying gamma(j) that increased by a factor of 2.9 as the transjunctional voltage (V(j)) changed from -100 to +100 mV with the Cx26 cell as the positive pole. A model of electrodiffusion of ions through the gap junction pore based on Nernst-Planck equations for ion concentrations and the Poisson equation for the electrical potential within the junction is developed. Selectivity characteristics are ascribed to each hemichannel based on either pore features (treated as uniform along the length of the hemichannel) or entrance effects unique to each connexin. Both analytical GHK approximations and full numerical solutions predict rectifying characteristics for Cx32/Cx26 heterotypic channels, although not to the full extent seen empirically. The model predicts that asymmetries in the conductance/permeability properties of the hemichannels (also cast as Donnan potentials) will produce either an accumulation or a depletion of ions within the channel, depending on voltage polarity, that

  18. Computational simulations of asymmetric fluxes of large molecules through gap junction channel pores.

    PubMed

    Mondal, Abhijit; Appadurai, Daniel A; Akoum, Nazem W; Sachse, Frank B; Moreno, Alonso P

    2017-01-07

    Gap junction channels are formed out of connexin isoforms, which enable molecule and ion selective diffusion amongst neighboring cells. HeLa cells expressing distinct connexins (Cx) allow the formation of heterotypic channels, where we observed a molecular charge-independent preferential flux of large fluorescent molecules in the Cx45 to Cx43 direction. We hypothesize that the pore's shape is a significant factor along-side charge and transjunctional voltages for this asymmetric flux. To test this hypothesis, we developed a 3D computational model simulating Brownian diffusion of large molecules in a gap junction channel pore. The basic pore contour was derived from x-ray crystallographic structures of Cx43 and Cx26 and approximated using basic geometric shapes. Lucifer yellow dye molecules and cesium counter-ions were modeled as spheres using their respective Stokes radii. Our simulation results from simple diffusion and constant concentration gradient experiments showed that only charged particles yield asymmetric fluxes in heterotypic pores. While increasing the inner mouth size resulted in a near-quadratic rise in flux, the rise was asymptotic for outer mouth radii increase. Probability maps and average force per particle per pore section explain the asymmetric flux with variation in pore shape. Furthermore, the simulation results are in agreement with our in vitro experimental results with HeLa cells in Cx43-Cx45 heterotypic configurations. The presence of asymmetric fluxes can help us to understand effects of the molecular structure of the pore and predict potential differences in vivo.

  19. Molecular cloning and functional expression of human connexin37, an endothelial cell gap junction protein.

    PubMed Central

    Reed, K E; Westphale, E M; Larson, D M; Wang, H Z; Veenstra, R D; Beyer, E C

    1993-01-01

    Gap junctions allow direct intercellular coupling between many cells including those in the blood vessel wall. They are formed by a group of related proteins called connexins, containing conserved transmembrane and extracellular domains, but unique cytoplasmic regions that may confer connexin-specific physiological properties. We used polymerase chain reaction amplification and cDNA library screening to clone DNA encoding a human gap junction protein, connexin37 (Cx37). The derived human Cx37 polypeptide contains 333 amino acids, with a predicted molecular mass of 37,238 D. RNA blots demonstrate that Cx37 is expressed in multiple organs and tissues (including heart, uterus, ovary, and blood vessel endothelium) and in primary cultures of vascular endothelial cells. Cx37 mRNA is coexpressed with connexin43 at similar levels in some endothelial cells, but at much lower levels in others. To demonstrate that Cx37 could form functional channels, we stably transfected communication-deficient Neuro2A cells with the Cx37 cDNA. The induced intercellular channels were studied by the double whole cell patch clamp technique. These channels were reversibly inhibited by the uncoupling agent, heptanol (2 mM). The expressed Cx37 channels exhibited multiple conductance levels and showed a pronounced voltage dependence. These electrophysiological characteristics are similar to, but distinct from, those of previously characterized connexins. Images PMID:7680674

  20. Cardiomyocyte FGF signaling is required for Cx43 phosphorylation and cardiac gap junction maintenance.

    PubMed

    Sakurai, Takashi; Tsuchida, Mariko; Lampe, Paul D; Murakami, Masahiro

    2013-08-15

    Cardiac remodeling resulting from impairment of myocardial integrity leads to heart failure, through still incompletely understood mechanisms. The fibroblast growth factor (FGF) system has been implicated in tissue maintenance, but its role in the adult heart is not well defined. We hypothesized that the FGF system plays a role in the maintenance of cardiac homeostasis, and the impairment of cardiomyocyte FGF signaling leads to pathological cardiac remodeling. We showed that FGF signaling is required for connexin 43 (Cx43) localization at cell-cell contacts in isolated cardiomyocytes and COS7 cells. Lack of FGF signaling led to decreased Cx43 phosphorylation at serines 325/328/330 (S325/328/330), sites known to be important for assembly of gap junctions. Cx43 instability induced by FGF inhibition was restored by the Cx43 S325/328/330 phospho-mimetic mutant, suggesting FGF-dependent phosphorylation of these sites. Consistent with these in vitro findings, cardiomyocyte-specific inhibition of FGF signaling in adult mice demonstrated mislocalization of Cx43 at intercalated discs, whereas localization of N-cadherin and desmoplakin was not affected. This led to premature death resulting from impaired cardiac remodeling. We conclude that cardiomyocyte FGF signaling is essential for cardiomyocyte homeostasis through phosphorylation of Cx43 at S325/328/330 residues which are important for the maintenance of gap junction.

  1. Th1 cells downregulate connexin 43 gap junctions in astrocytes via microglial activation

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Mitsuru; Masaki, Katsuhisa; Yamasaki, Ryo; Kawanokuchi, Jun; Takeuchi, Hideyuki; Matsushita, Takuya; Suzumura, Akio; Kira, Jun-ichi

    2016-01-01

    We previously reported early and extensive loss of astrocytic connexin 43 (Cx43) in acute demyelinating lesions of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Because it is widely accepted that autoimmune T cells initiate MS lesions, we hypothesized that infiltrating T cells affect Cx43 expression in astrocytes, which contributes to MS lesion formation. Primary mixed glial cell cultures were prepared from newborn mouse brains, and microglia were isolated by anti-CD11b antibody-conjugated magnetic beads. Next, we prepared astrocyte-rich cultures and astrocyte/microglia-mixed cultures. Treatment of primary mixed glial cell cultures with interferon (IFN) γ, interleukin (IL)-4, or IL-17 showed that only IFNγ or IL-17 at high concentrations reduced Cx43 protein levels. Upon treatment of astrocyte-rich cultures and astrocyte/microglia-mixed cultures with IFNγ, Cx43 mRNA/protein levels and the function of gap junctions were reduced only in astrocyte/microglia-mixed cultures. IFNγ-treated microglia-conditioned media and IL-1β, which was markedly increased in IFNγ-treated microglia-conditioned media, reduced Cx43 protein levels in astrocyte-rich cultures. Finally, we confirmed that Th1 cell-conditioned medium decreased Cx43 protein levels in mixed glial cell cultures. These findings suggest that Th1 cell-derived IFNγ activates microglia to release IL-1β that reduces Cx43 gap junctions in astrocytes. Thus, Th1-dominant inflammatory states disrupt astrocytic intercellular communication and may exacerbate MS. PMID:27929069

  2. In Situ Bipolar Electroporation for Localized Cell Loading with Reporter Dyes and Investigating Gap Junctional Coupling

    PubMed Central

    De Vuyst, Elke; De Bock, Marijke; Decrock, Elke; Van Moorhem, Marijke; Naus, Christian; Mabilde, Cyriel; Leybaert, Luc

    2008-01-01

    Electroporation is generally used to transfect cells in suspension, but the technique can also be applied to load a defined zone of adherent cells with substances that normally do not permeate the plasma membrane. In this case a pulsed high-frequency oscillating electric field is applied over a small two-wire electrode positioned close to the cells. We compared unipolar with bipolar electroporation pulse protocols and found that the latter were ideally suited to efficiently load a narrow longitudinal strip of cells in monolayer cultures. We further explored this property to determine whether electroporation loading was useful to investigate the extent of dye spread between cells coupled by gap junctions, using wild-type and stably transfected C6 glioma cells expressing connexin 32 or 43. Our investigations show that the spatial spread of electroporation-loaded 6-carboxyfluorescein, as quantified by the standard deviation of Gaussian dye spread or the spatial constant of exponential dye spread, was a reliable approach to investigate the degree of cell-cell coupling. The spread of reporter dye between coupled cells was significantly larger with electroporation loading than with scrape loading, a widely used method for dye-coupling studies. We conclude that electroporation loading and dye transfer is a robust technique to investigate gap-junctional coupling that combines minimal cell damage with accurate probing of the degree of cell-cell communication. PMID:17872956

  3. A Computational Approach to Detect Gap Junction Plaques and Associate Them with Cells in Fluorescent Images

    PubMed Central

    Goldberg, Joshua S.; Vadakkan, Tegy J.; Hirschi, Karen K.

    2013-01-01

    Intercellular signaling is a fundamental requirement for complex biological system function and survival. Communication between adjoining cells is largely achieved via gap junction channels made up of multiple subunits of connexin proteins, each with unique selectivity and regulatory properties. Intercellular communication via gap junction channels facilitates transmission of an array of cellular signals, including ions, macromolecules, and metabolites that coordinate physiological processes throughout tissues and entire organisms. Although current methods used to quantify connexin expression rely on number or area density measurements in a field of view, they lack cellular assignment, distance measurement capabilities (both within the cell and to extracellular structures), and complete automation. We devised an automated computational approach built on a contour expansion algorithm platform that allows connexin protein detection and assignment to specific cells within complex tissues. In addition, parallel implementation of the contour expansion algorithm allows for high-throughput analysis as the complexity of the biological sample increases. This method does not depend specifically on connexin identification and can be applied more widely to the analysis of numerous immunocytochemical markers as well as to identify particles within tissues such as nanoparticles, gene delivery vehicles, or even cellular fragments such as exosomes or microparticles. PMID:23324867

  4. Inflammatory conditions induce gap junctional communication between rat Kupffer cells both in vivo and in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Eugenín, Eliseo A.; González, Hernán E.; Sánchez, Helmuth A.; Brañes, María C.; Sáez, Juan C.

    2007-01-01

    Connexin43 (Cx43), a gap junction protein subunit, has been previously detected in Kupffer cells (KCs) during liver inflammation, however, KCs phagocytose cell debris that may include Cx43 protein, which could explain the detection of Cx43 in KCs. We determined that KCs express Cx43 and form gap junctions both in vivo and in vitro. In liver sections of animals treated with LPS, Cx43 was detected at ED2+ cells interfaces, indicating formation of GJ between KCs in vivo. In vitro, unstimulated KCs cultures did not form functional GJs, and expressed low levels of Cx43 that showed a diffuse intracellular distribution. In contrast, KCs treated with LPS plus IFN-γ, expressed a greater amount of Cx43 at both the, protein and mRNA levels, and showed Cx43 at cell-cell contacts associated with higher dye coupling. In conclusion, activation of KCs in vivo or in vitro resulted in enhanced Cx43 expression levels and formation of GJ that might play relevant roles during liver inflammation. PMID:17900549

  5. Connexin43 gap junction protein plays an essential role in morphogenesis of the embryonic chick face.

    PubMed

    McGonnell, I M; Green, C R; Tickle, C; Becker, D L

    2001-11-01

    Normal outgrowth and fusion of facial primordia during vertebrate development require interaction of diverse tissues and co-ordination of many different signalling pathways. Gap junction channels, made up of subunits consisting of connexin proteins, facilitate communication between cells and are implicated in embryonic development. Here we describe the distribution of connexin43 and connexin32 gap junction proteins in the developing chick face. To test the function of connexin43 protein, we applied antisense oligodeoxynucleotides that specifically reduced levels of connexin43 protein in cells of early chick facial primordia. This resulted in stunting of primordia outgrowth and led to facial defects. Furthermore, cell proliferation in regions of facial primordia that normally express high levels of connexin43 protein was reduced and this was associated with lower levels of Msx-1 expression. Facial defects arise when retinoic acid is applied to the face of chick embryos at later stages. This treatment also resulted in significant reduction in connexin43 protein, while connexin32 protein expression was unaffected. Taken together, these results indicate that connexin43 plays an essential role during early morphogenesis and subsequent outgrowth of the developing chick face.

  6. 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.

  7. Maize mesocotyl plasmodesmata proteins cross-react with connexin gap junction protein antibodies.

    PubMed Central

    Yahalom, A; Warmbrodt, R D; Laird, D W; Traub, O; Revel, J P; Willecke, K; Epel, B L

    1991-01-01

    Polypeptide present in various cell fractions obtained from homogenized maize mesocotyls were separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, immunoblotted, and screened for cross-reactivity with antibodies against three synthetic polypeptides spanning different regions of the rat heart gap junctional protein connexin43 and the whole mouse liver gap junctional protein connexin32. An antibody raised against a cytoplasmic loop region of connexin43 cross-reacted strongly with a cell wall-associated polypeptide (possibly a doublet) of 26 kilodaltons. Indirect immunogold labeling of thin sections of mesocotyl tissue with this antibody labeled the plasmodesmata of cortical cells along the entire length of the plasmodesmata, including the neck region and the cytoplasmic annulus. Sections labeled with control preimmune serum were essentially free of colloidal gold. An antibody against connexin32 cross-reacted with a 27-kilodalton polypeptide that was present in the cell wall and membrane fractions. Indirect immunogold labeling of thin sections with this antibody labeled the plasmodesmata mainly in the neck region. It is suggested that maize mesocotyl plasmodesmata contain at least two different proteins that have homologous domains with connexin proteins. PMID:1668654

  8. Self-organized synchronous oscillations in a network of excitable cells coupled by gap junctions.

    PubMed

    Lewis, T J; Rinzel, J

    2000-11-01

    Recent evidence suggests that electrical coupling plays a role in generating oscillatory behaviour in networks of neurons; however, the underlying mechanisms have not been identified. Using a cellular automata model proposed by Traub et al (Traub R D, Schmitz D, Jefferys J G and Draguhn A 1999 High-frequency population oscillations are predicted to occur in hippocampal pyramidal neural networks interconnected by axo-axonal gap junctions Neuroscience 92 407-26), we describe a novel mechanism for self-organized oscillations in networks that have strong, sparse random electrical coupling via gap junctions. The network activity is generated by random spontaneous activity that is moulded into regular population oscillations by the propagation of activity through the network. We explain how this activity gives rise to particular dependences of mean oscillation frequency on network connectivity parameters and on the rate of spontaneous activity, and we derive analytical expressions to approximate the mean frequency and variance of the oscillations. In doing so, we provide insight into possible mechanisms for frequency control and modulation in networks of neurons.

  9. Fabrication of 30 nm inter-electrode gap co-planar tunnel junctions with buried electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Itoua, S.; Joachim, C.; Rousset, B.; Fabre, N.

    1994-05-01

    Co-planar tunnel junctions with a gap length in the 30 nm range have been fabricated using a 20 keV scanning electron microscope and a Au-Pd lift-off. The junction electrodes are less than 200 nm in width and are buried in the SiO2 substrate. This makes the gap surface accessible for atomic force microscope characterization and for local modification. Des jonctions tunnels co-planaires avec une largeur de coupure inférieure à 30 nm ont été fabriquées en utilisant un masqueur électronique à 20 keV et un procédé de lift-off d'un alliage Au-Pd. Les électrodes de la jonction ont moins de 200 nm de largeur et sont enterrées à la surface de SiO2. La mesure de la topographie de la surface de la coupure avec un microscope à force atomique montre une rugosité de moins de 1 nm.

  10. The shaking B gene in Drosophila regulates the number of gap junctions between photoreceptor terminals in the lamina.

    PubMed

    Shimohigashi, M; Meinertzhagen, I A

    1998-04-01

    The molecular structure of insect gap junctions differs from that in vertebrates, and in Drosophila is possibly encoded by the shaking B (= Passover) locus. shaking B2 is a null allele that acts in the nervous system. In the shakB2 mutant, one site of action are gap junctions between photoreceptor terminals in the cartridges of the lamina, beneath the compound eye, which we assayed from the number of close-apposition profiles in thin-section EM. The number of profiles in the Canton-S (C-S) wild type is about 0.5 per cartridge per section in distal and mid-lamina depths, and significantly less, about one quarter this value, closer to the brain, in the proximal lamina. In shakB2, there are fewer profiles, approximately one quarter the number of appositions in distal and mid-lamina depths as in C-S, and their number does not differ significantly from those at the proximal depth in either the mutant or wild type. Thus mutant action is associated with a reduced number of appositions at distal and mid-lamina depths. We propose that R1-R6 gap junctions are partitioned into at least two strata, proximal and distal, and that two populations of gap junctions exist, one extending throughout the lamina that does not require shakB, and a second at distal and mid-depth levels, which does. The number of gap junctions is reduced in mutant shakB2, and surviving appositions at distal and middle lamina depths possibly have wider clefts than in C-S. Gap junctions are reduced equally between all R1-R6 terminals, so the two different types of junction proposed, shakB2- and non-shakB2-dependent, can apparently express in a single receptor terminal.

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

    PubMed

    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; Liang, Cheng-Guang

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. A Gap Junction Protein, Inx2, Modulates Calcium Flux to Specify Border Cell Fate during Drosophila oogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Ritabrata; Deshpande, Girish

    2017-01-01

    Intercellular communication mediated by gap junction (GJ) proteins is indispensable during embryogenesis, tissue regeneration and wound healing. Here we report functional analysis of a gap junction protein, Innexin 2 (Inx2), in cell type specification during Drosophila oogenesis. Our data reveal a novel involvement of Inx2 in the specification of Border Cells (BCs), a migratory cell type, whose identity is determined by the cell autonomous STAT activity. We show that Inx2 influences BC fate specification by modulating STAT activity via Domeless receptor endocytosis. Furthermore, detailed experimental analysis has uncovered that Inx2 also regulates a calcium flux that transmits across the follicle cells. We propose that Inx2 mediated calcium flux in the follicle cells stimulates endocytosis by altering Dynamin (Shibire) distribution which is in turn critical for careful calibration of STAT activation and, thus for BC specification. Together our data provide unprecedented molecular insights into how gap junction proteins can regulate cell-type specification. PMID:28114410

  14. Functional heterologous gap junctions in Fundulus ovarian follicles maintain meiotic arrest and permit hydration during oocyte maturation.

    PubMed

    Cerdá, J L; Petrino, T R; Wallace, R A

    1993-11-01

    The physiological significance of heterologous gap junctions between granulosa cells and the oocyte was investigated in late vitellogenic ovarian follicles of the teleost Fundulus heteroclitus. Lucifer Yellow injected into the oocyte readily passed to the overlying granulosa cells, demonstrating effective dye-coupling. Passage of the fluorescent dye, and hence intercellular communication, was inhibited both by the tumor-promoting phorbol ester phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and by 1-octanol, known uncouplers of gap junctions in a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate cell types. Octanol alone also initiated resumption of meiosis in follicle-enclosed oocytes, indicating that granulosa cells normally maintain meiotic arrest, as apparently occurs in mammalian and amphibian follicles. Both PMA and octanol also consistently inhibited the hydration process that normally accompanies meiotic maturation. These results support a previously suggested hypothesis that K+, which is the primary osmotic effector for oocyte hydration, is translocated via gap junction from granulosa cells to the maturing oocyte.

  15. Communication via gap junctions underlies early functional and beneficial interactions between grafted neural stem cells and the host.

    PubMed

    Jäderstad, Johan; Jäderstad, Linda M; Li, Jianxue; Chintawar, Satyan; Salto, Carmen; Pandolfo, Massimo; Ourednik, Vaclav; Teng, Yang D; Sidman, Richard L; Arenas, Ernest; Snyder, Evan Y; Herlenius, Eric

    2010-03-16

    How grafted neural stem cells (NSCs) and their progeny integrate into recipient brain tissue and functionally interact with host cells is as yet unanswered. We report that, in organotypic slice cultures analyzed by ratiometric time-lapse calcium imaging, current-clamp recordings, and dye-coupling methods, an early and essential way in which grafted murine or human NSCs integrate functionally into host neural circuitry and affect host cells is via gap-junctional coupling, even before electrophysiologically mature neuronal differentiation. The gap junctions, which are established rapidly, permit exogenous NSCs to influence directly host network activity, including synchronized calcium transients with host cells in fluctuating networks. The exogenous NSCs also protect host neurons from death and reduce such signs of secondary injury as reactive astrogliosis. To determine whether gap junctions between NSCs and host cells may also mediate neuroprotection in vivo, we examined NSC transplantation in two murine models characterized by degeneration of the same cell type (Purkinje neurons) from different etiologies, namely, the nervous and SCA1 mutants. In both, gap junctions (containing connexin 43) formed between NSCs and host cells at risk, and were associated with rescue of neurons and behavior (when implantation was performed before overt neuron loss). Both in vitro and in vivo beneficial NSC effects were abrogated when gap junction formation or function was suppressed by pharmacologic and/or RNA-inhibition strategies, supporting the pivotal mediation by gap-junctional coupling of some modulatory, homeostatic, and protective actions on host systems as well as establishing a template for the subsequent development of electrochemical synaptic intercellular communication.

  16. Communication via gap junctions underlies early functional and beneficial interactions between grafted neural stem cells and the host

    PubMed Central

    Jäderstad, Johan; Jäderstad, Linda M.; Li, Jianxue; Chintawar, Satyan; Salto, Carmen; Pandolfo, Massimo; Ourednik, Vaclav; Teng, Yang D.; Sidman, Richard L.; Arenas, Ernest; Snyder, Evan Y.; Herlenius, Eric

    2010-01-01

    How grafted neural stem cells (NSCs) and their progeny integrate into recipient brain tissue and functionally interact with host cells is as yet unanswered. We report that, in organotypic slice cultures analyzed by ratiometric time-lapse calcium imaging, current-clamp recordings, and dye-coupling methods, an early and essential way in which grafted murine or human NSCs integrate functionally into host neural circuitry and affect host cells is via gap-junctional coupling, even before electrophysiologically mature neuronal differentiation. The gap junctions, which are established rapidly, permit exogenous NSCs to influence directly host network activity, including synchronized calcium transients with host cells in fluctuating networks. The exogenous NSCs also protect host neurons from death and reduce such signs of secondary injury as reactive astrogliosis. To determine whether gap junctions between NSCs and host cells may also mediate neuroprotection in vivo, we examined NSC transplantation in two murine models characterized by degeneration of the same cell type (Purkinje neurons) from different etiologies, namely, the nervous and SCA1 mutants. In both, gap junctions (containing connexin 43) formed between NSCs and host cells at risk, and were associated with rescue of neurons and behavior (when implantation was performed before overt neuron loss). Both in vitro and in vivo beneficial NSC effects were abrogated when gap junction formation or function was suppressed by pharmacologic and/or RNA-inhibition strategies, supporting the pivotal mediation by gap-junctional coupling of some modulatory, homeostatic, and protective actions on host systems as well as establishing a template for the subsequent development of electrochemical synaptic intercellular communication. PMID:20147621

  17. Changing patterns of gap junctional intercellular communication and connexin distribution in mouse epidermis and hair follicles during embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Choudhry, R; Pitts, J D; Hodgins, M B

    1997-12-01

    In the mouse embryo between embryonic days 12 (E12) and 16, regular arrays of epidermal placodes on the mystacial pad develop into whisker follicles. This system was chosen for analysis of gap junctional intercellular communication during differentiation. The patterns of communication were studied by microinjection of the tracers Lucifer yellow-CH (LY-CH) and neurobiotin (NB), while immunofluorescent staining was used to study distribution of connexins 26 and 43. Extensive communication was seen between keratinocytes in developing hair pegs or, in later-stage hair follicles, in the germinative matrix. Coupling between adjacent hair pegs via interfollicular epidermis was not observed. Coupling also became restricted as follicular cells differentiated to form outer root sheath, inner root sheath, and hair shaft. Extensive gap junctional coupling is characteristic of keratinocytes that are rapidly proliferating (as in hair pegs and germinative matrix). Follicular keratinocytes commence differentiation shortly before restriction of gap junctional coupling becomes evident. Dermal mesenchymal cells undergoing different modes of differentiation also exhibit differences in gap junctional coupling, as evidenced by poor transfer of LY-CH between cells in dermal condensations of hair follicles compared with extensive transfer elsewhere in the dermis. LY-CH and NB were not transferred between epidermal or follicular epithelium and mesenchyme, arguing against a direct role for gap junctions permeable to known second messenger molecules or nucleotides in epithelial-mesenchymal interactions in this system. The distribution of connexins 26 and 43 in epidermis and hair follicles changed during differentiation but there was no correlation with changing patterns of dye transfer, indicating an unexpected degree of complexity in the relationship between gap junctional intercellular communication and connexin protein distribution during development.

  18. 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

  19. Mouse Hepatitis Virus Infection Remodels Connexin43-Mediated Gap Junction Intercellular Communication In Vitro and In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Basu, Rahul; Banerjee, Kaveri; Bose, Abhishek

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Gap junctions (GJs) form intercellular channels which directly connect the cytoplasm between neighboring cells to facilitate the transfer of ions and small molecules. GJs play a major role in the pathogenesis of infection-associated inflammation. Mutations of gap junction proteins, connexins (Cxs), cause dysmyelination and leukoencephalopathy. In multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and its animal model experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE), Cx43 was shown to be modulated in the central nervous system (CNS). The mechanism behind Cx43 alteration and its role in MS remains unexplored. Mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) infection-induced demyelination is one of the best-studied experimental animal models for MS. Our studies demonstrated that MHV infection downregulated Cx43 expression at protein and mRNA levels in vitro in primary astrocytes obtained from neonatal mouse brains. After infection, a significant amount of Cx43 was retained in endoplasmic reticulum/endoplasmic reticulum Golgi intermediate complex (ER/ERGIC) and GJ plaque formation was impaired at the cell surface, as evidenced by a reduction of the Triton X-100 insoluble fraction of Cx43. Altered trafficking and impairment of GJ plaque formation may cause the loss of functional channel formation in MHV-infected primary astrocytes, as demonstrated by a reduced number of dye-coupled cells after a scrape-loading Lucifer yellow dye transfer assay. Upon MHV infection, a significant downregulation of Cx43 was observed in the virus-infected mouse brain. This study demonstrates that astrocytic Cx43 expression and function can be modulated due to virus stress and can be an appropriate model to understand the basis of cellular mechanisms involved in the alteration of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) in CNS neuroinflammation. IMPORTANCE We found that MHV infection leads to the downregulation of Cx43 in vivo in the CNS. In addition, results show that MHV infection impairs Cx43 expression in addition

  20. Expression of functional gap junctions and regulation by fluid flow in osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells.

    PubMed

    Cheng, B; Zhao, S; Luo, J; Sprague, E; Bonewald, L F; Jiang, J X

    2001-02-01

    Osteocytes are thought to be mechanosensory cells that respond to mechanical stress by sending signals to other bone cells to initiate bone remodeling. An osteocyte-like cell line MLO-Y4 provides a model system to examine whether gap junctions participate in the regulation of osteocyte function and signaling by mechanical stress. In this study, we show that MLO-Y4 cells are coupled and that gap junction channels mediate this coupling. Biochemical analyses show that connexin 43 (Cx43) is a major gap junction protein expressed in MLO-Y4 cells and approximately 5% of Cx43 protein is phosphorylated. MLO-Y4 cells were exposed to mechanical stress using a parallel plate flow chamber to model bone fluid flow shear stress. Fluid flow increased significantly the length of the dendritic processes, a morphological characteristic of osteocytes. A redistribution of the gap junction protein, Cx43 also was observed from a location circling the nucleus to punctate spots in the cytoplasm and in the dendritic processes. "Scrape-loading" dye transfer analyses showed that fluid flow increased intercellular coupling and increased the number of cells coupled immediately after fluid flow treatment, in direct proportion to shear stress magnitude. Although intercellular coupling continued to increase, stimulation of Cx43 protein expression during the poststress period was found to be biphasic. Cx43 protein was elevated 30 minutes after application of stress but decreased at 24 h poststress. Pulsating fluid flow had a similar stimulatory effect as steady fluid flow on gap junctions. However, this stimulatory effect in osteocyte-like cells was not observed in osteoblast-like 2T3 cells. Together, these results show that fluid flow has stimulatory effects on osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells with early effects on cellular morphology, opening of gap junctions, and redistribution of Cx43 protein and delayed effects on Cx43 protein expression. The high expression of Cx43 and its location in the

  1. Effects of mechanical strain on the function of Gap junctions in osteocytes are mediated through the prostaglandin EP2 receptor.

