WorldWideScience

Sample records for connexins

  1. Connexins and Disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Delmar, Mario; Laird, Dale W; Naus, Christian C

    2017-01-01

    Inherited or acquired alterations in the structure and function of connexin proteins have long been associated with disease. In the present work, we review current knowledge on the role of connexins in diseases associated with the heart, nervous system, cochlea, and skin, as well as cancer...... of connexins are fundamental components in the pathophysiology of multiple connexin related disorders, many of them highly debilitating and life threatening. Improved understanding of connexin biology has the potential to advance our understanding of mechanisms, diagnosis, and treatment of disease....

  2. Connexin mutants and cataracts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric C Beyer

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The lens is a multicellular, but avascular tissue that must stay transparent to allow normal transmission of light and focusing of it on the retina. Damage to lens cells and/or proteins can cause cataracts, opacities that disrupt these processes. The normal survival of the lens is facilitated by an extensive network of gap junctions formed predominantly of connexin46 and connexin50. Mutations of the genes that encode these connexins (GJA3 and GJA8 have been identified and linked to inheritance of cataracts in human families and mouse lines. In vitro expression studies of several of these mutants have shown that they exhibit abnormalities that may lead to disease. Many of the mutants reduce or modify intercellular communication due to channel alterations (including loss of function or altered gating or due to impaired cellular trafficking which reduces the number of gap junction channels within the plasma membrane. However, the abnormalities detected in studies of other mutants suggest that they cause cataracts through other mechanisms including gain of hemichannel function (leading to cell injury and death and formation of cytoplasmic accumulations (that may act as light scattering particles. These observations and the anticipated results of ongoing studies should elucidate the mechanisms of cataract development due to mutations of lens connexins and abnormalities of other lens proteins. They may also contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms of disease due to connexin mutations in other tissues.

  3. Connexin Hemichannels in Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Brian Skriver; Hansen, Daniel Bloch; Ransom, Bruce R.

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes in the mammalian central nervous system are interconnected by gap junctions made from connexins of the subtypes Cx30 and Cx43. These proteins may exist as hemichannels in the plasma membrane in the absence of a ‘docked’ counterpart on the neighboring cell. A variety of stimuli are repo...... selectivity. We expect that some, or all, of the controversies discussed here will be resolved by future research and sincerely hope that this review serves to motivate such clarifying investigations.......Astrocytes in the mammalian central nervous system are interconnected by gap junctions made from connexins of the subtypes Cx30 and Cx43. These proteins may exist as hemichannels in the plasma membrane in the absence of a ‘docked’ counterpart on the neighboring cell. A variety of stimuli....... Published studies about astrocyte hemichannel behavior, however, have been highly variable and/or contradictory. The field of connexin hemichannel research has been complicated by great variability in the experimental preparations employed, a lack of highly specific pharmacological inhibitors...

  4. Connexins and the kidney

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hanner, Fiona; Sørensen, Charlotte Mehlin; Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik

    2010-01-01

    Connexins (Cxs) are widely-expressed proteins that form gap junctions in most organs, including the kidney. In the renal vasculature, Cx37, Cx40, Cx43, and Cx45 are expressed, with predominant expression of Cx40 in the endothelial cells and Cx45 in the vascular smooth muscle cells. In the tubules......, the major function of Cxs in the kidney appears to be intercellular communication, although they may also form hemichannels that allow cellular secretion of large signaling molecules. Renal Cxs facilitate vascular conduction, juxtaglomerular apparatus calcium signaling, and tubular purinergic signaling....... Accordingly, current evidence points to roles for these Cxs in several important regulatory mechanisms in the kidney, including the renin angiotensin system, tubuloglomerular feedback, and salt and water reabsorption. At the systemic level, renal Cxs may help regulate blood pressure and may be involved...

  5. Gap junctions and connexin-interacting proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, Ben N G

    2004-01-01

    Gap junctions form channels between adjacent cells. The core proteins of these channels are the connexins. Regulation of gap junction communication (GJC) can be modulated by connexin-associating proteins, such as regulatory protein phosphatases and protein kinases, of which c-Src is the

  6. Joint diseases: from connexins to gap junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donahue, Henry J; Qu, Roy W; Genetos, Damian C

    2017-12-19

    Connexons form the basis of hemichannels and gap junctions. They are composed of six tetraspan proteins called connexins. Connexons can function as individual hemichannels, releasing cytosolic factors (such as ATP) into the pericellular environment. Alternatively, two hemichannel connexons from neighbouring cells can come together to form gap junctions, membrane-spanning channels that facilitate cell-cell communication by enabling signalling molecules of approximately 1 kDa to pass from one cell to an adjacent cell. Connexins are expressed in joint tissues including bone, cartilage, skeletal muscle and the synovium. Indicative of their importance as gap junction components, connexins are also known as gap junction proteins, but individual connexin proteins are gaining recognition for their channel-independent roles, which include scaffolding and signalling functions. Considerable evidence indicates that connexons contribute to the function of bone and muscle, but less is known about the function of connexons in other joint tissues. However, the implication that connexins and gap junctional channels might be involved in joint disease, including age-related bone loss, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, emphasizes the need for further research into these areas and highlights the therapeutic potential of connexins.

  7. Regulation of connexin26 and connexin43 expression in rat endometrium by ovarian steroid hormones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grümmer, R; Chwalisz, K; Mulholland, J; Traub, O; Winterhager, E

    1994-12-01

    A distinct spatial and temporal pattern of connexin26 and connexin43 (cx26 and cx43) expression was observed in the rat endometrium in response to embryo implantation; however, connexin expression was suppressed during the preimplantation period. Pseudopregnant rats did not show connexin mRNA, while artificial decidualization induced by a scratch led to a strong expression of cx26 and cx43 in the endometrium of these animals. In order to examine the regulatory effects of ovarian steroid hormones on connexin expression, ovariectomized rats were treated with progesterone (P) and/or estradiol-17 beta (E2). Untreated, ovariectomized animals expressed mRNA for cx43, but not for cx26. Endometrial expression of mRNA for both connexins was strongly enhanced by E2 treatment; immunolabeling revealed protein for cx26 in the uterine luminal epithelial cells and for cx43 in the uterine stromal cells. P treatment, either alone or in combination with E2, suppressed expression of connexin mRNA. P suppression in the presence of E2 was reversible when P was withdrawn. When administered on Days 0-2 of pregnancy, the antiprogestin onapristone inhibited the effect of P and gave rise to strong expression of both connexin transcripts. These results demonstrate that expression of cx26 and cx43 in the rat uterine endometrium is differentially regulated by E2 and P during early pregnancy.

  8. Gap junction protein connexin-43 interacts directly with microtubules

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, B N; Verlaan, I; Hengeveld, T; Janssen, H; Calafat, J; Falk, M M; Moolenaar, W H

    2001-01-01

    Gap junctions are specialized cell-cell junctions that mediate intercellular communication. They are composed of connexin proteins, which form transmembrane channels for small molecules [1, 2]. The C-terminal tail of connexin-43 (Cx43), the most widely expressed connexin member, has been implicated

  9. Connexin43 gene and its irradiation-induced expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Long Xianhui; Zhou Pingkun

    2005-01-01

    Gap junctions, composed of connexin protein subunits, provide the important channel for the intercellular communication. Connexin43, the most popular component of the connexin protein family, is widely expressed in multiple tissues and cell lines and plays an important role in cell proliferation, differention and tissue homeostasis. Recently it was reported that the expression of connexin43 gene is remarkedly up-regulated by low dose ionizing radiation, the available data suggest connexin43 gene to be a poten-tial sensitive bio-marker in radiation damage. (authors)

  10. Connexins, diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamelin, Romain; Allagnat, Florent; Haefliger, Jacques-Antoine; Meda, Paolo

    2009-02-01

    Diabetes and the related metabolic syndrome are multi system disorders that result from improper interactions between various cell types. Even though the underlying mechanism remains to be fully understood, it is most likely that both the long and the short distance range cell interactions, which normally ensure the physiologic functioning of the pancreas, and its relationships with the insulin-targeted organs, are altered. This review focuses on the short-range type of interactions that depend on the contact between adjacent cells and, specifically, on the interactions that are dependent on connexins. The widespread distribution of these membrane proteins, their multiple modes of action, and their interactions with conditions/molecules associated to both the pathogenesis and the treatment of the 2 main forms of diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, make connexins an essential part of the chain of events that leads to metabolic diseases. Here, we review the present state of knowledge about the molecular and cell biology of the connexin genes and proteins, their general mechanisms of action, the roles specific connexin species play in the endocrine pancreas and the major insulin-targeted organs, under physiological and patho-physiological conditions.

  11. Connexin 32 and connexin 43 are involved in lineage restriction of hepatic progenitor cells to hepatocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haiyun Pei

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bi-potential hepatic progenitor cells can give rise to both hepatocytes and cholangiocytes, which is the last phase and critical juncture in terms of sequentially hepatic lineage restriction from any kind of stem cells. If their differentiation can be controlled, it might access to functional hepatocytes to develop pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as well as cell therapies for end-stage liver diseases. Methods In this study, we investigated the influence of Cx32 and Cx43 on hepatocyte differentiation of WB-F344 cells by in vitro gain and loss of function analyses. An inhibitor of Cx32 was also used to make further clarification. To reveal p38 MAPK pathway is closely related to Cxs, rats with 70% partial hepatectomy were injected intraperitoneally with a p38 inhibitor, SB203580. Besides, the effects of p38 MAPK pathway on differentiation of hepatoblasts isolated from fetal rat livers were evaluated by addition of SB203580 in culture medium. Results In vitro gain and loss of function analyses showed overexpression of Connexin 32 and knockdown of Connexin 43 promoted hepatocytes differentiation from hepatic progenitor cells. In addition, in vitro and ex vivo research revealed inhibition of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway can improve hepatocytes differentiation correlating with upregulation of Connexin 32 expression and downregulation of Connexin 43 expression. Conclusions Here we demonstrate that Connexins play crucial roles in facilitating differentiation of hepatic progenitors. Our work further implicates that regulators of Connexins and their related pathways might provide new insights to improve lineage restriction of stem cells to mature hepatocytes.

  12. Molecular interaction of connexin 30.3 and connexin 31 suggests a dominant-negative mechanism associated with erythrokeratodermia variabilis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plantard, Laure; Huber, Marcel; Macari, Francoise

    2003-01-01

    Connexins are homologous four-transmembrane-domain proteins and major components of gap junctions. We recently identified mutations in either GJB3 or GJB4 genes, encoding respectively connexin 31 (Cx31) or 30.3 (Cx30.3), as causally involved in erythrokeratodermia variabilis (EKV), a mostly autos...

  13. Connexins in Prostate Cancer Initiation and Progression

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-01

    Connexin43 in the Failing Heart . Circ Res, 106, 1153-1163. 69. Bejiarno,E., Girao,H., Yuste,A., Patel,B., Marques,C., Spray,D., Pereira,P., and...Roth C, Warkany J (1953) An analysis of the syndrome of malformations induced by maternal vitam A deficeincy. Effects of restoriation of vitamin A at...the syndrome of malformations induced by maternal vitamin A deficeincy. Effects of restoriation of vitamin A at varruous times during gestation. Am J

  14. Gap junction protein connexin43 exacerbates lung vascular permeability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James J O'Donnell

    Full Text Available Increased vascular permeability causes pulmonary edema that impairs arterial oxygenation and thus contributes to morbidity and mortality associated with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and sepsis. Although components of intercellular adhesive and tight junctions are critical for maintaining the endothelial barrier, there has been limited study of the roles of gap junctions and their component proteins (connexins. Since connexins can modulate inflammatory signaling in other systems, we hypothesized that connexins may also regulate pulmonary endothelial permeability. The relationships between connexins and the permeability response to inflammatory stimuli were studied in cultured human pulmonary endothelial cells. Prolonged treatment with thrombin, lipopolysaccharide, or pathological cyclic stretch increased levels of mRNA and protein for the major connexin, connexin43 (Cx43. Thrombin and lipopolysaccharide both increased intercellular communication assayed by transfer of microinjected Lucifer yellow. Although thrombin decreased transendothelial resistance in these cells, the response was attenuated by pretreatment with the connexin inhibitor carbenoxolone. Additionally, the decreases of transendothelial resistance produced by either thrombin or lipopolysaccharide were attenuated by reducing Cx43 expression by siRNA knockdown. Both carbenoxolone and Cx43 knockdown also abrogated thrombin-induced phosphorylation of myosin light chain. Taken together, these data suggest that increased lung vascular permeability induced by inflammatory conditions may be amplified via increased expression of Cx43 and intercellular communication among pulmonary endothelial cells.

  15. Different domains are critical for oligomerization compatibility of different connexins

    Science.gov (United States)

    MARTÍNEZ, Agustín D.; MARIPILLÁN, Jaime; ACUÑA, Rodrigo; MINOGUE, Peter J.; BERTHOUD, Viviana M.; BEYER, Eric C.

    2011-01-01

    Oligomerization of connexins is a critical step in gap junction channel formation. Some members of the connexin family can oligomerize with other members and form functional heteromeric hemichannels [e.g. Cx43 (connexin 43) and Cx45], but others are incompatible (e.g. Cx43 and Cx26). To find connexin domains important for oligomerization, we constructed chimaeras between Cx43 and Cx26 and studied their ability to oligomerize with wild-type Cx43, Cx45 or Cx26. HeLa cells co-expressing Cx43, Cx45 or Cx26 and individual chimaeric constructs were analysed for interactions between the chimaeras and the wild-type connexins using cell biological (subcellular localization by immunofluorescence), functional (intercellular diffusion of microinjected Lucifer yellow) and biochemical (sedimentation velocity through sucrose gradients) assays. All of the chimaeras containing the third transmembrane domain of Cx43 interacted with wild-type Cx43 on the basis of co-localization, dominant-negative inhibition of intercellular communication, and altered sedimentation velocity. The same chimaeras also interacted with co-expressed Cx45. In contrast, immunofluorescence and intracellular diffusion of tracer suggested that other domains influenced oligomerization compatibility when chimaeras were co-expressed with Cx26. Taken together, these results suggest that amino acids in the third transmembrane domain are critical for oligomerization with Cx43 and Cx45. However, motifs in different domains may determine oligomerization compatibility in members of different connexin subfamilies. PMID:21348854

  16. Connexin-43 interactions with ZO-1 and alpha- and beta-tubulin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, B N; Verlaan, I; Moolenaar, W H

    2001-01-01

    Gap junctions are composed of connexins that form transmembrane channels between adjacent cells. The C-terminal tail of connexin-43 (Cx43), the most widely expressed connexin member, has been implicated in the regulation of Cx43 channel gating. Interestingly, channel-independent processes regulated

  17. Fluoxetin Upregulates Connexin 43 Expression in Astrocyte

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossein Mostafavi

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Recent studies have shown that astrocytes play major roles in normal and disease condition of the central nervous system including multiple sclerosis (MS. Molecular target therapy studies in MS have revealed that connexin-43 (Cx43 and Aquaporin-4 (AQP4 contents of astrocytes undergo expression alteration. Fluoxetine had some effects in MS patients unrelated to its known antidepressant effects. Some of fluoxetine effects were attributed to its capability of cAMP signaling pathway stimulation. This study aimed to investigate possible acute effects of fluoxetine on Cx43 and AQP4 expression in astrocyte.  Methods: Astrocytoma cells were treated for 24 hours with fluoxetine (10 and 20 &mug/ml with or without adenyl cyclase (AC and protein kinase A (PKA inhibition. Cx43 expression at both mRNA and protein levels and AQP4 expression at mRNA level were evaluated.  Results: Acquired results showed that fluoxetine with and without AC and PKA inhibition resulted in Cx43 up-regulation both in mRNA and protein levels, whereas AQP4 expression have not changed.  Discussion: In conclusion, data showed that fluoxetine alone and in the absence of serotonin acutely up-regulated Cx43 expression in astrocytes that can be assumed in molecular target therapy of MS patients. It seems that cAMP involvement in fluoxetine effects need more researches.

  18. Differential Connexin Function Enhances Self-Renewal in Glioblastoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro Hitomi

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The coordination of complex tumor processes requires cells to rapidly modify their phenotype and is achieved by direct cell-cell communication through gap junction channels composed of connexins. Previous reports have suggested that gap junctions are tumor suppressive based on connexin 43 (Cx43, but this does not take into account differences in connexin-mediated ion selectivity and intercellular communication rate that drive gap junction diversity. We find that glioblastoma cancer stem cells (CSCs possess functional gap junctions that can be targeted using clinically relevant compounds to reduce self-renewal and tumor growth. Our analysis reveals that CSCs express Cx46, while Cx43 is predominantly expressed in non-CSCs. During differentiation, Cx46 is reduced, while Cx43 is increased, and targeting Cx46 compromises CSC maintenance. The difference between Cx46 and Cx43 is reflected in elevated cell-cell communication and reduced resting membrane potential in CSCs. Our data demonstrate a pro-tumorigenic role for gap junctions that is dependent on connexin expression.

  19. Connexins and pannexins: New insights into microglial functions and dysfunctions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosario Gajardo-Gómez

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In a physiological context, microglia adopt a resting phenotype that is associated with the production of anti-inflammatory and neurotrophic factors. In response to a wide variety of insults, they shift to the activated phenotype that is necessary for the proper restoration of brain homeostasis. When the intensity of the threat is relatively high, microglial activation can worsen the damage progression instead of providing protection, with potentially significant consequences for neuronal survival. Coordinated interactions among microglia and with other brain cells, including astrocytes and neurons, is critical for the development of timely and optimal inflammatory responses in the brain parenchyma. Tissue synchronization is in part mediated by connexins and pannexins, which are protein families that form different plasma membrane channels to communicate with neighboring cells. At one end, the gap junction channels (which are exclusively formed by connexins in vertebrates connect the cytoplasm of contacting cells to coordinate electrical and metabolic coupling. At the other end, hemichannels and pannexons (which are formed by connexins and pannexins, respectively communicate via intra- and extracellular compartments and serve as diffusion pathways for the exchange of ions and small molecules. In this review, we discuss the evidence available concerning the functional expression and regulation of connexin- and pannexin-based channels in microglia and their contribution to microglial function and dysfunction. We focus on the possible implications of these channels in microglia-to-microglia, microglia-to-astrocyte and neuron-to-microglia interactions in the inflamed brain.