    PubMed

    Cherian, Priscilla P; Cheng, Benxu; Gu, Sumin; Sprague, Eugene; Bonewald, Lynda F; Jiang, Jean X

    2003-10-31

    Osteocytes embedded in the matrix of bone are thought to be mechanosensory cells that translate mechanical strain into biochemical signals that regulate bone modeling and remodeling. We have shown previously that fluid flow shear stress dramatically induces prostaglandin release and COX-2 mRNA expression in osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells, and that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) released by these cells functions in an autocrine manner to regulate gap junction function and connexin 43 (Cx43) expression. Here we show that fluid flow regulates gap junctions through the PGE2 receptor EP2 activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) signaling. The expression of the EP2 receptor, but not the subtypes EP1,EP3, and EP4, increased in response to fluid flow. Application of PGE2 or conditioned medium from fluid flow-treated cells to non-stressed MLO-Y4 cells increased expression of the EP2 receptor. The EP2 receptor antagonist, AH6809, suppressed the stimulatory effects of PGE2 and fluid flow-conditioned medium on the expression of the EP2 receptor, on Cx43 protein expression, and on gap junction-mediated intercellular coupling. In contrast, the EP2 receptor agonist butaprost, not the E1/E3 receptor agonist sulprostone, stimulated the expression of Cx43 and gap junction function. Fluid flow conditioned medium and PGE2 stimulated cAMP production and PKA activity suggesting that PGE2 released by mechanically stimulated cells is responsible for the activation of cAMP and PKA. The adenylate cyclase activators, forskolin and 8-bromo-cAMP, enhanced intercellular connectivity, the number of functional gap junctions, and Cx43 protein expression, whereas the PKA inhibitor, H89, inhibited the stimulatory effect of PGE2 on gap junctions. These studies suggest that the EP2 receptor mediates the effects of autocrine PGE2 on the osteocyte gap junction in response to fluid flow-induced shear stress. These data support the hypothesis that the EP2 receptor, cAMP, and PKA are critical components

  2. ATP counteracts the rundown of gap junctional channels of rat ventricular myocytes by promoting protein phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Verrecchia, F; Duthe, F; Duval, S; Duchatelle, I; Sarrouilhe, D; Herve, J C

    1999-04-15

    1. The degree of cell-to-cell coupling between ventricular myocytes of neonatal rats appeared well preserved when studied in the perforated version of the patch clamp technique or, in double whole-cell conditions, when ATP was present in the patch pipette solution. In contrast, when ATP was omitted, the amplitude of junctional current rapidly declined (rundown). 2. To examine the mechanism(s) of ATP action, an 'internal perfusion technique' was adapted to dual patch clamp conditions, and reintroduction of ATP partially reversed the rundown of junctional channels. 3. Cell-to-cell communication was not preserved by a non-hydrolysable ATP analogue (5'-adenylimidodiphosphate, AMP-PNP), indicating that the effect most probably did not involve direct interaction of ATP with the channel-forming proteins. 4. An ATP analogue supporting protein phosphorylation but not active transport processes (adenosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate), ATPgammaS) maintained normal intercellular communication, suggesting that the effect was due to kinase activity rather than to altered intracellular Ca2+. 5. A broad spectrum inhibitor of endogenous serine/threonine protein kinases (H7) reversibly reduced the intercellular coupling. A non-specific exogenous protein phosphatase (alkaline phosphatase) mimicked the effects of ATP deprivation. The non-specific inhibition of endogenous protein phosphatases resulted in the preservation of substantial cell-to-cell communication in ATP-free conditions. 6. The activity of gap junctional channels appears to require both the presence of ATP and protein kinase activity to counteract the tonic activity of endogenous phosphatase(s).

  3. Regulation of interneuron excitability by gap junction coupling with principal cells.

    PubMed

    Apostolides, Pierre F; Trussell, Laurence O

    2013-12-01

    Electrical coupling of inhibitory interneurons can synchronize activity across multiple neurons, thereby enhancing the reliability of inhibition onto principal cell targets. It is unclear whether downstream activity in principal cells controls the excitability of such inhibitory networks. Using paired patch-clamp recordings, we show that excitatory projection neurons (fusiform cells) and inhibitory stellate interneurons of the dorsal cochlear nucleus form an electrically coupled network through gap junctions containing connexin36 (Cxc36, also called Gjd2). Remarkably, stellate cells were more strongly coupled to fusiform cells than to other stellate cells. This heterologous coupling was functionally asymmetric, biasing electrical transmission from the principal cell to the interneuron. Optogenetically activated populations of fusiform cells reliably enhanced interneuron excitability and generated GABAergic inhibition onto the postsynaptic targets of stellate cells, whereas deep afterhyperpolarizations following fusiform cell spike trains potently inhibited stellate cells over several hundred milliseconds. Thus, the excitability of an interneuron network is bidirectionally controlled by distinct epochs of activity in principal cells.

  4. Neuroprotective Role of Gap Junctions in a Neuron Astrocyte Network Model.

    PubMed

    Huguet, Gemma; Joglekar, Anoushka; Messi, Leopold Matamba; Buckalew, Richard; Wong, Sarah; Terman, David

    2016-07-26

    A detailed biophysical model for a neuron/astrocyte network is developed to explore mechanisms responsible for the initiation and propagation of cortical spreading depolarizations and the role of astrocytes in maintaining ion homeostasis, thereby preventing these pathological waves. Simulations of the model illustrate how properties of spreading depolarizations, such as wave speed and duration of depolarization, depend on several factors, including the neuron and astrocyte Na(+)-K(+) ATPase pump strengths. In particular, we consider the neuroprotective role of astrocyte gap junction coupling. The model demonstrates that a syncytium of electrically coupled astrocytes can maintain a physiological membrane potential in the presence of an elevated extracellular K(+) concentration and efficiently distribute the excess K(+) across the syncytium. This provides an effective neuroprotective mechanism for delaying or preventing the initiation of spreading depolarizations.

  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. Gap junctions are involved in cell migration in the early postnatal subventricular zone.

    PubMed

    Marins, Mônica; Xavier, Anna L R; Viana, Nathan B; Fortes, Fábio S A; Fróes, Maira M; Menezes, João R L

    2009-09-15

    The massive migration of neuroblasts and young neurons through the anterior extension of the postnatal subventricular zone (SVZ), known as the rostral migratory stream (RMS) is still poorly understood on its molecular basis. In this work, we investigated the involvement of gap junctional communication (GJC) in the robust centrifugal migration from SVZ/RMS explants obtained from early postnatal (P4) rats. Cells were dye-coupled in homocellular and heterocellular pairings and expressed at least two connexins, Cx 43 and 45. Treatment with the uncoupler agent carbenoxolone (CBX, 10-100 microM) reversibly reduced outgrowth from SVZ explants, while its inactive analog, glycyrhizinic acid (GZA), had no effect. Consistent with a direct effect on cell migration, time-lapse video microscopy show that different pharmacological uncouplers cause an abrupt and reversible arrest of cell movement in explants. Our results indicate that GJC is positively involved in the migration of neuroblasts within the SVZ/RMS.

  7. Gap junction proteins: master regulators of the planarian stem cell response to tissue maintenance and injury.

    PubMed

    Peiris, T Harshani; Oviedo, Néstor J

    2013-01-01

    Gap junction (GJ) proteins are crucial mediators of cell-cell communication during embryogenesis, tissue regeneration and disease. GJ proteins form plasma membrane channels that facilitate passage of small molecules across cells and modulate signaling pathways and cellular behavior in different tissues. These properties have been conserved throughout evolution, and in most invertebrates GJ proteins are known as innexins. Despite their critical relevance for physiology and disease, the mechanisms by which GJ proteins modulate cell behavior are poorly understood. This review summarizes findings from recent work that uses planarian flatworms as a paradigm to analyze GJ proteins in the complexity of the whole organism. The planarian model allows access to a large pool of adult somatic stem cells (known as neoblasts) that support physiological cell turnover and tissue regeneration. Innexin proteins are present in planarians and play a fundamental role in controlling neoblast behavior. We discuss the possibility that GJ proteins participate as cellular sensors that inform neoblasts about local and systemic physiological demands. We believe that functional analyses of GJ proteins will bring a complementary perspective to studies that focus on the temporal expression of genes. Finally, integrating functional studies along with molecular genetics and epigenetic approaches would expand our understanding of cellular regulation in vivo and greatly enhance the possibilities for rationally modulating stem cell behavior in their natural environment. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The communicating junctions, roles and dysfunctions.

  8. Molecular determinants of membrane potential dependence in vertebrate gap junction channels.

    PubMed

    Revilla, A; Bennett, M V; Barrio, L C

    2000-12-19

    The conductance, g(j), of many gap junctions depends on voltage between the coupled cells (transjunctional voltage, V(j)) with little effect of the absolute membrane potential (V(m)) in the two cells; others show combined V(j) and V(m) dependence. We examined the molecular determinants of V(m) dependence by using rat connexin 43 expressed in paired Xenopus oocytes. These junctions have, in addition to V(j) dependence, V(m) dependence such that equal depolarization of both cells decreases g(j). The dependence of g(j) on V(m) was abolished by truncation of the C-terminal domain (CT) at residue 242 but not at 257. There are two charged residues between 242 and 257. In full-length Cx43, mutations neutralizing either one of these charges, Arg243Gln and Asp245Gln, decreased and increased V(m) dependence, respectively, suggesting that these residues are part of the V(m) sensor. Mutating both residues together abolished V(m) dependence, although there is no net change in charge. The neutralizing mutations, together or separately, had no effect on V(j) dependence. Thus, the voltage sensors must differ. However, V(j) gating was somewhat modulated by V(m), and V(m) gating was reduced when the V(j) gate was closed. These data suggest that the two forms of voltage dependence are mediated by separate but interacting domains.

  9. Reverberation of excitation in neuronal networks interconnected through voltage-gated gap junction channels

    PubMed Central

    Maciunas, Kestutis; Snipas, Mindaugas; Paulauskas, Nerijus

    2016-01-01

    We combined Hodgkin–Huxley equations and gating models of gap junction (GJ) channels to simulate the spread of excitation in two-dimensional networks composed of neurons interconnected by voltage-gated GJs. Each GJ channel contains two fast and slow gates, each exhibiting current–voltage (I-V) rectification and gating properties that depend on transjunctional voltage (Vj). The data obtained show how junctional conductance (gj), which is necessary for synchronization of the neuronal network, depends on its size and the intrinsic firing rate of neurons. A phase shift between action potentials (APs) of neighboring neurons creates bipolar, short-lasting Vj spikes of approximately ±100 mV that induce Vj gating, leading to a small decay of gj, which can accumulate into larger decays during bursting activity of neurons. We show that I-V rectification of GJs in local regions of the two-dimensional network of neurons can lead to unidirectional AP transfer and consequently to reverberation of excitation. This reverberation can be initiated by a single electrical pulse and terminated by a low-amplitude pulse applied in a specific window of reverberation cycle. Thus, the model accounts for the influence of dynamically modulatable electrical synapses in shaping the function of a neuronal network and the formation of reverberation, which, as proposed earlier, may be important for the development of short-term memory and its consolidation into long-term memory. PMID:26880752

  10. RacGAP1-driven focal adhesion formation promotes melanoma transendothelial migration through mediating adherens junction disassembly.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Pu; Bai, Huiyuan; Fu, Changliang; Chen, Feng; Zeng, Panying; Wu, Chengxiang; Ye, Qichao; Dong, Cheng; Song, Yang; Song, Erqun

    2015-03-27

    Melanoma cell migration across vascular endothelial cells is an essential step of tumor metastasis. Here, we provide evidence that RacGAP1, a cytokinesis-related Rho GTPase-activating protein, contributed to this process. Depletion of RacGAP1 with RacGAP1-targeting siRNA or overexpression of RacGAP1 mutant (T249A) attenuated melanoma cell transendothelial migration and concomitant changes of adherens junctions. In addition, RacGAP1 promoted the activations of RhoA, FAK, paxillin and triggered focal adhesion formation and cytoskeletal rearrangement. By overexpressing FAK-related non-kinase (FRNK) in endothelium, we showed that RacGAP1 mediated endothelial barrier function loss and melanoma transmigration in a focal adhesion-dependent manner. These results suggest that endothelial RacGAP1 may play critical roles in pathogenic processes of cancer by regulating endothelial permeability.

  11. Dysfunction of mitochondria and deformed gap junctions in the heart of IL-18-deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Li, Wen; Jin, Denan; Hata, Masaki; Takai, Shinji; Yamanishi, Kyosuke; Shen, Weili; El-Darawish, Yosif; Yamanishi, Hiromichi; Okamura, Haruki

    2016-08-01

    Interleukin-18 (IL-18) was discovered as an interferon-γ-inducing factor and has been regarded as a proinflammatory cytokine. However, IL-18 is ubiquitously expressed both in immune/inflammatory cells and in nonimmune cells, and its biological roles have not been sufficiently elucidated. Here, we demonstrate that IL-18-deficient [IL-18 knockout (KO)] mice have heart abnormalities that may be related to impaired autophagy. In endurance running tests, IL-18KO mice ran significantly shorter distances compared with wild-type (WT) mice. Echocardiographs indicated disability in the systolic and diastolic functions of the IL-18KO mouse heart. Immunostaining of connexin 43 showed heterogeneous localization of gap junctions in the lateral membranes of the IL-18KO cardiac myocytes. Western blotting analysis revealed decreased phosphorylated connexin 43 in the IL-18KO heart. Electron microscopy revealed unusual localization of intercalated disks, swollen or damaged mitochondria, and broad, indistinct Z-lines in the IL-18KO heart. In accordance with the morphological observation, mitochondrial respiratory function, including that of complexes I and IV, was impaired, and production of reactive oxygen species was augmented in IL-18KO hearts. Notably, levels of LC3-II were markedly lower in the IL-18KO hearts than in WT hearts. In the culture of cardiac myocytes of IL-18KO neonates, exogenous IL-18 upregulated LC3-II and increased the number of intact mitochondria with high mitochondrial membrane potential. These results indicated that IL-18 has roles apart from those as a proinflammatory cytokine in cardiac myocytes and suggested that IL-18 contributes to the homeostatic maintenance of mitochondrial function and gap-junction turnover in cardiac myocytes, possibly by upregulating autophagy.

  12. Expression of major gap junction connexin types in the working myocardium of eight chordates.

    PubMed

    Becker, D L; Cook, J E; Davies, C S; Evans, W H; Gourdie, R G

    1998-01-01

    The alpha1 connexin (connexin43) is regarded as the major gap junction protein of the myocardium because it predominates there in mammals. Here, we show that it is not the major connexin of the working myocardium in non-mammalian vertebrates, which instead express beta1-like connexins homologous to mammalian connexin32. A phylogenetic series of hearts was immunostained with seven antibodies raised against peptide sequences specific for three distinct members of the gap junction connexin family: alpha1, beta1 and alpha5 (mammalian connexin40/avian connexin42). Working myocardium from two ascidian chordates (Ciona and Mogula), a teleost (Carassius), a frog (Xenopus) and two reptiles (Anolis and Alligator) was found to express a beta1-like connexin, rather than an alpha1-like connexin. An alpha1-like connexin was nevertheless often detected in other cardiac tissues. In the chicken (by ancestry a reptile), the developing myocardium expressed a beta1-like connexin strongly on embryonic day 6 but less strongly at hatching, and minimally in the adult. Myocardial expression of alpha5 connexin increased during development, but remained strongest in the coronary vascular endothelial and cardiac conduction tissues. The arteriolar smooth muscle of the chicken expressed alpha1 connexin throughout development, but its myocardium did not. In contrast, the working myocardium of a marsupial mammal (the opossum Trichosurus) strongly expressed an alpha1 connexin just like placental mammals. These results imply that a shift from beta1 to alpha1 connexin expression in the heart occurred prior to the evolution of the opossums. The beta and alpha connexin subfamilies have different permeabilities and gating properties, and we discuss factors that might have made this shift beneficial.

  13. Connexin35/36 gap junction proteins are expressed in photoreceptors of the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jian; Wu, Samuel M

    2004-02-23

    Photoreceptors in the vertebrate retina are electrically coupled with one another. Such coupling plays important roles in visual information processing. Physiological properties of rod-rod and rod-cone coupling have been best studied in the salamander retina, yet the cellular and molecular basis of these electrical synapses has not been established. Recently, connexin35/36 (Cx35/36) gap junction proteins were found to be highly expressed in brain and retina, suggesting that it may mediate photoreceptor coupling. To test this idea, we examined the cellular distribution of Cx35/36 in the salamander retina. Western blot analysis showed the expression of Cx35/36 proteins, and confocal microscopy revealed characteristic punctate Cx35/36 immunoreactivity in both synaptic layers. In addition, Cx35/36-positive plaques were detected in the outer nuclear layer (ONL) between neighboring rods, and these plaques outlined the mosaic of the rod network at a level distal to the external limiting membrane. Moreover, although Cx35/36 plaques were detected between some cones and their adjacent rods, the number and size of these plaques was smaller, and their staining intensity was diminished compared with the plaques between adjacent rods. Furthermore, Lucifer yellow injection together with confocal microscopy revealed that Cx35/36-puncta were colocalized with finlike structures of rod cell membrane, with the ultrastructure of gap junctions between paired rod fins having been found by electron microscopy. Therefore, our findings demonstrate that Cx35/36 expression in photoreceptors is primarily located between rods and to a lesser extent between rods and cones, suggesting that Cx35/36 may participate in electrical coupling between rods and between rods and cones in the salamander retina.

  14. ASC Induces Apoptosis via Activation of Caspase-9 by Enhancing Gap Junction-Mediated Intercellular Communication.

    PubMed

    Kitazawa, Masato; Hida, Shigeaki; Fujii, Chifumi; Taniguchi, Shun'ichiro; Ito, Kensuke; Matsumura, Tomio; Okada, Nagisa; Sakaizawa, Takashi; Kobayashi, Akira; Takeoka, Michiko; Miyagawa, Shin-Ichi

    2017-01-01

    ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD) is a key adaptor molecule of inflammasomes that mediates inflammatory and apoptotic signals. Aberrant methylation-induced silencing of ASC has been observed in a variety of cancer cells, thus implicating ASC in tumor suppression, although this role remains incompletely defined especially in the context of closely neighboring cell proliferation. As ASC has been confirmed to be silenced by abnormal methylation in HT1080 fibrosarcoma cells as well, this cell line was investigated to characterize the precise role and mechanism of ASC in tumor progression. The effects of ASC were examined using in vitro cell cultures based on comparisons between low and high cell density conditions as well as in a xenograft murine model. ASC overexpression was established by insertion of the ASC gene into pcDNA3 and pMX-IRES-GFP vectors, the latter being packed into a retrovirus and subjected to reproducible competitive assays using parental cells as an internal control, for evaluation of cell viability. p21 and p53 were silenced using shRNA. Cell viability was suppressed in ASC-expressing transfectants as compared with control cells at high cell density conditions in in vitro culture and colony formation assays and in in vivo ectopic tumor formation trials. This suppression was not detected in low cell density conditions. Furthermore, remarkable progression of apoptosis was observed in ASC-introduced cells at a high cell density, but not at a low one. ASC-dependent apoptosis was mediated not by p21, p53, or caspase-1, but rather by cleavage of caspase-9 as well as by suppression of the NF-κB-related X-linked inhibitor-of-apoptosis protein. Caspase-9 cleavage was observed to be dependent on gap junction formation. The remarkable effect of ASC on the induction of apoptosis through caspase-9 and gap junctions revealed in this study may lead to promising new approaches in anticancer therapy.

  15. 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.

  16. Predicting synchronous and asynchronous network groupings of hippocampal interneurons coupled with dendritic gap junctions.

    PubMed

    Zahid, Tariq; Skinner, Frances K

    2009-03-25

    Direct electrical communication between central nervous system (CNS) neurons including those in the hippocampus is well-established. This form of communication is mediated by gap junctions and it is known that this coupling is important for brain rhythms such as gamma (20-80 Hz) which occur during active behavioural states. It is also known that gap junctions are present at several locations along the dendrites of hippocampal interneurons including parvalbumin-positive basket cell types. Weakly coupled oscillator theory, which uses phase response curves (PRCs), has been used to understand and predict the dynamics of electrically coupled networks. Here we use compartmental models of hippocampal basket cells with different levels of basal and apical spike attenuation together with the theory to show that network output can be broken down into three groupings: synchronous, asynchronous and antiphase-like patterns. Moreover, quantified PRCs can be used as a rule of thumb to determine the occurrence of a particular grouping under weak coupling conditions, which in turn implies that spike delays are critical factors in determining network output. In moving beyond weak coupling to encompass the full physiological regime of coupling strengths with network simulations, we note that it is important to be able to differentiate between these different groupings as it affects how the network responds with modulation. Specifically, an asynchronous grouping provides more dynamic richness as a larger range of phase-locked states can be expressed with strength changes. From a functional viewpoint it may be that modulation of electrically coupled networks are key to controlling cell assemblies that contribute to information coding brain substrates.

  17. Intercellular signaling via cyclic GMP diffusion through gap junctions restarts meiosis in mouse ovarian follicles.

    PubMed

    Shuhaibar, Leia C; Egbert, Jeremy R; Norris, Rachael P; Lampe, Paul D; Nikolaev, Viacheslav O; Thunemann, Martin; Wen, Lai; Feil, Robert; Jaffe, Laurinda A

    2015-04-28

    Meiosis in mammalian oocytes is paused until luteinizing hormone (LH) activates receptors in the mural granulosa cells of the ovarian follicle. Prior work has established the central role of cyclic GMP (cGMP) from the granulosa cells in maintaining meiotic arrest, but it is not clear how binding of LH to receptors that are located up to 10 cell layers away from the oocyte lowers oocyte cGMP and restarts meiosis. Here, by visualizing intercellular trafficking of cGMP in real-time in live follicles from mice expressing a FRET sensor, we show that diffusion of cGMP through gap junctions is responsible not only for maintaining meiotic arrest, but also for rapid transmission of the signal that reinitiates meiosis from the follicle surface to the oocyte. Before LH exposure, the cGMP concentration throughout the follicle is at a uniformly high level of ∼2-4 μM. Then, within 1 min of LH application, cGMP begins to decrease in the peripheral granulosa cells. As a consequence, cGMP from the oocyte diffuses into the sink provided by the large granulosa cell volume, such that by 20 min the cGMP concentration in the follicle is uniformly low, ∼100 nM. The decrease in cGMP in the oocyte relieves the inhibition of the meiotic cell cycle. This direct demonstration that a physiological signal initiated by a stimulus in one region of an intact tissue can travel across many layers of cells via cyclic nucleotide diffusion through gap junctions could provide a general mechanism for diverse cellular processes.

  18. Maternal Treatment with Glucocorticoids Modulates Gap Junction Protein Expression in the Ovine Fetal Brain

    PubMed Central

    Sadowska, Grazyna B.; Stonestreet, Barbara S.

    2014-01-01

    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 expression in fetal cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and spinal cord, and differences in connexin 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 12 h over 48 h. In the multiple course groups, the ewes received the same treatment, once a week for five weeks starting at 76–78 days of gestation. Connexins were measured by Western immunoblot on brain samples from 105–108 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 cerebellum than cerebral cortex and spinal cord, Cx-36 higher in spinal cord than cerebellum, and Cx-43 higher in cerebellum and spinal cord than cerebral cortex during basal conditions. In conclusion, maternal glucocorticoid therapy increases specific connexins, responses to different maternal courses vary among connexins and brain regions, and connexin expression differs among brain regions under basal conditions. Maternal treatment with glucocorticoids differentially modulates connexins in the fetal brain. PMID:24929069

  19. Protein Kinase A Mediates Regulation of Gap Junctions Containing Connexin35 Through a Complex Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Ouyang, Xiaosen; Winbow, Virginia M.; Patel, Leena S.; Burr, Gary S.; Mitchell, Cheryl K.; O’Brien, John

    2008-01-01

    Connexin 35 (Cx35) is a major component of electrical synapses in the central nervous system. Many gap junctions containing Cx35 are regulated by dopamine receptor pathways that involve protein kinase A (PKA). To study the mechanism of PKA regulation, we analyzed direct phosphorylation of Cx35 by PKA in vitro, and studied the regulation of Neurobiotin tracer coupling in HeLa cells expressing Cx35 or Cx35 mutants that lack phosphorylation sites. In Cx35-transfected cells, application of the PKA activator Sp-8-cpt-cAMPS caused a significant decline in coupling, while a PKA inhibitor, Rp-8-cpt-cAMPS, significantly increased tracer coupling. In vitro phosphorylation and mutagenic analysis showed that PKA phosphorylates Cx35 directly at two major sites, Ser110 in the intracellular loop and Ser276 in the carboxyl terminus. In addition, a minor phosphorylation site in the C-terminus was identified by truncation of the last 7 amino acids at Ser298. The mutations Ser110Ala or Ser276Ala significantly reduced regulation of coupling by the PKA activator, while a combination of the two eliminated regulation. Truncation at Ser298 reversed the regulation such that the PKA activator significantly increased and the PKA inhibitor significantly decreased coupling. The activation was eliminated in the S110A,S276A,S298ter triple mutant. We conclude that PKA regulates Cx35 coupling in a complex manner that requires both major phosphorylation sites. Furthermore, the tip of the C-terminus acts as a “switch” that determines whether phosphorylation will inhibit or enhance coupling. Reliance on the combined states of three sites provides fine control over the degree of coupling through Cx35 gap junctions. PMID:15857663

  20. Regulation of gap junction conductance by calcineurin through Cx43 phosphorylation: implications for action potential conduction.

    PubMed

    Jabr, Rita I; Hatch, Fiona S; Salvage, Samantha C; Orlowski, Alejandro; Lampe, Paul D; Fry, Christopher H

    2016-11-01

    Cardiac arrhythmias are associated with raised intracellular [Ca(2+)] and slowed action potential conduction caused by reduced gap junction (GJ) electrical conductance (Gj). Ventricular GJs are composed of connexin proteins (Cx43), with Gj determined by Cx43 phosphorylation status. Connexin phosphorylation is an interplay between protein kinases and phosphatases but the precise pathways are unknown. We aimed to identify key Ca(2+)-dependent phosphorylation sites on Cx43 that regulate cardiac gap junction conductance and action potential conduction velocity. We investigated the role of the Ca(2+)-dependent phosphatase, calcineurin. Intracellular [Ca(2+)] was raised in guinea-pig myocardium by a low-Na solution or increased stimulation. Conduction velocity and Gj were measured in multicellular strips. Phosphorylation of Cx43 serine residues (S365 and S368) and of the intermediary regulator I1 at threonine35 was measured by Western blot. Measurements were made in the presence and absence of inhibitors to calcineurin, I1 or protein phosphatase-1 and phosphatase-2.Raised [Ca(2)(+)]i decreased Gj, reduced Cx43 phosphorylation at S365 and increased it at S368; these changes were reversed by calcineurin inhibitors. Cx43-S368 phosphorylation was reversed by the protein kinase C inhibitor chelerythrine. Raised [Ca(2+)]i also decreased I1 phosphorylation, also prevented by calcineurin inhibitors, to increase activity of the Ca(2+)-independent phosphatase, PPI. The PP1 inhibitor, tautomycin, prevented Cx43-365 dephosphorylation, Cx43-S368 phosphorylation and Gj reduction in raised [Ca(2+)]i. PP2A had no role. Conduction velocity was reduced by raised [Ca(2+)]i and reversed by calcineurin inhibitors. Reduced action potential conduction and Gj in raised [Ca(2+)] are regulated by calcineurin-dependent Cx43-S365 phosphorylation, leading to Cx43-S368 dephosphorylation. The calcineurin action is indirect, via I1 dephosphorylation and subsequent activation of PP1.

  1. 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

  2. Dephosphorylation agents depress gap junctional communication between rat cardiac cells without modifying the Connexin43 phosphorylation degree.

    PubMed

    Duthe, F; Dupont, E; Verrecchia, F; Plaisance, I; Severs, N J; Sarrouilhe, D; Hervé, J C

    2000-12-01

    The functional state of gap junctional channels and the phosphorylation status of Connexine43 (Cx43), the major gap junctional protein in rat heart, were evaluated in primary cultures of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes. H7, able to inhibit a range of serine/threonine protein kinases, progressively reduced gap junctional conductance to approximately 13% of its initial value within 10 min except when protein phosphatase inhibitors were also present. The dephosphorylating agent 2,3-Butanedione monoxime (BDM) produced both a quick and reversible interruption of cell-to-cell communication as well as a parallel slow inhibition of junctional currents. The introduction of a non-hydrolysable ATP analogue (ATPgammaS) in the cytosol delayed the second component, suggesting that it was the consequence of protein dephosphorylation. Western blot analysis reveals 2 forms of Cx43 with different electrophoretic mobilities which correspond to its known phosphorylated and dephosphorylated forms. After exposure of the cells to H7 (1 mmol/l, 1h) or BDM (15 mmol/l, 15 min), no modification in the level of Cx43 phosphorylation was observed. The lack of direct correlation between the inhibition of cell-to-cell communication and changes in the phosphorylation status of Cx43 suggest that the functional state of junctional channels might rather be determined by regulatory proteins associated to Cx43.

  3. Sensitivity of gap junctional conductance to H ions in amphibian embryonic cells is independent of voltage sensitivity.

    PubMed Central

    Spray, D C; Campos de Carvalho, A; Bennett, M V

    1986-01-01

    In vertebrate embryos gap junctional conductance (gj) is reduced by transjunctional voltage (Vj) and by cytoplasmic acidification; in each case sensitivity is comparable to those of other channels gated by voltage and ligand-receptor binding. We show here that the mechanisms by which Vj and intracellular pH (pHi) gate gj are apparently independent. Partial reduction of gj by lowering pHi neither attenuates nor enhances further reduction by Vj. Certain drugs irreversibly (glutaraldehyde, 1-ethoxycarbonyl-2-ethoxy-1,2-dihydroquinoline) or reversibly (retinoic acid) abolish dependence of gj on pHi without appreciably affecting kinetic properties of voltage dependence or the shape of the steady-state Vj-gj relation. These findings suggest that the mechanisms by which pHi and Vj act on the gap junction are at least partially distinct and presumably involve separate regions of the junctional macromolecules. PMID:3085092

  4. First-principles spin-transfer torque in CuMnAs |GaP |CuMnAs junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamenova, Maria; Mohebbi, Razie; Seyed-Yazdi, Jamileh; Rungger, Ivan; Sanvito, Stefano

    2017-02-01

    We demonstrate that an all-antiferromagnetic tunnel junction with current perpendicular to the plane geometry can be used as an efficient spintronic device with potential high-frequency operation. By using state-of-the-art density functional theory combined with quantum transport, we show that the Néel vector of the electrodes can be manipulated by spin-transfer torque. This is staggered over the two different magnetic sublattices and can generate dynamics and switching. At the same time the different magnetization states of the junction can be read by standard tunneling magnetoresistance. Calculations are performed for CuMnAs |GaP |CuMnAs junctions with different surface terminations between the antiferromagnetic CuMnAs electrodes and the insulating GaP spacer. We find that the torque remains staggered regardless of the termination, while the magnetoresistance depends on the microscopic details of the interface.

  5. 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.

  6. Follicle-Stimulating Hormone Increases Gap Junctional Communication Between Somatic and Germ-Line Follicular Compartments During Murine Oogenesis.

    PubMed

    El-Hayek, Stephany; Clarke, Hugh J

    2015-08-01

    Germ cells develop in intimate contact and communication with somatic cells of the gonad. In female mammals, oocyte development depends crucially on gap junctions that couple it to the surrounding somatic granulosa cells of the follicle, yet the mechanisms that regulate this essential intercellular communication remain incompletely understood. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) drives the terminal stage of follicular development. We found that FSH increases the steady-state levels of mRNAs encoding the principal connexins that constitute gap junctions and cadherins that mediate cell attachment. This increase occurs both in granulosa cells, which express the FSH-receptor, and in oocytes, which do not. FSH also increased the number of transzonal projections that provide the sites of granulosa cell-oocyte contact. Consistent with increased connexin expression, FSH increased gap junctional communication between granulosa cells and between the oocyte and granulosa cells, and it accelerated oocyte development. These results demonstrate that FSH regulates communication between the female germ cell and its somatic microenvironment. We propose that FSH-regulated gap junctional communication ensures that differentiation processes occurring in distinct cellular compartments within the follicle are precisely coordinated to ensure production of a fertilizable egg.

  7. 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

  8. Gap junctional communication between vascular cells. Induction of connexin43 messenger RNA in macrophage foam cells of atherosclerotic lesions.

    PubMed Central

    Polacek, D.; Lal, R.; Volin, M. V.; Davies, P. F.

    1993-01-01

    The structure and function of blood vessels depend on the ability of vascular cells to receive and transduce signals and to communicate with each other. One means by which vascular cells have been shown to communicate is via gap junctions, specifically connexin43. In atherosclerosis, the normal physical patterns of communication are disrupted by the subendothelial infiltration and accumulation of blood monocytes, which in turn can differentiate into resident foam cells. In this paper we report that neither freshly isolated human peripheral blood monocytes nor differentiated monocytes/macrophages exhibit functional gap junctional dye transfer in homo-cellular culture or in co-culture with endothelial cells or smooth muscle cells. By Northern analysis, neither freshly isolated blood monocytes nor pure cultures of differentiated monocyte/macrophages expressed gap junction messenger RNA. However, immunohistochemical staining followed by in situ hybridization on sections of human atherosclerotic carotid arteries revealed strong expression of gap junction connexin43 messenger RNA by macrophage foam cells. These results suggest that tissue-specific conditions present in atherosclerotic arteries induce expression of connexin43 messenger RNA in monocyte/macrophages. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 PMID:8382009

  9. Modulation of Brain Hemichannels and Gap Junction Channels by Pro-Inflammatory Agents and Their Possible Role in Neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Sáez, Pablo J.; Shoji, Kenji F.; Schalper, Kurt A.; Palacios–Prado, Nicolás; Velarde, Victoria; Giaume, Christian; Bennett, Michael V.L.; Sáez, Juan C.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract In normal brain, neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes, the most abundant and active cells express pannexins and connexins, protein subunits of two families forming membrane channels. Most available evidence indicates that in mammals endogenously expressed pannexins form only hemichannels and connexins form both gap junction channels and hemichannels. Whereas gap junction channels connect the cytoplasm of contacting cells and coordinate electric and metabolic activity, hemichannels communicate the intra- and extracellular compartments and serve as a diffusional pathway for ions and small molecules. A subthreshold stimulation by acute pathological threatening conditions (e.g., global ischemia subthreshold for cell death) enhances neuronal Cx36 and glial Cx43 hemichannel activity, favoring ATP release and generation of preconditioning. If the stimulus is sufficiently deleterious, microglia become overactivated and release bioactive molecules that increase the activity of hemichannels and reduce gap junctional communication in astroglial networks, depriving neurons of astrocytic protective functions, and further reducing neuronal viability. Continuous glial activation triggered by low levels of anomalous proteins expressed in several neurodegenerative diseases induce glial hemichannel and gap junction channel disorders similar to those of acute inflammatory responses triggered by ischemia or infectious diseases. These changes are likely to occur in diverse cell types of the CNS and contribute to neurodegeneration during inflammatory process. Antiox. Redox Signal. 11, 369–399. PMID:18816186

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. Determining the Sula block kinematics in the triple junction area in Indonesia by GPS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walpersdorf, Andrea; Vigny, Christophe; Manurung, P.; Subarya, C.; Sutisna, S.

    1998-11-01

    The point of convergence of the Eurasian, Philippine and Australian plates is situated adjacent to the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. The relative plate velocities are estimated by NUVEL1 to be 7 to 9 cm yr- 1. The complex tectonic mechanism of the triple junction has been studied over a two-year period in the course of the GEODYSSEA Southeast Asian Project. The GPS investigations concentrate on measurements of both the Sulawesi (eastern Indonesia) part of the inter-regional GEODYSSEA network and a local subnetwork on Sulawesi. Motions derived using data from the subnetwork confirm what the results of the inter-regional GEODYSSEA network have suggested; that is, that current deformation is high, and there are distinct deformation domains in the study area on Sulawesi. The tectonic mechanism of the triple junction has been analysed using a rigid microblock model. The triple junction area can best be interpreted as a headland of the Australian Plate deflected by its collision with the Philippine Plate, thereby identifying the driving forces of the current deformation. The northern part is dominated by the Sula domain, which shows clockwise rotation. To the south, it is connected to the Australian Plate by an ensemble of microblocks undergoing counter-clockwise rotation. In addition to the above, our tectonic model permits the determination of the local influence of two large earthquakes (M=7.8, 1996 January 1 and M=7.0, 1996 July 22) on the motion of the station Tomini (north Sulawesi). More observations and a denser GPS network are planned in order to study the behaviour of the Palu-Koro Fault, the main fault on the western limit of the Sula block.

  14. Involvement of the adrenal glands and testis in gap junction formation via testosterone within the male rat anterior pituitary gland.

    PubMed

    Sakuma, Eisuke; Wada, Ikuo; Otsuka, Takanobu; Wakabayashi, Kenjiro; Ito, Kinya; Soji, Tsuyoshi; Herbert, Damon C

    2012-12-01

    We investigated the influence of testicular and adrenal androgens on the presence of gap junctions between folliculo-stellate cells in the anterior pituitary glands of 60-day-old Wistar-Imamichi strain male rats. The animals were separated into six groups: Group A served as the controls and had free access to a normal diet and water, Group B was given a normal diet and 0.9% NaCl for their drinking water as the controls of adrenalectomized groups, Group C was castrated, Group D was adrenalectomized, Group E was both castrated and adrenalectomized, and Group F was also both castrated and adrenalectomized. In addition, the animals of Group F were administered a dose of testosterone that is known to produce high physiological levels of the hormones in plasma. Five rats from each group were sacrificed 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 days after their respective operation, and the anterior pituitary glands were removed and prepared for observation by transmission electron microscopy. We quantified the number of follicles and gap junctions and calculated the rate of occurrence as the ratio of the number of gap junctions existing between folliculo-stellate cells per intersected follicle profile. Simultaneous removal of adrenal glands with castration resulted in a significantly decrease in the number of gap junctions, whereas the administration of testosterone to these rats compensated for this change. These observations indicate that the preservation of gap junctions between folliculo-stellate cells is mainly dependent on androgens from both the testes and adrenal glands in adult male rats.

  15. Transient photocurrent in molecular junctions: singlet switching on and triplet blocking.

    PubMed

    Petrov, E G; Leonov, V O; Snitsarev, V

    2013-05-14

    The kinetic approach adapted to describe charge transmission in molecular junctions, is used for the analysis of the photocurrent under conditions of moderate light intensity of the photochromic molecule. In the framework of the HOMO-LUMO model for the single electron molecular states, the analytic expressions describing the temporary behavior of the transient and steady state sequential (hopping) as well as direct (tunnel) current components have been derived. The conditions at which the current components achieve their maximal values are indicated. It is shown that if the rates of charge transmission in the unbiased molecular diode are much lower than the intramolecular singlet-singlet excitation/de-excitation rate, and the threefold degenerated triplet excited state of the molecule behaves like a trap blocking the charge transmission, a possibility of a large peak-like transient switch-on photocurrent arises.

  16. Specificity of gap junction communication among human mammary cells and connexin transfectants in culture

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    In a previous paper (Lee et al., 1992), it was shown that normal human mammary epithelial cells (NMEC) express two connexin genes, Cx26 and Cx43, whereas neither gene is transcribed in a series of mammary tumor cell lines (TMEC). In this paper it is shown that normal human mammary fibroblasts (NMF) communicate and express Cx43 mRNA and protein. Transfection of either Cx26 or Cx43 genes into a tumor line, 21MT-2, induced the expression of the corresponding mRNAs and proteins as well as communication via gap junctions (GJs), although immunofluorescence demonstrated that the majority of Cx26 and Cx43 proteins present in transfected TMEC was largely cytoplasmic. Immunoblotting demonstrated that NMEC, NMF, and transfected TMEC each displayed a unique pattern of posttranslationally modified forms of Cx43 protein. The role of different connexins in regulating gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) was examined using a novel two-dye method to assess homologous and heterologous communication quantitatively. The recipient cell population was prestained with a permanent non-toxic lipophilic dye that binds to membranes irreversibly (PKH26, Zynaxis); and the donor population is treated with a GJ-permeable dye Calcein, a derivative of fluorescein diacetate (Molecular Probes). After mixing the two cell populations under conditions promoting GJ formation, cells were analyzed by flow cytometry to determine the percentage of cells containing both dyes. It is shown here that Cx26 and Cx43 transfectants display strong homologous communication, as do NMEC and NMF. Furthermore, NMEC mixed with NMF communicate efficiently, Cx26 transfectants communicate with NMEC but not with NMF, and Cx43 transfectants communicate with NMF. Communication between Cx26 TMEC transfectants and NMEC was asymetrical with preferential movement of calcein from TMEC to NMEC. Despite the presence of Cx43 as well as Cx26 encoded proteins in the GJs of NMEC, few Cx43 transfectants communicated with NMEC

  17. 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

  18. ASC Induces Apoptosis via Activation of Caspase-9 by Enhancing Gap Junction-Mediated Intercellular Communication

    PubMed Central

    Hida, Shigeaki; Fujii, Chifumi; Taniguchi, Shun’ichiro; Ito, Kensuke; Matsumura, Tomio; Okada, Nagisa; Sakaizawa, Takashi; Kobayashi, Akira; Takeoka, Michiko; Miyagawa, Shin-ichi

    2017-01-01

    ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD) is a key adaptor molecule of inflammasomes that mediates inflammatory and apoptotic signals. Aberrant methylation-induced silencing of ASC has been observed in a variety of cancer cells, thus implicating ASC in tumor suppression, although this role remains incompletely defined especially in the context of closely neighboring cell proliferation. As ASC has been confirmed to be silenced by abnormal methylation in HT1080 fibrosarcoma cells as well, this cell line was investigated to characterize the precise role and mechanism of ASC in tumor progression. The effects of ASC were examined using in vitro cell cultures based on comparisons between low and high cell density conditions as well as in a xenograft murine model. ASC overexpression was established by insertion of the ASC gene into pcDNA3 and pMX-IRES-GFP vectors, the latter being packed into a retrovirus and subjected to reproducible competitive assays using parental cells as an internal control, for evaluation of cell viability. p21 and p53 were silenced using shRNA. Cell viability was suppressed in ASC-expressing transfectants as compared with control cells at high cell density conditions in in vitro culture and colony formation assays and in in vivo ectopic tumor formation trials. This suppression was not detected in low cell density conditions. Furthermore, remarkable progression of apoptosis was observed in ASC-introduced cells at a high cell density, but not at a low one. ASC-dependent apoptosis was mediated not by p21, p53, or caspase-1, but rather by cleavage of caspase-9 as well as by suppression of the NF-κB-related X-linked inhibitor-of-apoptosis protein. Caspase-9 cleavage was observed to be dependent on gap junction formation. The remarkable effect of ASC on the induction of apoptosis through caspase-9 and gap junctions revealed in this study may lead to promising new approaches in anticancer therapy. PMID:28056049

  19. 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

  20. GATA6 reporter gene reveals myocardial phenotypic heterogeneity that is related to variations in gap junction coupling

    PubMed Central

    Rémond, Mathieu C.; Iaffaldano, Grazia; O'Quinn, Michael P.; Mezentseva, Nadejda V.; Garcia, Victor; Harris, Brett S.; Gourdie, Robert G.; Eisenberg, Carol A.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined transgenic mice whose expression of a β-galactosidase (lacZ) reporter is driven by a GATA6 gene enhancer. Previous investigations established that transcription of the transgene was associated with precardiac mesoderm and primary heart tube myocardium, which decreased progressively, so that its expression was no longer observed within ventricular myocardium by midgestation. Expression of this reporter in the adult was investigated for insights into myocyte homeostasis and cardiovascular biology. Morphometric analysis determined that <1% of myocytes, often found in small clusters, express this GATA6-associated reporter in the adult heart. LacZ expression was also found in the ascending aorta. Myocardial expression of the transgene was not associated with a proliferative phenotype or new myocyte formation, as lacZ-positive myocytes neither labeled with cell division markers nor following 5-bromodeoxyuridine pulse-chase experimentation. Despite exhibiting normal adherens junctions, these myocytes appeared to exhibit decreased connexin 43 gap junctions. Treatment with the gap junctional blocker heptanol both in vivo and in culture elevated myocardial β-galactosidase activity, suggesting that deficient gap junctional communication underlies expression of the transgenic reporter. LacZ expression within the myocardium was also enhanced in response to cryoinjury and isoproterenol-induced hypertrophy. These results reveal a previously uncharacterized phenotypic heterogeneity in the myocardium and suggest that decreased gap junctional coupling leads to induction of a signaling pathway that utilizes a unique GATA6 enhancer. Upregulation of lacZ reporter gene expression following cardiac injury indicates this transgenic mouse may serve as a model for examining the transition of the heart from healthy to pathological states. PMID:21908788

  1. GATA6 reporter gene reveals myocardial phenotypic heterogeneity that is related to variations in gap junction coupling.

    PubMed

    Rémond, Mathieu C; Iaffaldano, Grazia; O'Quinn, Michael P; Mezentseva, Nadejda V; Garcia, Victor; Harris, Brett S; Gourdie, Robert G; Eisenberg, Carol A; Eisenberg, Leonard M

    2011-11-01

    This study examined transgenic mice whose expression of a β-galactosidase (lacZ) reporter is driven by a GATA6 gene enhancer. Previous investigations established that transcription of the transgene was associated with precardiac mesoderm and primary heart tube myocardium, which decreased progressively, so that its expression was no longer observed within ventricular myocardium by midgestation. Expression of this reporter in the adult was investigated for insights into myocyte homeostasis and cardiovascular biology. Morphometric analysis determined that <1% of myocytes, often found in small clusters, express this GATA6-associated reporter in the adult heart. LacZ expression was also found in the ascending aorta. Myocardial expression of the transgene was not associated with a proliferative phenotype or new myocyte formation, as lacZ-positive myocytes neither labeled with cell division markers nor following 5-bromodeoxyuridine pulse-chase experimentation. Despite exhibiting normal adherens junctions, these myocytes appeared to exhibit decreased connexin 43 gap junctions. Treatment with the gap junctional blocker heptanol both in vivo and in culture elevated myocardial β-galactosidase activity, suggesting that deficient gap junctional communication underlies expression of the transgenic reporter. LacZ expression within the myocardium was also enhanced in response to cryoinjury and isoproterenol-induced hypertrophy. These results reveal a previously uncharacterized phenotypic heterogeneity in the myocardium and suggest that decreased gap junctional coupling leads to induction of a signaling pathway that utilizes a unique GATA6 enhancer. Upregulation of lacZ reporter gene expression following cardiac injury indicates this transgenic mouse may serve as a model for examining the transition of the heart from healthy to pathological states.

  2. 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

  3. Expression of a connexin 43/beta-galactosidase fusion protein inhibits gap junctional communication in NIH3T3 cells

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    Gap junctions contain membrane channels that mediate the cell-to-cell movement of ions, metabolites and cell signaling molecules. As gap junctions are comprised of a hexameric array of connexin polypeptides, the expression of a mutant connexin polypeptide may exert a dominant negative effect on gap junctional communication. To examine this possibility, we constructed a connexin 43 (Cx43)/beta-galactosidase (beta-gal) expression vector in which the bacterial beta-gal protein is fused in frame to the carboxy terminus of Cx43. This vector was transfected into NIH3T3 cells, a cell line which is well coupled via gap junctions and expresses high levels of Cx43. Transfectant clones were shown to express the fusion protein by northern and western analysis. X-Gal staining further revealed that all of the fusion protein containing cells also expressed beta-gal enzymatic activity. Double immunostaining with a beta-gal and Cx43 antibody demonstrated that the fusion protein is immunolocalized to the perinuclear region of the cytoplasm and also as punctate spots at regions of cell-cell contact. This pattern is similar to that of Cx43 in the parental 3T3 cells, except that in the fusion protein expressing cells, Cx43 expression was reduced at regions of cell-cell contact. Examination of gap junctional communication (GJC) with dye injection studies further showed that dye coupling was inhibited in the fusion protein expressing cells, with the largest reduction in coupling found in a clone exhibiting little Cx43 localization at regions of cell-cell contact. When the fusion protein expression vector was transfected into the communication poor C6 cell line, abundant fusion protein expression was observed, but unlike the transfected NIH3T3 cells, no fusion protein was detected at the cell surface. Nevertheless, dye coupling was inhibited in these C6 cells. Based on these observations, we propose that the fusion protein may inhibit GJC by sequestering the Cx43 protein intracellularly

  4. Connexin Type and Fluorescent Protein Fusion Tag Determine Structural Stability of Gap Junction Plaques*

    PubMed Central

    Stout, Randy F.; Snapp, Erik Lee; Spray, David C.

    2015-01-01

    Gap junctions (GJs) are made up of plaques of laterally clustered intercellular channels and the membranes in which the channels are embedded. Arrangement of channels within a plaque determines subcellular distribution of connexin binding partners and sites of intercellular signaling. Here, we report the discovery that some connexin types form plaque structures with strikingly different degrees of fluidity in the arrangement of the GJ channel subcomponents of the GJ plaque. We uncovered this property of GJs by applying fluorescence recovery after photobleaching to GJs formed from connexins fused with fluorescent protein tags. We found that connexin 26 (Cx26) and Cx30 GJs readily diffuse within the plaque structures, whereas Cx43 GJs remain persistently immobile for more than 2 min after bleaching. The cytoplasmic C terminus of Cx43 was required for stability of Cx43 plaque arrangement. We provide evidence that these qualitative differences in GJ arrangement stability reflect endogenous characteristics, with the caveat that the sizes of the GJs examined were necessarily large for these measurements. We also uncovered an unrecognized effect of non-monomerized fluorescent protein on the dynamically arranged GJs and the organization of plaques composed of multiple connexin types. Together, these findings redefine our understanding of the GJ plaque structure and should be considered in future studies using fluorescent protein tags to probe dynamics of highly ordered protein complexes. PMID:26265468

  5. microRNAs, Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication and Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Breast Cancer Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Gregory, Larissa A.; Ricart, Rachel A.; Patel, Shyam A.; Lim, Philip K.; Rameshwar, Pranela

    2010-01-01

    The failed outcome of autologous bone marrow transplantation for breast cancer opens the field for investigations. This is particularly important because the bone marrow could be a major source of cancer cells during tertiary metastasis. This review discusses subsets of breast cancer cells, including those that enter the bone marrow at an early period of disease development, perhaps prior to clinical detection. This population of cells evades chemotherapeutic damage even at high doses. An understanding of this population might be crucial for the success of bone marrow transplants for metastatic breast cancer and for the eradication of cancer cells in bone marrow. In vivo and in vitro studies have demonstrated gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) between bone marrow stroma and breast cancer cells. This review discusses GJIC in cancer metastasis, facilitating roles of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). In addition, the review addresses potential roles for miRNAs, including those already linked to cancer biology. The literature on MSCs is growing and their links to metastasis are beginning to be significant leads for the development of new drug targets for breast cancer. In summary, this review discusses interactions among GJIC, miRNAs and MSCs as future consideration for the development of cancer therapies. PMID:21886602

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Phenotypic variability in gap junction syndromic skin disorders: experience from KID and Clouston syndromes' clinical diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Kutkowska-Kaźmierczak, Anna; Niepokój, Katarzyna; Wertheim-Tysarowska, Katarzyna; Giza, Aleksandra; Mordasewicz-Goliszewska, Maria; Bal, Jerzy; Obersztyn, Ewa

    2015-08-01

    Connexins belong to the family of gap junction proteins which enable direct cell-to-cell communication by forming channels in adjacent cells. Mutations in connexin genes cause a variety of human diseases and, in a few cases, result in skin disorders. There are significant differences in the clinical picture of two rare autosomal dominant syndromes: keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness (KID) syndrome and hidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (Clouston syndrome), which are caused by GJB2 and GJB6 mutations, respectively. This is despite the fact that, in both cases, malfunctioning of the same family proteins and some overlapping clinical features (nail dystrophy, hair loss, and palmoplantar keratoderma) is observed. KID syndrome is characterized by progressive vascularizing keratitis, ichthyosiform erythrokeratoderma, and neurosensory hearing loss, whereas Clouston syndrome is characterized by nail dystrophy, hypotrichosis, and palmoplantar keratoderma. The present paper presents a Polish patient with sporadic KID syndrome caused by the mutation of p.Asp50Asn in GJB2. The patient encountered difficulties in obtaining a correct diagnosis. The other case presented is that of a family with Clouston syndrome (caused by p.Gly11Arg mutation in GJB6), who are the first reported patients of Polish origin suffering from this disorder. Phenotype diversity among patients with the same genotypes reported to date is also summarized. The conclusion is that proper diagnosis of these syndromes is still challenging and should always be followed by molecular verification.

  9. Neuroprotection in the treatment of glaucoma--A focus on connexin43 gap junction channel blockers.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ying-Shan; Green, Colin R; Danesh-Meyer, Helen V; Rupenthal, Ilva D

    2015-09-01

    Glaucoma is a form of optic neuropathy and a common cause of blindness, affecting over 60 million people worldwide with an expected rise to 80 million by 2020. Successful treatment is challenging due to the various causes of glaucoma, undetectable symptoms at an early stage and inefficient delivery of drugs to the back of the eye. Conventional glaucoma treatments focus on the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) using topical eye drops. However, their efficacy is limited to patients who suffer from high IOP glaucoma and do not address the underlying susceptibility of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) to degeneration. Glaucoma is known as a neurodegenerative disease which starts with RGC death and eventually results in damage of the optic nerve. Neuroprotective strategies therefore offer a novel treatment option for glaucoma by not only preventing neuronal loss but also disease progression. This review firstly gives an overview of the pathophysiology of glaucoma as well as current treatment options including conventional and novel delivery strategies. It then summarizes the rational for neuroprotection as a novel therapy for glaucomatous neuropathies and reviews current potential neuroprotective strategies to preserve RGC, with a focus on connexin43 (Cx43) gap junction channel blockers.