  20. Connexin43 orthologues in vertebrates: phylogeny from fish to man

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Heyden, Marcel A. G.; van Eijk, Marleen; Wilders, Ronald; de Bakker, Jacques M. T.; Opthof, Tobias

    2004-01-01

    The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) is widely expressed in all vertebrate species; however, in ventricular myocardium, Cx43 expression is restricted to mammalian species only, where it provides the molecular correlate for both electrical conduction and synchronization of the repolarization

  1. Association of connexin43 with a receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, Ben N G; Feiken, Elles; Gebbink, Martijn F B G; Moolenaar, Wouter H

    2003-01-01

    Connexin-43(Cx43)-based gap junctional communication is transiently inhibited by certain G protein-coupled receptor agonists, including lysophosphatidic acid, endothelin and thrombin. Our previous studies have implicated the c-Src protein tyrosine kinase in mediating closure of Cx43 based gap

  2. Connexin-based intercellular communication and astrocyte heterogeneity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theis, Martin; Giaume, Christian

    2012-12-03

    This review gives an overview of the current knowledge on connexin-mediated communication in astrocytes, covering gap junction and hemichannel functions mediated by connexins. Astroglia is the main brain cell type that expresses the largest amount of connexin and exhibits high level of gap junctional communication compared to neurons and oligodendrocytes. However, in certain developmental and regional situations, astrocytes are also coupled with oligodendrocytes and neurons. This heterotypic coupling is infrequent and minor in terms of extent of the coupling area, which does not mean that it is not important in terms of cell interaction. Here, we present an update on heterogeneity of connexin expression and function at the molecular, subcellular, cellular and networking levels. Interestingly, while astrocytes were initially considered as a homogenous population, there is now increasing evidence for morphological, developmental, molecular and physiological heterogeneity of astrocytes. Consequently, the specificity of gap junction channel- and hemichannel-mediated communication, which tends to synchronize cell populations, is also a parameter to take into account when neuroglial interactions are investigated. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Electrical Synapses. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Connexin-Dependent Neuroglial Networking as a New Therapeutic Target

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Charvériat

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes and neurons dynamically interact during physiological processes, and it is now widely accepted that they are both organized in plastic and tightly regulated networks. Astrocytes are connected through connexin-based gap junction channels, with brain region specificities, and those networks modulate neuronal activities, such as those involved in sleep-wake cycle, cognitive, or sensory functions. Additionally, astrocyte domains have been involved in neurogenesis and neuronal differentiation during development; they participate in the “tripartite synapse” with both pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neurons by tuning down or up neuronal activities through the control of neuronal synaptic strength. Connexin-based hemichannels are also involved in those regulations of neuronal activities, however, this feature will not be considered in the present review. Furthermore, neuronal processes, transmitting electrical signals to chemical synapses, stringently control astroglial connexin expression, and channel functions. Long-range energy trafficking toward neurons through connexin-coupled astrocytes and plasticity of those networks are hence largely dependent on neuronal activity. Such reciprocal interactions between neurons and astrocyte networks involve neurotransmitters, cytokines, endogenous lipids, and peptides released by neurons but also other brain cell types, including microglial and endothelial cells. Over the past 10 years, knowledge about neuroglial interactions has widened and now includes effects of CNS-targeting drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, psychostimulants, or sedatives drugs as potential modulators of connexin function and thus astrocyte networking activity. In physiological situations, neuroglial networking is consequently resulting from a two-way interaction between astrocyte gap junction-mediated networks and those made by neurons. As both cell types are modulated by CNS drugs we postulate that neuroglial

  4. Connexin-Dependent Neuroglial Networking as a New Therapeutic Target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charvériat, Mathieu; Naus, Christian C; Leybaert, Luc; Sáez, Juan C; Giaume, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes and neurons dynamically interact during physiological processes, and it is now widely accepted that they are both organized in plastic and tightly regulated networks. Astrocytes are connected through connexin-based gap junction channels, with brain region specificities, and those networks modulate neuronal activities, such as those involved in sleep-wake cycle, cognitive, or sensory functions. Additionally, astrocyte domains have been involved in neurogenesis and neuronal differentiation during development; they participate in the "tripartite synapse" with both pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neurons by tuning down or up neuronal activities through the control of neuronal synaptic strength. Connexin-based hemichannels are also involved in those regulations of neuronal activities, however, this feature will not be considered in the present review. Furthermore, neuronal processes, transmitting electrical signals to chemical synapses, stringently control astroglial connexin expression, and channel functions. Long-range energy trafficking toward neurons through connexin-coupled astrocytes and plasticity of those networks are hence largely dependent on neuronal activity. Such reciprocal interactions between neurons and astrocyte networks involve neurotransmitters, cytokines, endogenous lipids, and peptides released by neurons but also other brain cell types, including microglial and endothelial cells. Over the past 10 years, knowledge about neuroglial interactions has widened and now includes effects of CNS-targeting drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, psychostimulants, or sedatives drugs as potential modulators of connexin function and thus astrocyte networking activity. In physiological situations, neuroglial networking is consequently resulting from a two-way interaction between astrocyte gap junction-mediated networks and those made by neurons. As both cell types are modulated by CNS drugs we postulate that neuroglial networking may emerge as

  5. Colocalization of connexin 36 and corticotropin-releasing hormone in the mouse brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ribeiro Ana C

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gap junction proteins, connexins, are expressed in most endocrine and exocrine glands in the body and are at least in some glands crucial for the hormonal secretion. To what extent connexins are expressed in neurons releasing hormones or neuropeptides from or within the central nervous system is, however, unknown. Previous studies provide indirect evidence for gap junction coupling between subsets of neuropeptide-containing neurons in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN of the hypothalamus. Here we employ double labeling and retrograde tracing methods to investigate to what extent neuroendocrine and neuropeptide-containing neurons of the hypothalamus and brainstem express the neuronal gap junction protein connexin 36. Results Western blot analysis showed that connexin 36 is expressed in the PVN. In bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic mice, which specifically express the reporter gene Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein (EGFP under the control of the connexin 36 gene promoter, EGFP expression was detected in magnocellular (neuroendocrine and in parvocellular neurons of the PVN. Although no EGFP/connexin36 expression was seen in neurons containing oxytocin or vasopressin, EGFP/connexin36 was found in subsets of PVN neurons containing corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH, and in somatostatin neurons located along the third ventricle. Moreover, CRH neurons in brainstem areas, including the lateral parabrachial nucleus, also expressed EGFP/connexin 36. Conclusion Our data indicate that connexin 36 is expressed in subsets of neuroendocrine and CRH neurons in specific nuclei of the hypothalamus and brainstem.

  6. Connexin 50 Mutation Lowers Blood Pressure in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šeda, Ondřej; Liška, F.; Pravenec, Michal; Vernerová, Z.; Kazdová, L.; Křenová, D.; Zídek, Václav; Šedová, Lucie; Krupková, M.; Křen, V.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 66, č. 1 (2017), s. 15-28 ISSN 0862-8408 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP301/12/0696 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 ; RVO:67985823 Keywords : Connexin * Hypertension * Transcriptome * Animal models * Insulin resistance Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Cardiac and Cardiovascular systems; Cardiac and Cardiovascular systems (FGU-C) Impact factor: 1.461, year: 2016

  7. Targeting connexin 43 in diabetic wound healing: Future perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bajpai S

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The unknown mechanisms of impaired tissue repair in diabetes mellitus are making this disease a serious clinical problem for the physicians worldwide. The lacuna in the knowledge of the etiology of diabetic wounds necessitates more focused research in order to develop new targeting tools with higher efficacy for their effective management. Gap-junction proteins, connexins, have shown some promising results in the process of diabetic wound healing. Till now the role of connexins has been implicated in peripheral neuropathy, deafness, skin disorders, cataract, germ cell development and treatment of cancer. Recent findings have revealed that gap junctions play a key role in normal as well as diabetic wound healing. The purpose of this review is to provide the information related to etiology, epidemiology, clinical presentation of diabetic wounds and to analyze the role of connexin 43 (Cx43 in the diabetic wound healing process. The current control strategies and the future research challenges have also been discussed briefly in this review.

  8. Defective propagation of signals generated by sympathetic nerve stimulation in the liver of connexin32-deficient mice.

    OpenAIRE

    Nelles, E; Bützler, C; Jung, D; Temme, A; Gabriel, H D; Dahl, U; Traub, O; Stümpel, F; Jungermann, K; Zielasek, J; Toyka, K V; Dermietzel, R; Willecke, K

    1996-01-01

    The gap junctional protein connexin32 is expressed in hepatocytes, exocrine pancreatic cells, Schwann cells, and other cell types. We have inactivated the connexin32 gene by homologous recombination in the mouse genome and have generated homozygous connexin32-deficient mice that were viable and fertile but weighed on the average approximately 17% less than wild-type controls. Electrical stimulation of sympathetic nerves in connexin32-deficient liver triggered a 78% lower amount of glucose mob...

  9. Connexins and pannexins in the integumentary system: the skin and appendages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faniku, Chrysovalantou; Wright, Catherine S; Martin, Patricia E

    2015-08-01

    The integumentary system comprises the skin and its appendages, which includes hair, nails, feathers, sebaceous and eccrine glands. In this review, we focus on the expression profile of connexins and pannexins throughout the integumentary system in mammals, birds and fish. We provide a picture of the complexity of the connexin/pannexin network illustrating functional importance of these proteins in maintaining the integrity of the epidermal barrier. The differential regulation and expression of connexins and pannexins during skin renewal, together with a number of epidermal, hair and nail abnormalities associated with mutations in connexins, emphasize that the correct balance of connexin and pannexin expression is critical for maintenance of the skin and its appendages with both channel and non-channel functions playing profound roles. Changes in connexin expression during both hair and feather regeneration provide suggestions of specialized communication compartments. Finally, we discuss the potential use of zebrafish as a model for connexin skin biology, where evidence mounts that differential connexin expression is involved in skin patterning and pigmentation.

  10. Role of Connexin40 in the autoregulatory response of the afferent arteriole

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Charlotte Mehlin; Giese, Isaiah; Braunstein, Thomas Hartig

    2012-01-01

    Connexins in renal arterioles affect autoregulation of arteriolar tonus and renal blood flow and are believed to be involved in the transmission of the tubuloglomerular feedback (TGF) response across the cells of the juxtaglomerular apparatus. Connexin40 (Cx40) also plays a significant role in th...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanthini eMylvaganam

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available 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 nonspecific 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, diminishing spontaneous seizures. Besides GJs, Cx membrane hemichannels in glia and Panx membrane channels in neurons and glia are also inhibited by gap junctional pharmacological blockers. Although there is no doubt that connexin-based gap junctions 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

  12. Connexin 30 expression and frequency of connexin heterogeneity in astrocyte gap junction plaques increase with age in the rat retina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hussein Mansour

    Full Text Available We investigated age-associated changes in retinal astrocyte connexins (Cx by assaying Cx numbers, plaque sizes, protein expression levels and heterogeneity of gap junctions utilizing six-marker immunohistochemistry (IHC. We compared Wistar rat retinal wholemounts in animals aged 3 (young adult, 9 (middle-aged and 22 months (aged. We determined that retinal astrocytes have gap junctions composed of Cx26, -30, -43 and -45. Cx30 was consistently elevated at 22 months compared to younger ages both when associated with parenchymal astrocytes and vascular-associated astrocytes. Not only was the absolute number of Cx30 plaques significantly higher (P<0.05 but the size of the plaques was significantly larger at 22 months compared to younger ages (p<0.05. With age, Cx26 increased significantly initially, but returned to basal levels; whereas Cx43 expression remained low and stable with age. Evidence that astrocytes alter connexin compositions of gap junctions was demonstrated by the significant increase in the number of Cx26/Cx45 gap junctions with age. We also found gap junctions comprised of 1, 2, 3 or 4 Cx proteins suggesting that retinal astrocytes use various connexin protein combinations in their gap junctions during development and aging. These data provides new insight into the dynamic and extensive Cx network utilized by retinal astrocytes for communication within both the parenchyma and vasculature for the maintenance of normal retinal physiology with age. This characterisation of the changes in astrocytic gap junctional communication with age in the CNS is crucial to the understanding of physiological aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

  13. Air-Stimulated ATP Release from Keratinocytes Occurs through Connexin Hemichannels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, Travis P.; Albrecht, Phillip J.; Hou, Quanzhi; Mongin, Alexander A.; Strichartz, Gary R.; Rice, Frank L.

    2013-01-01

    Cutaneous ATP release plays an important role in both epidermal stratification and chronic pain, but little is known about ATP release mechanisms in keratinocytes that comprise the epidermis. In this study, we analyzed ATP release from cultured human neonatal keratinocytes briefly exposed to air, a process previously demonstrated to trigger ATP release from these cells. We show that exposing keratinocytes to air by removing media for 15 seconds causes a robust, long-lasting ATP release. This air-stimulated ATP release was increased in calcium differentiated cultures which showed a corresponding increase in connexin 43 mRNA, a major component of keratinocyte hemichannels. The known connexin hemichannel inhibitors 1-octanol and carbenoxolone both significantly reduced air-stimulated ATP release, as did two drugs traditionally used as ABC transporter inhibitors (glibenclamide and verapamil). These same 4 inhibitors also prevented an increase in the uptake of a connexin permeable dye induced by air exposure, confirming that connexin hemichannels are open during air-stimulated ATP release. In contrast, activity of the MDR1 ABC transporter was reduced by air exposure and the drugs that inhibited air-stimulated ATP release had differential effects on this transporter. These results indicate that air exposure elicits non-vesicular release of ATP from keratinocytes through connexin hemichannels and that drugs used to target connexin hemichannels and ABC transporters may cross-inhibit. Connexins represent a novel, peripheral target for the treatment of chronic pain and dermatological disease. PMID:23457608

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. A simple RT-PCR-based strategy for screening connexin identity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Urban

    1999-08-01

    Full Text Available Vertebrate gap junctions are aggregates of transmembrane channels which are composed of connexin (Cx proteins encoded by at least fourteen distinct genes in mammals. Since the same Cx type can be expressed in different tissues and more than one Cx type can be expressed by the same cell, the thorough identification of which connexin is in which cell type and how connexin expression changes after experimental manipulation has become quite laborious. Here we describe an efficient, rapid and simple method by which connexin type(s can be identified in mammalian tissue and cultured cells using endonuclease cleavage of RT-PCR products generated from "multi primers" (sense primer, degenerate oligonucleotide corresponding to a region of the first extracellular domain; antisense primer, degenerate oligonucleotide complementary to the second extracellular domain that amplify the cytoplasmic loop regions of all known connexins except Cx36. In addition, we provide sequence information on RT-PCR primers used in our laboratory to screen individual connexins and predictions of extension of the "multi primer" method to several human connexins.

  16. Connexin Communication Compartments and Wound Repair in Epithelial Tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chanson, Marc; Watanabe, Masakatsu; O'Shaughnessy, Erin M; Zoso, Alice; Martin, Patricia E

    2018-05-03

    Epithelial tissues line the lumen of tracts and ducts connecting to the external environment. They are critical in forming an interface between the internal and external environment and, following assault from environmental factors and pathogens, they must rapidly repair to maintain cellular homeostasis. These tissue networks, that range from a single cell layer, such as in airway epithelium, to highly stratified and differentiated epithelial surfaces, such as the epidermis, are held together by a junctional nexus of proteins including adherens, tight and gap junctions, often forming unique and localised communication compartments activated for localised tissue repair. This review focuses on the dynamic changes that occur in connexins, the constituent proteins of the intercellular gap junction channel, during wound-healing processes and in localised inflammation, with an emphasis on the lung and skin. Current developments in targeting connexins as corrective therapies to improve wound closure and resolve localised inflammation are also discussed. Finally, we consider the emergence of the zebrafish as a concerted whole-animal model to study, visualise and track the events of wound repair and regeneration in real-time living model systems.

  17. Connexin Communication Compartments and Wound Repair in Epithelial Tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Chanson

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Epithelial tissues line the lumen of tracts and ducts connecting to the external environment. They are critical in forming an interface between the internal and external environment and, following assault from environmental factors and pathogens, they must rapidly repair to maintain cellular homeostasis. These tissue networks, that range from a single cell layer, such as in airway epithelium, to highly stratified and differentiated epithelial surfaces, such as the epidermis, are held together by a junctional nexus of proteins including adherens, tight and gap junctions, often forming unique and localised communication compartments activated for localised tissue repair. This review focuses on the dynamic changes that occur in connexins, the constituent proteins of the intercellular gap junction channel, during wound-healing processes and in localised inflammation, with an emphasis on the lung and skin. Current developments in targeting connexins as corrective therapies to improve wound closure and resolve localised inflammation are also discussed. Finally, we consider the emergence of the zebrafish as a concerted whole-animal model to study, visualise and track the events of wound repair and regeneration in real-time living model systems.

  18. Connexin: a potential novel target for protecting the central nervous system?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-yan Xie

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Connexin subunits are proteins that form gap junction channels, and play an important role in communication between adjacent cells. This review article discusses the function of connexins/hemichannels/gap junctions under physiological conditions, and summarizes the findings regarding the role of connexins/hemichannels/gap junctions in the physiological and pathological mechanisms underlying central nervous system diseases such as brain ischemia, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, epilepsy, brain and spinal cord tumor, migraine, neuroautoimmune disease, Alzheimer′s disease, Parkinson′s disease, X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Pelizaeus-Merzbacher-like disease, spastic paraplegia and maxillofacial dysplasia. Connexins are considered to be a potential novel target for protecting the central nervous system.

  19. Connexin Hemichannel Blockade Is Neuroprotective after Asphyxia in Preterm Fetal Sheep

    OpenAIRE

    Davidson, Joanne O.; Drury, Paul P.; Green, Colin R.; Nicholson, Louise F.; Bennet, Laura; Gunn, Alistair J.

    2014-01-01

    Asphyxia around the time of preterm birth is associated with neurodevelopmental disability. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that blockade of connexin hemichannels would improve recovery of brain activity and reduce cell loss after asphyxia in preterm fetal sheep. Asphyxia was induced by 25 min of complete umbilical cord occlusion in preterm fetal sheep (103-104 d gestational age). Connexin hemichannels were blocked by intracerebroventricular infusion of mimetic peptide starting 90 min...

  20. Multifaceted Roles of Connexin 43 in Stem Cell Niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genet, Nafiisha; Bhatt, Neha; Bourdieu, Antonin; Hirschi, Karen K

    2018-01-01

    Considerable progress has been made in the field of stem cell research; nonetheless, the use of stem cells for regenerative medicine therapies, for either endogenous tissue repair or cellular grafts post injury, remains a challenge. To better understand how to maintain stem cell potential in vivo and promote differentiation ex vivo, it is fundamentally important to elucidate the interactions between stem cells and their surrounding partners within their distinct niches. Among the vast array of proteins depicted as mediators for cell-to-cell interactions, connexin-comprised gap junctions play pivotal roles in the regulation of stem cell fate both in vivo and in vitro. This review summarizes and illustrates the current knowledge regarding the multifaceted roles of Cx43, specifically, in various stem cell niches.

  1. Regulation of Connexin-Based Channels by Fatty Acids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puebla, Carlos; Retamal, Mauricio A.; Acuña, Rodrigo; Sáez, Juan C.

    2017-01-01

    In this mini-review, we briefly summarize the current knowledge about the effects of fatty acids (FAs) on connexin-based channels, as well as discuss the limited information about the impact FAs may have on pannexins (Panxs). FAs regulate diverse cellular functions, some of which are explained by changes in the activity of channels constituted by connexins (Cxs) or Panxs, which are known to play critical roles in maintaining the functional integrity of diverse organs and tissues. Cxs are transmembrane proteins that oligomerize into hexamers to form hemichannels (HCs), which in turn can assemble into dodecamers to form gap junction channels (GJCs). While GJCs communicate the cytoplasm of contacting cells, HCs serve as pathways for the exchange of ions and small molecules between the intra and extracellular milieu. Panxs, as well as Cx HCs, form channels at the plasma membrane that enable the interchange of molecules between the intra and extracellular spaces. Both Cx- and Panx-based channels are controlled by several post-translational modifications. However, the mechanism of action of FAs on these channels has not been described in detail. It has been shown however that FAs frequently decrease GJC-mediated cell-cell communication. The opposite effect also has been described for HC or Panx-dependent intercellular communication, where, the acute FA effect can be reversed upon washout. Additionally, changes in GJCs mediated by FAs have been associated with post-translational modifications (e.g., phosphorylation), and seem to be directly related to chemical properties of FAs (e.g., length of carbon chain and/or degree of saturation), but this possible link remains poorly understood. PMID:28174541

  2. Defective propagation of signals generated by sympathetic nerve stimulation in the liver of connexin32-deficient mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelles, E; Bützler, C; Jung, D; Temme, A; Gabriel, H D; Dahl, U; Traub, O; Stümpel, F; Jungermann, K; Zielasek, J; Toyka, K V; Dermietzel, R; Willecke, K

    1996-09-03

    The gap junctional protein connexin32 is expressed in hepatocytes, exocrine pancreatic cells, Schwann cells, and other cell types. We have inactivated the connexin32 gene by homologous recombination in the mouse genome and have generated homozygous connexin32-deficient mice that were viable and fertile but weighed on the average approximately 17% less than wild-type controls. Electrical stimulation of sympathetic nerves in connexin32-deficient liver triggered a 78% lower amount of glucose mobilization from glycogen stores, when compared with wild-type liver. Thus, connexin32-containing gap junctions are essential in mouse liver for maximal intercellular propagation of the noradrenaline signal from the periportal (upstream) area, where it is received from sympathetic nerve endings, to perivenous (downstream) hepatocytes. In connexin32-defective liver, the amount of connexin26 protein expressed was found to be lower than in wild-type liver, and the total area of gap junction plaques was approximately 1000-fold smaller than in wild-type liver. In contrast to patients with connexin32 defects suffering from X chromosome-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX) due to demyelination in Schwann cells of peripheral nerves, connexin32-deficient mice did not show neurological abnormalities when analyzed at 3 months of age. It is possible, however, that they may develop neurodegenerative symptoms at older age.

  3. Molecular cloning, functional expression, and tissue distribution of a novel human gap junction-forming protein, connexin-31.9. Interaction with zona occludens protein-1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nielsen, Peter A; Beahm, Derek L; Giepmans, Ben N G; Baruch, Amos; Hall, James E; Kumar, Nalin M

    2002-01-01

    A novel human connexin gene (GJA11) was cloned from a genomic library. The open reading frame encoded a hypothetical protein of 294 amino acid residues with a predicted molecular mass of 31,933, hence referred to as connexin-31.9 (Cx31.9) or alpha 11 connexin. A clone in GenBank containing the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  5. Expression of connexin 37, 40 and 43 in rat mesenteric arterioles and resistance arteries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustafsson, Finn; Mikkelsen, Hanne B; Arensbak, Birgitte

    2003-01-01

    Connexins are the protein constituents of gap junctions which mediate intercellular communication in most tissues. In arterioles gap junctions appear to be important for conduction of vasomotor responses along the vessel. Studies of the expression pattern of connexin isoforms in the microcirculat......Connexins are the protein constituents of gap junctions which mediate intercellular communication in most tissues. In arterioles gap junctions appear to be important for conduction of vasomotor responses along the vessel. Studies of the expression pattern of connexin isoforms...... in the microcirculation are sparse. We investigated the expression of the three major vascular connexins in mesenteric arterioles (diameter micro m) from male Sprague-Dawley rats, since conducted vasomotor responses have been described in these vessels. The findings were compared with those obtained from upstream...... small resistance arteries. Indirect immunofluorescence techniques were used on whole mounts of mesenteric arterioles and on frozen sections of resistance arteries (diameter approximately 300 micro m). Mesenteric arterioles expressed Cx40 and Cx43 in the endothelial layer, and Cx37 was found in most...

  6. Prolonged labour associated with lower expression of syndecan 3 and connexin 43 in human uterine tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malmström Anders

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prolonged labour is associated with greater morbidity and mortality for mother and child. Connexin 43 is a major myometrial gap junction protein found in human myometrium. Syndecan 3 seems to prevail in the human uterus among heparan sulphate proteoglycans, showing the most significant increase during labour. The aims of the present study were to investigate syndecan 3 and connexin 43 mRNA expressions and protein distributions in human uterine tissue during normal and prolonged labour. Methods Uterine isthmic biopsies were collected from non-pregnant (n = 7, term pregnant women not in labour (n = 14, in normal labour (n = 7 and in prolonged labour (n = 7. mRNA levels of syndecan 3 and connexin 43 were determined by real time RT-PCR. The localization and expression were demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy. Results In women with prolonged labour, the mRNA expressions of syndecan 3 and Connexin 43 were considerably lower than the expression level at normal labour (p Conclusion The high expression of syndecan 3 and connexin 43 and their co-localization to the smooth muscle bundles during normal labour, together with the significant reduction in prolonged labour, may indicate a role for these proteins in the co-ordination of myometrial contractility.

  7. The gap junction protein connexin43 interacts with the second PDZ domain of the zona occludens-1 protein

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, B N; Moolenaar, W H

    1998-01-01

    Gap junctions mediate cell-cell communication in almost all tissues and are composed of channel-forming integral membrane proteins, termed connexins [1-3]. Connexin43 (Cx43) is the most widely expressed and the most well-studied member of this family. Cx43-based cell-cell communication is regulated

  8. Gap junction connexins in female reproductive organs: implications for women's reproductive health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winterhager, Elke; Kidder, Gerald M

    2015-01-01

    Connexins comprise a family of ~20 proteins that form intercellular membrane channels (gap junction channels) providing a direct route for metabolites and signalling molecules to pass between cells. This review provides a critical analysis of the evidence for essential roles of individual connexins in female reproductive function, highlighting implications for women's reproductive health. No systematic review has been carried out. Published literature from the past 35 years was surveyed for research related to connexin involvement in development and function of the female reproductive system. Because of the demonstrated utility of genetic manipulation for elucidating connexin functions in various organs, much of the cited information comes from research with genetically modified mice. In some cases, a distinction is drawn between connexin functions clearly related to the formation of gap junction channels and those possibly linked to non-channel roles. Based on work with mice, several connexins are known to be required for female reproductive functions. Loss of connexin43 (CX43) causes an oocyte deficiency, and follicles lacking or expressing less CX43 in granulosa cells exhibit reduced growth, impairing fertility. CX43 is also expressed in human cumulus cells and, in the context of IVF, has been correlated with pregnancy outcome, suggesting that this connexin may be a determinant of oocyte and embryo quality in women. Loss of CX37, which exclusively connects oocytes with granulosa cells in the mouse, caused oocytes to cease growing without acquiring meiotic competence. Blocking of CX26 channels in the uterine epithelium disrupted implantation whereas loss or reduction of CX43 expression in the uterine stroma impaired decidualization and vascularization in mouse and human. Several connexins are important in placentation and, in the human, CX43 is a key regulator of the fusogenic pathway from the cytotrophoblast to the syncytiotrophoblast, ensuring placental growth

  9. Mono-Heteromeric Configurations of Gap Junction Channels Formed by Connexin43 and Connexin45 Reduce Unitary Conductance and Determine both Voltage Gating and Metabolic Flux Asymmetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guoqiang Zhong

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In cardiac tissues, the expression of multiple connexins (Cx40, Cx43, Cx45, and Cx30.2 is a requirement for proper development and function. Gap junctions formed by these connexins have distinct permeability and gating mechanisms. Since a single cell can express more than one connexin isoform, the formation of hetero-multimeric gap junction channels provides a tissue with an enormous repertoire of combinations to modulate intercellular communication. To study further the perm-selectivity and gating properties of channels containing Cx43 and Cx45, we studied two monoheteromeric combinations in which a HeLa cell co-transfected with Cx43 and Cx45 was paired with a cell expressing only one of these connexins. Macroscopic measurements of total conductance between cell pairs indicated a drastic reduction in total conductance for mono-heteromeric channels. In terms of Vj dependent gating, Cx43 homomeric connexons facing heteromeric connexons only responded weakly to voltage negativity. Cx45 homomeric connexons exhibited no change in Vj gating when facing heteromeric connexons. The distributions of unitary conductances (γj for both mono-heteromeric channels were smaller than predicted, and both showed low permeability to the fluorescent dyes Lucifer yellow and Rhodamine123. For both mono-heteromeric channels, we observed flux asymmetry regardless of dye charge: flux was higher in the direction of the heteromeric connexon for MhetCx45 and in the direction of the homomeric Cx43 connexon for MhetCx43. Thus, our data suggest that co-expression of Cx45 and Cx43 induces the formation of heteromeric connexons with greatly reduced permeability and unitary conductance. Furthermore, it increases the asymmetry for voltage gating for opposing connexons, and it favors asymmetric flux of molecules across the junction that depends primarily on the size (not the charge of the crossing molecules.

  10. Mono-Heteromeric Configurations of Gap Junction Channels Formed by Connexin43 and Connexin45 Reduce Unitary Conductance and Determine both Voltage Gating and Metabolic Flux Asymmetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Guoqiang; Akoum, Nazem; Appadurai, Daniel A.; Hayrapetyan, Volodya; Ahmed, Osman; Martinez, Agustin D.; Beyer, Eric C.; Moreno, Alonso P.

    2017-01-01

    In cardiac tissues, the expression of multiple connexins (Cx40, Cx43, Cx45, and Cx30.2) is a requirement for proper development and function. Gap junctions formed by these connexins have distinct permeability and gating mechanisms. Since a single cell can express more than one connexin isoform, the formation of hetero-multimeric gap junction channels provides a tissue with an enormous repertoire of combinations to modulate intercellular communication. To study further the perm-selectivity and gating properties of channels containing Cx43 and Cx45, we studied two monoheteromeric combinations in which a HeLa cell co-transfected with Cx43 and Cx45 was paired with a cell expressing only one of these connexins. Macroscopic measurements of total conductance between cell pairs indicated a drastic reduction in total conductance for mono-heteromeric channels. In terms of Vj dependent gating, Cx43 homomeric connexons facing heteromeric connexons only responded weakly to voltage negativity. Cx45 homomeric connexons exhibited no change in Vj gating when facing heteromeric connexons. The distributions of unitary conductances (γj) for both mono-heteromeric channels were smaller than predicted, and both showed low permeability to the fluorescent dyes Lucifer yellow and Rhodamine123. For both mono-heteromeric channels, we observed flux asymmetry regardless of dye charge: flux was higher in the direction of the heteromeric connexon for MhetCx45 and in the direction of the homomeric Cx43 connexon for MhetCx43. Thus, our data suggest that co-expression of Cx45 and Cx43 induces the formation of heteromeric connexons with greatly reduced permeability and unitary conductance. Furthermore, it increases the asymmetry for voltage gating for opposing connexons, and it favors asymmetric flux of molecules across the junction that depends primarily on the size (not the charge) of the crossing molecules. PMID:28611680

  11. Cloning, embryonic expression, and functional characterization of two novel connexins from Xenopus laevis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, Teun P.; Kok, Bart; Roël, Giulietta; van Veen, Toon A. B.; Destrée, Olivier H. J.; Rook, Martin B.; Vos, Marc A.; de Bakker, Jacques M. T.; van der Heyden, Marcel A. G.

    2006-01-01

    Vertebrate gap junctions are constituted of connexin (Cx) proteins. In Xenopus laevis, only seven different Cxs have been described so far. Here, we identify two new Cxs from X. laevis. Cx28.6 displays > 60% amino acid identity with human Cx25, Cx29 displays strong homology with mouse Cx26 and Cx30.

  12. Molecular dynamics simulation of the thermosensitivity of the human connexin 26 hemichannel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alizadeh, Hadi; Davoodi, Jamal; Zeilinger, Carsten; Rafii-Tabar, Hashem

    2018-01-01

    Connexin hemichannels mediate cytoplasm and extracellular milieu communication by exchanging a variety of cytoplasmic molecules and ions. These hemichannels can be regulated by external stimuli such as mechanical stress, applied voltage, pH and temperature changes. Although there are many studies on structures and functions of connexin 26 in contexts of pH, ion concentration and voltage, employing computational methods, no such study has been performed so far involving temperature changes. In this study, using molecular dynamics simulation, we investigate thermosensitivity of the human Connexin 26 hemichannel. Our results show that the channel approaches a structurally closed state at lower temperature compared to higher temperature. This is in fair agreement with experimental results that indicate channel closure at lower temperature. Furthermore, our MD simulation results show that some regions of connexin 26 hemichannel are more sensitive to temperature compared to other regions. Whereas the intercellular half of the channel does not show any considerable response to temperature during the simulation time accessible in this study, the cytoplasmic half approaches a closed structural state at lower temperature compared to the higher temperature. Specifically, our results suggest that the cytoplasmic loop, the cytoplasmic half of the second transmembrane helix, and the N-terminus helix play a dominant role in temperature gating.

  13. Cardiac cell therapy: overexpression of connexin43 in skeletal myoblasts and prevention of ventricular arrhythmias

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fernandes, Sarah; van Rijen, Harold V. M.; Forest, Virginie; Evain, Stéphane; Leblond, Anne-Laure; Mérot, Jean; Charpentier, Flavien; de Bakker, Jacques M. T.; Lemarchand, Patricia

    2009-01-01

    Cell-based therapies have great potential for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Recently, using a transgenic mouse model Roell et al. reported that cardiac engraftment of connexin43 (Cx43)-overexpressing myoblasts in vivo prevents post-infarct arrhythmia, a common cause of death in patients

  14. Inhibition by Commercial Aminoglycosides of Human Connexin Hemichannels Expressed in Bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana C. Fiori

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In addition to gap junctional channels that mediate cell-to-cell communication, connexins form hemichannels that are present at the plasma membrane. Since hemichannels are permeable to small hydrophilic compounds, including metabolites and signaling molecules, their abnormal opening can cause or contribute to cell damage in disorders such as cardiac infarct, stroke, deafness, skin diseases, and cataracts. Therefore, hemichannels are potential pharmacological targets. A few aminoglycosides, well-known broad-spectrum antibiotics, have been shown to inhibit hemichannels. Here, we tested several commercially available aminoglycosides for inhibition of human connexin hemichannels using a cell-based bacterial growth complementation assay that we developed recently. We found that kanamycin A, kanamycin B, geneticin, neomycin, and paromomycin are effective inhibitors of hemichannels formed by connexins 26, 43, and 46 (Cx26, Cx43, and Cx46. Because of the >70 years of clinical experience with aminoglycosides and the fact that several of the aminoglycosides tested here have been used in humans, they are promising starting points for the development of effective connexin hemichannel inhibitors.

  15. Regulation of connexin43 gap junctional communication by phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Zeijl, Leonie; Ponsioen, Bas; Giepmans, Ben N G; Ariaens, Aafke; Postma, Friso R; Várnai, Péter; Balla, Tamas; Divecha, Nullin; Jalink, Kees; Moolenaar, Wouter H

    2007-01-01

    Cell-cell communication through connexin43 (Cx43)-based gap junction channels is rapidly inhibited upon activation of various G protein coupled receptors; however, the mechanism is unknown. We show that Cx43-based cell-cell communication is inhibited by depletion of phosphatidylinositol

  16. Data of the molecular dynamics simulations of mutations in the human connexin46 docking interface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrik Schadzek

    2016-06-01

    The data described here are related to the research article entitled “The cataract related mutation N188T in human connexin46 (hCx46 revealed a critical role for residue N188 in the docking process of gap junction channels” (Schadzek et al., 2015 [1].

  17. Cell proliferation and expression of connexins differ in melanotic and amelanotic canine oral melanomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Tarso Felipe; Gentile, Luciana Boffoni; da Silva, Tereza Cristina; Mennecier, Gregory; Chaible, Lucas Martins; Cogliati, Bruno; Roman, Marco Antonio Leon; Gioso, Marco Antonio; Dagli, Maria Lucia Zaidan

    2014-03-01

    Melanoma is a malignant neoplasm occurring in several animal species, and is the most frequently found tumor in the oral cavity in dogs. Melanomas are classified into two types: melanotic and amelanotic. Prior research suggests that human amelanotic melanomas are more aggressive than their melanotic counterparts. This study evaluates the behavior of canine melanotic and amelanotic oral cavity melanomas and quantifies cell proliferation and the expression of connexins. Twenty-five melanomas (16 melanotic and 9 amelanotic) were collected from dogs during clinical procedures at the Veterinary Hospital of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science of the University of São Paulo, Brazil. After diagnosis, dogs were followed until death or euthanasia. Histopathology confirmed the gross melanotic or amelanotic characteristics and tumors were classified according to the WHO. HMB45 or Melan A immunostainings were performed to confirm the diagnosis of amelanotic melanomas. Cell proliferation was quantified both by counting mitotic figures and PCNA positive nuclei. Expressions of connexins 26 and 43 were evaluated by immunohistochemistry, qRT-PCR and Western blot. Dogs bearing amelanotic melanomas presented a shorter lifespan in comparison to those with melanotic melanomas. Cell proliferation was significantly higher in amelanotic melanomas. Expressions of Connexins 26 and 43 were significantly reduced in amelanotic melanomas. The results presented here suggest that oral cavity melanotic and amelanotic melanomas differ regarding their behavior, cell proliferation and connexin expression in dogs, indicating a higher aggressiveness of amelanotic variants.

  18. Expression of connexin 37, 40, and 43 mRNA and protein in renal preglomerular arterioles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arensbak, B; Mikkelsen, Hanne Birte; Gustafsson, F

    2001-01-01

    arterioles in frozen sections was evaluated. SMC were isolated from kidneys using an iron oxide sieve method and explant technique. Total RNA from these cultures was tested by RT-PCR analysis for the expression of the three connexins mRNA. Using immunofluorescence we examined whether the expression pattern...

  19. Connexin 43 (GJA1) mutations cause the pleiotropic phenotype of oculodentodigital dysplasia.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Paznekas, W.A.; Boyadjiev, S.A.; Shapiro, R.E.; Daniëls, O.; Wollnik, B.; Keegan, C.E.; Innis, J.W.; Dinulos, M.B.; Christian, C.; Hannibal, M.C.; Jabs, E.W.