  10. Ultraviolet A radiation transiently disrupts gap junctional communication in human keratinocytes.

    PubMed

    Provost, Nicolas; Moreau, Marielle; Leturque, Armelle; Nizard, Carine

    2003-01-01

    Ultraviolet A (UVA) (320-400 nm) radiation is known to cause cutaneous aging and skin cancer. We studied the effect of UVA (365 nm) radiation on the human epidermis by focusing on keratinocyte gap junction-mediated intercellular communication (GJIC). We observed a dose-dependent 10-fold decrease in GJIC induced by UVA in normal human keratinocytes. This decrease in GJIC was associated with time-dependent internalization of connexin43 (Cx43). UVA radiation also damaged the actin cytoskeleton, as shown by microfilament disappearance. Importantly, the decrease in GJIC was transient when keratinocytes were irradiated with 10 J/cm(2) UVA, with a return to baseline values after 8 h. Concomitantly, Cx43 was relocalized and the actin cytoskeleton was restored. UVA irradiation and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA) treatment activated protein kinase C and reduced GJIC. However, Cx43 localization and phosphorylation were differently regulated by the two treatments. This suggests that at least two different pathways may mediate the observed fall in GJIC. These findings identify keratinocyte GJIC as a new UVA target that might sensitize human skin to photoaging and cancer formation.

  11. Caveolin-1 and -2 Interact with Connexin43 and Regulate Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication in Keratinocytes

    PubMed Central

    Langlois, Stéphanie; Cowan, Kyle N.; Shao, Qing; Cowan, Bryce J.

    2008-01-01

    Connexin43 (Cx43) has been reported to interact with caveolin (Cav)-1, but the role of this association and whether other members of the caveolin family bind Cx43 had yet to be established. In this study, we show that Cx43 coimmunoprecipitates and colocalizes with Cav-1 and Cav-2 in rat epidermal keratinocytes. The colocalization of Cx43 with Cav-1 was confirmed in keratinocytes from human epidermis in vivo. Our mutation and Far Western analyses revealed that the C-terminal tail of Cx43 is required for its association with Cavs and that the Cx43/Cav-1 interaction is direct. Our results indicate that newly synthesized Cx43 interacts with Cavs in the Golgi apparatus and that the Cx43/Cavs complex also exists at the plasma membrane in lipid rafts. Using overexpression and small interfering RNA approaches, we demonstrated that caveolins regulate gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) and that the presence of Cx43 in lipid raft domains may contribute to the mechanism modulating GJIC. Our results suggest that the Cx43/Cavs association occurs during exocytic transport, and they clearly indicate that caveolin regulates GJIC. PMID:18162583

  12. 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

  13. All spiking, sustained ON displaced amacrine cells receive gap-junction input from melanopsin ganglion cells

    PubMed Central

    Reifler, Aaron N.; Chervenak, Andrew P.; Dolikian, Michael E.; Benenati, Brian A.; Li, Benjamin Y.; Wachter, Rebecca D.; Lynch, Andrew M.; Demertzis, Zachary D.; Meyers, Benjamin S.; Abufarha, Fady S.; Jaeckel, Elizabeth R.; Flannery, Michael P.; Wong, Kwoon Y.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Retinal neurons exhibit sustained vs. transient light responses, which are thought to encode low- and high-frequency stimuli respectively. This dichotomy has been recognized since the earliest intracellular recordings from the 1960s, but the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood. We report that in the ganglion cell layer of rat retinas, all spiking amacrine interneurons with sustained ON photoresponses receive gap-junction input from intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), recently discovered photoreceptors that specialize in prolonged irradiance detection. We have identified three morphological varieties of such ipRGC-driven displaced amacrine cells: 1) monostratified cells with dendrites terminating exclusively in sublamina S5 of the inner plexiform layer; 2) bistratified cells with dendrites in both S1 and S5; and 3) polyaxonal cells with dendrites and axons stratifying in S5. Most of these amacrine cells are wide-field, although some are medium-field. The three classes respond to light differently, suggesting they probably perform diverse functions. These results demonstrate that ipRGCs are a major source of tonic visual information within the retina and exert widespread intraretinal influence. They also add to recent evidence that ganglion cells signal not only to the brain. PMID:26441349

  14. Extract from the zooxanthellate jellyfish Cotylorhiza tuberculata modulates gap junction intercellular communication in human cell cultures.

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-22

    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-7 and 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.

  15. Effect of airborne particles from selected indoor and outdoor environments on gap-junctional intercellular communication.

    PubMed

    Alink, G M; Sjögren, M; Bos, R P; Doekes, G; Kromhout, H; Scheepers, P T

    1998-08-01

    The effect of airborne particles from diesel exhaust, rubber and metal industry, urban air and biological sources (poultry, pig farming, compost industry) on gap-junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) were compared, using HEPA1c1c7 cells. Particles as such were compared with aqueous and organic extracts. Significant inhibition of GJIC by particle suspensions was only observed for the diesel and rubber samples, and for one biological sample (compost). Up to 83% of the inhibition of the whole suspension could be attributed to the particles as such. Washing the particles with organic solvents (aceton, methanol, hexane) did not result in a significant loss of activity from the particles, although the organic fractions showed a significant activity towards GJIC. More active organics was eluted from the rubber industry particles than from the diesel particles by the organic solvent. It is suggested that cancer promoting potential as measured by inhibition of GJIC may vary widely depending on the particle source, and that this effect may be exerted by the particles as such and/or by means of tightly bound bio-active material to the surface.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Activated Immune Response in an Inherited Leukodystrophy Disease Caused by the Loss of Oligodendrocyte Gap Junctions

    PubMed Central

    Wasseff, Sameh K.; Scherer, Steven S.

    2015-01-01

    Oligodendrocyte:oligodendrocyte (O:O) gap junction (GJ) coupling is a widespread and essential feature of the CNS, and is mediated by connexin47 (Cx47) and Cx32. Loss of function mutations affecting Cx47 results in a severe leukodystrophy, Pelizeus-Merzbacher-like disease (also known as Hypomyelinating Leukodystrophy 2), which can be reproduced in mice lacking both Cx47 and Cx32. Here we report the gene expression profile of the cerebellum – an affected brain region – in mice lacking both Cx47 and Cx32. Of the 43,174 mRNA probes examined, we find decreased expression of 23 probes (corresponding to 23 genes) and increased expression of 545 probes (corresponding to 348 genes). Many of the genes with reduced expression map to oligodendrocytes, and two of them (Fa2h and Ugt8a) are involved in the synthesis of myelin lipids. Many of the genes with increased expression map to microglia and lymphocytes, and to leukotriene/prostaglandin synthesis and chemokine/cytokine pathways. In accord, immunostaining showed activated microglia and astrocytes, as well as T- and B-cells in the cerebella of mutant mice. Thus, in addition to the loss of GJ coupling, there is a prominent immune response in mice lacking both Cx47 and Cx32. PMID:26051537

  19. Carbenoxolone blockade of neuronal network activity in culture is not mediated by an action on gap junctions

    PubMed Central

    Rouach, N; Segal, M; Koulakoff, A; Giaume, C; Avignone, E

    2003-01-01

    Spontaneous activity in the central nervous system is strongly suppressed by blockers of gap junctions (GJs), suggesting that GJs contribute to network activity. However, the lack of selective GJ blockers prohibits the determination of their site of action, i.e. neuronal versus glial. Astrocytes are strongly coupled through GJs and have recently been shown to modulate synaptic transmission, yet their role in neuronal network activity was not analysed. The present study investigated the effects and site of action of the GJ blocker, carbenoxolone (CBX), on neuronal network activity. To this end, we used cultures of hippocampal or cortical neurons, plated on astrocytes. In these cultures neurons display spontaneous synchronous activity and GJs are found only in astrocytes. CBX induced in these neurons a reversible suppression of spontaneous action potential discharges, synaptic currents and synchronised calcium oscillations. Moreover, CBX inhibited oscillatory activity induced by the GABAA antagonist, bicuculline. These effects were not due to blockade of astrocytic GJs, since they were not mimicked nor occluded by endothelin-1 (ET-1), a peptide known to block astrocytic GJs. Also, these effects were still present in co-cultures of wild-type neurons plated on astrocytes originating from connexin-43 (Cx43) knockout mice, and in neuronal cultures which contain few isolated astrocytes. CBX was not likely to exert its effect through neuronal GJs either, as immunostaining for major neuronal connexins (Cx) as well as dye or electrical coupling, were not detected in the different models of cultured neurons examined. Finally while CBX (at 100 μm) did not modify presynaptic transmitter release and postsynaptic responses to glutamate, it did cause an increase in the action potential threshold and strongly decreased the firing rate in response to a sustained depolarising current. These data demonstrate that CBX does not exert its action on network activity of cultured neurons

  20. Possible anti-tumour-promoting activity of components in Japanese soybean fermented food, Natto: effect on gap junctional intercellular communication.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, C; Kikuchi, N; Katou, N; Miki, T; Yanagida, F; Umeda, M

    1995-03-01

    In order to detect any protective agent against tumor formation, we examined the anti-tumor-promoting effect of a Japanese traditional soybean fermented food, Natto. Dye transfer was employed as an assay method. When fluorescent dye was microinjected into cultured BALB/3T3 cells, the dye was transformed into the neighboring cells through the gap junction. This dye transfer was blocked by the treatment with the tumor promoters 12-O-tetra-decanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), a high concentration of NaCl and lithocholic acid (LCA). This reduction of the dye transfer by TPA treatment was not observed when the cells were pretreated with retinoic acid, an anti-tumor promoter. Thus, the recovery of the dye transfer in TPA-treated BALB/3T3 cells was proven to ge a good indicator for detecting some possible anti-tumor promoters. After extraction and fractionation of Natto, we obtained an active fraction (H1) which showed recovery of the dye transfer in TPA-treated cells. The fraction contained straight-chain saturated hydrocarbons. A comparison of the fraction and the authentic samples by GC analysis suggests that the H1 fraction contained straight-chain saturated hydrocarbons from around C30 to C32. Among these hydrocarbons, hentriacontane (C31) was found at the highest concentrations, and was shown to have the highest activity. Hentriacontane at a very low concentration of 0.65 ng/ml was shown to recover the dye transfer inhibited by the treatment with TPA as well as with NaCl and LCA.

  1. 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.

  2. Oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity is mediated through gap junction channels and hemichannels and can be prevented by octanol.

    PubMed

    Kagiava, Alexia; Theophilidis, George; Sargiannidou, Irene; Kyriacou, Kyriacos; Kleopa, Kleopas A

    2015-10-01

    Oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity (OIN) is a common complication of chemotherapy without effective treatment. In order to clarify the mechanisms of both acute and chronic OIN, we used an ex-vivo mouse sciatic nerve model. Exposure to 25 μM oxaliplatin caused a marked prolongation in the duration of the nerve evoked compound action potential (CAP) by nearly 1200% within 300 min while amplitude remained constant for over 20 h. This oxaliplatin effect was almost completely reversed by the gap junction (GJ) inhibitor octanol in a concentration-dependent manner. Further GJ blockers showed similar effects although with a narrower therapeutic window. To clarify the target molecule we studied sciatic nerves from connexin32 (Cx32) and Cx29 knockout (KO) mice. The oxaliplatin effect and neuroprotection by octanol partially persisted in Cx29 better than in Cx32 KO nerves, suggesting that oxaliplatin affects both, but Cx32 GJ channels more than Cx29 hemichannels. Oxaliplatin also accelerated neurobiotin uptake in HeLa cells expressing the human ortholog of Cx29, Cx31.3, as well as dye transfer between cells expressing the human Cx32, and this effect was blocked by octanol. Oxaliplatin caused no morphological changes initially (up to 3 h of exposure), but prolonged nerve exposure caused juxtaparonodal axonal edema, which was prevented by octanol. Our study indicates that oxaliplatin causes forced opening of Cx32 channels and Cx29 hemichannels in peripheral myelinated fibers leading to disruption of axonal K(+) homeostasis. The GJ blocker octanol prevents OIN at very low concentrations and should be further studied as a neuroprotectant.

  3. 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.

  4. Immunogold evidence that neuronal gap junctions in adult rat brain and spinal cord contain connexin-36 but not connexin-32 or connexin-43

    PubMed Central

    Rash, J. E.; Staines, W. A.; Yasumura, T.; Patel, D.; Furman, C. S.; Stelmack, G. L.; Nagy, J. I.

    2000-01-01

    Physiological and ultrastructural evidence indicates that gap junctions link many classes of neurons in mammalian central nervous system (CNS), allowing direct electrical and metabolic communication. Among at least six gap junction-forming connexin proteins in adult rat brain, connexin- (Cx) 32, Cx36, and Cx43 have been reported to occur in neurons. However, no connexin has been documented at ultrastructurally defined neuronal gap junctions. To address this question directly, freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling (FRIL) and immunofluorescence (IF) were used to visualize the subcellular and regional localization of Cx36 in rat brain and spinal cord. Three antibodies were generated against different sequences in Cx36. By Western blotting, these antibodies detected protein at 36 and 66 kDa, corresponding to Cx36 monomer and dimer forms, respectively. After double-labeling for Cx36 and Cx43 by FRIL, neuronal gap junctions in inferior olive, spinal cord, and retina were consistently immunogold-labeled for Cx36, but none were labeled for Cx43. Conversely, Cx43 but not Cx36 was detected in astrocyte and ependymocyte gap junctions. In >250 Cx32/Cx43 single- and double-labeled replicas from 10 CNS regions, no neuronal gap junctions were labeled for either Cx32 or Cx43. Instead, Cx32 and Cx43 were restricted to glial gap junctions. By IF, Cx36 labeling was widely distributed in neuropil, including along dendritic processes and within neuronal somata. On the basis of FRIL identification of Cx36 in neuronal gap junctions and IF imaging of Cx36 throughout rat brain and spinal cord, neuronal gap junctions containing Cx36 appear to occur in sufficient density to provide widespread electrical and metabolic coupling in adult CNS. PMID:10861019

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. 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

  7. Alterations in metabolism and gap junction expression may determine the role of astrocytes as "good samaritans" or executioners.

    PubMed

    Farahani, Reza; Pina-Benabou, Mara H; Kyrozis, Andreas; Siddiq, Ayesha; Barradas, Penha C; Chiu, Fung-Chow; Cavalcante, Leny A; Lai, James C K; Stanton, Patric K; Rozental, Renato

    2005-06-01

    Our knowledge of astroglia and their physiological and pathophysiological role(s) in the central nervous system (CNS) has grown during the past decade, revealing a complex picture. It is becoming increasingly clear that glia play a significant role in the homeostasis and function of the CNS and that neurons should no longer be considered the only cell type that responds, both rapidly and slowly, to electrochemical activity. We discuss recent advances in the field with an emphasis on the impact of hypoxia and ischemia on astrocytic metabolism and the functional relationship between glucose metabolism and gap junctions in astrocytes. We also address the controversy over whether astrocytic gap junctions mediate protection or killing of neurons during or after hypoxic or ischemic insults.

  8. 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

  9. Electronic and Thermal Effects in the Insulator-Metal Phase Transition in VO2 Nano-Gap Junctions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-11-27

    Electronic and thermal effects in the insulator -metal phase transition in VO2 nano-gap junctions Arash Joushaghani,1 Junho Jeong,1 Suzanne Paradis,2...voltage waveforms, the electronically induced insulator -metal phase transition is investigated in the adiabatic heating and transient carrier injection...the complete insulator -metal phase transition is limited by thermal redistribution times to hundreds of nanoseconds. The dynamics of the insulator

  10. Analytically determined topological phase diagram of the proximity-induced gap in diffusive n-terminal Josephson junctions

    PubMed Central

    Amundsen, Morten; Ouassou, Jabir Ali; Linder, Jacob

    2017-01-01

    Multiterminal Josephson junctions have recently been proposed as a route to artificially mimic topological matter with the distinct advantage that its properties can be controlled via the superconducting phase difference, giving rise to Weyl points in 4-terminal geometries. A key goal is to accurately determine when the system makes a transition from a gapped to non-gapped state as a function of the phase differences in the system, the latter effectively playing the role of quasiparticle momenta in conventional topological matter. We here determine the proximity gap phase diagram of diffusive n-terminal Josephson junctions (), both numerically and analytically, by identifying a class of solutions to the Usadel equation at zero energy in the full proximity effect regime. We present an analytical equation which provides the phase diagram for an arbitrary number of terminals n. After briefly demonstrating the validity of the analytical approach in the previously studied 2- and 3-terminal cases, we focus on the 4-terminal case and map out the regimes where the electronic excitations in the system are gapped and non-gapped, respectively, demonstrating also in this case full agreement between the analytical and numerical approach. PMID:28094289

  11. Analytically determined topological phase diagram of the proximity-induced gap in diffusive n-terminal Josephson junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amundsen, Morten; Ouassou, Jabir Ali; Linder, Jacob

    2017-01-01

    Multiterminal Josephson junctions have recently been proposed as a route to artificially mimic topological matter with the distinct advantage that its properties can be controlled via the superconducting phase difference, giving rise to Weyl points in 4-terminal geometries. A key goal is to accurately determine when the system makes a transition from a gapped to non-gapped state as a function of the phase differences in the system, the latter effectively playing the role of quasiparticle momenta in conventional topological matter. We here determine the proximity gap phase diagram of diffusive n-terminal Josephson junctions (), both numerically and analytically, by identifying a class of solutions to the Usadel equation at zero energy in the full proximity effect regime. We present an analytical equation which provides the phase diagram for an arbitrary number of terminals n. After briefly demonstrating the validity of the analytical approach in the previously studied 2- and 3-terminal cases, we focus on the 4-terminal case and map out the regimes where the electronic excitations in the system are gapped and non-gapped, respectively, demonstrating also in this case full agreement between the analytical and numerical approach.

  12. 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

  13. Electrical synaptic transmission in developing zebrafish: properties and molecular composition of gap junctions at a central auditory synapse

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Cong; Vanderpool, Kimberly G.; Delfiner, Matthew; Eddy, Vanessa; Lucaci, Alexander G.; Soto-Riveros, Carolina; Yasumura, Thomas; Rash, John E.

    2014-01-01

    In contrast to the knowledge of chemical synapses, little is known regarding the properties of gap junction-mediated electrical synapses in developing zebrafish, which provide a valuable model to study neural function at the systems level. Identifiable “mixed” (electrical and chemical) auditory synaptic contacts known as “club endings” on Mauthner cells (2 large reticulospinal neurons involved in tail-flip escape responses) allow exploration of electrical transmission in fish. Here, we show that paralleling the development of auditory responses, electrical synapses at these contacts become anatomically identifiable at day 3 postfertilization, reaching a number of ∼6 between days 4 and 9. Furthermore, each terminal contains ∼18 gap junctions, representing between 2,000 and 3,000 connexon channels formed by the teleost homologs of mammalian connexin 36. Electrophysiological recordings revealed that gap junctions at each of these contacts are functional and that synaptic transmission has properties that are comparable with those of adult fish. Thus a surprisingly small number of mixed synapses are responsible for the acquisition of auditory responses by the Mauthner cells, and these are likely sufficient to support escape behaviors at early developmental stages. PMID:25080573

  14. Connexin40, a component of gap junctions in vascular endothelium, is restricted in its ability to interact with other connexins.

    PubMed Central

    Bruzzone, R; Haefliger, J A; Gimlich, R L; Paul, D L

    1993-01-01

    The cellular distribution of connexin40 (Cx40), a newly cloned gap junction structural protein, was examined by immunofluorescence microscopy using two different specific anti-peptide antibodies. Cx40 was detected in the endothelium of muscular as well as elastic arteries in a punctate pattern consistent with the known distribution of gap junctions. However, it was not detected in other cells of the vascular wall. By contrast, Cx43, another connexin present in the cardiovascular system, was not detected in endothelial cells of muscular arteries but was abundant in the myocardium and aortic smooth muscle. We have tested the ability of these connexins to interact functionally. Cx40 was functionally expressed in pairs of Xenopus oocytes and induced the formation of intercellular channels with unique voltage dependence. Unexpectedly, communication did not occur when oocytes expressing Cx40 were paired with those expressing Cx43, although each could interact with a different connexin, Cx37, to form gap junction channels in paired oocytes. These findings indicate that establishment of intercellular communication can be spatially regulated by the selective expression of different connexins and suggest a mechanism that may operate to control the extent of communication between cells. Images PMID:8382974

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    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-α (TNF-α; 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-α-glycyrrhetinic acid (AGA; 75 μM) or 18-β-glycyrrhetinic acid (50 μM) abolished the TNF-α-induced increase in LAV and LPV; carbenoxolone (75 μM) or oleamide (100 μM) 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 μM), a non-GJ blocker analog of AGA, was devoid of effect. Interestingly, when AGA was removed 90 min after TNF-α stimulation, LAV started to rise at a similar rate as in control. Conversely, application of AGA 90 min after TNF-α reduced the number of previously adhered cells. In WT mice, intrascrotal injection of TNF-α (0.5 μg/0.3 ml) increased LAV (fourfold) and LPV (threefold) compared with saline-injected controls. In contrast to the observations in WT animals, TNF-α 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

  17. Local Oxidative Stress Expansion through Endothelial Cells – A Key Role for Gap Junction Intercellular Communication

    PubMed Central

    Feine, Ilan; Pinkas, Iddo; Salomon, Yoram; Scherz, Avigdor

    2012-01-01

    Background Major circulation pathologies are initiated by oxidative insult expansion from a few injured endothelial cells to distal sites; this possibly involves mechanisms that are important to understanding circulation physiology and designing therapeutic management of myocardial pathologies. We tested the hypothesis that a localized oxidative insult of endothelial cells (ECs) propagates through gap junction inter-cellular communication (GJIC). Methodology/Principal Findings Cultures comprising the bEnd.3 cell line, that have been established and recognized as suitable for examining communication among ECs, were used to study the propagation of a localized oxidative insult to remote cells. Spatially confined near infrared illumination of parental or genetically modified bEnd.3 cultures, pretreated with the photosensitizer WST11, generated O2•− and •OH radicals in the illuminated cells. Time-lapse fluorescence microscopy, utilizing various markers, and other methods, were used to monitor the response of non-illuminated bystander and remote cells. Functional GJIC among ECs was shown to be mandatory for oxidative insult propagation, comprising de-novo generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS, respectively), activation and nuclear translocation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase, followed by massive apoptosis in all bystander cells adjacent to the primarily injured ECs. The oxidative insult propagated through GJIC for many hours, over hundreds of microns from the primary photogeneration site. This wave is shown to be limited by intracellular ROS scavenging, chemical GJIC inhibition or genetic manipulation of connexin 43 (a key component of GJIC). Conclusion/Significance Localized oxidative insults propagate through GJIC between ECs, while stimulating de-novo generation of ROS and RNS in bystander cells, thereby driving the insult's expansion. PMID:22911831

  18. 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.

  19. 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

    2009-05-08

    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.

  20. Effect of DDT on hepatic gap junctional intercellular communication in rats.

    PubMed

    Tateno, C; Ito, S; Tanaka, M; Oyamada, M; Yoshitake, A

    1994-03-01

    The effects of in vivo exposure to DDT on hepatic gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) and connexin gene/protein expression in Sprague-Dawley rats were examined by in vivo/in vitro dye-transfer assay, immunohistochemical staining, and by Western and Northern blot analyses. In the dose-response study, three dose levels of DDT (5, 25 and 50 mg/kg/day) were administered orally to rats once a day for 2 weeks. The average size of the dye spread after injection of Lucifer Yellow and the area of Cx32 spots per hepatocyte decreased in a dose-dependent manner, but there was no effect on the number of Cx32 spots per hepatocyte. In the time-course study, DDT (50 mg/kg/day) was administered orally once a day for up to 6 weeks. Hepatic GJIC decreased at week 1 but recovered at week 6. The average area of Cx32 spots per hepatocyte gradually decreased at weeks 2 and 4, and remained at the same level at week 6, correlating with the decreased Cx32 protein level in plasma membranes. The average area of Cx26 spots per hepatocyte in the peripheral zones clearly decreased at week 1, but quickly recovered at week 2 and increased at week 6; however, no clear change of the Cx26 protein level in plasma membranes was observed. No changes of Cx32 and Cx26 mRNA levels were observed in DDT groups. These results suggest that DDT, a liver tumor-promoting agent, inhibits hepatic GJIC in vivo dose-dependently in rats and that aberrant Cx32 and Cx26 protein expression and/or localization may be responsible for this effect.

  1. 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...

  2. Unraveling a novel mechanism for the up-regulation of connexin43 gap junctions between cells derived from the blood-brain barrier.

    PubMed

    Sáez, Juan C

    2017-02-15

    Endothelial cells from different vascular territories in mammals express at least three connexins (Cxs: Cx37, Cx40 and Cx43), which are protein subunits of gap junction channels. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Decreases in Gap Junction Coupling Recovers Ca2+ and Insulin Secretion in Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus, Dependent on Beta Cell Heterogeneity and Noise

    PubMed Central

    Westacott, Matthew J.; Hraha, Thomas H.; Pozzoli, Marina; Benninger, Richard K. P.

    2016-01-01

    Diabetes is caused by dysfunction to β-cells in the islets of Langerhans, disrupting insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis. Gap junction-mediated electrical coupling between β-cells in the islet plays a major role in coordinating a pulsatile secretory response at elevated glucose and suppressing insulin secretion at basal glucose. Previously, we demonstrated that a critical number of inexcitable cells can rapidly suppress the overall islet response, as a result of gap junction coupling. This was demonstrated in a murine model of Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus (NDM) involving expression of ATP-insensitive KATP channels, and by a multi-cellular computational model of islet electrical activity. Here we examined the mechanisms by which gap junction coupling contributes to islet dysfunction in NDM. We first verified the computational model against [Ca2+] and insulin secretion measurements in islets expressing ATP-insensitive KATP channels under different levels of gap junction coupling. We then applied this model to predict how different KATP channel mutations found in NDM suppress [Ca2+], and the role of gap junction coupling in this suppression. We further extended the model to account for stochastic noise and insulin secretion dynamics. We found experimentally and in the islet model that reductions in gap junction coupling allow progressively greater glucose-stimulated [Ca2+] and insulin secretion following expression of ATP-insensitive KATP channels. The model demonstrated good correspondence between suppression of [Ca2+] and clinical presentation of different NDM mutations. Significant recoveries in [Ca2+] and insulin secretion were predicted for many mutations upon reductions in gap junction coupling, where stochastic noise played a significant role in the recoveries. These findings provide new understanding how the islet functions as a multicellular system and for the role of gap junction channels in exacerbating the effects of decreased cellular excitability

  5. Lens ion homeostasis relies on the assembly and/or stability of large connexin 46 gap junction plaques on the broad sides of differentiating fiber cells

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Catherine; Nowak, Roberta B.; Gao, Junyuan; Sun, Xiurong; Biswas, Sondip K.; Lo, Woo-Kuen; Mathias, Richard T.

    2015-01-01

    The eye lens consists of layers of tightly packed fiber cells, forming a transparent and avascular organ that is important for focusing light onto the retina. A microcirculation system, facilitated by a network of gap junction channels composed of connexins 46 and 50 (Cx46 and Cx50), is hypothesized to maintain and nourish lens fiber cells. We measured lens impedance in mice lacking tropomodulin 1 (Tmod1, an actin pointed-end capping protein), CP49 (a lens-specific intermediate filament protein), or both Tmod1 and CP49. We were surprised to find that simultaneous loss of Tmod1 and CP49, which disrupts cytoskeletal networks in lens fiber cells, results in increased gap junction coupling resistance, hydrostatic pressure, and sodium concentration. Protein levels of Cx46 and Cx50 in Tmod1−/−;CP49−/− double-knockout (DKO) lenses were unchanged, and electron microscopy revealed normal gap junctions. However, immunostaining and quantitative analysis of three-dimensional confocal images showed that Cx46 gap junction plaques are smaller and more dispersed in DKO differentiating fiber cells. The localization and sizes of Cx50 gap junction plaques in DKO fibers were unaffected, suggesting that Cx46 and Cx50 form homomeric channels. We also demonstrate that gap junction plaques rest in lacunae of the membrane-associated actin-spectrin network, suggesting that disruption of the actin-spectrin network in DKO fibers may interfere with gap junction plaque accretion into micrometer-sized domains or alter the stability of large plaques. This is the first work to reveal that normal gap junction plaque localization and size are associated with normal lens coupling conductance. PMID:25740157

  6. Impaired expression and distribution of adherens and gap junction proteins in the seminiferous tubules of rats undergoing autoimmune orchitis.