    2003-01-01

    Gap junctions are assemblies of intercellular channels that regulate a variety of physiologic and developmental processes through the exchange of small ions and signaling molecules. These channels consist of connexin family proteins that allow for diversity of channel composition and conductance

  20. Intracerebroventricular Injection of Lipopolysaccharide Increases Gene Expression of Connexin32 Gap Junction in Rat Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Abbasian

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Gap junctions are intercellular membrane channels that provide direct cytoplasmic continuity between adjacent cells. This communication can be affected by changes in expression of gap junctional subunits called Connexins (Cx. Changes in the expression and function of connexins are associated with number of brain neurodegenerative diseases. Neuroinflammation is a hallmark of various central nervous system (CNS diseases, like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy. Neuroinflammation causes change in Connexins expression. Hippocampus, one of the main brain regions with a wide network of Gap junctions between different neural cell types, has particular vulnerability to damage and consequent inflammation. Cx32 – among Connexins– is expressed in hippocampal Olygodandrocytes and some neural subpopulations. Although multiple lines of evidence indicate that there is an association between neuroinflammation and the expression of connexin, the direct effect of neuroinflammation on the expression of connexins has not been well studied. In the present study, the effect of neuroinflammation induced by the Lipopolysaccharide (LPS on Cx32 gene and protein expressions in rat hippocampus is evaluated. Methods: LPS (2.5μg/rat was infused into the rat cerebral ventricles for 14 days. Cx32 mRNA and protein levels were measured by Real Time PCR and Western Blot after 1st, 7th and 14th injection of LPS in the hippocampus. Results: Significant increase in Cx32 mRNA expression was observed after 7th injection of LPS (P<0.001. However, no significant change was observed in Cx32 protein level. Conclusion: LPS seems to modify Cx32 GJ communication in the hippocampus at transcription level but not at translation or post-translation level. In order to have a full view concerning modification of Cx32 GJ communication, effect of LPS on Cx32 channel gating should also be determined.

  1. Control of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Growth by Connexin 43

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chintamani eJoshi

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Connexin 43 (Cx43, the principal gap junction protein in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs, regulates movement of ions and other signaling molecules through gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC and plays important roles in maintaining normal vessel function; however, many of the signaling mechanisms controlling Cx43 in VSMCs are not clearly described. The goal of this study was to investigate mechanisms of Cx43 regulation with respect to VSMC proliferation. Treatment of rat primary VSMCs with the cAMP analog 8Br-cAMP, the soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC stimulator BAY 41-2272 (BAY, or the Cx inducer diallyl disulfide (DADS significantly reduced proliferation after 72 h compared to vehicle controls. Bromodeoxyuridine uptake revealed reduction (p<.001 in DNA synthesis after 6 h and flow cytometry showed reduced (40% S phase cell numbers after 16 h in DADS-treated cells compared to controls. Cx43 expression significantly increased after 270 min treatment with 8Br-cAMP, 8Br-cGMP, BAY or DADS. Inhibition of PKA, PKG or PKC reversed 8Br-cAMP-stimulated increases in Cx43 expression, whereas only PKG or PKC inhibition reversed 8Br-cGMP- and BAY-stimulated increases in total Cx43. Interestingly, stimulation of Cx43 expression by DADS was not dependent on PKA, PKG or PKC. Using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, only 8Br-cAMP or DADS increased GJIC with 8Br-cAMP mediated by PKC and DADS mediated by PKG. Further, DADS significantly increased phosphorylation at the MAPK-sensitive serine (Ser255 and Ser279, the cell cycle regulatory kinase-sensitive Ser262 and the PKC-sensitive Ser368 after 30 min while 8Br-cAMP significantly increased phosphorylation only at Ser279 compared to controls. This study demonstrates that 8Br-cAMP- and DADS-enhanced GJIC rather than Cx43 expression and/or phosphorylation plays an important role in regulation of VSMC proliferation and provides new insights into the growth-regulatory capacities of Cx43 in VSMCs.

  2. Impact of Genetic Counseling and Connexin-26 and Connexin-30 Testing on Deaf Identity and Comprehension of Genetic Test Results in a Sample of Deaf Adults: A Prospective, Longitudinal Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Christina G. S.; Boudreault, Patrick; Baldwin, Erin E.; Sinsheimer, Janet S.

    2014-01-01

    Using a prospective, longitudinal study design, this paper addresses the impact of genetic counseling and testing for deafness on deaf adults and the Deaf community. This study specifically evaluated the effect of genetic counseling and Connexin-26 and Connexin-30 genetic test results on participants' deaf identity and understanding of their genetic test results. Connexin-26 and Connexin-30 genetic testing was offered to participants in the context of linguistically and culturally appropriate genetic counseling. Questionnaire data collected from 209 deaf adults at four time points (baseline, immediately following pre-test genetic counseling, 1-month following genetic test result disclosure, and 6-months after result disclosure) were analyzed. Four deaf identity orientations (hearing, marginal, immersion, bicultural) were evaluated using subscales of the Deaf Identity Development Scale-Revised. We found evidence that participants understood their specific genetic test results following genetic counseling, but found no evidence of change in deaf identity based on genetic counseling or their genetic test results. This study demonstrated that culturally and linguistically appropriate genetic counseling can improve deaf clients' understanding of genetic test results, and the formation of deaf identity was not directly related to genetic counseling or Connexin-26 and Connexin-30 genetic test results. PMID:25375116

  3. Studies on level of cytokines and expression of connexin43 in tumor and normal cells in culture conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asati, V.; Pandey, B.N.

    2016-01-01

    Factors secreted from the tumor cells in culture medium have been known to facilitate the growth of fresh cultures and also to affect the cellular radio-sensitivity. Moreover, expression of gap junction proteins like connexin-43 is known as a key player in cell survival and proliferation. The present study is aimed to evaluate the effects of conditioned medium on the growth of respective tumor/normal cells and the expression of connexin-43 in these cells

  4. Role of Non-Myocyte Gap Junctions and Connexin Hemichannels in Cardiovascular Health and Disease: Novel Therapeutic Targets?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Robert D; Camelliti, Patrizia

    2018-03-15

    The heart is a complex organ composed of multiple cell types, including cardiomyocytes and different non-myocyte populations, all working closely together to determine the hearts properties and maintain normal cardiac function. Connexins are abundantly expressed proteins that form plasma membrane hemichannels and gap junctions between cells. Gap junctions are intracellular channels that allow for communication between cells, and in the heart they play a crucial role in cardiac conduction by coupling adjacent cardiomyocytes. Connexins are expressed in both cardiomyocytes and non-myocytes, including cardiac fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and macrophages. Non-myocytes are the largest population of cells in the heart, and therefore it is important to consider what roles connexins, hemichannels, and gap junctions play in these cell types. The aim of this review is to provide insight into connexin-based signalling in non-myocytes during health and disease, and highlight how targeting these proteins could lead to the development of novel therapies. We conclude that connexins in non-myocytes contribute to arrhythmias and adverse ventricular remodelling following myocardial infarction, and are associated with the initiation and development of atherosclerosis. Therefore, therapeutic interventions targeting these connexins represent an exciting new research avenue with great potential.

  5. Sex differences in connexin-43 expression in left ventricles of aging rats

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tribulová, N.; Dupont, E.; Soukup, Tomáš; Okruhlicová, L.; Severs, N. J.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 54, č. 6 (2005), s. 705-708 ISSN 0862-8408 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA304/05/0327 Grant - others:MYORES(XE) 511978; CZ-SK(CZ) 02-2004-05 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509 Keywords : connexin-43 * rat cardiomyocytes * male and female specificity Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 1.806, year: 2005

  6. Connexin hemichannel blockade is neuroprotective after asphyxia in preterm fetal sheep.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanne O Davidson

    Full Text Available Asphyxia around the time of preterm birth is associated with neurodevelopmental disability. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that blockade of connexin hemichannels would improve recovery of brain activity and reduce cell loss after asphyxia in preterm fetal sheep. Asphyxia was induced by 25 min of complete umbilical cord occlusion in preterm fetal sheep (103-104 d gestational age. Connexin hemichannels were blocked by intracerebroventricular infusion of mimetic peptide starting 90 min after asphyxia at a concentration of 50 µM/h for one hour followed by 50 µM/24 hour for 24 hours (occlusion-peptide group, n = 6 or vehicle infusion for controls (occlusion-vehicle group, n = 7. Peptide infusion was associated with earlier recovery of electroencephalographic power after asphyxia compared to occlusion-vehicle (p<0.05, with reduced neuronal loss in the caudate and putamen (p<0.05, but not in the hippocampus. In the intragyral and periventricular white matter, peptide administration was associated with an increase in total oligodendrocyte numbers (p<0.05 and immature/mature oligodendrocytes compared to occlusion-vehicle (p<0.05, with a significant increase in proliferation (p<0.05. Connexin hemichannel blockade was neuroprotective and reduced oligodendrocyte death and improved recovery of oligodendrocyte maturation in preterm fetuses after asphyxia.

  7. Connexin Hemichannel Blockade Is Neuroprotective after Asphyxia in Preterm Fetal Sheep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Joanne O.; Drury, Paul P.; Green, Colin R.; Nicholson, Louise F.; Bennet, Laura; Gunn, Alistair J.

    2014-01-01

    Asphyxia around the time of preterm birth is associated with neurodevelopmental disability. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that blockade of connexin hemichannels would improve recovery of brain activity and reduce cell loss after asphyxia in preterm fetal sheep. Asphyxia was induced by 25 min of complete umbilical cord occlusion in preterm fetal sheep (103–104 d gestational age). Connexin hemichannels were blocked by intracerebroventricular infusion of mimetic peptide starting 90 min after asphyxia at a concentration of 50 µM/h for one hour followed by 50 µM/24 hour for 24 hours (occlusion-peptide group, n = 6) or vehicle infusion for controls (occlusion-vehicle group, n = 7). Peptide infusion was associated with earlier recovery of electroencephalographic power after asphyxia compared to occlusion-vehicle (p<0.05), with reduced neuronal loss in the caudate and putamen (p<0.05), but not in the hippocampus. In the intragyral and periventricular white matter, peptide administration was associated with an increase in total oligodendrocyte numbers (p<0.05) and immature/mature oligodendrocytes compared to occlusion-vehicle (p<0.05), with a significant increase in proliferation (p<0.05). Connexin hemichannel blockade was neuroprotective and reduced oligodendrocyte death and improved recovery of oligodendrocyte maturation in preterm fetuses after asphyxia. PMID:24865217

  8. Altered Connexin 43 and Connexin 45 protein expression in the heart as a function of social and environmental stress in the prairie vole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grippo, Angela J; Moffitt, Julia A; Henry, Matthew K; Firkins, Rachel; Senkler, Jonathan; McNeal, Neal; Wardwell, Joshua; Scotti, Melissa-Ann L; Dotson, Ashley; Schultz, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    Exposure to social and environmental stressors may influence behavior as well as autonomic and cardiovascular regulation, potentially leading to depressive disorders and cardiac dysfunction including elevated sympathetic drive, reduced parasympathetic function, and ventricular arrhythmias. The cellular mechanisms that underlie these interactions are not well understood. One mechanism may involve alterations in the expression of Connexin43 (Cx43) and Connexin45 (Cx45), gap junction proteins in the heart that play an important role in ensuring efficient cell-to-cell coupling and the maintenance of cardiac rhythmicity. The present study investigated the hypothesis that long-term social isolation, combined with mild environmental stressors, would produce both depressive behaviors and altered Cx43 and Cx45 expression in the left ventricle of prairie voles - a socially monogamous rodent model. Adult, female prairie voles were exposed to either social isolation (n = 22) or control (paired, n = 23) conditions (4 weeks), alone or in combination with chronic mild stress (CMS) (1 week). Social isolation, versus paired control conditions, produced significantly (p Social isolation (alone) reduced (p social and environmental stress in the prairie vole.

  9. Gating of Connexin Channels by transjunctional-voltage: Conformations and models of open and closed states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bargiello, Thaddeus A; Oh, Seunghoon; Tang, Qingxiu; Bargiello, Nicholas K; Dowd, Terry L; Kwon, Taekyung

    2018-01-01

    Voltage is an important physiologic regulator of channels formed by the connexin gene family. Connexins are unique among ion channels in that both plasma membrane inserted hemichannels (undocked hemichannels) and intercellular channels (aggregates of which form gap junctions) have important physiological roles. The hemichannel is the fundamental unit of gap junction voltage-gating. Each hemichannel displays two distinct voltage-gating mechanisms that are primarily sensitive to a voltage gradient formed along the length of the channel pore (the transjunctional voltage) rather than sensitivity to the absolute membrane potential (V m or V i-o ). These transjunctional voltage dependent processes have been termed V j - or fast-gating and loop- or slow-gating. Understanding the mechanism of voltage-gating, defined as the sequence of voltage-driven transitions that connect open and closed states, first and foremost requires atomic resolution models of the end states. Although ion channels formed by connexins were among the first to be characterized structurally by electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction in the early 1980's, subsequent progress has been slow. Much of the current understanding of the structure-function relations of connexin channels is based on two crystal structures of Cx26 gap junction channels. Refinement of crystal structure by all-atom molecular dynamics and incorporation of charge changing protein modifications has resulted in an atomic model of the open state that arguably corresponds to the physiologic open state. Obtaining validated atomic models of voltage-dependent closed states is more challenging, as there are currently no methods to solve protein structure while a stable voltage gradient is applied across the length of an oriented channel. It is widely believed that the best approach to solve the atomic structure of a voltage-gated closed ion channel is to apply different but complementary experimental and computational methods and to use

  10. Response of thyroid follicular cells to gamma irradiation compared to proton irradiation: II. The role of connexin 32

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, L. M.; Tran, D. T.; Murray, D. K.; Rightnar, S. S.; Todd, S.; Nelson, G. A.

    2002-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine whether connexin 32-type gap junctions contribute to the "contact effect" in follicular thyrocytes and whether the response is influenced by radiation quality. Our previous studies demonstrated that early-passage follicular cultures of Fischer rat thyroid cells express functional connexin 32 gap junctions, with later-passage cultures expressing a truncated nonfunctional form of the protein. This model allowed us to assess the role of connexin 32 in radiation responsiveness without relying solely on chemical manipulation of gap junctions. The survival curves generated after gamma irradiation revealed that early-passage follicular cultures had significantly lower values of alpha (0.04 Gy(-1)) than later-passage cultures (0.11 Gy(-1)) (P 0.1, n = 9). This strongly suggests that the presence of functional connexin 32-type gap junctions was contributing to radiation resistance in gamma-irradiated thyroid follicles. Survival curves from proton-irradiated cultures had alpha values that were not significantly different whether cells expressed functional connexin 32 (0.10 Gy(-1)), did not express connexin 32 (0.09 Gy(-1)), or were down-regulated (early-passage plus heptanol, 0.09 Gy(-1); late-passage plus heptanol, 0.12 Gy(-1)) (P > 0.1, n = 19). Thus, for proton irradiation, the presence of connexin 32-type gap junctional channels did not influence their radiosensitivity. Collectively, the data support the following conclusions. (1) The lower alpha values from the gamma-ray survival curves of the early-passage cultures suggest greater repair efficiency and/or enhanced resistance to radiation-induced damage, coincident with the expression of connexin 32-type gap junctions. (2) The increased sensitivity of FRTL-5 cells to proton irradiation was independent of their ability to communicate through connexin 32 gap junctions. (3) The fact that the beta components of the survival curves from both gamma rays and proton beams were

  11. Design and Characterization of a Human Monoclonal Antibody that Modulates Mutant Connexin 26 Hemichannels Implicated in Deafness and Skin Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Xu

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Mutations leading to changes in properties, regulation, or expression of connexin-made channels have been implicated in 28 distinct human hereditary diseases. Eight of these result from variants of connexin 26 (Cx26, a protein critically involved in cell-cell signaling in the inner ear and skin. Lack of non-toxic drugs with defined mechanisms of action poses a serious obstacle to therapeutic interventions for diseases caused by mutant connexins. In particular, molecules that specifically modulate connexin hemichannel function without affecting gap junction channels are considered of primary importance for the study of connexin hemichannel role in physiological as well as pathological conditions. Monoclonal antibodies developed in the last three decades have become the most important class of therapeutic biologicals. Recombinant methods permit rapid selection and improvement of monoclonal antibodies from libraries with large diversity.Methods: By screening a combinatorial library of human single-chain fragment variable (scFv antibodies expressed in phage, we identified a candidate that binds an extracellular epitope of Cx26. We characterized antibody action using a variety of biochemical and biophysical assays in HeLa cells, organotypic cultures of mouse cochlea and human keratinocyte-derived cells.Results: We determined that the antibody is a remarkably efficient, non-toxic, and completely reversible inhibitor of hemichannels formed by connexin 26 and does not affect direct cell-cell communication via gap junction channels. Importantly, we also demonstrate that the antibody efficiently inhibits hyperative mutant Cx26 hemichannels implicated in autosomal dominant non-syndromic hearing impairment accompanied by keratitis and hystrix-like ichthyosis-deafness (KID/HID syndrome. We solved the crystal structure of the antibody, identified residues that are critical for binding and used molecular dynamics to uncover its mechanism of action

  12. Astrocyte and Oligodendrocyte Connexins of the Glial Syncytium in Relation to Astrocyte Anatomical Domains and Spatial Buffering

    OpenAIRE

    NAGY, JAMES I.; RASH, JOHN E.

    2003-01-01

    Astroctyes express a set of three connexins (Cx26, Cx30, and Cx43) that are contained in astrocyte-to-astrocyte (A/A) gap junctions; oligodendrocytes express a different set of three connexins (Cx29, Cx32, and Cx47) that are contained in the oligodendrocyte side of necessarily heterotypic astrocyte-to-oligodendrocyte (A/O) gap junctions, and there is little ultrastructural evidence for gap junction formation between individual oligodendrocytes. In addition, primarily Cx29 and Cx32 are contain...

  13. Connexin domains relevant to the chemical gating of gap junction channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Peracchia

    1997-05-01

    Full Text Available Most cells exchange ions and small metabolites via gap junction channels. These channels are made of two hemichannels (connexons, each formed by the radial arrangement of six connexin (Cx proteins. Connexins span the bilayer four times (M1-M4 and have both amino- and carboxy-termini (NT, CT at the cytoplasmic side of the membrane, forming two extracellular loops (E1, E2 and one inner (IL loop. The channels are regulated by gates that close with cytosolic acidification (e.g., CO2 treatment or increased calcium concentration, possibly via calmodulin activation. Although gap junction regulation is still unclear, connexin domains involved in gating are being defined. We have recently focused on the CO2 gating sensitivity of Cx32, Cx38 and various mutants and chimeras expressed in Xenopus oocytes and studied by double voltage clamp. Cx32 is weakly sensitive to CO2, whereas Cx38 is highly sensitive. A Cx32 chimera containing the second half of the inner loop (IL2 of Cx38 was as sensitive to CO2 as Cx38, indicating that this domain plays an important role. Deletion of CT by 84% did not affect CO2 sensitivity, but replacement of 5 arginines (R with sparagines (N at the beginning of CT (C1 greatly enhanced the CO2 sensitivity of Cx32. This suggests that whereas most of CT is irrelevant, positive charges of C1 maintain the CO2 sensitivity of Cx32 low. As a hypothesis we have proposed a model that involves charge interaction between negative residues of the beginning of IL1 and positive residues of either C1 or IL2. Open and closed channels would result from IL1-C1 and IL1-IL2 interactions, respectively

  14. Mechanism for modulation of gating of connexin26-containing channels by taurine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kieken, Fabien; Tao, Liang; Sorgen, Paul L.; Harris, Andrew L.

    2011-01-01

    The mechanisms of action of endogenous modulatory ligands of connexin channels are largely unknown. Previous work showed that protonated aminosulfonates (AS), notably taurine, directly and reversibly inhibit homomeric and heteromeric channels that contain Cx26, a widely distributed connexin, but not homomeric Cx32 channels. The present study investigated the molecular mechanisms of connexin channel modulation by taurine, using hemichannels and junctional channels composed of Cx26 (homomeric) and Cx26/Cx32 (heteromeric). The addition of a 28–amino acid “tag” to the carboxyl-terminal domain (CT) of Cx26 (Cx26T) eliminated taurine sensitivity of homomeric and heteromeric hemichannels in cells and liposomes. Cleavage of all but four residues of the tag (Cx26Tc) resulted in taurine-induced pore narrowing in homomeric hemichannels, and restored taurine inhibition of heteromeric hemichannels (Cx26Tc/Cx32). Taurine actions on junctional channels were fully consistent with those on hemichannels. Taurine-induced inhibition of Cx26/Cx32T and nontagged Cx26 junctional channels was blocked by extracellular HEPES, a blocker of the taurine transporter, confirming that the taurine-sensitive site of Cx26 is cytoplasmic. Nuclear magnetic resonance of peptides corresponding to Cx26 cytoplasmic domains showed that taurine binds to the cytoplasmic loop (CL) and not the CT, and that the CT and CL directly interact. ELISA showed that taurine disrupts a pH-dependent interaction between the CT and the CT-proximal half of the CL. These studies reveal that AS disrupt a pH-driven cytoplasmic interdomain interaction in Cx26-containing channels, causing closure, and that the Cx26CT has a modulatory role in Cx26 function. PMID:21844220

  15. Effect of Beta-Carotene on Oxidative Stress and Expression of Cardiac Connexin 43

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Novo, Rosangela; Azevedo, Paula S.; Minicucci, Marcos F.; Zornoff, Leonardo A. M., E-mail: lzornoff@fmb.unesp.br; Paiva, Sergio A. R. [Faculdade de Medicina de Botucatu - Universidade Estadual Paulista ' Júlio de Mesquita Filho' , Botucatu, SP (Brazil)

    2013-09-15

    Intervention studies have shown an increased mortality in patients who received beta-carotene. However, the mechanisms involved in this phenomenon are still unknown. Evaluate the influence of beta-carotene on oxidative stress and the expression of connexin 43 in rat hearts. Wistar rats, weighing approximately 100 g, were allocated in two groups: Control Group (n = 30), that received the diet routinely used in our laboratory, and Beta-Carotene Group (n = 28), which received beta-carotene (in crystal form, added and mixed to the diet) at a dose of 500 mg of beta carotene/kg of diet. The animals received the treatment until they reached 200-250g, when they were sacrificed. Samples of blood, liver and heart were collected to perform Western blotting and immunohistochemistry for connexin 43; morphometric studies, dosages of beta carotene by high performance liquid chromatography as well as reduced glutathione, oxidized glutathione and lipids hydroperoxides were performed by biochemical analysis. Beta-carotene was detected only in the liver of Beta-Carotene Group animals (288 ± 94.7 μg/kg). Levels of reduced/ oxidized glutathione were higher in the liver and heart of Beta-Carotene Group animals (liver - Control Group: 42.60 ± 1.62; liver - Beta-Carotene Group: 57.40 ± 5.90; p = 0.04; heart: - Control Group: 117.40 ± 1.01; heart - Beta-Carotene Group: 121.81 ± 1.32 nmol/mg protein; p = 0.03). The content of total connexin 43 was larger in Beta-Carotene Group. Beta-carotene demonstrated a positive effect, characterized by the increase of intercellular communication and improvement of anti-oxidizing defense system. In this model, mechanism does not explain the increased mortality rate observed with the beta-carotene supplementation in clinical studies.

  16. Glial and neuronal connexin expression patterns in the rat spinal cord during development and following injury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lee, I. Hui; Lindqvist, Eva; Kiehn, Ole

    2005-01-01

    Spinal cord injury induces a complex cascade of degenerative and remodeling events evolving over time. The possible roles of changed intercellular communication via gap junctions after spinal cord injury (SCI) have remained relatively unexplored. We investigated the temporospatial expression...... patterns of gap junctional genes and proteins, connexin 43 (Cx43), Cx36, and Cx32, by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry in the rat neonatal, adult normal, and adult injured spinal cord. Cx36 was strongly expressed in immature neurons, and levels declined markedly during development, whereas Cx...

  17. Role of connexin 32 hemichannels in the release of ATP from peripheral nerves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nualart-Marti, Anna; del Molino, Ezequiel Mas; Grandes, Xènia; Bahima, Laia; Martin-Satué, Mireia; Puchal, Rafel; Fasciani, Ilaria; González-Nieto, Daniel; Ziganshin, Bulat; Llobet, Artur; Barrio, Luis C; Solsona, Carles

    2013-12-01

    Extracellular purines elicit strong signals in the nervous system. Adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) does not spontaneously cross the plasma membrane, and nervous cells secrete ATP by exocytosis or through plasma membrane proteins such as connexin hemichannels. Using a combination of imaging, luminescence and electrophysiological techniques, we explored the possibility that Connexin 32 (Cx32), expressed in Schwann cells (SCs) myelinating the peripheral nervous system could be an important source of ATP in peripheral nerves. We triggered the release of ATP in vivo from mice sciatic nerves by electrical stimulation and from cultured SCs by high extracellular potassium concentration-evoked depolarization. No ATP was detected in the extracellular media after treatment of the sciatic nerve with Octanol or Carbenoxolone, and ATP release was significantly inhibited after silencing Cx32 from SCs cultures. We investigated the permeability of Cx32 to ATP by expressing Cx32 hemichannels in Xenopus laevis oocytes. We found that ATP release is coupled to the inward tail current generated after the activation of Cx32 hemichannels by depolarization pulses, and it is sensitive to low extracellular calcium concentrations. Moreover, we found altered ATP release in mutated Cx32 hemichannels related to the X-linked form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, suggesting that purinergic-mediated signaling in peripheral nerves could underlie the physiopathology of this neuropathy. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Molecular cloning and evolutionary analysis of the GJA1 (connexin43) gene from bats (Chiroptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Li; Li, Gang; Wang, Jinhong; Ye, Shaohui; Jones, Gareth; Zhang, Shuyi

    2009-04-01

    Gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43), encoded by the GJA1 gene, is the most abundant connexin in the cardiovascular system and was reported as a crucial factor maintaining cardiac electrical conduction, as well as having a very important function in facilitating the recycling of potassium ions from hair cells in the cochlea back into the cochlear endolymph during auditory transduction processes. In mammals, bats are the only taxon possessing powered flight, placing exceptional demand on many organismal processes. To meet the demands of flying, the hearts of bats show many specialties. Moreover, ultrasonic echolocation allows bat species to orientate and often detect and locate food in darkness. In this study, we cloned the full-length coding region of GJA1 gene from 12 different species of bats and obtained orthologous sequences from other mammals. We used the maximum likelihood method to analyse the evolution of GJA1 gene in mammals and the lineage of bats. Our results showed this gene is much conserved in mammals, as well as in bats' lineage. Compared with other mammals, we found one private amino acid substitution shared by bats, which is located on the inner loop domain, as well as some species-specific amino acid substitutions. The evolution rate analyses showed the signature of purifying selection on not only different classification level lineages but also the different domains and amino acid residue sites of this gene. Also, we suggested that GJA1 gene could be used as a good molecular marker to do the phylogenetic reconstruction.

  19. The Complex Subtype-Dependent Role of Connexin 43 (GJA1 in Breast Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mélanie Busby

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Gap junction transmembrane channels allow the transfer of small molecules between the cytoplasm of adjacent cells. They are formed by proteins named connexins (Cxs that have long been considered as a tumor suppressor. This widespread view has been challenged by recent studies suggesting that the role of Connexin 43 (Cx43 in cancer is tissue- and stage-specific and can even promote tumor progression. High throughput profiling of invasive breast cancer has allowed for the construction of subtyping schemes that partition patients into at least four distinct intrinsic subtypes. This study characterizes Cx43 expression during cancer progression with each of the tumor subtypes using a compendium of publicly available gene expression data. In particular, we show that Cx43 expression depends greatly on intrinsic subtype. Tumor grade also co-varies with patient subtype, resulting in Cx43 co-expression with grade in a subtype-dependent manner. Better survival was associated with a high expression of Cx43 in unstratified and luminal tumors but with a low expression in Her2e subtype. A better understanding of Cx43 regulation in a subtype-dependent manner is needed to clarify the context in which Cx43 is associated with tumor suppression or cancer progression.

  20. Inhibition of connexin43 hemichannels impairs spatial short-term memory without affecting spatial working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Walrave

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are active players in higher brain function as they can release gliotransmitters, which are essential for synaptic plasticity. Various mechanisms have been proposed for gliotransmission, including vesicular mechanisms as well as non-vesicular ones, for example by passive diffusion via connexin hemichannels (HCs. We here investigated whether interfering with connexin43 (Cx43 HCs influenced hippocampal spatial memory. We made use of the peptide Gap19 that blocks HCs but not gap junction channels and is specific for Cx43. To this end, we microinfused transactivator of transcription linked Gap19 (TAT-Gap19 into the brain ventricle of male NMRI mice and assessed spatial memory in a Y maze. We found that the in vivo blockade of Cx43 HCs did not affect the locomotor activity or spatial working memory in a spontaneous alternation Y maze task. Cx43 blockade did however significantly impair the spatial short-term memory in a delayed spontaneous alternation Y maze task. These results indicate that Cx43 HCs play a role in spatial short-term memory.

  1. Connexins and M3 Muscarinic Receptors Contribute to Heterogeneous Ca2+ Signaling in Mouse Aortic Endothelium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François-Xavier Boittin

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Smooth muscle tone is controlled by Ca2+ signaling in the endothelial layer. Mouse endothelial cells are interconnected by gap junctions made of Connexin40 (Cx40 and Cx37, which allow the exchange of signaling molecules to coordinate their activity. Here, we investigated the role of Cx40 in the endothelial Ca2+ signaling of the mouse aorta. Methods: Ca2+ imaging was performed on intact aortic endothelium from both wild type (Cx40+/+ and Connexin40-deficient (Cx40 -/- mice. Results: Acetylcholine (ACh induced early fast and high amplitude Ca2+ transients in a fraction of endothelial cells expressing the M3 muscarinic receptors. Inhibition of intercellular communication using carbenoxolone or octanol fully blocked the propagation of ACh-induced Ca2+ transients toward adjacent cells in WT and Cx40-/- mice. As compared to WT, Cx40-/- mice displayed a reduced propagation of ACh-induced Ca2+ waves, indicating that Cx40 contributes to the spreading of Ca2+ signals. The propagation of those Ca2+ responses was not blocked by suramin, a blocker of purinergic ATP receptors, indicating that there is no paracrine effect of ATP release on the Ca2+ waves. Conclusions: Altogether our data show that Cx40 and Cx37 contribute to the propagation and amplification of the Ca2+ signaling triggered by ACh in endothelial cells expressing the M3 muscarinic receptors.

  2. Regulation of connexins expression levels by microRNAs, an update

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Francisco Calderon

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Control of cell-cell coordination and communication is regulated by several factors, including paracrine and autocrine release of biomolecules, and direct exchange of soluble factors between cells through gap junction channels. Additionally, hemichannels also participate in cell-cell coordination through the release of signaling molecules, such as ATP and glutamate. A family of transmembrane proteins named connexins forms both gap junction channels and hemichannels. Because of their importance in cell and tissue coordination, connexins are controlled both by post-translational and post-transcriptional modifications. In recent years, non-coding RNAs have garnered research interest due to their ability to exert post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. One of the most recent, well-documented control mechanisms of protein synthesis is found through the action of small, single-stranded RNA, called micro RNAs (miRNAs or miRs. Put simply, miRNAs are negative regulators of the expression of a myriad proteins involved in many physiological and pathological processes. This mini review will briefly summarize what is currently known about the action of miRNAs over Cxs expression/function in different organs under some relevant physiological and pathological conditions

  3. Connexin43 Hemichannels in Satellite Glial Cells, Can They Influence Sensory Neuron Activity?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauricio A. Retamal

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In this review article, we summarize the current insight on the role of Connexin- and Pannexin-based channels as modulators of sensory neurons. The somas of sensory neurons are located in sensory ganglia (i.e., trigeminal and nodose ganglia. It is well known that within sensory ganglia, sensory neurons do not form neither electrical nor chemical synapses. One of the reasons for this is that each soma is surrounded by glial cells, known as satellite glial cells (SGCs. Recent evidence shows that connexin43 (Cx43 hemichannels and probably pannexons located at SGCs have an important role in paracrine communication between glial cells and sensory neurons. This communication may be exerted via the release of bioactive molecules from SGCs and their subsequent action on receptors located at the soma of sensory neurons. The glio-neuronal communication seems to be relevant for the establishment of chronic pain, hyperalgesia and pathologies associated with tissue inflammation. Based on the current literature, it is possible to propose that Cx43 hemichannels expressed in SGCs could be a novel pharmacological target for treating chronic pain, which need to be directly evaluated in future studies.

  4. Effect of enhanced expression of connexin 43 on sunitinib-induced cytotoxicity in mesothelioma cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miaki Uzu

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Connexin (Cx makes up a type of intercellular channel called gap junction (GJ. GJ plays a regulatory role in cellular physiology. The Cx expression level is often decreased in cancer cells compared to that in healthy ones, and the restoration of its expression has been shown to exert antiproliferative effects. This work aims to evaluate the effect of the restoration of connexin 43 (Cx43 (the most ubiquitous Cx subtype expression on sunitinib (SU-induced cytotoxicity in malignant mesothelioma (MM cells. Increased Cx43 expression in an MM cell line (H28 improved the ability of SU to inhibit receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK signaling. Moreover, higher Cx43 expression promoted SU-induced apoptosis. The cell viability test revealed that Cx43 enhanced the cytotoxic effect of SU in a GJ-independent manner. The effect of Cx43 on a proapoptotic factor, Bax, was then investigated. The interaction between Cx43 and Bax was confirmed by immunoprecipitation. Furthermore, higher Cx43 expression increased the production of a cleaved (active form of Bax during SU-induced apoptosis with no alteration in total Bax expression. These findings indicate that Cx43 most likely increases sensitivity to SU in H28 through direct interaction with Bax. In conclusion, we found that Cx43 overcame the chemoresistance of MM cells.

  5. The Complex Subtype-Dependent Role of Connexin 43 (GJA1) in Breast Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busby, Mélanie; Hallett, Michael T.; Plante, Isabelle

    2018-01-01

    Gap junction transmembrane channels allow the transfer of small molecules between the cytoplasm of adjacent cells. They are formed by proteins named connexins (Cxs) that have long been considered as a tumor suppressor. This widespread view has been challenged by recent studies suggesting that the role of Connexin 43 (Cx43) in cancer is tissue- and stage-specific and can even promote tumor progression. High throughput profiling of invasive breast cancer has allowed for the construction of subtyping schemes that partition patients into at least four distinct intrinsic subtypes. This study characterizes Cx43 expression during cancer progression with each of the tumor subtypes using a compendium of publicly available gene expression data. In particular, we show that Cx43 expression depends greatly on intrinsic subtype. Tumor grade also co-varies with patient subtype, resulting in Cx43 co-expression with grade in a subtype-dependent manner. Better survival was associated with a high expression of Cx43 in unstratified and luminal tumors but with a low expression in Her2e subtype. A better understanding of Cx43 regulation in a subtype-dependent manner is needed to clarify the context in which Cx43 is associated with tumor suppression or cancer progression. PMID:29495625

  6. The first de novo mutation of the connexin 32 gene associated with X linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meggouh, F.; Benomar, A.; Rouger, H.; Tardieu, S.; Birouk, N.; Tassin, J.; Barhoumi, C.; Yahyaoui, M.; Chkili, T.; Brice, A.; LeGuern, E.

    1998-01-01

    X linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX) is a hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy caused by mutations in the connexin 32 gene (Cx32). Using the SSCP technique and direct sequencing of PCR amplified genomic DNA fragments of the Cx32 gene from a Moroccan patient and her relatives, we identified

  7. Msx1 and Msx2 are functional interacting partners of T-box factors in the regulation of Connexin43

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boogerd, Kees-Jan; Wong, L. Y. Elaine; Christoffels, Vincent M.; Klarenbeek, Meinke; Ruijter, Jan M.; Moorman, Antoon F. M.; Barnett, Phil

    2008-01-01

    AIMS: T-box factors Tbx2 and Tbx3 play key roles in the development of the cardiac conduction system, atrioventricular canal, and outflow tract of the heart. They regulate the gap-junction-encoding gene Connexin43 (Cx43) and other genes critical for heart development and function. Discovering

  8. Modulation of cardiac connexin-43 by omega-3 fatty acid ethyl-ester supplementation demonstrated in spontaneously diabetic rats

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Radošinská, J.; Kurahara, L. H.; Hiraishi, K.; Viczenczová, C.; Egan Beňová, T.; Szeiffová Bačová, B.; Dosenko, V.; Navarová, J.; Obšitník, B.; Imanaga, I.; Soukup, Tomáš; Tribulová, N.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 64, č. 6 (2015), s. 795-806 ISSN 0862-8408 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) 7AMB14SK123 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : diabetes * omega-3 fatty acids * cardiac connexin-43 * PKC * ultrastructure Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 1.643, year: 2015

  9. [Cochlear implantation in a child with congenital sensorineural deafness due to 35 DELG mutation in GJB2 (connexin 26) gene].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teriutin, F M; Barashkov, N A; Dzhemileva, L U; Posukh, O L; Fedotova, E E; Gurinova, E E; Fedorova, S A; Tavartkiladze, G A; Khusnutdinova, E K

    2009-01-01

    This paper reports the first case of cochlear implantation performed in this country in a child with congenital non-syndromic sensorineural loss of hearing having hereditary etiology and attributable to autosomal-recessive 35 delG mutation in locus DFNB1 (13q.11-q12) of GJB2 (connexin 26) gene.

  10. Connexin 39.9 Protein Is Necessary for Coordinated Activation of Slow-twitch Muscle and Normal Behavior in Zebrafish*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Hiromi; Wen, Hua; Kawakami, Yu; Naganawa, Yuriko; Ogino, Kazutoyo; Yamada, Kenta; Saint-Amant, Louis; Low, Sean E.; Cui, Wilson W.; Zhou, Weibin; Sprague, Shawn M.; Asakawa, Kazuhide; Muto, Akira; Kawakami, Koichi; Kuwada, John Y.