    PubMed

    Pérez, C; Sobarzo, C; Jacobo, P; Jarazo Dietrich, S; Theas, M; Denduchis, B; Lustig, L

    2011-12-01

    Experimental autoimmune orchitis (EAO) is characterized by an interstitial lymphomononuclear cell infiltration and a severe lesion of seminiferous tubules (ST) with germ cells that undergo apoptosis and sloughing. The aim of this study was to analyse the expression and localization of adherens junction (AJ) proteins: N-cadherin, α-, β- and p120 catenins and gap junction protein, connexin 43 (Cx43), to explore some aspects of germ-cell sloughing during the development of orchitis. EAO was induced in Sprague-Dawley adult rats by active immunization with testicular homogenate and adjuvants. Control rats (C) were injected with saline solution and adjuvants. Concomitant with early signs of germ-cell sloughing, we observed by immunofluorescence and Western blot, a delocalization and a significant increase in N-cadherin and α-catenin expression in the ST of EAO compared with C rats. In spite of this increased AJ protein expression, a severe germ-cell sloughing occurred. This is probably due to the impairment of the AJ complex function, as shown by the loss of N-cadherin/β-catenin colocalization (confocal microscopy) and increased pY654 β-catenin expression, suggesting lower affinity of these two proteins and increased pERK1/2 expression in the testis of EAO rats. The significant decrease in Cx43 expression detected in EAO rats suggests a gap junction function impairment also contributing to germ-cell sloughing.

  7. Surprisingly High Conductivity and Efficient Exciton Blocking in Fullerene/Wide-Energy-Gap Small Molecule Mixtures.

    PubMed

    Bergemann, Kevin J; Amonoo, Jojo A; Song, Byeongseop; Green, Peter F; Forrest, Stephen R

    2015-06-10

    We find that mixtures of C60 with the wide energy gap, small molecular weight semiconductor bathophenanthroline (BPhen) exhibit a combination of surprisingly high electron conductivity and efficient exciton blocking when employed as buffer layers in organic photovoltaic cells. Photoluminescence quenching measurements show that a 1:1 BPhen/C60 mixed layer has an exciton blocking efficiency of 84 ± 5% compared to that of 100% for a neat BPhen layer. This high blocking efficiency is accompanied by a 100-fold increase in electron conductivity compared with neat BPhen. Transient photocurrent measurements show that charge transport through a neat BPhen buffer is dispersive, in contrast to nondispersive transport in the compound buffer. Interestingly, although the conductivity is high, there is no clearly defined insulating-to-conducting phase transition with increased insulating BPhen fraction. Thus, we infer that C60 undergoes nanoscale (<10 nm domain size) phase segregation even at very high (>80%) BPhen fractions.

  8. Albumin is taken up by hippocampal NG2 cells and astrocytes and decreases gap junction coupling

    PubMed Central

    Braganza, Oliver; Bedner, Peter; Hüttmann, Kerstin; von Staden, Elena; Friedman, Alon; Seifert, Gerald; Steinhäuser, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Summary Purpose Dysfunction of the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and albumin extravasation have been suggested to play a role in the etiology of human epilepsy. In this context, dysfunction of glial cells attracts increasing attention. Our study was aimed to analyze in the hippocampus (1) which cell types internalize albumin injected into the lateral ventricle in vivo, (2) whether internalization into astrocytes impacts their coupling and expression of connexin 43 (Cx43), and (3) whether expression of Kir4.1, the predominating astrocytic K+ channel subunit, is altered by albumin. Methods The patch-clamp method was combined with single cell tracer filling to investigate electrophysiologic properties and gap junction coupling (GJC). For cell identification, mice with cell type–specific expression of a fluorescent protein (NG2kiEYFP mice) and immunohistochemistry were employed. Semiquantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) allowed analysis of Kir4.1 and Cx43 transcript levels. Key Findings We show that fluorescently labeled albumin is taken up by astrocytes, NG2 cells, and neurons, with NG2 cells standing out in terms of the quantity of uptake. Within 5 days postinjection (dpi), intracellular albumin accumulation was largely reduced suggesting rapid degradation. Electrophysiologic analysis of astrocytes and NG2 cells revealed no changes in their membrane properties at either time point. However, astrocytic GJC was significantly decreased at 1 dpi but returned to control levels within 5 dpi. We found no changes in hippocampal Cx43 transcript expression, suggesting that other mechanisms account for the observed changes in coupling. Kir4.1 mRNA was regulated oppositely in the CA1 stratum radiatum, with a strong increase at 1 dpi followed by a decrease at 5 dpi. Significance The present study demonstrates that extravasal albumin in the hippocampus induces rapid changes of astrocyte function, which can be expected to impair ion and transmitter homeostasis

  9. Noise magnetic fields abolish the gap junction intercellular communication suppression induced by 50 hz magnetic fields.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Qunli; Ke, Xueqin; Gao, Xiangwei; Fu, Yiti; Lu, Deqiang; Chiang, Huai; Xu, Zhengping

    2006-05-01

    Previously, we have reported that exposure to 50 Hz coherent sinusoidal magnetic fields (MF) for 24 h inhibits gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) in mammalian cells at an intensity of 0.4 mT and enhances the inhibition effect of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) at 0.2 mT. In the present study, we further explored the effects of incoherent noise MF on MF-induced GJIC inhibition. GJIC was determined by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) with a laser-scanning confocal microscope. The rate of fluorescence recovery (R) at 10 min after photobleaching was adopted as the functional index of GJIC. The R-value of NIH3T3 cells exposed to 50 Hz sinusoidal MF at 0.4 mT for 24 h was 30.85 +/- 14.70%, while the cells in sham exposure group had an R-value of 46.36 +/- 20.68%, demonstrating that the GJIC of NIH3T3 cells was significantly inhibited by MF exposure (P < .05). However, there were no significant differences in the R-values of the sham exposure, MF-plus-noise MF exposure (R: 49.58 +/- 19.38%), and noise MF exposure groups (R: 46.74 +/- 21.14%) (P > .05), indicating that the superposition of a noise MF alleviated the suppression of GJIC induced by the 50 Hz MF. In addition, although MF at an intensity of 0.2 mT synergistically enhanced TPA-induced GJIC inhibition (R: 24.90 +/- 13.50% vs. 35.82 +/- 17.18%, P < .05), further imposition of a noise MF abolished the synergistic effect of coherent MF (R: 32.51 +/- 18.37%). Overall, the present data clearly showed that although noise MF itself had no effect on GJIC of NIH3T3 cells, its superposition onto a coherent sinusoidal MF at the same intensity abolished MF-induced GJIC suppression. This is the first report showing that noise MF neutralizes 50 Hz MF-induced biological effect by using a signaling component as the test endpoint.

  10. On Biophysical Properties and Sensitivity to Gap Junction Blockers of Connexin 39 Hemichannels Expressed in HeLa Cells.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Anibal A; Cisterna, Bruno A; Saavedra-Leiva, Fujiko; Urrutia, Carolina; Cea, Luis A; Vielma, Alex H; Gutierrez-Maldonado, Sebastian E; Martin, Alberto J M; Pareja-Barrueto, Claudia; Escalona, Yerko; Schmachtenberg, Oliver; Lagos, Carlos F; Perez-Acle, Tomas; Sáez, Juan C

    2017-01-01

    Although connexins (Cxs) are broadly expressed by cells of mammalian organisms, Cx39 has a very restricted pattern of expression and the biophysical properties of Cx39-based channels [hemichannels (HCs) and gap junction channels (GJCs)] remain largely unknown. Here, we used HeLa cells transfected with Cx39 (HeLa-Cx39 cells) in which intercellular electrical coupling was not detected, indicating the absence of GJCs. However, functional HCs were found on the surface of cells exposed to conditions known to increase the open probability of other Cx HCs (e.g., extracellular divalent cationic-free solution (DCFS), extracellular alkaline pH, mechanical stimulus and depolarization to positive membrane potentials). Cx39 HCs were blocked by some traditional Cx HC blockers, but not by others or a pannexin1 channel blocker. HeLa-Cx39 cells showed similar resting membrane potentials (RMPs) to those of parental cells, and exposure to DCFS reduced RMPs in Cx39 transfectants, but not in parental cells. Under these conditions, unitary events of ~75 pS were frequent in HeLa-Cx39 cells and absent in parental cells. Real-time cellular uptake experiments of dyes with different physicochemical features, as well as the application of a machine-learning approach revealed that Cx39 HCs are preferentially permeable to molecules characterized by six categories of descriptors, namely: (1) electronegativity, (2) ionization potential, (3) polarizability, (4) size and geometry, (5) topological flexibility and (6) valence. However, Cx39 HCs opened by mechanical stimulation or alkaline pH were impermeable to Ca(2+). Molecular modeling of Cx39-based channels suggest that a constriction present at the intracellular portion of the para helix region co-localizes with an electronegative patch, imposing an energetic and steric barrier, which in the case of GJCs may hinder channel function. Results reported here demonstrate that Cx39 form HCs and add to our understanding of the functional roles of Cx39

  11. On Biophysical Properties and Sensitivity to Gap Junction Blockers of Connexin 39 Hemichannels Expressed in HeLa Cells

    PubMed Central

    Vargas, Anibal A.; Cisterna, Bruno A.; Saavedra-Leiva, Fujiko; Urrutia, Carolina; Cea, Luis A.; Vielma, Alex H.; Gutierrez-Maldonado, Sebastian E.; Martin, Alberto J. M.; Pareja-Barrueto, Claudia; Escalona, Yerko; Schmachtenberg, Oliver; Lagos, Carlos F.; Perez-Acle, Tomas; Sáez, Juan C.

    2017-01-01

    Although connexins (Cxs) are broadly expressed by cells of mammalian organisms, Cx39 has a very restricted pattern of expression and the biophysical properties of Cx39-based channels [hemichannels (HCs) and gap junction channels (GJCs)] remain largely unknown. Here, we used HeLa cells transfected with Cx39 (HeLa-Cx39 cells) in which intercellular electrical coupling was not detected, indicating the absence of GJCs. However, functional HCs were found on the surface of cells exposed to conditions known to increase the open probability of other Cx HCs (e.g., extracellular divalent cationic-free solution (DCFS), extracellular alkaline pH, mechanical stimulus and depolarization to positive membrane potentials). Cx39 HCs were blocked by some traditional Cx HC blockers, but not by others or a pannexin1 channel blocker. HeLa-Cx39 cells showed similar resting membrane potentials (RMPs) to those of parental cells, and exposure to DCFS reduced RMPs in Cx39 transfectants, but not in parental cells. Under these conditions, unitary events of ~75 pS were frequent in HeLa-Cx39 cells and absent in parental cells. Real-time cellular uptake experiments of dyes with different physicochemical features, as well as the application of a machine-learning approach revealed that Cx39 HCs are preferentially permeable to molecules characterized by six categories of descriptors, namely: (1) electronegativity, (2) ionization potential, (3) polarizability, (4) size and geometry, (5) topological flexibility and (6) valence. However, Cx39 HCs opened by mechanical stimulation or alkaline pH were impermeable to Ca2+. Molecular modeling of Cx39-based channels suggest that a constriction present at the intracellular portion of the para helix region co-localizes with an electronegative patch, imposing an energetic and steric barrier, which in the case of GJCs may hinder channel function. Results reported here demonstrate that Cx39 form HCs and add to our understanding of the functional roles of Cx39 HCs

  12. 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.

  13. SNS junctions in nanowires with spin-orbit coupling: role of confinement and helicity on the sub-gap spectrum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cayao, Jorge; Prada, Elsa; San-Jose, Pablo; Aguado, Ramón

    2015-03-01

    We study normal transport and the sub-gap spectrum of superconductor-normal-superconductor (SNS) junctions made of semiconducting nanowires with strong Rashba spin-orbit coupling. We focus, in particular, on the role of confinement effects in long ballistic junctions. In the normal regime, scattering at the two contacts gives rise to two distinct features in conductance, Fabry-Perot resonances and Fano dips. The latter arise in the presence of a strong Zeeman field B that removes a spin sector in the leads (helical leads), but not in the central region. Conversely, a helical central region between non-helical leads exhibits helical gaps of half-quantum conductance, with superimposed helical Fabry-Perot oscillations. These normal features translate into distinct subgap states when the leads become superconducting. In particular, Fabry-Perot resonances within the helical gap become parity-protected zero-energy states (parity crossings, related to Yu-Shiba-Rusinov bound states), well below the critical field Bc at which the superconducting leads become topological. As a function of Zeeman field or Fermi energy, these zero-modes oscillate around zero energy, forming characteristic loops, which evolve continuously into Majorana bound states as B exceeds Bc.

  14. 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

  15. The vascular endothelial growth factor-induced disruption of gap junctions is relayed by an autocrine communication via ATP release in coronary capillary endothelium.

    PubMed

    Thuringer, Dominique

    2004-12-01

    Little is known concerning how the coordination of Ca(2+) signaling aids in capillary endothelial cell (CEC) functions, such as microvascular permeability and angiogenesis. Previous reports support the major involvement of gap junction (GJ) channels. However, the cell-to-cell communication may not be straightforward, especially if we consider the participation of active molecules released by CEC. In this study, short-term effects of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-165) were compared with those of bradykinin (BK) on gap junction coupling (GJC) and remodeling of connexin-43 (Cx43) and then analyzed for intercellular Ca(2+) signal in primary cultures of coronary CEC. Dye-coupling experiments revealed that BK or VEGF completely blocked GJC. These effects correlated with the rapid internalization of Cx43 and its tyrosine phosphorylation in part via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway. GJC slowly recovered with BK but not with VEGF in the following hour. In control conditions, mechanical stimulation of a single cell within a confluent monolayer triggered an intercellular Ca(2+) wave that was partially inhibited by GJC blockers or purinergic inhibitors. No wave propagation was observed after blockage of both GJC and purinergic receptors. Cell treatment with VEGF also reduced propagation of the Ca(2+) wave, which was totally prevented by applying a purinergic receptor antagonist but not with a GJC blocker. That excludes purine efflux through Cx hemichannels. We conclude that VEGF-induced disruption of GJC via Cx43 remodeling is relayed by an autocrine communication via secretion of ATP to preserve intercellular Ca(2+) signaling in capillary endothelium.

  16. Absence of mutations in the regulatory domain of the gap junction protein connexin 43 in patients with visceroatrial heterotaxy.

    PubMed Central

    Penman Splitt, M.; Tsai, M. Y.; Burn, J.; Goodship, J. A.

    1997-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency of mutations in the regulatory domain of the gap junction protein connexin 43 in patients with visceroatrial heterotaxy. DESIGN: Mutation screening of the terminal 200 base pairs of connexin43 gene coding sequence in a series of patients from tertiary care centres. PATIENTS: 48 patients with visceroatrial heterotaxy attending UK Regional Paediatric Cardiology Centres. RESULTS: No changes from the published connexin43 consensus sequence were found in any of the 48 patients studied. CONCLUSIONS: Germline mutations of the phosphorylation sites in teh regulatory domain of the connexin43 gene are rare in patients with visceroatrial heterotaxy. PMID:9155619

  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. 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.

  19. Gap junction-mediated transfer of miR-145-5p from microvascular endothelial cells to colon cancer cells inhibits angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Thuringer, Dominique; Jego, Gaetan; Berthenet, Kevin; Hammann, Arlette; Solary, Eric; Garrido, Carmen

    2016-05-10

    Gap junctional communication between cancer cells and blood capillary cells is crucial to tumor growth and invasion. Gap junctions may transfer microRNAs (miRs) among cells. Here, we explore the impact of such a transfer in co-culture assays, using the antitumor miR-145 as an example. The SW480 colon carcinoma cells form functional gap junction composed of connexin-43 (Cx43) with human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC). When HMEC are loaded with miR-145-5p mimics, the miR-145 level drastically increases in SW480. The functional inhibition of gap junctions, using either a gap channel blocker or siRNA targeting Cx43, prevents this increase. The transfer of miR-145 also occurs from SW480 to HMEC but not in non-contact co-cultures, excluding the involvement of soluble exosomes. The miR-145 transfer to SW480 up-regulates their Cx43 expression and inhibits their ability to promote angiogenesis. Our results indicate that the gap junctional communication can inhibit tumor growth by transferring miRs from one endothelial cell to neighboring tumor cells. This "bystander" effect could find application in cancer therapy.

  20. The gap junction as a "Biological Rosetta Stone": implications of evolution, stem cells to homeostatic regulation of health and disease in the Barker hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Trosko, James E

    2011-03-01

    The discovery of the gap junction structure, its functions and the family of the "connexin" genes, has been basically ignored by the major biological disciplines. These connexin genes code for proteins that organize to form membrane-associated hemi-channels, "connexons", co-join with the connexons of neighboring cells to form gap junctions. Gap junctions appeared in the early evolution of the metazoan. Their fundamental functions, (e.g., to synchronize electrotonic and metabolic functions of societies of cells, and to regulate cell proliferation, cell differentiation, and apoptosis), were accomplished via integrating the extra-cellular triggering of intra-cellular signaling, and therefore, regulating gene expression. These functions have been documented by genetic mutations of the connexin genes and by chemical modulation of gap junctions. Via genetic alteration of connexins in knock-out and transgenic mice, as well as inherited connexin mutations in various human syndromes, the gap junction has been shown to be directly linked to many normal cell functions and multiple diseases, such as birth defects, reproductive, neurological disorders, immune dysfunction and cancer. Specifically, the modulation of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), either by increasing or decreasing its functions by non-mutagenic chemicals or by oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes in normal or "initiated" stem cells and their progenitor cells, can have a major impact on tumor promotion or cancer chemoprevention and chemotherapy. The overview of the roles of the gap junction in the evolution of the metazoan and its potential in understanding a "systems" view of human health and aging and the diseases of aging will be attempted.

  1. Self-Assembled Asymmetric Block Copolymer Membranes: Bridging the Gap from Ultra- to Nanofiltration.

    PubMed

    Yu, Haizhou; Qiu, Xiaoyan; Moreno, Nicolas; Ma, Zengwei; Calo, Victor Manuel; Nunes, Suzana P; Peinemann, Klaus-Viktor

    2015-11-16

    The self-assembly of block copolymers is an emerging strategy to produce isoporous ultrafiltration membranes. However, thus far, it has not been possible to bridge the gap from ultra- to nanofiltration and decrease the pore size of self-assembled block copolymer membranes to below 5 nm without post-treatment. It is now reported that the self-assembly of blends of two chemically interacting copolymers can lead to highly porous membranes with pore diameters as small as 1.5 nm. The membrane containing an ultraporous, 60 nm thin separation layer can fully reject solutes with molecular weights of 600 g mol(-1) in aqueous solutions with a water flux that is more than one order of magnitude higher than the permeance of commercial nanofiltration membranes. Simulations of the membrane formation process by dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) were used to explain the dramatic observed pore size reduction combined with an increase in water flux.

  2. Voltage-Controlled Switching and Thermal Effects in VO2 Nano-Gap Junctions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-06-09

    material1, vanadium dioxide (VO2), has attracted significant attention in optics2–9 and electronics10–15 for its applications in low power, compact and...lateral VO2 junctions as illustrated in Fig. 1(a). A t = 100 nm VO2 film was deposited using magnetron sputtering of a vanadium target on a 2 μm thick

  3. A connexin30 mutation rescues hearing and reveals roles for gap junctions in cochlear amplification and micromechanics

    PubMed Central

    Lukashkina, Victoria A.; Levic, Snezana; Lukashkin, Andrei N.; Strenzke, Nicola; Russell, Ian J.

    2017-01-01

    Accelerated age-related hearing loss disrupts high-frequency hearing in inbred CD-1 mice. The p.Ala88Val (A88V) mutation in the gene coding for the gap-junction protein connexin30 (Cx30) protects the cochlear basal turn of adult CD-1Cx30A88V/A88V mice from degeneration and rescues hearing. Here we report that the passive compliance of the cochlear partition and active frequency tuning of the basilar membrane are enhanced in the cochleae of CD-1Cx30A88V/A88V compared to CBA/J mice with sensitive high-frequency hearing, suggesting that gap junctions contribute to passive cochlear mechanics and energy distribution in the active cochlea. Surprisingly, the endocochlear potential that drives mechanoelectrical transduction currents in outer hair cells and hence cochlear amplification is greatly reduced in CD-1Cx30A88V/A88V mice. Yet, the saturating amplitudes of cochlear microphonic potentials in CD-1Cx30A88V/A88V and CBA/J mice are comparable. Although not conclusive, these results are compatible with the proposal that transmembrane potentials, determined mainly by extracellular potentials, drive somatic electromotility of outer hair cells. PMID:28220769

  4. Intercellular calcium waves in the fire-diffuse-fire framework: Green's function for gap-junctional coupling.

    PubMed

    Harris, Jamie; Timofeeva, Yulia

    2010-11-01

    Calcium is a crucial component in a plethora of cellular processes involved in cell birth, life, and death. Intercellular calcium waves that can spread through multiple cells provide one form of cellular communication mechanism between various parts of cell tissues. Here we introduce a simple, yet biophysically realistic model for the propagation of intercellular calcium waves based on the fire-diffuse-fire type model for calcium dynamics. Calcium release sites are considered to be discretely distributed along individual linear cells that are connected by gap junctions and a solution of this model can be found in terms of the Green's function for this system. We develop the "sum-over-trips" formalism that takes into account the boundary conditions at gap junctions providing a generalization of the original sum-over-trips approach for constructing the response function for branched neural dendrites. We obtain the exact solution of the Green's function in the Laplace (frequency) domain for an infinite array of cells and show that this Green's function can be well approximated by its truncated version. This allows us to obtain an analytical traveling wave solution for an intercellular calcium wave and analyze the speed of solitary wave propagation as a function of physiologically important system parameters. Periodic and irregular traveling waves can be also sustained by the proposed model.

  5. Effects of gap junction inhibition on contraction waves in the murine small intestine in relation to coupled oscillator theory.

    PubMed

    Parsons, Sean P; Huizinga, Jan D

    2015-02-15

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Lipid rafts prepared by different methods contain different connexin channels, but gap junctions are not lipid rafts.

    PubMed

    Locke, Darren; Liu, Jade; Harris, Andrew L

    2005-10-04

    Cell extraction with cold nonionic detergents or alkaline carbonate prepares an insoluble membrane fraction whose buoyant density permits its flotation in discontinuous sucrose gradients. These lipid "rafts" are implicated in protein sorting and are attractive candidates as platforms that coordinate signal transduction pathways with intracellular substrates. Gap junctions form a direct molecular signaling pathway by end-to-end apposition of hemichannels containing one (homomeric) or more (heteromeric) connexin isoforms. Residency of channels composed of Cx26 and/or Cx32 in lipid rafts was assessed by membrane insolubility in alkaline carbonate or different concentrations of Triton X100, Nonidet P40 and Brij-58 nonionic detergents. Using Triton X100, insoluble raft membranes contained homomeric Cx32 channels, but Cx26-containing channels only when low detergent concentrations were used. Results were similar using Nonidet P40, except that Cx26-containing channels were excluded from raft membranes at all detergent concentrations. In contrast, homomeric Cx26 channels were enriched within Brij-58-insoluble rafts, whereas Cx32-containing channels partitioned between raft and nonraft membranes. Immunofluorescence microscopy showed prominent colocalization only of nonjunctional connexin channels with raft plasma membrane; junctional plaques were not lipid rafts. Rafts prepared by different extraction methods had considerable quantitative and qualitative differences in their lipid compositions. That functionally different nonjunctional connexin channels partition among rafts with distinct lipid compositions suggests that unpaired Cx26 and/or Cx32 channels exist in membrane domains of slightly different physicochemical character. Rafts may be involved in trafficking of plasma membrane connexin channels to gap junctions.

  11. Effect of gap junctions on the firing patterns and synchrony for different external inputs in the striatal fast-spiking neuron network.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Mingming; Zhao, Zongya; He, Ping; Wang, Jue

    2014-01-01

    Gap junctions are the mechanism for striatal fast-spiking interneurons (FSIs) to interconnect with each other and play an important role in determining the physiological functioning of the FSIs. To investigate the effect of gap junctions on the firing activities and synchronization of the network for different external inputs, a simple network with least connections and a Newman-Watts small-world network were constructed. Our research shows that both properties of neural networks are related to the conductance of the gap junctions, as well as the frequency and correlation of the external inputs. The effect of gap junctions on the synchronization of network is different for inputs with different frequencies and correlations. The addition of gap junctions can promote the network synchrony in some conditions but suppress it in others, and they can inhibit the firing activities in most cases. Both the firing rate and synchronization of the network increase along with the increase of the electrical coupling strength for inputs with low frequency and high correlation. Thus, the network of coupled FSIs can act as a detector for synchronous synaptic input from cortex and thalamus.

  12. Inhibition of gap junction intercellular communication by extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields in osteoblast-like models is dependent on cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Dean T; Huang, Jason; Ma, Defang; Wang, Paul K C

    2002-02-01

    Electromagnetic fields have been used to augment the healing of fractures because of its ability to increase new bone formation. The mechanism of how electromagnetic fields can promote new bone formation is unknown, although the interaction of electromagnetic fields with components of the plasma membrane of cells has been hypothesized to occur in bone cells. Gap junctions occur among bone forming cells, the osteoblasts, and have been hypothesized to play a role in new bone formation. Thus it was investigated whether extremely low-frequency (ELF) magnetic fields alter gap junction intercellular communication in the pre-osteoblastic model, MC3T3-E1, and the well-differentiated osteoblastic model, ROS 17/2.8. ELF magnetic field exposure systems were designed to be used for an inverted microscope stage and for a tissue culture incubator. Using these systems, it was found that magnetic fields over a frequency range from 30 to 120 Hz and field intensities up to 12.5 G dose dependently decreased gap junction intercellular communication in MC3T3-E1 cells during their proliferative phase of development. The total amount of connexin 43 protein and the distribution of connexin 43 gap junction protein between cytoplasmic and plasma membrane pools were unaltered by treatment with ELF magnetic fields. Cytosolic calcium ([Ca(2+)](i)) which can inhibit gap junction communication, was not altered by magnetic field exposure. Identical exposure conditions did not affect gap junction communication in the ROS 17/2.8 cell line and when MC3T3-E1 cells were more differentiated. Thus ELF magnetic fields may affect only less differentiated or pre-osteoblasts and not fully differentiated osteoblasts. Consequently, electromagnetic fields may aid in the repair of bone by effects exerted only on osteoprogenitor or pre-osteoblasts.

  13. 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.

  14. Gap Junction-Mediated Signaling from Motor Neurons Regulates Motor Generation in the Central Circuits of Larval Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Matsunaga, Teruyuki; Kohsaka, Hiroshi; Nose, Akinao

    2017-02-22

    In this study, we used the peristaltic crawling of Drosophila larvae as a model to study how motor patterns are regulated by central circuits. We built an experimental system that allows simultaneous application of optogenetics and calcium imaging to the isolated ventral nerve cord (VNC). We then investigated the effects of manipulating local activity of motor neurons (MNs) on fictive locomotion observed as waves of MN activity propagating along neuromeres. Optical inhibition of MNs with halorhodopsin3 in a middle segment (A4, A5, or A6), but not other segments, dramatically decreased the frequency of the motor waves. Conversely, local activation of MNs with channelrhodopsin2 in a posterior segment (A6 or A7) increased the frequency of the motor waves. Since peripheral nerves mediating sensory feedback were severed in the VNC preparation, these results indicate that MNs send signals to the central circuits to regulate motor pattern generation. Our results also indicate segmental specificity in the roles of MNs in motor control. The effects of the local MN activity manipulation were lost in shaking-B(2) (shakB(2) ) or ogre(2) , gap-junction mutations in Drosophila, or upon acute application of the gap junction blocker carbenoxolone, implicating electrical synapses in the signaling from MNs. Cell-type-specific RNAi suggested shakB and ogre function in MNs and interneurons, respectively, during the signaling. Our results not only reveal an unexpected role for MNs in motor pattern regulation, but also introduce a powerful experimental system that enables examination of the input-output relationship among the component neurons in this system.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Motor neurons are generally considered passive players in motor pattern generation, simply relaying information from upstream interneuronal circuits to the target muscles. This study shows instead that MNs play active roles in the control of motor generation by conveying information via gap junctions to the

  15. Block of inhibitory junction potentials and TREK-1 channels in murine colon by Ca2+ store-active drugs.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Sung Jin; O'Kane, Neil; Singer, Cherie; Ward, Sean M; Sanders, Kenton M; Koh, Sang Don

    2008-02-15

    Post-junctional enteric inhibitory responses are composed of at least two components attributed to the release of a purine and nitric oxide (NO). The nitrergic component is characterized by membrane potential hyperpolarization; however, the conductances involved and the role of Ca(2+) stores in regulating these conductances are controversial. Conventional microelectrode recordings were performed in intact muscle strips and whole-cell voltage clamp experiments were performed on freshly dispersed cells and COS7 cells stably transfected with TREK-1 channels. Here we show that several Ca(2+) store-active compounds, including caffeine, ryanodine, and cyclopiazonic acid, reduce inhibitory junction potentials and responses to sodium nitroprusside in murine colonic muscles. We previously proposed that two-pore K(+) channels of the TREK family mediate a portion of the hyperpolarization response to NO in colonic muscles. We tested the effects of Ca(2+) store-active drugs in COS cells expressing murine TREK-1 channels and found these compounds block TREK-1 currents. These effects were greatly attenuated by dialysing cells with protein kinase A inhibitory peptide (PKAI). Caffeine also blocked stretch-dependent K(+) (SDK) channels, thought to be due to expression of TREK channels, in colonic myocytes, but these effects were not apparent in excised patches. Taken together our data show that Ca(2+) store-active compounds inhibit TREK-1 channels, native SDK channels, and nitrergic inhibitory junction potentials. These effects appear to be due, in part, to the cAMP/PKA stimulatory actions of these drugs and inhibitory effects of TREK channels.

  16. 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.

  17. A population of gap junction-coupled neurons drives recurrent network activity in a developing visual circuit

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhenyu; Ciarleglio, Christopher M.; Hamodi, Ali S.; Aizenman, Carlos D.

    2016-01-01

    In many regions of the vertebrate brain, microcircuits generate local recurrent activity that aids in the processing and encoding of incoming afferent inputs. Local recurrent activity can amplify, filter, and temporally and spatially parse out incoming input. Determining how these microcircuits function is of great interest because it provides glimpses into fundamental processes underlying brain computation. Within the Xenopus tadpole optic tectum, deep layer neurons display robust recurrent activity. Although the development and plasticity of this local recurrent activity has been well described, the underlying microcircuitry is not well understood. Here, using a whole brain preparation that allows for whole cell recording from neurons of the superficial tectal layers, we identified a physiologically distinct population of excitatory neurons that are gap junctionally coupled and through this coupling gate local recurrent network activity. Our findings provide a novel role for neuronal coupling among excitatory interneurons in the temporal processing of visual stimuli. PMID:26763780

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. The uncoupling effect of diacylglycerol on gap junctional communication of mammalian heart cells is independent of protein kinase C.

    PubMed

    Bastide, B; Hervé, J C; Délèze, J

    1994-10-01

    Possible regulatory effects on cell-to-cell communication of a synthetic diacylglycerol, an activator of protein kinase C (PKC), were examined in pairs of synchronously beating ventricular myocytes of neonatal rats in primary culture. Junctional communication was estimated by measuring either the rate constant of dye diffusion, with the fluorescence recovery after photobleaching technique, or the cell-to-cell electrical conductance with a double whole-cell voltage clamp. The addition of a freshly prepared emulsion of 1-oleoyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol (OAG, 100 micrograms/ml), either in the bath or in the solution filling the patch pipet, was seen to interrupt intercellular communication within approximately 8 to 10 min. This effect is neither mimicked by stimulation of PKC by a phorbol ester, nor prevented by PKC inhibitors, making it unlikely that, in these cells, PKC activation could induce intercellular uncoupling. During OAG exposures, the intracellular calcium concentration was very modestly increased (by a factor 1.5 to 2), which does not suffice to account for uncoupling. OAG might trigger interruption of cell-to-cell communication by a mechanism analogous to that of other lipophilic molecules (such as aliphatic alcohols or long chain unsaturated fatty acids) which interfere with gap junctions.

  1. Changes in gap junction organization and decreased coupling during induced apoptosis in lens epithelial and NIH-3T3 cells.

    PubMed

    Theiss, Carsten; Mazur, Antonina; Meller, Karl; Mannherz, Hans Georg

    2007-01-01

    We demonstrate that global induction of apoptosis in primary bovine lens epithelial (LEC) or fibroblastic mouse NIH-3T3 cells by staurosporine, puromycin, cycloheximide, or etoposide is accompanied by a decrease in coupling by gap junctions. Cell coupling as tested by neurobiotin spreading was maintained when the LEC or NIH-3T3 cells were pre-incubated with the pan-caspase inhibitor zVAD or the caspase-3 inhibiting tetrapeptide DEVD. Immunohistochemistry using anti-connexin-43 antibodies showed a reduction of plasma membrane integrated connexin-43 in both cell lines when undergoing apoptosis. Western blotting indicated degradation of connexin-43 that was inhibited by zVAD or DEVD. Cell coupling at single cell level was tested by direct microinjecting into LEC apoptosis-inducing agents of low molecular mass like staurosporine, etoposide and puromycin or the high molecular mass proteins caspase-3 and -8 in activated state. Microinjection of puromycin or etoposide induced apoptotic morphological changes of only the injected cell within 90 or 180 min, but did not affect adjacent cells. In contrast, microinjection of staurosporine led to a rapid induction of apoptosis of the injected and a number of adjacent cells suggesting spreading of staurosporine most probably through gap junction pores held open by dephosphorylation of connexin-43 as verified by immunoblotting and staining using a phospho-serine368-specific anti-connexin-43 antibody. Microinjection of active caspase-8 led after 3 h to morphological apoptotic alterations of only the injected cell, but did not inhibit spreading of co-injected neurobiotin to neighboring cells during the first hour. In contrast, microinjection of active caspase-3-induced apoptosis only of the injected cell after 60 min and rapidly and completely suppressed coupling to neighboring cells.

  2. 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

  3. Influence of gap junction intercellular communication composed of connexin 43 on the antineoplastic effect of adriamycin in breast cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Guojun; Dong, Shuying; Yu, Meiling; Han, Xi; Zheng, Chao; Zhu, Xiaoguang; Tong, Xuhui

    2017-01-01

    Gap junctions (GJs) serve the principal role in the antineoplastic (cytotoxicity and induced apoptosis) effect of chemical drugs. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of GJ intercellular communication (GJIC) composed of connexin 43 (Cx43) on adriamycin cytotoxicity in breast cancer cells. Four cell lines (Hs578T, MCF-7, MDA-MB-231 and SK-BR-3) with different degree of malignancy were used in the study. The results of western blotting and immunofluorescence revealed that, in Hs578T and MCF-7 cells, which have a low degree of malignancy, the expression levels of Cx43 and GJIC were higher than those in MDA-MB-231 and SK-BR-3 cells (which have a high degree of malignancy). In Hs578T and MCF-7 cells, where GJ could be formed, the function of GJ was modulated by a pharmacological potentiators [retinoid acid (RA)]/inhibitors [oleamide and 18-α-glycyrrhetinic acid (18-α-GA)] and small interfering RNA (siRNA). In high-density cells (where GJ was formed), enhancement of GJ function by RA increased the cytotoxicity of adriamycin, while inhibition of GJ function by oleamide/18-α-GA and siRNA decreased the cytotoxicity caused by adriamycin. Notably, the modulation of GJ did not affect the survival of cells treated with adriamycin when cells were in low density (no GJ was formed). The present study illustrated the association between GJIC and the antitumor effect of adriamycin in breast cancer cells. The cytotoxicity of adriamycin on breast cancer cells was increased when the function of gap junctions was enhanced. PMID:28356970

  4. Aspartic Acid Residue D3 Critically Determines Cx50 Gap Junction Channel Transjunctional Voltage-Dependent Gating and Unitary Conductance

    PubMed Central

    Xin, Li; Nakagawa, So; Tsukihara, Tomitake; Bai, Donglin

    2012-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that the aspartic acid residue (D) at the third position is critical in determining the voltage polarity of fast Vj-gating of Cx50 channels. To test whether another negatively charged residue (a glutamic acid residue, E) could fulfill the role of the D3 residue, we generated the mutant Cx50D3E. Vj-dependent gating properties of this mutant channel were characterized by double-patch-clamp recordings in N2A cells. Macroscopically, the D3E substitution reduced the residual conductance (Gmin) to near zero and outwardly shifted the half-inactivation voltage (V0), which is a result of both a reduced aggregate gating charge (z) and a reduced free-energy difference between the open and closed states. Single Cx50D3E gap junction channels showed reduced unitary conductance (γj) of the main open state, reduced open dwell time at ±40 mV, and absence of a long-lived substate. In contrast, a G8E substitution tested to compare the effects of the E residue at the third and eighth positions did not modify the Vj-dependent gating profile or γj. In summary, this study is the first that we know of to suggest that the D3 residue plays an essential role, in addition to serving as a negative-charge provider, as a critical determinant of the Vj-dependent gating sensitivity, open-closed stability, and unitary conductance of Cx50 gap junction channels. PMID:22404924

  5. 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

  6. An Evaluation of the Gap Sizes of 3-Unit Fixed Dental Prostheses Milled from Sintering Metal Blocks.

    PubMed

    Jung, Jae-Kwan

    2017-01-01

    This study assessed the clinical acceptability of sintering metal-fabricated 3-unit fixed dental prostheses (FDPs) based on gap sizes. Ten specimens were prepared on research models by milling sintering metal blocks or by the lost-wax technique (LWC group). Gap sizes were assessed at 12 points per abutment (premolar and molar), 24 points per specimen (480 points in a total in 20 specimens). The measured points were categorized as marginal, axial wall, and occlusal for assessment in a silicone replica. The silicone replica was cut through the mesiodistal and buccolingual center. The four sections were magnified at 160x, and the thickness of the light body silicone was measured to determine the gap size, and gap size means were compared. For the premolar part, the mean (standard deviation) gap size was nonsignificantly (p = 0.139) smaller in the SMB group (68.6 ± 35.6 μm) than in the LWC group (69.6 ± 16.9 μm). The mean molar gap was nonsignificantly smaller (p = 0.852) in the LWC (73.9 ± 25.6 μm) than in the SMB (78.1 ± 37.4 μm) group. The gap sizes were similar between the two groups. Because the gap sizes were within the previously proposed clinically accepted limit, FDPs prepared by sintered metal block milling are clinically acceptable.

  7. An Evaluation of the Gap Sizes of 3-Unit Fixed Dental Prostheses Milled from Sintering Metal Blocks

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    This study assessed the clinical acceptability of sintering metal-fabricated 3-unit fixed dental prostheses (FDPs) based on gap sizes. Ten specimens were prepared on research models by milling sintering metal blocks or by the lost-wax technique (LWC group). Gap sizes were assessed at 12 points per abutment (premolar and molar), 24 points per specimen (480 points in a total in 20 specimens). The measured points were categorized as marginal, axial wall, and occlusal for assessment in a silicone replica. The silicone replica was cut through the mesiodistal and buccolingual center. The four sections were magnified at 160x, and the thickness of the light body silicone was measured to determine the gap size, and gap size means were compared. For the premolar part, the mean (standard deviation) gap size was nonsignificantly (p = 0.139) smaller in the SMB group (68.6 ± 35.6 μm) than in the LWC group (69.6 ± 16.9 μm). The mean molar gap was nonsignificantly smaller (p = 0.852) in the LWC (73.9 ± 25.6 μm) than in the SMB (78.1 ± 37.4 μm) group. The gap sizes were similar between the two groups. Because the gap sizes were within the previously proposed clinically accepted limit, FDPs prepared by sintered metal block milling are clinically acceptable. PMID:28246605

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. Aging is associated with an increase in dye coupling and in gap junction number in satellite glial cells of murine dorsal root ganglia.

    PubMed

    Huang, T Y; Hanani, M; Ledda, M; De Palo, S; Pannese, E

    2006-01-01

    Glial cells in both central and peripheral nervous systems are connected by gap junctions, which allow electrical and metabolic coupling between them. In spite of the great current interest in aging of the nervous system, the effect of aging on glial cell coupling received little attention. We examined coupling between satellite glial cells in murine dorsal root ganglia using the dye coupling technique and electron microscopy. We studied mice at ages of postnatal 90-730 days. Dye coupling incidence between satellite glial cells associated with a single neuron increased from 24.2% at postnatal day 90 to 50.5% at postnatal day 730. Dye coupling between satellite glial cells that are in contact with two or more neurons increased from 2.7% at postnatal day 90 to 18.6% at postnatal day 730 (P<0.05). Examination of the ganglia with the electron microscope showed that the number of gap junctions per 100 microm2 of surface area of satellite glial cells increased from 0.22 at postnatal day 90 to 1.56 at postnatal day 730 (P<0.01). The mean length of individual gap junctions did not change with age. These results provide strong evidence for an increase of functional coupling between satellite glial cells during life. This increase is apparently due to an increase in the total area of the system of gap junctions connecting these cells.

  11. Localisation Microscopy of Breast Epithelial ErbB-2 Receptors and Gap Junctions: Trafficking after γ-Irradiation, Neuregulin-1β, and Trastuzumab Application

    PubMed Central

    Pilarczyk, Götz; Nesnidal, Ines; Gunkel, Manuel; Bach, Margund; Bestvater, Felix; Hausmann, Michael

    2017-01-01

    In cancer, vulnerable breast epithelium malignance tendency correlates with number and activation of ErbB receptor tyrosine kinases. In the presented work, we observe ErbB receptors activated by irradiation-induced DNA injury or neuregulin-1β application, or alternatively, attenuated by a therapeutic antibody using high resolution fluorescence localization microscopy. The gap junction turnover coinciding with ErbB receptor activation and co-transport is simultaneously recorded. DNA injury caused by 4 Gray of 6 MeV photon γ-irradiation or alternatively neuregulin-1β application mobilized ErbB receptors in a nucleograde fashion—a process attenuated by trastuzumab antibody application. This was accompanied by increased receptor density, indicating packing into transport units. Factors mobilizing ErbB receptors also mobilized plasma membrane resident gap junction channels. The time course of ErbB receptor activation and gap junction mobilization recapitulates the time course of non-homologous end-joining DNA repair. We explain our findings under terms of DNA injury-induced membrane receptor tyrosine kinase activation and retrograde trafficking. In addition, we interpret the phenomenon of retrograde co-trafficking of gap junction connexons stimulated by ErbB receptor activation. PMID:28208769

  12. Tunable PhoXonic Band Gap Materials from Self-Assembly of Block Copoliymers and Colloidal Nanocrystals (NBIT Phase II)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-05-06

    interaction with photons and phonons. Concerning this, we seek to develop methods and understanding to create both periodically structured materials ...this, we seek to develop methods and understanding to create both periodically structured materials (Bragg gap materials ) and non-periodically...Final Report for AOARD Grant 1014069 “Tunable PhoXonic Band Gap Materials from Self-Assembly of Block Copoliymers and Colloidal Nanocrystals

  13. Inhibition of gap junction intercellular communication is involved in silica nanoparticles-induced H9c2 cardiomyocytes apoptosis via the mitochondrial pathway

    PubMed Central

    Du, Zhong-jun; Cui, Guan-qun; Zhang, Juan; Liu, Xiao-mei; Zhang, Zhi-hu; Jia, Qiang; Ng, Jack C; Peng, Cheng; Bo, Cun-xiang; Shao, Hua

    2017-01-01

    Gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) between cardiomyocytes is essential for synchronous heart contraction and relies on connexin-containing channels. Connexin 43 (Cx43) is a major component involved in GJIC in heart tissue, and its abnormal expression is closely associated with various cardiac diseases. Silica nanoparticles (SNPs) are known to induce cardiovascular toxicity. However, the mechanisms through which GJIC plays a role in cardiomyocytes apoptosis induced by SNPs remain unknown. The aim of the present study is to determine whether SNPs-decreased GJIC promotes apoptosis in rat cardiomyocytes cell line (H9c2 cells) via the mitochondrial pathway using CCK-8 Kit, scrape-loading dye transfer technique, Annexin V/PI double-staining assays, and Western blot analysis. The results showed that SNPs elicited cytotoxicity in H9c2 cells in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. SNPs also reduced GJIC in H9c2 cells in a concentration-dependent manner through downregulation of Cx43 and upregulation of P-Cx43. Inhibition of gap junctions by gap junction blocker carbenoxolone disodium resulted in decreased survival and increased apoptosis, whereas enhancement of the gap junctions by retinoic acid led to enhanced survival but decreased apoptosis. Furthermore, SNPs-induced apoptosis through the disrupted functional gap junction was correlated with abnormal expressions of the proteins involved in the mitochondrial pathway-related apoptosis such as Bcl-2/Bax, cytochrome C, Caspase-9, and Caspase-3. Taken together, our results provide the first evidence that SNPs-decreased GJIC promotes apoptosis in cardiomyocytes via the mitochondrial pathway. In addition, downregulation of GJIC by SNPs in cardiomyocytes is mediated through downregulation of Cx43 and upregulation of P-Cx43. These results suggest that in rat cardiomyocytes cell line, GJIC plays a protective role in SNPs-induced apoptosis and that GJIC may be one of the targets for SNPs-induced biological

  14. Effects of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate on gap and tight junction protein expression in the testis of prepubertal rats.

    PubMed

    Sobarzo, Cristian M; Lustig, Livia; Ponzio, Roberto; Suescun, María Olga; Denduchis, Berta

    2009-11-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze whether di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), a Sertoli and Leydig cell toxicant, is able to induce alterations in the expression of testicular gap and tight junction proteins. DEHP was administered by gavage (1 g/5 mL corn oil/kg body weight/day) to 25-day-old male Sprague-Dawley rats for 2 days (DEHP-27d) and control rats were treated with corn-oil vehicle for 2 days (C-27d); animals were killed 24 h after the last treatment. Testes of DEHP-27d rats showed different degrees of germ cell sloughing of seminiferous tubules (ST). No alterations of the blood testis barrier (BTB) by lanthanum tracer study were observed. ST of DEHP-27d rats showed a milder immunofluorescence and more restricted expression of connexin-43 (Cx43) in the adluminal and basal compartment compared to C-27d. In DEHP-27d rats, we found a discontinuous immunofluorescent (IF) pattern for zonula occludens (ZO-1), contrasting with the continuous IF profile observed in C-27d, and a delocalization of claudin-11. A decrease in Cx43 and ZO-1 and no changes in occludin expression were detected by Western blot in the testes of DEHP-27d rats. Results from 57-day-old rats treated with DEHP for 2 days and held for 30 days without treatment showed that the alterations in protein expression induced by DEHP are reversible. However, a delay of spermatogenesis compared to C-57d rats, occurred. Data demonstrated that DEHP does not impair BTB permeability but induces germ cell sloughing that might respond to a down regulation of Cx43 and ZO-1 that alters cell junction proteins.

  15. 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

  16. Analysis of trafficking, stability and function of human connexin 26 gap junction channels with deafness-causing mutations in the fourth transmembrane helix.

    PubMed

    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

  17. Intracellular Transport, Assembly, and Degradation of Wild-Type and Disease-linked Mutant Gap Junction Proteins

    PubMed Central

    VanSlyke, Judy K.; Deschenes, Suzanne M.; Musil, Linda S.

    2000-01-01

    More than 130 different mutations in the gap junction integral plasma membrane protein connexin32 (Cx32) have been linked to the human peripheral neuropathy X-linked Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease (CMTX). How these various mutants are processed by the cell and the mechanism(s) by which they cause CMTX are unknown. To address these issues, we have studied the intracellular transport, assembly, and degradation of three CMTX-linked Cx32 mutants stably expressed in PC12 cells. Each mutant had a distinct fate: E208K Cx32 appeared to be retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), whereas both the E186K and R142W mutants were transported to perinuclear compartments from which they trafficked either to lysosomes (R142W Cx32) or back to the ER (E186K Cx32). Despite these differences, each mutant was soluble in nonionic detergent but unable to assemble into homomeric connexons. Degradation of both mutant and wild-type connexins was rapid (t1/2 < 3 h) and took place at least in part in the ER by a process sensitive to proteasome inhibitors. The mutants studied are therefore unlikely to cause disease by accumulating in degradation-resistant aggregates but instead are efficiently cleared from the cell by quality control processes that prevent abnormal connexin molecules from traversing the secretory pathway. PMID:10848620

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Segmental Bayesian estimation of gap-junctional and inhibitory conductance of inferior olive neurons from spike trains with complicated dynamics.

    PubMed

    Hoang, Huu; Yamashita, Okito; Tokuda, Isao T; Sato, Masa-Aki; Kawato, Mitsuo; Toyama, Keisuke

    2015-01-01

    The inverse problem for estimating model parameters from brain spike data is an ill-posed problem because of a huge mismatch in the system complexity between the model and the brain as well as its non-stationary dynamics, and needs a stochastic approach that finds the most likely solution among many possible solutions. In the present study, we developed a segmental Bayesian method to estimate the two parameters of interest, the gap-junctional (gc ) and inhibitory conductance (gi ) from inferior olive spike data. Feature vectors were estimated for the spike data in a segment-wise fashion to compensate for the non-stationary firing dynamics. Hierarchical Bayesian estimation was conducted to estimate the gc and gi for every spike segment using a forward model constructed in the principal component analysis (PCA) space of the feature vectors, and to merge the segmental estimates into single estimates for every neuron. The segmental Bayesian estimation gave smaller fitting errors than the conventional Bayesian inference, which finds the estimates once across the entire spike data, or the minimum error method, which directly finds the closest match in the PCA space. The segmental Bayesian inference has the potential to overcome the problem of non-stationary dynamics and resolve the ill-posedness of the inverse problem because of the mismatch between the model and the brain under the constraints based, and it is a useful tool to evaluate parameters of interest for neuroscience from experimental spike train data.

  3. 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.

  4. Sample Preconcentration Utilizing Nanofractures Generated by Junction Gap Breakdown Assisted by Self-Assembled Monolayer of Gold Nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Jen, Chun-Ping; Amstislavskaya, Tamara G.; Chen, Kuan-Fu; Chen, Yu-Hung

    2015-01-01

    The preconcentration of proteins with low concentrations can be used to increase the sensitivity and accuracy of detection. A nonlinear electrokinetic flow is induced in a nanofluidic channel due to the overlap of electrical double layers, resulting in the fast accumulation of proteins, referred to as the exclusion-enrichment effect. The proposed chip for protein preconcentration was fabricated using simple standard soft lithography with a polydimethylsiloxane replica. This study extends our previous paper, in which gold nanoparticles were manually deposited onto the surface of a protein preconcentrator. In the present work, nanofractures were formed by utilizing the self-assembly of gold-nanoparticle-assisted electric breakdown. This reliable method for nanofracture formation, involving self-assembled monolayers of nanoparticles at the junction gap between microchannels, also decreases the required electric breakdown voltage. The experimental results reveal that a high concentration factor of 1.5×104 for a protein sample with an extremely low concentration of 1 nM was achieved in 30 min by using the proposed chip, which is faster than our previously proposed chip at the same conditions. Moreover, an immunoassay of bovine serum albumin (BSA) and anti-BSA was carried out to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed chip. PMID:25970592

  5. Effects of phenolics in Empire apples on hydrogen peroxide-induced inhibition of gap-junctional intercellular communication.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ki Won; Lee, Sang Jun; Kang, Nam Joo; Lee, Chang Yong; Lee, Hyong Joo

    2004-01-01

    The present study investigated antioxidant and antitumor-promoting activities of major phenolic phytochemicals of apples. The contents of each antioxidant in Empire apples was quantified and their contributions to total antioxidant activity of apples were determined using assay for inhibition of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-induced superoxide radical generation in cell culture model and expressed in vitamin C equivalent antioxidant capacity (VCEAC). The estimated contribution of major phenolics and vitamin C to total anitoxidant capacity of 100 g fresh Empire apples is as follows: quercetin (60.05 VCEAC) > chlorogenic acid (12.32) > phloretin (7.41) > procyanidin B2 (7.22) > vitamin C (6.61) > epicatechin (5.10) in superoxide radical scavenging assay. Recent reports suggest that the mechanism of carcinogenic process of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) may be associated with the inhibition of gap-junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), which is involved in tumor promotion process. Apple extracts showed the protective effects against the inhibition of GJIC by H2O2 in a dose-dependent manner. Quercetin exerted the strongest protective effects among major antioxidants in apples on H2O2-induced inhibition of GJIC, following epicatechin, procyanidin B2, and vitamin C, while chlorogenic acid and phloretin had no effects. Our results indicate that cancer chemopreventive activity of apples is associated with the combined antioxidant capacity and antitumor-promoting activities of diverse antioxidants.

  6. Distinct molecular targets including SLO-1 and gap junctions are engaged across a continuum of ethanol concentrations in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Dillon, James; Andrianakis, Ioannis; Mould, Richard; Ient, Ben; Liu, Wei; James, Christopher; O'Connor, Vincent; Holden-Dye, Lindy

    2013-10-01

    Ethanol (alcohol) interacts with diverse molecular effectors across a range of concentrations in the brain, eliciting intoxication through to sedation. Invertebrate models including the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans have been deployed for molecular genetic studies to inform on key components of these alcohol signaling pathways. C. elegans studies have typically employed external dosing with high (>250 mM) ethanol concentrations: A careful analysis of responses to low concentrations is lacking. Using the C. elegans pharyngeal system as a paradigm, we report a previously uncharacterized continuum of cellular and behavioral responses to ethanol from low (10 mM) to high (300 mM) concentrations. The complexity of these responses indicates that the pleiotropic action of ethanol observed in mammalian brain is conserved in this invertebrate model. We investigated two candidate ethanol effectors, the calcium-activated K(+) channel SLO-1 and gap junctions, and show that they contribute to, but are not sole determinants of, the low- and high-concentration effects, respectively. Notably, this study shows cellular and whole organismal behavioral responses to ethanol in C. elegans that directly equate to intoxicating through to supralethal blood alcohol concentrations in humans and provides an important benchmark for interpretation of paradigms that seek to inform on human alcohol use disorders.

  7. Gap junctions between interneurons are required for normal spatial coding in the hippocampus and short-term spatial memory.

    PubMed

    Allen, Kevin; Fuchs, Elke C; Jaschonek, Hannah; Bannerman, David M; Monyer, Hannah

    2011-04-27

    Gap junctions containing connexin 36 electrically couple interneurons in many brain regions and synchronize their activity. We used connexin-36 knock-out mice (Cx36(-/-)) to study the importance of electrical coupling between interneurons for spatial coding in the hippocampus and for different forms of hippocampus-dependent spatial memory. Recordings in behaving mice revealed that the spatial selectivity of hippocampal pyramidal neurons was reduced and less stable in Cx36(-/-) mice. Altered network activity was reflected in slower theta oscillations in the mutants. Temporal coding, assessed by determining the presence and characteristics of theta phase precession, had different dynamics in Cx36(-/-) mice compared with controls. At the behavioral level, Cx36(-/-) mice displayed impaired short-term spatial memory but normal spatial reference memory. These results highlight the functional role of electrically coupled interneurons for spatial coding and cognition. Moreover, they suggest that the precise spatial selectivity of place cells is not essential for normal performance on spatial tasks assessing associative long-term memory.