    2012-01-01

    In many tissues and organs, connexin proteins assemble between neighboring cells to form gap junctions. These gap junctions facilitate direct intercellular communication between adjoining cells, allowing for the transmission of both chemical and electrical signals. In rodents, gap junctions are found in differentiating myoblasts and are important for myogenesis. Although gap junctions were once believed to be absent from differentiated skeletal muscle in mammals, recent studies in teleosts revealed that differentiated muscle does express connexins and is electrically coupled, at least at the larval stage. These findings raised questions regarding the functional significance of gap junctions in differentiated muscle. Our analysis of gap junctions in muscle began with the isolation of a zebrafish motor mutant that displayed weak coiling at day 1 of development, a behavior known to be driven by slow-twitch muscle (slow muscle). We identified a missense mutation in the gene encoding Connexin 39.9. In situ hybridization found connexin 39.9 to be expressed by slow muscle. Paired muscle recordings uncovered that wild-type slow muscles are electrically coupled, whereas mutant slow muscles are not. The further examination of cellular activity revealed aberrant, arrhythmic touch-evoked Ca2+ transients in mutant slow muscle and a reduction in the number of muscle fibers contracting in response to touch in mutants. These results indicate that Connexin 39.9 facilitates the spreading of neuronal inputs, which is irregular during motor development, beyond the muscle cells and that gap junctions play an essential role in the efficient recruitment of slow muscle fibers. PMID:22075003

  11. 17β estradiol regulation of connexin 43-based gap junction and mechanosensitivity through classical estrogen receptor pathway in osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells.

    KAUST Repository

    Ren, Jian; Wang, Xuhui; Wang, Guangchao; Wu, Junhua

    2013-01-01

    Connexin 43 (Cx43) plays an essential role in osteocyte mechanotransduction. Although estrogen involves in the adaptive responses of bone cells to mechanical loadings, its effects on osteocytic Cx43-based gap junction intercellular communication

  12. Connexin 43-Mediated Astroglial Metabolic Networks Contribute to the Regulation of the Sleep-Wake Cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clasadonte, Jerome; Scemes, Eliana; Wang, Zhongya; Boison, Detlev; Haydon, Philip G

    2017-09-13

    Astrocytes produce and supply metabolic substrates to neurons through gap junction-mediated astroglial networks. However, the role of astroglial metabolic networks in behavior is unclear. Here, we demonstrate that perturbation of astroglial networks impairs the sleep-wake cycle. Using a conditional Cre-Lox system in mice, we show that knockout of the gap junction subunit connexin 43 in astrocytes throughout the brain causes excessive sleepiness and fragmented wakefulness during the nocturnal active phase. This astrocyte-specific genetic manipulation silenced the wake-promoting orexin neurons located in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) by impairing glucose and lactate trafficking through astrocytic networks. This global wakefulness instability was mimicked with viral delivery of Cre recombinase to astrocytes in the LHA and rescued by in vivo injections of lactate. Our findings propose a novel regulatory mechanism critical for maintaining normal daily cycle of wakefulness and involving astrocyte-neuron metabolic interactions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Protein kinase C-dependent regulation of connexin43 gap junctions and hemichannels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alstrøm, Jette Skov; Stroemlund, Line Waring; Nielsen, Morten Schak

    2015-01-01

    Connexin43 (Cx43) generates intercellular gap junction channels involved in, among others, cardiac and brain function. Gap junctions are formed by the docking of two hemichannels from neighbouring cells. Undocked Cx43 hemichannels can upon different stimuli open towards the extracellular matrix...... and allow transport of molecules such as fluorescent dyes and ATP. A range of phosphorylated amino acids have been detected in the C-terminus of Cx43 and their physiological role has been intensively studied both in the gap junctional form of Cx43 and in its hemichannel configuration. We present the current...... knowledge of protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent regulation of Cx43 and discuss the divergent results....

  14. The Expression of Connexins and SOX2 Reflects the Plasticity of Glioma Stem-Like Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana Balça-Silva

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Glioblastoma (GBM is the most malignant primary brain tumor, with an average survival rate of 15 months. GBM is highly refractory to therapy, and such unresponsiveness is due, primarily, but not exclusively, to the glioma stem-like cells (GSCs. This subpopulation express stem-like cell markers and is responsible for the heterogeneity of GBM, generating multiple differentiated cell phenotypes. However, how GBMs maintain the balance between stem and non-stem populations is still poorly understood. We investigated the GBM ability to interconvert between stem and non-stem states through the evaluation of the expression of specific stem cell markers as well as cell communication proteins. We evaluated the molecular and phenotypic characteristics of GSCs derived from differentiated GBM cell lines by comparing their stem-like cell properties and expression of connexins. We showed that non-GSCs as well as GSCs can undergo successive cycles of gain and loss of stem properties, demonstrating a bidirectional cellular plasticity model that is accompanied by changes on connexins expression. Our findings indicate that the interconversion between non-GSCs and GSCs can be modulated by extracellular factors culminating on differential expression of stem-like cell markers and cell-cell communication proteins. Ultimately, we observed that stem markers are mostly expressed on GBMs rather than on low-grade astrocytomas, suggesting that the presence of GSCs is a feature of high-grade gliomas. Together, our data demonstrate the utmost importance of the understanding of stem cell plasticity properties in a way to a step closer to new strategic approaches to potentially eliminate GSCs and, hopefully, prevent tumor recurrence.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Humans with severe forms of cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) mutations show bone defects as observed in Antley-Bixler Syndrome. → 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. → Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication and hemichannel activity. → Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Cx43 in mouse primary calvarial osteoblasts. → 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 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.

  16. TC-PTP directly interacts with connexin43 to regulate gap junction intercellular communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hanjun; Spagnol, Gaelle; Naslavsky, Naava; Caplan, Steve; Sorgen, Paul L.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Protein kinases have long been reported to regulate connexins; however, little is known about the involvement of phosphatases in the modulation of intercellular communication through gap junctions and the subsequent downstream effects on cellular processes. Here, we identify an interaction between the T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TC-PTP, officially known as PTPN2) and the carboxyl terminus of connexin43 (Cx43, officially known as GJA1). Two cell lines, normal rat kidney (NRK) cells endogenously expressing Cx43 and an NRK-derived cell line expressing v-Src with temperature-sensitive activity, were used to demonstrate that EGF and v-Src stimulation, respectively, induced TC-PTP to colocalize with Cx43 at the plasma membrane. Cell biology experiments using phospho-specific antibodies and biophysical assays demonstrated that the interaction is direct and that TC-PTP dephosphorylates Cx43 residues Y247 and Y265, but does not affect v-Src. Transfection of TC-PTP also indirectly led to the dephosphorylation of Cx43 S368, by inactivating PKCα and PKCδ, with no effect on the phosphorylation of S279 and S282 (MAPK-dependent phosphorylation sites). Dephosphorylation maintained Cx43 gap junctions at the plaque and partially reversed the channel closure caused by v-Src-mediated phosphorylation of Cx43. Understanding dephosphorylation, along with the well-documented roles of Cx43 phosphorylation, might eventually lead to methods to modulate the regulation of gap junction channels, with potential benefits for human health. PMID:24849651

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Polusani, Srikanth R.; Kar, Rekha; Riquelme, Manuel A.; Masters, Bettie Sue [The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Biochemistry, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States); Panda, Satya P., E-mail: panda@uthscsa.edu [The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Biochemistry, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States)

    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.

  18. Connexin 50 Expression in Ependymal Stem Progenitor Cells after Spinal Cord Injury Activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Javier Rodriguez-Jimenez

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Ion channels included in the family of Connexins (Cx help to control cell proliferation and differentiation of neuronal progenitors. Here we explored the role of Connexin 50 (Cx50 in cell fate modulation of adult spinal cord derived neural precursors located in the ependymal canal (epSPC. epSPC from non-injured animals showed high expression levels of Cx50 compared to epSPC from animals with spinal cord injury (SCI (epSPCi. When epSPC or epSPCi were induced to spontaneously differentiate in vitro we found that Cx50 favors glial cell fate, since higher expression levels, endogenous or by over-expression of Cx50, augmented the expression of the astrocyte marker GFAP and impaired the neuronal marker Tuj1. Cx50 was found in both the cytoplasm and nucleus of glial cells, astrocytes and oligodendrocyte-derived cells. Similar expression patterns were found in primary cultures of mature astrocytes. In addition, opposite expression profile for nuclear Cx50 was observed when epSPC and activated epSPCi were conducted to differentiate into mature oligodendrocytes, suggesting a different role for this ion channel in spinal cord beyond cell-to-cell communication. In vivo detection of Cx50 by immunohistochemistry showed a defined location in gray matter in non-injured tissues and at the epicenter of the injury after SCI. epSPCi transplantation, which accelerates locomotion regeneration by a neuroprotective effect after acute SCI is associated with a lower signal of Cx50 within the injured area, suggesting a minor or detrimental contribution of this ion channel in spinal cord regeneration by activated epSPCi.

  19. Gap junction mediated intercellular metabolite transfer in the cochlea is compromised in connexin30 null mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Chang

    Full Text Available Connexin26 (Cx26 and connexin30 (Cx30 are two major protein subunits that co-assemble to form gap junctions (GJs in the cochlea. Mutations in either one of them are the major cause of non-syndromic prelingual deafness in humans. Because the mechanisms of cochlear pathogenesis caused by Cx mutations are unclear, we investigated effects of Cx30 null mutation on GJ-mediated ionic and metabolic coupling in the cochlea of mice. A novel flattened cochlear preparation was used to directly assess intercellular coupling in the sensory epithelium of the cochlea. Double-electrode patch clamp recordings revealed that the absence of Cx30 did not significantly change GJ conductance among the cochlear supporting cells. The preserved electrical coupling is consistent with immunolabeling data showing extensive Cx26 GJs in the cochlea of the mutant mice. In contrast, dye diffusion assays showed that the rate and extent of intercellular transfer of multiple fluorescent dyes (including a non-metabolizable D-glucose analogue, 2-NBDG among cochlear supporting cells were severely reduced in Cx30 null mice. Since the sensory epithelium in the cochlea is an avascular organ, GJ-facilitated intercellular transfer of nutrient and signaling molecules may play essential roles in cellular homeostasis. To test this possibility, NBDG was used as a tracer to study the contribution of GJs in transporting glucose into the cochlear sensory epithelium when delivered systemically. NBDG uptake in cochlear supporting cells was significantly reduced in Cx30 null mice. The decrease was also observed with GJ blockers or glucose competition, supporting the specificity of our tests. These data indicate that GJs facilitate efficient uptake of glucose in the supporting cells. This study provides the first direct experimental evidence showing that the transfer of metabolically-important molecules in cochlear supporting cells is dependent on the normal function of GJs, thereby suggesting a

  20. Connexin30-deficient mice show increased emotionality and decreased rearing activity in the open-field along with neurochemical changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dere, E; De Souza-Silva, M A; Frisch, C; Teubner, B; Söhl, G; Willecke, K; Huston, J P

    2003-08-01

    Gap-junction channels in the brain, formed by connexin (Cx) proteins with a distinct regional/cell-type distribution, allow intercellular electrical and metabolic communication. In astrocytes, mainly the connexins 43, 26 and 30 are expressed. In addition, connexin30 is expressed in ependymal and leptomeningeal cells, as well as in skin and cochlea. The functional implications of the astrocytic gap-junctional network are not well understood and evidence regarding their behavioural relevance is lacking. Thus, we have tested groups of Cx30-/-, Cx30+/-, and Cx30+/+ mice in the open-field, an object exploration task, in the graded anxiety test and on the rotarod. The Cx30-/- mice showed reduced exploratory activity in terms of rearings but not locomotion in the open-field and object exploration task. Furthermore, Cx30-/- mice exhibited anxiogenic behaviour as shown by higher open-field centre avoidance and corner preference. Graded anxiety test and rotarod performance was similar across groups. The Cx30-/- mice had elevated choline levels in the ventral striatum, possibly related to their aberrant behavioural phenotypes. The Cx30+/- mice had lower dopamine and metabolite levels in the amygdala and ventral striatum and lower hippocampal 5-hydroxyindole acid (5-HIAA) concentrations relative to Cx30+/+ mice. Furthermore, the Cx30+/- mice had lower acetylcholine concentrations in the ventral striatum and higher choline levels in the neostriatum, relative to Cx30+/+ mice. Our data suggest that the elimination of connexin30 can alter the reactivity to novel environments, pointing to the importance of gap-junctional signalling in behavioural processes.

  1. Cardiac Connexin-43 and PKC Signaling in Rats With Altered Thyroid Status Without and With Omega-3 Fatty Acids Intake

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Szeiffová Bačová, B.; Egan Beňová, T.; Viczenczová, C.; Soukup, Tomáš; Rauchová, Hana; Pavelka, Stanislav; Knezl, V.; Barančík, M.; Tribulová, N.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 65, Suppl.1 (2016), S77-S90 ISSN 0862-8408 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA305/09/1228; GA ČR(CZ) GAP304/12/0259 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : thyroid hormones * cardiac arrhythmias * Connexin-43 * omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 1.461, year: 2016

  2. Green fluorescent protein changes the conductance of connexin 43 (Cx43) hemichannels reconstituted in planar lipid bilayers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carnarius, Christian; Kreir, Mohamed; Krick, Marcel; Methfessel, Christoph; Moehrle, Volker; Valerius, Oliver; Brüggemann, Andrea; Steinem, Claudia; Fertig, Niels

    2012-01-20

    In mammalian tissues, connexin 43 (Cx43) is the most prominent member of the connexin family. In a single lipid bilayer, six connexin subunits assemble into a hemichannel (connexon). Direct communication of apposing cells is realized by two adjacent hemichannels, which can form gap junction channels. Here, we established an expression system in Pichia pastoris to recombinantly produce and purify Cx43 as well as Cx43 fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP). Proteins were isolated from crude cell membrane fractions via affinity chromatography. Cx43 and Cx43-GFP hemichannels were reconstituted in giant unilamellar vesicles as proven by fluorescence microscopy, and their electrophysiological behavior was analyzed on the single channel level by planar patch clamping. Cx43 and Cx43-GFP both showed an ohmic behavior and a voltage-dependent open probability. Cx43 hemichannels exhibited one major mean conductance of 224 ± 26 picosiemens (pS). In addition, a subconductance state at 124 ± 5 pS was identified. In contrast, the analysis of Cx43-GFP single channels revealed 10 distinct conductance states in the range of 15 to 250 pS, with a larger open probability at 0 mV as compared with Cx43, which suggests that intermolecular interactions between the GFP molecules alter the electrophysiology of the protein.

  3. Green Fluorescent Protein Changes the Conductance of Connexin 43 (Cx43) Hemichannels Reconstituted in Planar Lipid Bilayers*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carnarius, Christian; Kreir, Mohamed; Krick, Marcel; Methfessel, Christoph; Moehrle, Volker; Valerius, Oliver; Brüggemann, Andrea; Steinem, Claudia; Fertig, Niels

    2012-01-01

    In mammalian tissues, connexin 43 (Cx43) is the most prominent member of the connexin family. In a single lipid bilayer, six connexin subunits assemble into a hemichannel (connexon). Direct communication of apposing cells is realized by two adjacent hemichannels, which can form gap junction channels. Here, we established an expression system in Pichia pastoris to recombinantly produce and purify Cx43 as well as Cx43 fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP). Proteins were isolated from crude cell membrane fractions via affinity chromatography. Cx43 and Cx43-GFP hemichannels were reconstituted in giant unilamellar vesicles as proven by fluorescence microscopy, and their electrophysiological behavior was analyzed on the single channel level by planar patch clamping. Cx43 and Cx43-GFP both showed an ohmic behavior and a voltage-dependent open probability. Cx43 hemichannels exhibited one major mean conductance of 224 ± 26 picosiemens (pS). In addition, a subconductance state at 124 ± 5 pS was identified. In contrast, the analysis of Cx43-GFP single channels revealed 10 distinct conductance states in the range of 15 to 250 pS, with a larger open probability at 0 mV as compared with Cx43, which suggests that intermolecular interactions between the GFP molecules alter the electrophysiology of the protein. PMID:22139870

  4. Structural organization of intercellular channels II. Amino terminal domain of the connexins: sequence, functional roles, and structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyer, Eric C; Lipkind, Gregory M; Kyle, John W; Berthoud, Viviana M

    2012-08-01

    The amino terminal domain (NT) of the connexins consists of their first 22-23 amino acids. Site-directed mutagenesis studies have demonstrated that NT amino acids are determinants of gap junction channel properties including unitary conductance, permeability/selectivity, and gating in response to transjunctional voltage. The importance of this region has also been emphasized by the identification of multiple disease-associated connexin mutants affecting amino acid residues in the NT region. The first part of the NT is α-helical. The structure of the Cx26 gap junction channel shows that the NT α-helix localizes within the channel, and lines the wall of the pore. Interactions of the amino acid residues in the NT with those in the transmembrane helices may be critical for holding the channel open. The predicted sites of these interactions and the applicability of the Cx26 structure to the NT of other connexins are considered. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Communicating junctions, composition, structure and characteristics. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. Tumor-induced loss of mural Connexin 43 gap junction activity promotes endothelial proliferation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choudhary, Mayur; Naczki, Christine; Chen, Wenhong; Barlow, Keith D.; Case, L. Douglas; Metheny-Barlow, Linda J.

    2015-01-01

    Proper functional association between mural cells and endothelial cells (EC) causes EC of blood vessels to become quiescent. Mural cells on tumor vessels exhibit decreased attachment to EC, which allows vessels to be unstable and proliferative. The mechanisms by which tumors prevent proper association between mural cells and EC are not well understood. Since gap junctions (GJ) play an important role in cell-cell contact and communication, we investigated whether loss of GJ plays a role in tumor-induced mural cell dissociation. Mural cell regulation of endothelial proliferation was assessed by direct co-culture assays of fluorescently labeled cells quantified by flow cytometry or plate reader. Gap junction function was assessed by parachute assay. Connexin 43 (Cx43) protein in mural cells exposed to conditioned media from cancer cells was assessed by Western and confocal microscopy; mRNA levels were assessed by quantitative real-time PCR. Expression vectors or siRNA were utilized to overexpress or knock down Cx43. Tumor growth and angiogenesis was assessed in mouse hosts deficient for Cx43. Using parachute dye transfer assay, we demonstrate that media conditioned by MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells diminishes GJ communication between mural cells (vascular smooth muscle cells, vSMC) and EC. Both protein and mRNA of the GJ component Connexin 43 (Cx43) are downregulated in mural cells by tumor-conditioned media; media from non-tumorigenic MCF10A cells had no effect. Loss of GJ communication by Cx43 siRNA knockdown, treatment with blocking peptide, or exposure to tumor-conditioned media diminishes the ability of mural cells to inhibit EC proliferation in co-culture assays, while overexpression of Cx43 in vSMC restores GJ and endothelial inhibition. Breast tumor cells implanted into mice heterozygous for Cx43 show no changes in tumor growth, but exhibit significantly increased tumor vascularization determined by CD31 staining, along with decreased mural cell support

  6. The importance of connexin hemichannels during chondroprogenitor cell differentiation in hydrogel versus microtissue culture models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrobback, Karsten; Klein, Travis Jacob; Woodfield, Tim B F

    2015-06-01

    Appropriate selection of scaffold architecture is a key challenge in cartilage tissue engineering. Gap junction-mediated intercellular contacts play important roles in precartilage condensation of mesenchymal cells. However, scaffold architecture could potentially restrict cell-cell communication and differentiation. This is particularly important when choosing the appropriate culture platform as well as scaffold-based strategy for clinical translation, that is, hydrogel or microtissues, for investigating differentiation of chondroprogenitor cells in cartilage tissue engineering. We, therefore, studied the influence of gap junction-mediated cell-cell communication on chondrogenesis of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs) and articular chondrocytes. Expanded human chondrocytes and BM-MSCs were either (re-) differentiated in micromass cell pellets or encapsulated as isolated cells in alginate hydrogels. Samples were treated with and without the gap junction inhibitor 18-α glycyrrhetinic acid (18αGCA). DNA and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content and gene expression levels (collagen I/II/X, aggrecan, and connexin 43) were quantified at various time points. Protein localization was determined using immunofluorescence, and adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) was measured in conditioned media. While GAG/DNA was higher in alginate compared with pellets for chondrocytes, there were no differences in chondrogenic gene expression between culture models. Gap junction blocking reduced collagen II and extracellular ATP in all chondrocyte cultures and in BM-MSC hydrogels. However, differentiation capacity was not abolished completely by 18αGCA. Connexin 43 levels were high throughout chondrocyte cultures and peaked only later during BM-MSC differentiation, consistent with the delayed response of BM-MSCs to 18αGCA. Alginate hydrogels and microtissues are equally suited culture platforms for the chondrogenic (re-)differentiation of expanded human articular

  7. A cataract-causing connexin 50 mutant is mislocalized to the ER due to loss of the fourth transmembrane domain and cytoplasmic domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somaraju Chalasani, Madhavi Latha; Muppirala, Madhavi; G Ponnam, Surya Prakash; Kannabiran, Chitra; Swarup, Ghanshyam

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in the eye lens gap junction protein connexin 50 cause cataract. Earlier we identified a frameshift mutant of connexin 50 (c.670insA; p.Thr203AsnfsX47) in a family with autosomal recessive cataract. The mutant protein is smaller and contains 46 aberrant amino acids at the C-terminus after amino acid 202. Here, we have analysed this frameshift mutant and observed that it localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) but not in the plasma membrane. Moreover, overexpression of the mutant resulted in disintegration of the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC), reduction in the level of ERGIC-53 protein and breakdown of the Golgi in many cells. Overexpression of the frameshift mutant partially inhibited the transport of wild type connexin 50 to the plasma membrane. A deletion mutant lacking the aberrant sequence showed predominant localization in the ER and inhibited anterograde protein transport suggesting, therefore, that the aberrant sequence is not responsible for improper localization of the frameshift mutant. Further deletion analysis showed that the fourth transmembrane domain and a membrane proximal region (231-294 amino acids) of the cytoplasmic domain are needed for transport from the ER and localization to the plasma membrane. Our results show that a frameshift mutant of connexin 50 mislocalizes to the ER and causes disintegration of the ERGIC and Golgi. We have also identified a sequence of connexin 50 crucial for transport from the ER and localization to the plasma membrane.

  8. Context dependent reversion of tumor phenotype by connexin-43 expression in MDA-MB231 cells and MCF-7 cells: Role of β-catenin/connexin43 association

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Talhouk, Rabih S.; Fares, Mohamed-Bilal; Rahme, Gilbert J.; Hariri, Hanaa H.; Rayess, Tina; Dbouk, Hashem A.; Bazzoun, Dana; Al-Labban, Dania; El-Sabban, Marwan E.

    2013-01-01

    Connexins (Cx), gap junction (GJ) proteins, are regarded as tumor suppressors, and Cx43 expression is often down regulated in breast tumors. We assessed the effect of Cx43 over-expression in 2D and 3D cultures of two breast adenocarcinoma cell lines: MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. While Cx43 over-expression decreased proliferation of 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 by 56% and 80% respectively, MDA-MB-231 growth was not altered in 2D cultures, but exhibited 35% reduction in 3D cultures. C-terminus truncated Cx43 did not alter proliferation. Untransfected MCF-7 cells formed spherical aggregates in 3D cultures, and MDA-MB-231 cells formed stellar aggregates. However, MCF-7 cells over-expressing Cx43 formed smaller sized clusters and Cx43 expressing MDA-MB-231 cells lost their stellar morphology. Extravasation ability of both MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells was reduced by 60% and 30% respectively. On the other hand, silencing Cx43 in MCF10A cells, nonneoplastic human mammary cell line, increased proliferation in both 2D and 3D cultures, and disrupted acinar morphology. Although Cx43 over-expression did not affect total levels of β-catenin, α-catenin and ZO-2, it decreased nuclear levels of β-catenin in 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and in 3D cultures of MDA-MB-231 cells. Cx43 associated at the membrane with α-catenin, β-catenin and ZO-2 in 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and only in 3D conditions in MDA-MB-231 cells. This study suggests that Cx43 exerts tumor suppressive effects in a context-dependent manner where GJ assembly with α-catenin, β-catenin and ZO-2 may be implicated in reducing growth rate, invasiveness, and, malignant phenotype of 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and 3D cultures of MDA-MB-231 cells, by sequestering β-catenin away from nucleus. - Highlights: • Cx43 over-expressing MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 were grown in 2D and 3D cultures. • Proliferation and growth morphology were affected in a context dependent manner. • Extravasation ability of both MCF

  9. Context dependent reversion of tumor phenotype by connexin-43 expression in MDA-MB231 cells and MCF-7 cells: Role of β-catenin/connexin43 association

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Talhouk, Rabih S., E-mail: rtalhouk@aub.edu.lb [Department of Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, American University of Beirut, P.O. Box 11-0236, Beirut (Lebanon); Fares, Mohamed-Bilal; Rahme, Gilbert J.; Hariri, Hanaa H.; Rayess, Tina; Dbouk, Hashem A.; Bazzoun, Dana; Al-Labban, Dania [Department of Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, American University of Beirut, P.O. Box 11-0236, Beirut (Lebanon); El-Sabban, Marwan E., E-mail: me00@aub.edu.lb [Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, P.O. Box 11-0236, Beirut (Lebanon)

    2013-12-10

    Connexins (Cx), gap junction (GJ) proteins, are regarded as tumor suppressors, and Cx43 expression is often down regulated in breast tumors. We assessed the effect of Cx43 over-expression in 2D and 3D cultures of two breast adenocarcinoma cell lines: MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. While Cx43 over-expression decreased proliferation of 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 by 56% and 80% respectively, MDA-MB-231 growth was not altered in 2D cultures, but exhibited 35% reduction in 3D cultures. C-terminus truncated Cx43 did not alter proliferation. Untransfected MCF-7 cells formed spherical aggregates in 3D cultures, and MDA-MB-231 cells formed stellar aggregates. However, MCF-7 cells over-expressing Cx43 formed smaller sized clusters and Cx43 expressing MDA-MB-231 cells lost their stellar morphology. Extravasation ability of both MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells was reduced by 60% and 30% respectively. On the other hand, silencing Cx43 in MCF10A cells, nonneoplastic human mammary cell line, increased proliferation in both 2D and 3D cultures, and disrupted acinar morphology. Although Cx43 over-expression did not affect total levels of β-catenin, α-catenin and ZO-2, it decreased nuclear levels of β-catenin in 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and in 3D cultures of MDA-MB-231 cells. Cx43 associated at the membrane with α-catenin, β-catenin and ZO-2 in 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and only in 3D conditions in MDA-MB-231 cells. This study suggests that Cx43 exerts tumor suppressive effects in a context-dependent manner where GJ assembly with α-catenin, β-catenin and ZO-2 may be implicated in reducing growth rate, invasiveness, and, malignant phenotype of 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and 3D cultures of MDA-MB-231 cells, by sequestering β-catenin away from nucleus. - Highlights: • Cx43 over-expressing MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 were grown in 2D and 3D cultures. • Proliferation and growth morphology were affected in a context dependent manner. • Extravasation ability of both MCF

  10. A potential role for neuronal connexin 36 in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belousov, Andrei B; Nishimune, Hiroshi; Denisova, Janna V; Fontes, Joseph D

    2018-02-14

    Neuronal gap junctional protein connexin 36 (Cx36) contributes to neuronal death following a range of acute brain insults such as ischemia, traumatic brain injury and epilepsy. Whether Cx36 contributes to neuronal death and pathological outcomes in chronic neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is not known. We show here that the expression of Cx36 is significantly decreased in lumbar segments of the spinal cord of both human ALS subjects and SOD1 G93A mice as compared to healthy human and wild-type mouse controls, respectively. In purified neuronal cultures prepared from the spinal cord of wild-type mice, knockdown of Cx36 reduces neuronal death caused by overexpression of the mutant human SOD1-G93A protein. Taken together, these data suggest a possible contribution of Cx36 to ALS pathogenesis. A perspective for the use of blockers of Cx36 gap junction channels for ALS therapy is discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Connexin 43 Gene Therapy Delivered by Polymer-Modified Salmonella in Murine Tumor Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei-Kuang Wang

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The use of preferentially tumor-targeting bacteria as vectors is one of the most innovative approaches for the treatment of cancer. This method is based on the observation that some obligate or facultative anaerobic bacteria are capable of selectively multiplying in tumors and inhibiting their growth. Previously, we found that the tumor-targeting efficiency of Salmonella could be modulated by modifying the immune response to these bacteria by coating them with poly(allylamine hydrochloride (PAH, and these organisms are designated PAH-S.C. (S. choleraesuis. PAH can provide a useful platform for the chemical modification of Salmonella, perhaps by allowing a therapeutic gene to bind to tumor-targeting Salmonella. This study aimed to investigate the benefits of the use of PAH-S.C. for gene delivery. To evaluate this modulation, the invasion activity and gene transfer of DNA-PAH-S.C. were measured in vitro and in vivo. Treatment with PAH-S.C. carrying a tumor suppressor gene (connexin 43 resulted in inhibition of tumor growth, which suggested that tumor-targeted gene therapy using PAH-S.C. carrying a therapeutic gene could exert antitumor activities. This technique represents a promising strategy for the treatment of tumors.

  12. Connexin 43 Communication Channels in Follicular Dendritic Cell Development and in Follicular Lymphomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hajnalka Rajnai

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Follicular dendritic cells (FDC show homo- and heterocellular metabolic coupling through connexin 43 (Cx43 gap junctions and support B cell selection and maturation in germinal centers. In follicular lymphomas B cells escape apoptosis while FDC develop abnormally. Here we tested Cx43 channels in reactive FDC development and follicular lymphomas. In culture, the treatment of FDC-B cell clusters (resembling to “ex vivo” germinal centers with Gap27 peptide, mimicking the 2nd extracellular loop of Cx43 protein, significantly impaired FDC-B cell cluster formation and cell survival. In untreated cultures of intact clusters, cell proliferation showed a moderate reduction. In tissues, Cx43 protein levels run parallel with the density of FDC both in reactive germinal centers and in malformed follicles of follicular lymphomas and showed strong upregulation in newly generated and/or degrading bi-/multinuclear FDC of rudimentary processes. However, the inverse correlation between Cx43 expression and B cell proliferation seen in reactive germinal centers was not detected in follicular lymphomas. Furthermore, Cx43 levels were not associated with either lymphoma grade or bone marrow involvement. Our results suggest that Cx43 channels are critical in FDC and “ex vivo” germinal center development and in the persistence of FDC in follicular lymphomas but do not affect tumor progression.

  13. Connexin 26-mediated gap junctional intercellular communication suppresses paracellular permeability of human intestinal epithelial cell monolayers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morita, Hidekazu; Katsuno, Tatsuro; Hoshimoto, Aihiro; Hirano, Noriaki; Saito, Yasushi; Suzuki, Yasuo

    2004-01-01

    In some cell types, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is associated with tight junctions. The present study was performed to determine the roles of GJIC in regulation of the barrier function of tight junctions. Caco-2 human colonic cells were used as a monolayer model, and barrier function was monitored by measuring mannitol permeability and transepithelial electrical resistance (TER). The monolayers were chemically disrupted by treatment with oleic acid and taurocholic acid. Western blotting analyses were performed to evaluate the protein levels of connexins, which are components of gap junctional intercellular channels. Cx26 expression was detected in preconfluent Caco-2 cells, and its level increased gradually after the monolayer reached confluency. These results prompted us to examine whether overexpression of Cx26 affects barrier function. Monolayers of Caco-2 cells stably expressing Cx26 showed significantly lower mannitol permeability and higher TER than mock transfectants when the monolayers were chemically disrupted. The levels of claudin-4, an important component of tight junctions, were significantly increased in the stable Cx26 transfectant. These results suggest that Cx26-mediated GJIC may play a crucial role in enhancing the barrier function of Caco-2 cell monolayers

  14. Connexin 43 Expression on Peripheral Blood Eosinophils: Role of Gap Junctions in Transendothelial Migration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harissios Vliagoftis

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 (Cx43 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. Cardiotoxic Effects of Short-Term Doxorubicin Administration: Involvement of Connexin 43 in Calcium Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pecoraro, Michela; Rodríguez-Sinovas, Antonio; Marzocco, Stefania; Ciccarelli, Michele; Iaccarino, Guido; Pinto, Aldo; Popolo, Ada

    2017-10-11

    The use of Doxorubicin (DOXO), a potent antineoplastic agent, is limited by the development of cardiotoxicity. DOXO-induced cardiotoxicity is multifactorial, although alterations in calcium homeostasis, seem to be involved. Since even the Connexin43 (Cx43) plays a pivotal role in these two phenomena, in this study we have analyzed the effects of DOXO on Cx43 expression and localization. Damage caused by anthracyclines on cardiomyocytes is immediate after each injection, in the present study we used a short-term model of DOXO-induced cardiomyopathy. C57BL/6j female mice were randomly divided in groups and injected with DOXO (2 or 10 mg/kg i.p.) for 1-3 or 7 days once every other day. Cardiac function was assessed by Echocardiography. Sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca 2+ -ATPase (SERCAII) and phospholamban (PLB) expression were assessed by Western blot analysis, intracellular [Ca 2+ ] were detected spectrofluorometrically by means of Fura-2 pentakis (acetoxymethyl) ester (FURA-2AM), and Cx43 and pCx43 expression and localization was analyzed by Western blot and confirmed by immunofluorescence analysis. DOXO induces impairment in Ca 2+ homeostasis, already evident after a single administration, and affects Cx43 expression and localization. Our data suggest that DOXO-induced alterations in Ca 2+ homeostasis causes in the cells the induction of compensatory mechanisms until a certain threshold, above which cardiac injury is triggered.

  16. Lycopene ameliorates neuropathic pain by upregulating spinal astrocytic connexin 43 expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fang Fang; Morioka, Norimitsu; Kitamura, Tomoya; Fujii, Shiori; Miyauchi, Kazuki; Nakamura, Yoki; Hisaoka-Nakashima, Kazue; Nakata, Yoshihiro

    2016-06-15

    Peripheral nerve injury upregulates tumor necrosis factor (TNF) expression. In turn, connexin 43 (Cx43) expression in spinal astrocytes is downregulated by TNF. Therefore, restoration of spinal astrocyte Cx43 expression to normal level could lead to the reduction of nerve injury-induced pain. While the non-provitaminic carotenoid lycopene reverses thermal hyperalgesia in mice with painful diabetic neuropathy, the antinociceptive mechanism is not entirely clear. The current study evaluated whether the antinociceptive effect of lycopene is mediated through the modulation of Cx43 expression in spinal astrocytes. The effect of lycopene on Cx43 expression was examined in cultured rat spinal astrocytes. The effect of intrathecal lycopene on Cx43 expression and neuropathic pain were evaluated in mice with partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSNL). Treatment of cultured rat spinal astrocytes with lycopene reversed TNF-induced downregulation of Cx43 protein expression through a transcription-independent mechanism. By contrast, treatment of cultured spinal astrocytes with either pro-vitamin A carotenoid β-carotene or antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine had no effect on TNF-induced downregulation of Cx43 protein expression. In addition, repeated, but not single, intrathecal treatment with lycopene of mice with a partial sciatic nerve ligation significantly prevented not only the downregulation of Cx43 expression in spinal dorsal horn but mechanical hypersensitivity as well. The current findings suggest a significant spinal mechanism that mediates the analgesic effect of lycopene, through the restoration of normal spinal Cx43 expression. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Ultrastructure and regulation of lateralized connexin43 in the failing heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesketh, Geoffrey G; Shah, Manish H; Halperin, Victoria L; Cooke, Carol A; Akar, Fadi G; Yen, Timothy E; Kass, David A; Machamer, Carolyn E; Van Eyk, Jennifer E; Tomaselli, Gordon F

    2010-04-02

    Gap junctions mediate cell-to-cell electric coupling of cardiomyocytes. The primary gap junction protein in the working myocardium, connexin43 (Cx43), exhibits increased localization at the lateral membranes of cardiomyocytes in a variety of heart diseases, although the precise location and function of this population is unknown. To define the subcellular location of lateralized gap junctions at the light and electron microscopic level, and further characterize the biochemical regulation of gap junction turnover. By electron microscopy, we characterized gap junctions formed between cardiomyocyte lateral membranes in failing canine ventricular myocardium. These gap junctions were varied in structure and appeared to be extensively internalizing. Internalized gap junctions were incorporated into multilamellar membrane structures, with features characteristic of autophagosomes. Intracellular Cx43 extensively colocalized with the autophagosome marker GFP-LC3 when both proteins were exogenously expressed in HeLa cells, and endogenous Cx43 colocalized with GFP-LC3 in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes. Furthermore, a distinct phosphorylated form of Cx43, as well as the autophagosome-targeted form of LC3 (microtubule-associated protein light chain 3) targeted to lipid rafts in cardiac tissue, and both were increased in heart failure. Our data demonstrate a previously unrecognized pathway of gap junction internalization and degradation in the heart and identify a cellular pathway with potential therapeutic implications.