  8. Modulation of metabolic communication through gap junction channels by transjunctional voltage; synergistic and antagonistic effects of gating and ionophoresis

    PubMed Central

    Palacios-Prado, Nicolás; Bukauskas, Feliksas F.

    2011-01-01

    Gap junction (GJ) channels assembled from connexin (Cx) proteins provide a structural basis for direct electrical and metabolic cell-cell communication. Here, we focus on gating and permeability properties of Cx43/Cx45 heterotypic GJs exhibiting asymmetries of both voltage-gating and transjunctional flux (Jj) of fluorescent dyes depending on transjunctional voltage (Vj). Relatively small differences in the resting potential of communicating cells can substantially reduce or enhance this flux at relative negativity or positivity on Cx45 side, respectively. Similarly, series of Vj pulses resembling bursts of action potentials (APs) reduce Jj when APs initiate in the cell expressing Cx43 and increase Jj when APs initiate in the cell expressing Cx45. Jj of charged fluorescent dyes is affected by ionophoresis and Vj-gating and the asymmetry of Jj-Vj dependence in heterotypic GJs is enhanced or reduced when ionophoresis and Vj-gating work in a synergistic or antagonistic manner, respectively. Modulation of cell-to-cell transfer of metabolites and signaling molecules by Vj may occur in excitable as well as non-excitable tissues and may be more expressed in the border between normal and pathological regions where intercellular gradients of membrane potential and concentration of ions are substantially altered. PMID:21930112

  9. Endothelium-derived hyperpolarization and coronary vasodilation: diverse and integrated roles of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids, hydrogen peroxide and gap junctions

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Myocardial perfusion and coronary vascular resistance are regulated by signalling metabolites released from the local myocardium that act either directly on the vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) or indirectly via stimulation of the endothelium. A prominent mechanism of vasodilation is endothelium-derived hyperpolarization (EDH) of the arteriolar smooth muscle, with epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) playing important roles in EDH in the coronary microcirculation. In some cases, EETs and H2O2 are released as transferable hyperpolarizing factors (EDHFs) that act directly on the VSMCs. By contrast, EETs and H2O2 can also promote endothelial Ca2+-activated K+ channel activity secondary to the amplification of extracellular Ca2+ influx and Ca2+ 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 signalling involving EETs and H2O2 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 H2O2 regulate vessel tone, and also examines the hypothesis that myoendothelial microdomain signalling facilitates EDH activity in the human heart. PMID:26541094

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

    PubMed

    Yu, Q; Wang, Y; Chang, Q; Wang, J; Gong, S; Li, H; Lin, X

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in GJB2, which codes for the gap junction (GJ) protein connexin26 (Cx26), are the most common causes of human nonsyndromic hereditary deafness. We inoculated modified adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors into the scala media of early postnatal conditional Gjb2 knockout mice to drive exogenous Cx26 expression. We found extensive virally expressed Cx26 in cells lining the scala media, and intercellular GJ network was re-established in the organ of Corti of mutant mouse cochlea. Widespread ectopic Cx26 expression neither formed ectopic GJs nor affected normal hearing thresholds in wild-type (WT) mice, suggesting that autonomous cellular mechanisms regulate proper membrane trafficking of exogenously expressed Cx26 and govern the functional manifestation of them. Functional recovery of GJ-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 GJ 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.

  11. Supercritical CO(2)-extracted tomato Oleoresins enhance gap junction intercellular communications and recover from mercury chloride inhibition in keratinocytes.

    PubMed

    Leone, Antonella; Zefferino, Roberto; Longo, Cristiano; Leo, Lucia; Zacheo, Giuseppe

    2010-04-28

    A nutritionally relevant phytochemical such as lycopene, found in tomatoes and other fruits, has been proposed to have health-promoting effects by modulating hormonal and immune systems, metabolic pathways, and gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC). This work analyzes lycopene extracts, obtained from tomato and tomato added with grape seeds by using a safe and environmentally friendly extraction process, based on supercritical carbon dioxide technology (S-CO(2)). Analysis of the innovative S-CO(2)-extracted oleoresins showed peculiar chemical composition with high lycopene concentration and the presence of other carotenoids, lipids, and phenol compounds. The oleoresins showed a higher in vitro antioxidant activity compared with pure lycopene and beta-carotene and the remarkable ability to enhance the GJIC and to increase cx43 expression in keratinocytes. The oleoresins, (0.9 microM lycopene), were also able to overcome, completely, the GJIC inhibition induced by 10 nM HgCl(2), mercury(II) chloride, suggesting a possible action mechanism.

  12. Clinical, histologic, cytologic, and ultrastructural characteristics of the oral lesions from hereditary mucoepithelial dysplasia. A disease of gap junction and desmosome formation.

    PubMed

    Witkop, C J; White, J G; Sauk, J J; King, R A

    1978-11-01

    Hereditary mucoepithelial dysplasia is an autosomal, dominantly inherited disorder affecting all of the orificial mucosa with cataracts, follicular keratosis of skin, nonscarring alopecia, bouts of pneumonia, spontaneous pneumothorax, and terminal cor pulmonale. The oral lesion is a fiery red, flat or micropapillary-appearing mucosa most frequently involving the gingiva and hard palate. All oral and pharyngeal mucosa may be involved, however. Red scrotal mucosa of the tongue is common. Histologically, the oral mucosa shows a lack of cornified and keratinized cells, a decrease in the thickness of the epithelial cell layer, dyshesion, and dyskeratosis. Papanicolaou smears show lack of epithelial cell maturation, poikilocytosis, anisocytosis, large paranuclear cytoplasmic vacuoles, and cytoplasmic strand-shaped inclusions. Ultrastructural features include a paucity of desmosomes, intercellular accumulations of amorphous material, cytoplasmic vacuoles, and paranuclear lesions with strands of material resembling gap junctions and desmosomes. The condition most likely represents a basic defect in gap junction and desmosome formation.

  13. Participation of gap junction communication in potentially lethal damage repair and DNA damage in human fibroblasts exposed to low- or high-LET radiation.

    PubMed

    Autsavapromporn, Narongchai; Suzuki, Masao; Plante, Ianik; Liu, Cuihua; Uchihori, Yukio; Hei, Tom K; Azzam, Edouard I; Murakami, Takeshi

    2013-08-30

    Existing research has not fully explained how different types of ionizing radiation (IR) modulate the responses of cell populations or tissues. In our previous work, we showed that gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) mediates the propagation of stressful effects among irradiated cells exposed to high linear energy transfer (LET) radiations, in which almost every cells is traversed by an IR track. In the present study, we conducted an in-depth study of the role of GJIC in modulating the repair of potentially lethal damage (PLDR) and micronuclei formation in cells exposed to low- or high-LET IR. Confluent human fibroblasts were exposed in the presence or absence of a gap junction inhibitor to 200kV X rays (LET∼1.7keV/μm), carbon ions (LET∼76keV/μm), silicon ions (LET∼113keV/μm) or iron ions (LET∼400keV/μm) that resulted in isosurvival levels. The fibroblasts were incubated for various times at 37°C. As expected, high-LET IR were more effective than were low-LET X rays at killing cells and damaging DNA shortly after irradiation. However, when cells were held in a confluent state for several hours, PLDR associated with a reduction in DNA damage, occurred only in cells exposed to X rays. Interestingly, inhibition of GJIC eliminated the enhancement of toxic effects, which resulted in an increase of cell survival and reduction in the level of micronucleus formation in cells exposed to high, but not in those exposed to low-LET IR. The experiment shows that gap-junction communication plays an important role in the propagation of stressful effects among irradiated cells exposed to high-LET IR while GJIC has only a minimal effect on PLDR and DNA damage following low-LET irradiation. Together, our results show that PLDR and induction of DNA damage clearly depend on gap-junction communication and radiation quality.

  14. Gap junctions in the ovary of Drosophila melanogaster: localization of innexins 1, 2, 3 and 4 and evidence for intercellular communication via innexin-2 containing channels

    PubMed Central

    Bohrmann, Johannes; Zimmermann, Jennifer

    2008-01-01

    Background In the Drosophila ovary, germ-line and soma cells are interconnected via gap junctions. The main gap-junction proteins in invertebrates are members of the innexin family. In order to reveal the role that innexins play in cell-cell communication during oogenesis, we investigated the localization of innexins 1, 2, 3 and 4 using immunohistochemistry, and analyzed follicle development following channel blockade. Results We found innexin 1 predominantly localized to the baso-lateral domain of follicle cells, whereas innexin 2 is positioned apico-laterally as well as apically between follicle cells and germ-line cells. Innexin 3 was observed laterally in follicle cells and also in nurse cells, and innexin 4 was detected in the oolemma up to stage 8 and in nurse-cell membranes up to stage 12. In order to test whether innexins form channels suitable for intercellular communication, we microinjected innexin antibodies in combination with a fluorescent tracer into the oocyte of stage-10 follicles. We found that dye-coupling between oocyte and follicle cells was largely reduced by innexin-2 antibodies directed against the intracellular C-terminus as well as against the intracellular loop. Analyzing in vitro, between stages 10 and 14, the developmental capacities of follicles following microinjections of innexin-2 antibodies revealed defects in follicle-cell differentiation, nurse-cell regression, oocyte growth and choriogenesis. Conclusion Our results suggest that all analyzed innexins are involved in the formation of gap junctions in the ovary. While innexins 2 and 3 are colocalized between soma cells, innexins 2 and 4 are colocalized between soma and germ-line cells. Innexin 2 is participating in cell-cell communication via hemichannels residing in the oolemma. It is obvious that gap-junctional communication between germ-line and soma cells is essential for several processes during oogenesis. PMID:19038051

  15. Tanshinone IIA increases the bystander effect of herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase/ganciclovir gene therapy via enhanced gap junctional intercellular communication.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Jianyong; Zhang, Guangxian; Qiu, Pengxiang; Liu, Xijuan; Wu, Yingya; Du, Biaoyan; Li, Jiefen; Zhou, Jing; Li, Jingjing; Tan, Yuhui

    2013-01-01

    The bystander effect is an intriguing phenomenon by which adjacent cells become sensitized to drug treatment during gene therapy with herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase/ganciclovir (HSV-tk/GCV). This effect is reported to be mediated by gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), and therefore, we postulated that upregulation of genes that facilitate GJIC may enhance the HSV-tk/GCV bystander effect. Previous findings have shown Tanshinone IIA (Tan IIA), a chemical substance derived from a Chinese medicine herb, promotes the upregulation of the connexins Cx26 and Cx43 in B16 cells. Because gap junctions are formed by connexins, we hypothesized that Tan IIA might increase GJIC. Our results show that Tan IIA increased GJIC in B16 melanoma cells, leading to more efficient GCV-induced bystander killing in cells stably expressing HSV-tk. Additionally, in vivo experiments demonstrated that tumors in mice with 10% HSV-tk positive B16 cells and 90% wild-type B16 cells became smaller following treatment with the combination of GCV and Tan IIA as compared to GCV or Tan IIA alone. These data demonstrate that Tan IIA can augment the bystander effect of HSV-tk/GCV system through increased gap junction coupling, which adds strength to the promising strategy that develops connexins inducer to potentiate the effects of suicide gene therapy.

  16. Mouse Cx50, a functional member of the connexin family of gap junction proteins, is the lens fiber protein MP70.

    PubMed Central

    White, T W; Bruzzone, R; Goodenough, D A; Paul, D L

    1992-01-01

    The crystalline lens is an attractive system to study the biology of intercellular communication; however, the identity of the structural components of gap junctions in the lens has been controversial. We have cloned a novel member of the connexin family of gap junction proteins, Cx50, and have shown that it is likely to correspond to the previously described lens fiber protein MP70. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of MP70 closely matches the sequence predicted by the clone. Cx50 mRNA is detected only in the lens, among the 12 organs tested, and this distribution is indistinguishable from that of MP70 protein. A monoclonal antibody directed against MP70 and an anti-Cx50 antibody produced against a synthetic peptide identify the same proteins on western blots and produce identical patterns of immunofluorescence on frozen sections of rodent lens. We also show that expression of Cx50 in paired Xenopus oocytes induces high levels of voltage-dependent conductance. This indicates that Cx50 is a functional member of the connexin family with unique physiological properties. With the cloning of Cx50, all known participants in gap junction formation between various cell types in the lens are available for study and reconstitution in experimental systems. Images PMID:1325220

  17. 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

  18. BAAV mediated GJB2 gene transfer restores gap junction coupling in cochlear organotypic cultures from deaf Cx26Sox10Cre mice.

    PubMed

    Crispino, Giulia; Di Pasquale, Giovanni; Scimemi, Pietro; Rodriguez, Laura; Galindo Ramirez, Fabian; De Siati, Romolo Daniele; Santarelli, Rosa Maria; Arslan, Edoardo; Bortolozzi, Mario; Chiorini, John A; Mammano, Fabio

    2011-01-01

    The deafness locus DFNB1 contains GJB2, the gene encoding connexin26 and GJB6, encoding connexin30, which appear to be coordinately regulated in the inner ear. In this work, we investigated the expression and function of connexin26 and connexin30 from postnatal day 5 to adult age in double transgenic Cx26(Sox10Cre) mice, which we obtained by crossing connexin26 floxed mice with a deleter Sox10-Cre line. Cx26(Sox10Cre) mice presented with complete connexin26 ablation in the epithelial gap junction network of the cochlea, whereas connexin30 expression was developmentally delayed; immunolabeling patterns for both connexins were normal in the cochlear lateral wall. In vivo electrophysiological measurements in Cx26(Sox10Cre) mice revealed profound hearing loss accompanied by reduction of endocochlear potential, and functional experiments performed in postnatal cochlear organotypic cultures showed impaired gap junction coupling. Transduction of these cultures with a bovine adeno associated virus vector restored connexin26 protein expression and rescued gap junction coupling. These results suggest that restoration of normal connexin levels by gene delivery via recombinant adeno associated virus could be a way to rescue hearing function in DFNB1 mouse models and, in future, lead to the development of therapeutic interventions in humans.

  19. Involvement of gap junctional intercellular communication in the bystander effect induced by broad-beam or microbeam heavy ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shao, Chunlin; Furusawa, Yoshiya; Kobayashi, Yasuhiko; Funayama, Tomoo

    2006-09-01

    Most of the reported bystander responses were studied by using low dose irradiation of γ-rays and light ions such as alpha-particles. In this study, primary human fibroblasts AG1522 in confluent cultures were irradiated with either broad-beam of 100 keV/μm 12C or microbeams of 380 keV/μm 20Ne and 1260 keV/μm 40Ar. When cells were irradiated with 12C ions, the induction of micronucleus (MN) had a low-dose sensitive effect, i.e. a lower dose of irradiation gave a higher yield of MN per cell-traversal. This phenomenon was further reinforced by using a microbeam to irradiate a fraction of cells within a population. Even when only a single cell was targeted with one particle of 40Ar or 20Ne, the MN yield was increased to 1.4-fold of the non-irradiated control. When the number of microbeam targeted cells increased, the MN yield per targeted-cell decreased drastically. In addition, the bystander MN induction did not vary significantly with the number and the linear energy transfer (LET) of microbeam particles. When the culture was treated with PMA, an inhibitor of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), MN induction was decreased for both microbeam and broad-beam irradiations even at high-doses where all cells were hit. The present findings indicate that a GJIC-mediated signaling amplification mechanism was involved in the high-LET heavy ion irradiation induced bystander effect. Moreover, at high-doses of radiation, the bystander signals could perform a complex interaction with direct irradiation.

  20. Nε-lysine acetylation determines dissociation from GAP junctions and lateralization of connexin 43 in normal and dystrophic heart

    PubMed Central

    Colussi, Claudia; Rosati, Jessica; Straino, Stefania; Spallotta, Francesco; Berni, Roberta; Stilli, Donatella; Rossi, Stefano; Musso, Ezio; Macchi, Emilio; Mai, Antonello; Sbardella, Gianluca; Castellano, Sabrina; Chimenti, Cristina; Frustaci, Andrea; Nebbioso, Angela; Altucci, Lucia; Capogrossi, Maurizio C.; Gaetano, Carlo

    2011-01-01

    Wanting to explore the epigenetic basis of Duchenne cardiomyopathy, we found that global histone acetylase activity was abnormally elevated and the acetylase P300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF) coimmunoprecipitated with connexin 43 (Cx43), which was Nε-lysine acetylated and lateralized in mdx heart. This observation was paralleled by Cx43 dissociation from N-cadherin and zonula occludens 1, whereas pp60-c-Src association was unaltered. In vivo treatment of mdx with the pan-histone acetylase inhibitor anacardic acid significantly reduced Cx43 Nε-lysine acetylation and restored its association to GAP junctions (GJs) at intercalated discs. Noteworthy, in normal as well as mdx mice, the class IIa histone deacetylases 4 and 5 constitutively colocalized with Cx43 either at GJs or in the lateralized compartments. The class I histone deacetylase 3 was also part of the complex. Treatment of normal controls with the histone deacetylase pan-inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (MC1568) or the class IIa-selective inhibitor 3-{4-[3-(3-fluorophenyl)-3-oxo-1-propen-1-yl]-1-methyl-1H-pyrrol-2-yl}-N-hydroxy-2-propenamide (MC1568) determined Cx43 hyperacetylation, dissociation from GJs, and distribution along the long axis of ventricular cardiomyocytes. Consistently, the histone acetylase activator pentadecylidenemalonate 1b (SPV106) hyperacetylated cardiac proteins, including Cx43, which assumed a lateralized position that partly reproduced the dystrophic phenotype. In the presence of suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, cell to cell permeability was significantly diminished, which is in agreement with a Cx43 close conformation in the consequence of hyperacetylation. Additional experiments, performed with Cx43 acetylation mutants, revealed, for the acetylated form of the molecule, a significant reduction in plasma membrane localization and a tendency to nuclear accumulation. These results suggest that Cx43 Nε-lysine acetylation may have physiopathological consequences for cell to

  1. 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

  2. Reversible atrial gap junction remodeling during hypoxia/reoxygenation and ischemia: a possible arrhythmogenic substrate for atrial fibrillation.

    PubMed

    Severino, Anna; Narducci, Maria L; Pedicino, Daniela; Pazzano, Vincenzo; Giglio, Ada F; Biasucci, Luigi M; Liuzzo, Giovanna; Casella, Michela; Bartoletti, Stefano; Dello Russo, Antonio; Pelargonio, Gemma; Santangeli, Pasquale; Di Biase, Luigi; Natale, Andrea; Crea, Filippo

    2012-12-01

    Alteration of cardiomyocyte gap-junctions and component connexins (Cx) has been suggested to contribute to the development of atrial fibrillation (AF), including postoperative AF. We tested different possible stimuli, such as hypoxia and ischemia, influencing Cx43 and Cx40 expression and distribution in cultured atrial cells (HL-1) and reversibility of these processes after reoxygenation. Western-blot analysis and immunostaining using anti-Cx43, anti-Cx40 and anti-zonula occludens polyclonal antibodies were performed. HL-1 cells exposed to hypoxia for 24 and 48 h showed a reduction of Cx43 protein levels by 75% and 90% respectively (p < 0.001). During reoxygenation following 24 h of hypoxia, Cx43 levels increased to reach the basal level within 48 h, while they remained at low level during reoxygenation following 48 h of hypoxia. Furthermore, atrial cardiomyocytes subjected to simulated ischemia (SI) were incubated in normoxic and hypoxic conditions for 3, 6, 9, 12 h. Atrial cardiomyocytes subjected to SI in addition to normoxia showed a progressive reduction of Cx43 levels beginning from 3 h. During SI and hypoxia, atrial Cx43 levels showed an initial decrease after 3 h with a subsequent rescue beginning from 6 h of exposure (p = 0.001). Hypoxia and ischemia per se downregulate Cx43 protein expression in atrial cardiomyocytes, but protein downregulation is reversible, depending on hypoxia duration and the association of the two triggers. These alterations characterize several conditions and might contribute to the generation of an arrhythmogenic substrate leading to AF onset and/or maintenance.

  3. Neurons and β-Cells of the Pancreas Express Connexin36, Forming Gap Junction Channels that Exhibit Strong Cationic Selectivity

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    We examined the permeability of connexin36 (Cx36) homotypic gap junction (GJ) channels, expressed in neurons and β-cells of the pancreas, to dyes differing in molecular mass and net charge. Experiments were performed in HeLa cells stably expressing Cx36 tagged with EGFP by combining a dual whole-cell voltage clamp and fluorescence imaging. To assess the permeability of the single GJ channel (Pγ), we used a dual-mode excitation of fluorescent dyes that allowed us to measure cell-to-cell dye transfer at levels not resolvable using whole-field excitation solely. We demonstrate that Pγ of Cx36 for cationic dyes (EAM-1+ and EAM-2+) is ∼10-fold higher than that for an anionic dye of the same net charge and similar molecular mass, Alexa fluor-350 (AFl-350−). In addition, Pγ for Lucifer yellow (LY2−) is approximately fourfold smaller than that for AFl-350−, which suggests that the higher negativity of LY2− significantly reduces permeability. The Pγ of Cx36 for AFl-350 is approximately 358, 138, 23 and four times smaller than the Pγs of Cx43, Cx40, Cx45, and Cx57, respectively. In contrast, it is 6.5-fold higher than the Pγ of mCx30.2, which exhibits a smaller single-channel conductance. Thus, Cx36 GJs are highly cation-selective and should exhibit relatively low permeability to numerous vital negatively charged metabolites and high permeability to K+, a major charge carrier in cell– cell communication. PMID:22752717

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    2015-11-24

    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

  6. The PIKfyve Inhibitor YM201636 Blocks the Continuous Recycling of the Tight Junction Proteins Claudin-1 and Claudin-2 in MDCK cells

    PubMed Central

    Dukes, Joseph D.

    2012-01-01

    Tight junctions mediate the intercellular diffusion barrier found in epithelial tissues but they are not static complexes; instead there is rapid movement of individual proteins within the junctions. In addition some tight junction proteins are continuously being endocytosed and recycled back to the plasma membrane. Understanding the dynamic behaviour of tight junctions is important as they are altered in a range of pathological conditions including cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. In this study we investigate the effect of treating epithelial cells with a small molecule inhibitor (YM201636) of the lipid kinase PIKfyve, a protein which is involved in endocytic trafficking. We show that MDCK cells treated with YM201636 accumulate the tight junction protein claudin-1 intracellularly. In contrast YM201636 did not alter the localization of other junction proteins including ZO-1, occludin and E-cadherin. A biochemical trafficking assay was used to show that YM201636 inhibited the endocytic recycling of claudin-1, providing an explanation for the intracellular accumulation. Claudin-2 was also found to constantly recycle in confluent MDCK cells and treatment with YM201636 blocked this recycling and caused accumulation of intracellular claudin-2. However, claudin-4 showed negligible endocytosis and no detectable intracellular accumulation occurred following treatment with YM201636, suggesting that not all claudins show the same rate of endocytic trafficking. Finally, we show that, consistent with the defects in claudin trafficking, incubation with YM201636 delayed formation of the epithelial permeability barrier. Therefore, YM201636 treatment blocks the continuous recycling of claudin-1/claudin-2 and delays epithelial barrier formation. PMID:22396724

  7. 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.

  8. The role of a conserved proline residue in mediating conformational changes associated with voltage gating of Cx32 gap junctions.

    PubMed Central

    Ri, Y; Ballesteros, J A; Abrams, C K; Oh, S; Verselis, V K; Weinstein, H; Bargiello, T A

    1999-01-01

    We have explored the role of a proline residue located at position 87 in the second transmembrane segment (TM2) of gap junctions in the mechanism of voltage-dependent gating of connexin32 (Cx32). Substitution of this proline (denoted Cx32P87) with residues G, A, or V affects channel function in a progressive manner consistent with the expectation that a proline kink (PK) motif exists in the second transmembrane segment (TM2) of this connexin. Mutations of the preceding threonine residue T86 to S, A, C, V, N, or L shift the conductance-voltage relation of wild-type Cx32, such that the mutated channels close at smaller transjunctional voltages. The observed shift in voltage dependence is consistent with a reduction in the open probability of the mutant hemichannels at a transjunctional voltage (Vj) of 0 mV. In both cases in which kinetics were examined, the time constants for reaching steady state were faster for T86N and T86A than for wild type at comparable voltages, suggesting that the T86 mutations cause the energetic destabilization of the open state relative to the other states of the channel protein. The structural underpinnings of the observed effects were explored with Monte Carlo simulations. The conformational space of TM2 helices was found to differ for the T86A, V, N, and L mutants, which produce a less bent helix ( approximately 20 degrees bend angle) compared to the wild type, which has a approximately 37 degrees bend angle. The greater bend angle of the wild-type helix reflects the propensity of the T86 residue to hydrogen bond with the backbone carbonyl of amino acid residue I82. The relative differences in propensity for hydrogen bonding of the mutants relative to the wild-type threonine residue in the constructs we studied (T86A, V, N, L, S, and C) correlate with the shift in the conductance-voltage relation observed for T86 mutations. The data are consistent with a structural model in which the open conformation of the Cx32 channel corresponds to

  9. Enhanced expression of Cx43 and gap junction communication in vascular smooth muscle cells of spontaneously hypertensive rats

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Li-Jie; Liu, Wei-Dong; Zhang, Liang; Ma, Ke-Tao; Zhao, Lei; Shi, Wen-Yan; Zhang, Wen-Wen; Wang, Ying-Zi; Li, Li; Si, Jun-Qiang

    2016-01-01

    Niflumic acid (NFA) is a novel gap junction (GJ) inhibitor. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of NFA on GJ communication and the expression of connexin (Cx) in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) of mesenteric arterioles of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Whole-cell patch clamp recording demonstrated that NFA at 1×10–4 M significantly inhibited the inward current and its effect was reversible. The time for charging and discharging of cell membrane capacitance (Cinput) reduced from 9.73 to 0.48 ms (P<0.05; n=6). Pressure myograph measurement showed that NFA at 3×10-4 M fully neutralized the contraction caused by phenylephrine. The relaxation responses of normotensive control Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats were significantly higher, compared with those of the SHRs (P<0.05; n=6). Western blot and reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses showed that the mRNA and protein expression levels of Cx43 of the third-level branch of mesenteric arterioles of the SHRs and WKY rats were higher, compared with those of the first-level branch. The mRNA and protein expression levels of Cx43 of the primary and third-level branches of the mesenteric arterioles in the SHRs were higher, compared with those in the WKY rats (P<0.05; n=6). The mRNA levels of Cx43 in the mesenteric arterioles were significantly downregulated by NFA in a concentration-dependent manner (P<0.01; n=6). The protein levels of Cx43 in primary cultured VSMCs isolated from the mesenteric arterioles were also significantly downregulated by NFA in a concentration-dependent manner (P<0.01; n=6). These results showed that the vasorelaxatory effects of GJ inhibitors were reduced in the SHRs, which was associated with a higher protein expression level of Cx43 in the mesenteric arterioles of the SHRs. NFA also relaxed the mesenteric arterioles by reducing the expression of Cx43, which decreased blood pressure. Therefore, regulation of the expression of GJs may be a

  10. Evolution of the Gorda Escarpment, San Andreas fault and Mendocino triple junction from multichannel seismic data collected across the northern Vizcaino block, offshore northern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Godfrey, N.J.; Meltzer, A.S.; Klemperer, S.L.; Trehu, A.M.; Leitner, B.; Clarke, S.H.; Ondrus, A.

    1998-01-01

    The Gorda Escarpment is a north facing scarp immediately south of the Mendocino transform fault (the Gorda/Juan de Fuca-Pacific plate boundary) between 126??W and the Mendocino triple junction. It elevates the seafloor at the northern edge of the Vizcaino block, part of the Pacific plate, ??? 1.5 km above the seafloor of the Gorda/Juan de Fuca plate to the north. Stratigraphy interpreted from multichannel seismic data across and close to the Gorda Escarpment suggests that the escarpment is a relatively recent pop-up feature caused by north-south compression across the plate boundary. Close to 126??W. the Vizcaino block acoustic basement shallows and is overlain by sediments that thin north toward the Gorda Escarpment. These sediments are tilted south and truncated at the seafloor. By contrast, in a localized region at the eastern end of the Gorda Escarpment, close to the Mendocino triple junction, the top of acoustic basement dips north and is overlain by a 2-km-thick wedge of pre-11 Ma sedimentary rocks that thickens north, toward the Gorda Escarpment. This wedge of sediments is restricted to the northeast corner of the Vizcaino block. Unless the wedge of sediments was a preexisting feature on the Vizcaino block before it was transferred from the North American to the Pacific plate, the strong spatial correlation between the sedimentary wedge and the triple junction suggests the entire Vizcaino block, with the San Andreas at its eastern boundary, has been part of the Pacific plate since significantly before 11 Ma.

  11. Transcription of the gene for the gap junctional protein connexin43 and expression of functional cell-to-cell channels are regulated by cAMP.

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, P P; Yamamoto, M; Rose, B

    1992-01-01

    We investigated the mechanism by which cyclic AMP (cAMP) induces gap junctional communication via cell-to-cell channels in a communication-deficient rat Morris hepatoma cell line. We found that under basal conditions, the cells transcribe cx43 at a low level but do not transcribe cx26 or cx32. Elevation of intracellular cAMP, which induced communication, increased cx43 mRNA 15- to 40-fold and the rate of cx43 transcription 6-fold. Cx43 protein was detected by immunostaining in junctions of only those cells in which communication had been induced. We found the regulation by cAMP also in other cell lines; namely, in those with a low basal level of cx43 mRNA. Images PMID:1327297

  12. Influence of the spatially inhomogeneous gap distribution on the quasiparticle current in c-axis junctions involving d-wave superconductors with charge density waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekino, T.; Gabovich, A. M.; Li, Mai Suan; Szymczak, H.; Voitenko, A. I.

    2016-11-01

    The quasiparticle tunnel current J(V) between the superconducting ab-planes along the c-axis and the corresponding conductance G(V)=\\text{d}J/\\text{d}V were calculated for symmetric junctions composed of disordered d-wave layered superconductors partially gapped by charge density waves (CDWs). Here, V is the voltage. Both the checkerboard and unidirectional CDWs were considered. It was shown that the spatial spread of the CDW-pairing strength substantially smears the peculiarities of G(V) appropriate to uniform superconductors. The resulting curves G(V) become very similar to those observed for a number of cuprates in intrinsic junctions, e.g. mesas. In particular, the influence of CDWs may explain the peak-dip-hump structures frequently found for high-T c oxides.

  13. The Effect of Gap Junctional Coupling on the Spatiotemporal Patterns of Ca2+ Signals and the Harmonization of Ca2+-Related Cellular Responses

    PubMed Central

    Dougoud, Michaël; Mazza, Christian; Schwaller, Beat; Pecze, László

    2016-01-01

    Calcium ions (Ca2+) are important mediators of a great variety of cellular activities e.g. in response to an agonist activation of a receptor. The magnitude of a cellular response is often encoded by frequency modulation of Ca2+ oscillations and correlated with the stimulation intensity. The stimulation intensity highly depends on the sensitivity of a cell to a certain agonist. In some cases, it is essential that neighboring cells produce a similar and synchronized response to an agonist despite their different sensitivity. In order to decipher the presumed function of Ca2+ waves spreading among connecting cells, a mathematical model was developed. This model allows to numerically modifying the connectivity probability between neighboring cells, the permeability of gap junctions and the individual sensitivity of cells to an agonist. Here, we show numerically that strong gap junctional coupling between neighbors ensures an equilibrated response to agonist stimulation via formation of Ca2+ phase waves, i.e. a less sensitive neighbor will produce the same or similar Ca2+ signal as its highly sensitive neighbor. The most sensitive cells within an ensemble are the wave initiator cells. The Ca2+ wave in the cytoplasm is driven by a sensitization wave front in the endoplasmic reticulum. The wave velocity is proportional to the cellular sensitivity and to the strength of the coupling. The waves can form different patterns including circular rings and spirals. The observed pattern depends on the strength of noise, gap junctional permeability and the connectivity probability between neighboring cells. Our simulations reveal that one highly sensitive region gradually takes the lead within the entire noisy system by generating directed circular phase waves originating from this region. PMID:28027293

  14. Regulation of connexin 43-mediated gap junctional intercellular communication by Ca2+ in mouse epidermal cells is controlled by E- cadherin

    PubMed Central

    1991-01-01

    Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) of cultured mouse epidermal cells is mediated by a gap junction protein, connexin 43, and is dependent on the calcium concentration in the medium, with higher GJIC in a high-calcium (1.2 mM) medium. In several mouse epidermal cell lines, we found a good correlation between the level of GJIC and that of immunohistochemical staining of E-cadherin, a calcium-dependent cell adhesion molecule, at cell-cell contact areas. The variant cell line P3/22 showed both low GJIC and E-cadherin protein expression in low- and high-Ca2+ media. P3/22 cells showed very low E-cadherin mRNA expression. To test directly whether E-cadherin is involved in the Ca(2+)-dependent regulation of GJIC, we transfected the E-cadherin expression vector into P3/22 cells and obtained several stable clones which expressed high levels of E-cadherin mRNA. All transfectants expressed E-cadherin molecules at cell-cell contact areas in a calcium- dependent manner. GJIC was also observed in these transfectants and was calcium dependent. These results suggest that Ca(2+)-dependent regulation of GJIC in mouse epidermal cells is directly controlled by a calcium-dependent cell adhesion molecule, E-cadherin. Furthermore, several lines of evidence suggest that GJIC control by E-cadherin involves posttranslational regulation (assembly and/or function) of the gap junction protein connexin 43. PMID:1650371

  15. Aberrant expression of Cx43 is associated with the peritoneal metastasis of gastric cancer and Cx43-mediated gap junction enhances gastric cancer cell diapedesis from peritoneal mesothelium.

    PubMed

    Tang, Bo; Peng, Zhi-hong; Yu, Pei-wu; Yu, Ge; Qian, Feng; Zeng, Dong-zhu; Zhao, Yong-liang; Shi, Yan; Hao, Ying-xue; Luo, Hua-xing

    2013-01-01

    The process of peritoneal metastasis involves the diapedesis of intra-abdominal exfoliated gastric cancer cells through the mesothelial cell monolayers; however, the related molecular mechanisms for this process are still unclear. Heterocellular gap-junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) between gastric cancer cells and mesothelial cells may play an active role during diapedesis. In this study we detected the expression of connexin 43 (Cx43) in primary gastric cancer tissues, intra-abdominal exfoliated cancer cells, and matched metastatic peritoneal tissues. We found that the expression of Cx43 in primary gastric cancer tissues was significantly decreased; the intra-abdominal exfoliated cancer cells and matched metastatic peritoneal tissues exhibited increasing expression compared with primary gastric cancer tissues. BGC-823 and SGC-7901 human gastric cancer cells were engineered to express Cx43 or Cx43T154A (a mutant protein that only couples gap junctions but provides no intercellular communication) and were co-cultured with human peritoneal mesothelial cells (HPMCs). Heterocellular GJIC and diapedesis through HPMC monolayers on matrigel-coated coverslips were investigated. We found that BGC-823 and SGC-7901 gastric cancer cells expressing Cx43 formed functional heterocellular gap junctions with HPMC monolayers within one hour. A significant increase in diapedesis was observed in engineered Cx43-expressing cells compared with Cx43T154A and control group cells, which suggested that the observed upregulation of diapedesis in Cx43-expressing cells required heterocellular GJIC. Further study revealed that the gastric cancer cells transmigrated through the intercellular space between the mesothelial cells via a paracellular route. Our results suggest that the abnormal expression of Cx43 plays an essential role in peritoneal metastasis and that Cx43-mediated heterocellular GJIC between gastric cancer cells and mesothelial cells may be an important regulatory

  16. 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).

  17. Connexin36 in gap junctions forming electrical synapses between motoneurons in sexually dimorphic motor nuclei in spinal cord of rat and mouse

    PubMed Central

    Bautista, W.; Nagy, J. I.

    2014-01-01

    Pools of motoneurons in lumbar spinal cord innervate sexually dimorphic perineal musculature and are themselves sexually dimorphic, displaying differences in numbers and size in male vs. female rodents. In two of these pools, the dorsomedial nucleus (DMN) and the dorsolateral nucleus (DLN), dimorphic motoneurons are intermixed with non-dimorphic neurons innervating anal and external urethral sphincter (EUS) muscles. As motoneurons in these nuclei are reportedly linked by gap junctions, we examined immunofluorescence labelling for the gap junction-forming protein connexin36 (Cx36) in male and female mouse and rat. Fluorescent Cx36-puncta occurred in distinctly greater abundance in the DMN and DLN of male rodents than observed in other spinal cord regions. These puncta were localized to motoneuron somata, proximal dendrites and neuronal appositions, and were distributed either as isolated or large patches of puncta. In both rat and mouse, Cx36-puncta were associated with nearly all (> 94%) DMN and DLN motoneurons. The density of Cx36-puncta increased dramatically from postnatal day 9 to 15, unlike developmental decreases of these puncta observed in other CNS regions. In females, Cx36-puncta in DLN was similar to that in males, but was sparse in the DMN. In EGFP-Cx36 transgenic mice, motoneurons in the DMN and DLN were intensely labelled for EGFP reporter in males, but less so in females. The results indicate the presence of Cx36-containing gap junctions in the sexually dimorphic DMN and DLN of male as well as female rodents, suggesting coupling of not only sexually dimorphic but also non-dimorphic motoneurons in these nuclei. PMID:24304165

  18. 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.

  19. Cardiac myocyte diversity and a fibroblast network in the junctional region of the zebrafish heart revealed by transmission and serial block-face scanning electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Lafontant, Pascal J; Behzad, Ali R; Brown, Evelyn; Landry, Paul; Hu, Norman; Burns, Alan R

    2013-01-01

    The zebrafish has emerged as an important model of heart development and regeneration. While the structural characteristics of the developing and adult zebrafish ventricle have been previously studied, little attention has been paid to the nature of the interface between the compact and spongy myocardium. Here we describe how these two distinct layers are structurally and functionally integrated. We demonstrate by transmission electron microscopy that this interface is complex and composed primarily of a junctional region occupied by collagen, as well as a population of fibroblasts that form a highly complex network. We also describe a continuum of uniquely flattened transitional cardiac myocytes that form a circumferential plate upon which the radially-oriented luminal trabeculae are anchored. In addition, we have uncovered within the transitional ring a subpopulation of markedly electron dense cardiac myocytes. At discrete intervals the transitional cardiac myocytes form contact bridges across the junctional space that are stabilized through localized desmosomes and fascia adherentes junctions with adjacent compact cardiac myocytes. Finally using serial block-face scanning electron microscopy, segmentation and volume reconstruction, we confirm the three-dimensional nature of the junctional region as well as the presence of the sheet-like fibroblast network. These ultrastructural studies demonstrate the previously unrecognized complexity with which the compact and spongy layers are structurally integrated, and provide a new basis for understanding development and regeneration in the zebrafish heart.

  20. 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

  1. Distribution of the neuronal gap junction protein Connexin36 in the spinal cord enlargements of developing and adult opossums, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Lemieux, Maxime; Cabana, Thérèse; Pflieger, Jean-François

    2010-01-01

    We use opossums Monodelphis domestica to study the development of mammalian motor systems. The immature forelimbs of the newborn perform rhythmic and alternating movements that are likely under spinal control. The hindlimbs start moving in the second week. Chemical synapses are scant in the spinal enlargements of neonatal opossums and the presence of electrochemical synapses has not been evaluated in this species or in other marsupials. As a first step aiming at evaluating the existence of such synapses in the neonatal spinal cord, we have investigated the presence of the exclusively neuronal gap junction protein connexin36 (Cx36) by immunohistochemistry in light microscopy. At birth, Cx36 immunoreactivity is moderate in the presumptive gray matter in both enlargements. Thereafter, it decreases gradually, except in the superficial dorsal horn where it increases to a plateau between P10 and P20. Cx36 labeling is detected in the presumptive white matter at birth, but then decreases except in the dorsal part of the lateral funiculus, where it is dense between P10 and P20. Cx36 has become virtually undetectable by P52. The presence of Cx36 in the spinal enlargements of postnatal opossums suggests that neurons might be linked by gap junctions at a time when chemical synapses are only beginning to form. The greater abundance of Cx36 observed transiently in the superficial dorsal horn suggests a stronger involvement of this protein in spinal sensory systems than in direct motor control of the limbs.

  2. 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

    2016-06-15

    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.

  3. Gap junctional intercellular communication as a biological "Rosetta stone" in understanding, in a systems biological manner, stem cell behavior, mechanisms of epigenetic toxicology, chemoprevention and chemotherapy.

    PubMed

    Trosko, James E

    2007-08-01

    In spite of the early speculation by Loewenstein that one of the critical distinguishing phenotypes of cancers from normal cells was the dysfunction of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), this hypothesis has not captured the attention of most birth defects and cancer researchers. Moreover, even with later demonstrations that factors that influence normal development and carcinogenesis by modulating GJIC, such as chemical teratogens and tumor-promoting chemicals, inflammatory factors, hormones and growth factors, antisense connexin genes, knockout mouse models, human inherited mutated connexin genes, si-connexin RNA, chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic chemicals, it is rare that one sees any reference to these studies by the mainstream investigators in these fields. Based on the assumption that the evolutionarily conserved connexin genes found in metazoans are needed for normal development and the maintenance of health and T. Dobzhansky's statement "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution," a short review of the roles of endogenous and exogenous modulators of GJIC will be made in the context of the multistage, multimechanism process of carcinogenesis, the stem cell theory of carcinogenesis, the discovery and characterization of normal adult stem "cancer stem" cells and the observation that two distinct classes of GJIC-deficient cancer cells are known. The implications of these observations to a "systems biological" view of the role of gap junctions and the nutritional prevention and treatment of several chronic diseases and cancer will be discussed.

  4. Evidence for intercellular communication in mosquito renal tubules: a putative role of gap junctions in coordinating and regulating the rapid diuretic effects of neuropeptides

    PubMed Central

    Piermarini, Peter M.; Calkins, Travis L.

    2014-01-01

    Adult female mosquitoes require a blood meal from a vertebrate host to successfully reproduce. During a single blood feeding, a female may ingest more than the equivalent of her own body mass, resulting in an acute stress to osmotic and ionic homeostasis. In response to this stress, the renal (Malpighian) tubules mediate a rapid diuresis that commences as soon as blood is ingested. The diuresis is regulated by neuropeptides (e.g., kinins, calcitonin-like peptide) that act on receptors in the Malpighian tubule epithelium. Interestingly, the expression of these receptors is discontinuous throughout the epithelium, which raises the question as to how Malpighian tubules mount such a rapid and synchronized response to neuropeptide stimulation. Here we propose a hypothesis that gap junctions functionally couple the epithelial cells of Malpighian tubules, resulting in a coordinated physiological response to the binding of neuropeptides. We review recent, relevant literature on the electrophysiology, physiology, and molecular biology of mosquito Malpighian tubules that indicate the presence of gap junctions in the epithelium. We also provide new physiological and immunochemical data that are consistent with the proposed hypothesis. PMID:24316302

  5. Rescue of Notch signaling in cells incapable of GDP-L-fucose synthesis by gap junction transfer of GDP-L-fucose in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Ayukawa, Tomonori; Matsumoto, Kenjiroo; Ishikawa, Hiroyuki O; Ishio, Akira; Yamakawa, Tomoko; Aoyama, Naoki; Suzuki, Takuya; Matsuno, Kenji

    2012-09-18

    Notch (N) is a transmembrane receptor that mediates cell-cell interactions to determine many cell-fate decisions. N contains EGF-like repeats, many of which have an O-fucose glycan modification that regulates N-ligand binding. This modification requires GDP-L-fucose as a donor of fucose. The GDP-L-fucose biosynthetic pathways are well understood, including the de novo pathway, which depends on GDP-mannose 4,6 dehydratase (Gmd) and GDP-4-keto-6-deoxy-D-mannose 3,5-epimerase/4-reductase (Gmer). However, the potential for intercellularly supplied GDP-L-fucose and the molecular basis of such transportation have not been explored in depth. To address these points, we studied the genetic effects of mutating Gmd and Gmer on fucose modifications in Drosophila. We found that these mutants functioned cell-nonautonomously, and that GDP-L-fucose was supplied intercellularly through gap junctions composed of Innexin-2. GDP-L-fucose was not supplied through body fluids from different isolated organs, indicating that the intercellular distribution of GDP-L-fucose is restricted within a given organ. Moreover, the gap junction-mediated supply of GDP-L-fucose was sufficient to support the fucosylation of N-glycans and the O-fucosylation of the N EGF-like repeats. Our results indicate that intercellular delivery is a metabolic pathway for nucleotide sugars in live animals under certain circumstances.

  6. In Vitro Models of GJB2-Related Hearing Loss Recapitulate Ca(2+) Transients via a Gap Junction Characteristic of Developing Cochlea.

    PubMed

    Fukunaga, Ichiro; Fujimoto, Ayumi; Hatakeyama, Kaori; Aoki, Toru; Nishikawa, Atena; Noda, Tetsuo; Minowa, Osamu; Kurebayashi, Nagomi; Ikeda, Katsuhisa; Kamiya, Kazusaku

    2016-12-13

    Mutation of the Gap Junction Beta 2 gene (GJB2) encoding connexin 26 (CX26) is the most frequent cause of hereditary deafness worldwide and accounts for up to 50% of non-syndromic sensorineural hearing loss cases in some populations. Therefore, cochlear CX26-gap junction plaque (GJP)-forming cells such as cochlear supporting cells are thought to be the most important therapeutic target for the treatment of hereditary deafness. The differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into cochlear CX26-GJP-forming cells has not been reported. Here, we detail the development of a novel strategy to differentiate induced pluripotent stem cells into functional CX26-GJP-forming cells that exhibit spontaneous ATP- and hemichannel-mediated Ca(2+) transients typical of the developing cochlea. Furthermore, these cells from CX26-deficient mice recapitulated the drastic disruption of GJPs, the primary pathology of GJB2-related hearing loss. These in vitro models should be useful for establishing inner-ear cell therapies and drug screening that target GJB2-related hearing loss.

  7. Bisphosphonate-induced, hemichannel-mediated, anti-apoptosis through the Src/ERK pathway: a gap junction-independent action of connexin43.

    PubMed

    Plotkin, L I; Bellido, T

    2001-01-01

    Preservation of the mechanosensory function of osteocytes by inhibiting their apoptosis might contribute to the beneficial effects of bisphosphonates in bone. We report herein a mechanism by which connexin43 hemichannel opening by bisphosphonates triggers the activation of the kinases Src and ERKs and promotes cell survival. Bisphosphonate-induced anti-apoptosis requires connexin channel integrity, but not gap junctions. Osteocytic cells express functional hemichannels that are opened by bisphosphonates, as demonstrated by dye uptake, regulation by established agonists and antagonists, and cell surface biotinylation. The anti-apoptotic effect of bisphosphonates depends on connexin43 expression in mouse embryonic fibroblasts and osteoblastic cells. Transfection of connexin43, but not other connexins, into connexin43 naïve cells confers de novo responsiveness to the drugs. The signal transducing property of connexin43 requires the pore-forming, as well as the C-terminal domains of the protein, the interaction of connexin43 with Src. and the activation of both Src and ERK kinases. These studies establish a role for connexin43 hemichannels in bisphosphonate action, and a novel function of connexin43--beyond gap junction communication--in the regulation of survival signaling pathways.

  8. Keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness syndrome-associated Cx26 mutants produce nonfunctional gap junctions but hyperactive hemichannels when co-expressed with wild type Cx43.

    PubMed

    García, Isaac E; Maripillán, Jaime; Jara, Oscar; Ceriani, Ricardo; Palacios-Muñoz, Angelina; Ramachandran, Jayalakshmi; Olivero, Pablo; Perez-Acle, Tomas; González, Carlos; Sáez, Juan C; Contreras, Jorge E; Martínez, Agustín D

    2015-05-01

    Mutations in Cx26 gene are found in most cases of human genetic deafness. Some mutations produce syndromic deafness associated with skin disorders, like the Keratitis-Ichthyosis-Deafness syndrome (KID). Because in the human skin connexin 26 (Cx26) is co-expressed with other connexins, like Cx43 and Cx30, and as the 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 channel (GJC) 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) shows exacerbated hemichannel activity but nonfunctional GJCs; 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 Ca(2+) overload. The functional paradox produced by oligomerization of Cx43 and Cx26 KID mutants could underlie the severe syndromic phenotype in human skin.

  9. 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

  10. Sequence and tissue distribution of a second protein of hepatic gap junctions, Cx26, as deduced from its cDNA

    PubMed Central

    1989-01-01

    While a number of different gap junction proteins have now been identified, hepatic gap junctions are unique in being the first demonstrated case where two homologous, but distinct, proteins (28,000 and 21,000 Mr) are found within a single gap junctional plaque (Nicholson, B. J., R. Dermietzel, D. Teplow, O. Traub, K. Willecke, and J.-P. Revel. 1987. Nature [Lond.]. 329:732-734). The cDNA for the major 28,000-Mr component has been cloned (Paul, D. L. 1986. J. Cell Biol. 103:123-134) (Kumar, N. M., and N. B. Gilula. 1986. J. Cell Biol. 103:767-776) and, based on its deduced formula weight of 32,007, has been designated connexin 32 (or Cx32 as used here). We now report the selection and characterization of clones for the second 21,000-Mr protein using an oligonucleotide derived from the amino-terminal protein sequence. Together the cDNAs represent 2.4 kb of the single 2.5- kb message detected in Northern blots. An open reading frame of 678 bp coding for a protein with a calculated molecular mass of 26,453 D was identified. Overall sequence homology with Cx32 and Cx43 (64 and 51% amino acid identities, respectively) and a similar predicted tertiary structure confirm that this protein forms part of the connexin family and is consequently referred to as Cx26. Consistent with observations on Cx43 (Beyer, E. C., D. L. Paul, and D. A. Goodenough. 1987. J. Cell Biol. 105:2621-2629) the most marked divergence between Cx26 and other members of the family lies in the sequence of the cytoplasmic domains. The Cx26 gene is present as a single copy per haploid genome in rat and, based on Southern blots, appears to contain at least one intron outside the open reading frame. Northern blots indicate that Cx32 and Cx26 are typically coexpressed, messages for both having been identified in liver, kidney, intestine, lung, spleen, stomach, testes, and brain, but not heart and adult skeletal muscle. This raises the interesting prospect of having differential modes of regulating

  11. Doping effects on the hybridization gap and antiferromagnetic order in the Kondo semiconductor CeO s2A l10 studied by break-junction experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawabata, J.; Ekino, T.; Yamada, Y.; Okada, Y.; Sugimoto, A.; Muro, Y.; Takabatake, T.

    2017-01-01

    The Kondo semiconductors Ce T2A l10 (T =Ru and Os) exhibit antiferromagnetic (AFM) orders at unexpectedly high temperatures TN=27.0 and 28.5 K, respectively, whose mechanism remains in debate. We report the break-junction experiments on 4 f /5 d -hole and 5 d -electron doped CeO s2A l10 as well as nondoped CeR u2A l10 . The differential conductance spectra d I /d V for T =Os and Ru show three gap structures; two hybridization gaps V1, V2 and an AFM gap VAF, whose magnitudes for T =Os are 15 -50 % larger than for T =Ru . Doping of 4 f /5 d holes and 5 d electrons in CeO s2A l10 changes the d I /d V spectrum in very different ways. Nevertheless, in all cases, the suppression of V1 is well correlated with those of VAF and TN. Furthermore, the zero-bias conductance decreases on cooling below T* (>TN ) only in the doping region where V1 and VAF coexist. This fact indicates that the unusual AFM order is preceded by the decrease in the density of states in the presence of V1.

  12. Tuning of optical and electrical properties of wide band gap Fe:SnO2/Li:NiO p- n junctions using 80 MeV oxygen ion beam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mistry, Bhaumik V.; Avasthi, D. K.; Joshi, U. S.

    2016-12-01

    Electrical and optical properties of pristine and swift heavy ion (SHI) irradiated p- n junction diode have been investigated for advanced electronics application. Fe:SnO2/Li:NiO p- n junction was fabricated by using pulsed laser deposition on c-sapphire substrate. The optical band gaps of Fe:SnO2 and Li:NiO films were obtained to be 3.88 and 3.37 eV, respectively. The current-voltage characteristics of the oxide-based p- n junction showed a rectifying behaviour with turn-on voltage of 0.95 V. The oxide-based p- n junction diode was irradiated to 80 MeV O+6 ions with 1 × 1012 ions/cm2 fluence. Decrease in grain size due to SHI irradiation is confirmed by the grazing angle X-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy. In comparison with the pristine p- n junction diode, O+6 ion irradiated p-n junction diode shows the increase of surface roughness and decrease of percentage transmittance in visible region. For irradiated p- n junction diode, current-voltage curve has still rectifying behaviour but exhibits lower turn-on voltage than that of virgin p- n junction diode.

  13. Inorganic arsenic trioxide induces gap junction loss in association with the downregulation of connexin43 and E-cadherin in rat hepatic "stem-like" cells.

    PubMed

    Hsiao, Pi-Jung; Jao, Jo-Chi; Tsai, Jin-Lian; Chang, Wen-Tsan; Jeng, Kuo-Shyang; Kuo, Kung-Kai

    2014-02-01

    Chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic trioxide causes tumors of the skin, urinary bladder, lung, and liver. Several cancer initiators and promoters have been shown to alter cell-cell signaling by interference with gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) and/or modulation of cell adhesion molecules, such as connexin43 (Cx43), E-cadherin, and β-catenin. The aim of this study was to determine whether the disruption of cell-cell interactions occurs in liver epithelial cells after exposure to arsenic trioxide. WB-F344 cells were treated with arsenic trioxide (6.25-50 μM) for up to 8 hours, and gap junction function was analyzed using the scrape-load/dye transfer assay. In addition, the changes in mRNA and protein levels of Cx43, E-cadherin, and β-catenin were determined. A significant dose- and time-dependent decrease in GJIC was observed when WB-F344 cells were exposed to arsenic trioxide (p < 0.05). Consistent with the inhibition of GJIC, cells' exposure to arsenic trioxide resulted in dose- and time-dependent decreases in Cx43 and E-cadherin mRNA expression and protein levels. However, arsenic trioxide did not alter the mRNA or protein levels of β-catenin. In an immunofluorescence study, nuclei were heavily stained with anti-β-catenin antibody, indicating significant nuclear translocation. In this study, we also demonstrated that arsenic trioxide-induced GJIC loss was a reversible process. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that disruption of cell-cell communication may contribute to the tumor-promoting effect of inorganic arsenic trioxide.

  14. Constraints on Jalisco Block Motion and Tectonics of the Guadalajara Triple Junction from 1998-2001 Campaign GPS Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selvans, Michelle M.; Stock, Joann M.; Demets, Charles; Sanchez, Osvaldo; Marquez-Azua, Bertha

    2011-08-01

    A GPS campaign network in the state of Jalisco was occupied for ~36 h per station most years between 1995 and 2005; we use data from 1998-2001 to investigate tectonic motion and interseismic deformation in the Jalisco area with respect to the North America plate. The twelve stations used in this analysis provide coverage of the Jalisco Block and adjacent North America plate, and show a pattern of motion that implies some contribution to Jalisco Block boundary deformation from both tectonic motion and interseismic deformation due to the offshore 1995 earthquake. The