  18. Gestational Protein Restriction Increases Cardiac Connexin 43 mRNA levels in male adult rat offspring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossini, Kamila Fernanda; de Oliveira, Camila Andrea; Rebelato, Hércules Jonas; Esquisatto, Marcelo Augusto Marreto; Catisti, Rosana

    2017-01-01

    Background The dietary limitation during pregnancy influences the growth and development of the fetus and offspring and their health into adult life. The mechanisms underlying the adverse effects of gestational protein restriction (GPR) in the development of the offspring hearts are not well understood. Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of GPR on cardiac structure in male rat offspring at day 60 after birth (d60). Methods Pregnant Wistar rats were fed a normal-protein (NP, 17% casein) or low-protein (LP, 6% casein) diet. Blood pressure (BP) values from 60-day-old male offspring were measured by an indirect tail-cuff method using an electro sphygmomanometer. Hearts (d60) were collected for assessment of connexin 43 (Cx43) mRNA expression and morphological and morphometric analysis. Results LP offspring showed no difference in body weight, although they were born lighter than NP offspring. BP levels were significantly higher in the LP group. We observed a significant increase in the area occupied by collagen fibers, a decrease in the number of cardiomyocytes by 104 µm2, and an increase in cardiomyocyte area associated with an increased Cx43 expression. Conclusion GPR changes myocardial levels of Cx43 mRNA in male young adult rats, suggesting that this mechanism aims to compensate the fibrotic process by the accumulation of collagen fibers in the heart interstitium. PMID:28678925

  19. Mena associates with Rac1 and modulates connexin 43 remodeling in cardiomyocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ram, Rashmi; Wescott, Andrew P; Varandas, Katherine; Dirksen, Robert T; Blaxall, Burns C

    2014-01-01

    Mena, a member of the Ena/VASP family of actin regulatory proteins, modulates microfilaments and interacts with cytoskeletal proteins associated with heart failure. Mena is localized at the intercalated disc (ICD) of adult cardiac myocytes, colocalizing with numerous cytoskeletal proteins. Mena's role in the maintainence of mechanical myocardial stability at the cardiomyocyte ICD remains unknown. We hypothesized that Mena may modulate signals from the sarcolemma to the actin cytoskeleton at the ICD to regulate the expression and localization of connexin 43 (Cx43). The small GTPase Rac1 plays a pivotal role in the regulation of actin cytoskeletal reorganization and mediating morphological and transcriptional changes in cardiomyocytes. We found that Mena is associated with active Rac1 in cardiomyocytes and that RNAi knockdown of Mena increased Rac1 activity significantly. Furthermore, Mena knockdown increased Cx43 expression and altered Cx43 localization and trafficking at the ICD, concomitant with faster intercellular communication, as assessed by dye transfer between cardiomyocyte pairs. In mice overexpressing constitutively active Rac1, left ventricular Mena expression was increased significantly, concomitant with lateral redistribution of Cx43. These results suggest that Mena is a critical regulator of the ICD and is required for normal localization of Cx43 in part via regulation of Rac1.

  20. Different expressions of connexin 43 and 32 in the fibroblasts of human dental pulp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibuki, N; Yamaoka, Y; Sawa, Y; Kawasaki, T; Yoshida, S

    2002-06-01

    The expression and localization of gap junctional proteins connexin (Cx) 26, 32, and 43 was examined in human dental pulp. Dental pulp tissues were obtained from human third molars immediately after extraction. Some pulp tissues were used for cell culture, and the rest for histological observations. Immunostaining for cultured dental pulp fibroblasts (DPFs) showed that Cx32 and 43 were expressed in human DPFs, and proteins corresponding to 27 (Cx32) and 43kDa (Cx43) were identified by Western blot analysis. Immunostaining for tissue sections showed that the expression of Cx32 and 43 was observed in the entire region of the pulp and further strong expression of Cx32 was established beneath the cell-rich zone. Considering the close relationship between Cx types and cell functions, the results indicate that DPFs beneath the cell-rich zone may have specific, Cx32-related functions. The cell rich zone is thought to contain progenitor odontoblasts that can be induced to differentiate into mature odontoblasts in response to wounding. Therefore, it may be hypothesized that DPFs just beneath the cell-rich zone produce proteins and induce odontoblast differentiation from the cells in the cell-rich zone.

  1. Effects of androgen on immunohistochemical localization of androgen receptor and Connexin 43 in mouse ovary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Mei; Li, Jianhua; An, Yulin; Zhang, Shuiwen

    2015-10-01

    Androgens have essential roles in the regulation of follicular development and female fertility. Androgen excess is the leading defect in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) patients and involved in the ovarian dysfunction. The aim of this study was to elucidate the regarding regulatory role of androgen in the follicular development of female mouse. Immunohistochemical staining and Western blot analyses were performed to detect androgen receptor (AR) and Connexin 43 (Cx43) expression in ovaries from both control and testosterone-treated group mice. In this study, localizations of AR and Cx43 were dramatically altered in testosterone-treated mouse ovaries. In addition, AR expression was significantly increased, whereas Cx43 expression was markedly decreased after testosterone treatment. Alterations of AR and Cx43 expression by testosterone with concomitant reduction of MII oocytes. Overall, these results suggest the involvement of androgen in the regulation of AR and Cx43 localizations in mouse ovary. Alterations of AR and Cx43 expression by testosterone may affect normal folliculogenesis. Together these findings will enable us to begin understanding the important roles of AR and Cx43 actions in the regulation of follicular development, as well as providing insights into the role of AR and Cx43 actions in the androgen-associated reproductive diseases such as PCOS. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Molecular determinants of magnesium-dependent synaptic plasticity at electrical synapses formed by connexin36

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palacios-Prado, Nicolás; Chapuis, Sandrine; Panjkovich, Alejandro; Fregeac, Julien; Nagy, James I.; Bukauskas, Feliksas F.

    2014-08-01

    Neuronal gap junction (GJ) channels composed of connexin36 (Cx36) play an important role in neuronal synchronization and network dynamics. Here we show that Cx36-containing electrical synapses between inhibitory neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus are bidirectionally modulated by changes in intracellular free magnesium concentration ([Mg2+]i). Chimeragenesis demonstrates that the first extracellular loop of Cx36 contains a Mg2+-sensitive domain, and site-directed mutagenesis shows that the pore-lining residue D47 is critical in determining high Mg2+-sensitivity. Single-channel analysis of Mg2+-sensitive chimeras and mutants reveals that [Mg2+]i controls the strength of electrical coupling mostly via gating mechanisms. In addition, asymmetric transjunctional [Mg2+]i induces strong instantaneous rectification, providing a novel mechanism for electrical rectification in homotypic Cx36 GJs. We suggest that Mg2+-dependent synaptic plasticity of Cx36-containing electrical synapses could underlie neuronal circuit reconfiguration via changes in brain energy metabolism that affects neuronal levels of intracellular ATP and [Mg2+]i.

  3. The long-term effects of FSH and triiodothyronine administration during the pubertal period on Connexin 43 expression and spermatogenesis efficiency in adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchlewska, Katarzyna; Slowikowska-Hilczer, Jolanta; Walczak-Jedrzejowska, Renata; Oszukowska, Elzbieta; Filipiak, Eliza; Kula, Krzysztof

    2015-04-01

    Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and triiodothyronine (T3) are known regulatory factors of spermatogenesis initiation. Hyperstimulation of both hormones evokes regressional changes in connexin 43 expression and the seminiferous epithelium in young rats during testicular maturation. However, separate treatments with T3 reduce Sertoli cell number, which seems to be closely connected with the maturation of connexin 43 gap junctions. FSH elevates Sertoli cell number and function, but this effect may take place regardless of the presence of connexin 43-dependent intercellular communication. The aim of the study was to evaluate the later effects of such treatments. Newborn, male Wistar rats were divided randomly into experimental groups receiving daily subcutaneous injections of either 7.5 IU/animal FSH, or 100 mg/kg b.w. T3, or both substances or the same volume of vehicle (control group) until day 15 of life. The animals were sacrificed on day 50. Morphometric analysis and immunohistochemical reactions were performed using antibodies against Vimentin, Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen and Connexin 43 in the testis. Sertoli cell count, efficiency of spermatogenesis, and hormonal pattern were examined. Disturbances in the connexin 43 expression reduced the number of Sertoli cells, the efficiency of spermatogenesis and impaired endocrine function of testes in adult rats treated with FSH and T3 during puberty. Stimulation with FSH alone increased Sertoli cell number, but was associated with a negative effect on cell-to-cell connexin 43-dependent communication, with a consequential reduction of spermatogenesis efficiency. J. Exp. Zool. 323A: 256-265, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Connexin hemichannel-mediated CO2-dependent release of ATP in the medulla oblongata contributes to central respiratory chemosensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huckstepp, Robert T R; id Bihi, Rachid; Eason, Robert; Spyer, K Michael; Dicke, Nikolai; Willecke, Klaus; Marina, Nephtali; Gourine, Alexander V; Dale, Nicholas

    2010-01-01

    Arterial , a major determinant of breathing, is detected by chemosensors located in the brainstem. These are important for maintaining physiological levels of in the blood and brain, yet the mechanisms by which the brain senses CO2 remain controversial. As ATP release at the ventral surface of the brainstem has been causally linked to the adaptive changes in ventilation in response to hypercapnia, we have studied the mechanisms of CO2-dependent ATP release in slices containing the ventral surface of the medulla oblongata. We found that CO2-dependent ATP release occurs in the absence of extracellular acidification and correlates directly with the level of . ATP release is independent of extracellular Ca2+ and may occur via the opening of a gap junction hemichannel. As agents that act on connexin channels block this release, but compounds selective for pannexin-1 have no effect, we conclude that a connexin hemichannel is involved in CO2-dependent ATP release. We have used molecular, genetic and immunocytochemical techniques to demonstrate that in the medulla oblongata connexin 26 (Cx26) is preferentially expressed near the ventral surface. The leptomeninges, subpial astrocytes and astrocytes ensheathing penetrating blood vessels at the ventral surface of the medulla can be loaded with dye in a CO2-dependent manner, suggesting that gating of a hemichannel is involved in ATP release. This distribution of CO2-dependent dye loading closely mirrors that of Cx26 expression and colocalizes to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells. In vivo, blockers with selectivity for Cx26 reduce hypercapnia-evoked ATP release and the consequent adaptive enhancement of breathing. We therefore propose that Cx26-mediated release of ATP in response to changes in is an important mechanism contributing to central respiratory chemosensitivity. PMID:20736421

  5. Distinct moieties underlie biphasic H+ gating of connexin43 channels, producing a pH optimum for intercellular communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garciarena, Carolina D.; Malik, Akif; Swietach, Pawel; Moreno, Alonso P.; Vaughan-Jones, Richard D.

    2018-01-01

    Most mammalian cells can intercommunicate via connexin-assembled, gap-junctional channels. To regulate signal transmission, connexin (Cx) channel permeability must respond dynamically to physiological and pathophysiological stimuli. One key stimulus is intracellular pH (pHi), which is modulated by a tissue’s metabolic and perfusion status. Our understanding of the molecular mechanism of H+ gating of Cx43 channels—the major isoform in the heart and brain—is incomplete. To interrogate the effects of acidic and alkaline pHi on Cx43 channels, we combined voltage-clamp electrophysiology with pHi imaging and photolytic H+ uncaging, performed over a range of pHi values. We demonstrate that Cx43 channels expressed in HeLa or N2a cell pairs are gated biphasically by pHi via a process that consists of activation by H+ ions at alkaline pHi and inhibition at more acidic pHi. For Cx43 channel–mediated solute/ion transmission, the ensemble of these effects produces a pHi optimum, near resting pHi. By using Cx43 mutants, we demonstrate that alkaline gating involves cysteine residues of the C terminus and is independent of motifs previously implicated in acidic gating. Thus, we present a molecular mechanism by which cytoplasmic acid–base chemistry fine tunes intercellular communication and establishes conditions for the optimal transmission of solutes and signals in tissues, such as the heart and brain.—Garciarena, C. D., Malik, A., Swietach, P., Moreno, A. P., Vaughan-Jones, R. D. Distinct moieties underlie biphasic H+ gating of connexin43 channels, producing a pH optimum for intercellular communication. PMID:29183963

  6. Connexin43 Mediated Delivery of ADAMTS5 Targeting siRNAs from Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Synovial Fibroblasts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuo Liu

    Full Text Available Osteoarthritis is a joint-destructive disease that has no effective cure. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs could offer therapeutic benefit in the treatment of arthritic diseases by suppressing inflammation and permitting tissue regeneration, but first these cells must overcome the catabolic environment of the diseased joint. Likewise, gene therapy also offers therapeutic promise given its ability to directly modulate key catabolic factors that mediate joint deterioration, although it too has limitations. In the current study, we explore an approach that combines hMSCs and gene therapy. Specifically, we test the use of hMSC as a vehicle to deliver ADAMTS5 (an aggrecanase with a key role in osteoarthritis-targeting siRNAs to SW982 synovial fibroblast-like cells via connexin43 containing gap junctions. Accordingly, we transduced hMSCs with ADAMTS5-targeting shRNA or non-targeted shRNA, and co-cultured them with synovial fibroblasts to allow delivery of siRNAs from hMSC to synovial fibroblasts. We found that co-culture of hMSCs-shRNA-ADAMTS5 and synovial fibroblasts reduced ADAMTS5 expression relative to co-culture of hMSCs-shRNA-control and synovial fibroblasts. Furthermore, ADAMTS5 was specifically reduced in the synovial fibroblasts populations as determined by fluorescence-activated cell sorting, suggesting transfer of the siRNA between cells. To test if Cx43-containing gap junctions are involved in the transfer of siRNA, we co-cultured hMSCs-shRNA-ADAMTS5 cells with synovial fibroblasts in which connexin43 was knocked down. Under these conditions, ADAMTS5 levels were not inhibited by co-culture, indicating that connexin43 mediates the delivery of siRNA from hMSCs to synovial fibroblasts. In total, our findings demonstrate that hMSCs can function as donor cells to host and deliver siRNAs to synovial fibroblasts via connexin43 gap junction in vitro. These data may have implications in the combination of hMSCs and gene therapy to treat diseases

  7. Connexin43 Mediated Delivery of ADAMTS5 Targeting siRNAs from Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Synovial Fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shuo; Niger, Corinne; Koh, Eugene Y; Stains, Joseph P

    2015-01-01

    Osteoarthritis is a joint-destructive disease that has no effective cure. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) could offer therapeutic benefit in the treatment of arthritic diseases by suppressing inflammation and permitting tissue regeneration, but first these cells must overcome the catabolic environment of the diseased joint. Likewise, gene therapy also offers therapeutic promise given its ability to directly modulate key catabolic factors that mediate joint deterioration, although it too has limitations. In the current study, we explore an approach that combines hMSCs and gene therapy. Specifically, we test the use of hMSC as a vehicle to deliver ADAMTS5 (an aggrecanase with a key role in osteoarthritis)-targeting siRNAs to SW982 synovial fibroblast-like cells via connexin43 containing gap junctions. Accordingly, we transduced hMSCs with ADAMTS5-targeting shRNA or non-targeted shRNA, and co-cultured them with synovial fibroblasts to allow delivery of siRNAs from hMSC to synovial fibroblasts. We found that co-culture of hMSCs-shRNA-ADAMTS5 and synovial fibroblasts reduced ADAMTS5 expression relative to co-culture of hMSCs-shRNA-control and synovial fibroblasts. Furthermore, ADAMTS5 was specifically reduced in the synovial fibroblasts populations as determined by fluorescence-activated cell sorting, suggesting transfer of the siRNA between cells. To test if Cx43-containing gap junctions are involved in the transfer of siRNA, we co-cultured hMSCs-shRNA-ADAMTS5 cells with synovial fibroblasts in which connexin43 was knocked down. Under these conditions, ADAMTS5 levels were not inhibited by co-culture, indicating that connexin43 mediates the delivery of siRNA from hMSCs to synovial fibroblasts. In total, our findings demonstrate that hMSCs can function as donor cells to host and deliver siRNAs to synovial fibroblasts via connexin43 gap junction in vitro. These data may have implications in the combination of hMSCs and gene therapy to treat diseases like

  8. Genomic instability induced in distant progeny of bystander cells depends on the connexins expressed in the irradiated cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Toledo, Sonia M; Buonanno, Manuela; Harris, Andrew L; Azzam, Edouard I

    2017-10-01

    To examine the time window during which intercellular signaling though gap junctions mediates non-targeted (bystander) effects induced by moderate doses of ionizing radiation; and to investigate the impact of gap junction communication on genomic instability in distant progeny of bystander cells. A layered cell culture system was developed to investigate the propagation of harmful effects from irradiated normal or tumor cells that express specific connexins to contiguous bystander normal human fibroblasts. Irradiated cells were exposed to moderate mean absorbed doses from 3.7 MeV α particle, 1000 MeV/u iron ions, 600 MeV/u silicon ions, or 137 Cs γ rays. Following 5 h of co-culture, pure populations of bystander cells, unexposed to secondary radiation, were isolated and DNA damage and oxidative stress was assessed in them and in their distant progeny (20-25 population doublings). Increased frequency of micronucleus formation and enhanced oxidative changes were observed in bystander cells co-cultured with confluent cells exposed to either sparsely ionizing ( 137 Cs γ rays) or densely ionizing (α particles, energetic iron or silicon ions) radiations. The irradiated cells propagated signals leading to biological changes in bystander cells within 1 h of irradiation, and the effect required cellular coupling by gap junctions. Notably, the distant progeny of isolated bystander cells also exhibited increased levels of spontaneous micronuclei. This effect was dependent on the type of junctional channels that coupled the irradiated donor cells with the bystander cells. Previous work showed that gap junctions composed of connexin26 (Cx26) or connexin43 (Cx43) mediate toxic bystander effects within 5 h of co-culture, whereas gap junctions composed of connexin32 (Cx32) mediate protective effects. In contrast, the long-term progeny of bystander cells expressing Cx26 or Cx43 did not display elevated DNA damage, whereas those coupled by Cx32 had enhanced DNA

  9. Na,K-ATPase regulates intercellular communication in the vascular wall via cSrc kinase dependent connexin43 phosphorylation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hangaard, Lise; Bouzinova, Elena; Stæhr, Christian Albeck

    2017-01-01

    Communication between vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is dependent on gap junctions and is regulated by the Na-K-ATPase. The Na-K-ATPase is therefore important for synchronized VSMC oscillatory activity, i.e., vasomotion. The signaling between the Na-K-ATPase and gap junctions is unknown. We...... coupling in rat mesenteric small arteries in vitro. Phosphorylation of cSrc kinase and connexin43 (Cx43) were semiquantified by Western blotting. Micromole concentration of ouabain reduced the amplitude of norepinephrine-induced vasomotion and desynchronized Ca2+ transients in VSMC in the arterial wall...

  10. Connexin 43 expression in human and mouse testes with impaired spermatogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Kotula-Balak

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Connexin 43 (Cx43 belongs to a family of proteins that form gap junction channels. The aim of this study was to examine the expression of Cx43 in the testis of a patient with Klinefelter’s syndrome and of mice with the mosaic mutation and a partial deletion in the long arm of the Y chromosome. These genetic disorders are characterized by the presence of numerous degenerated seminiferous tubules and impaired spermatogenesis. In mouse testes, the expression and presence of Cx43 were detected by means of immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis, respectively. In testes of Klinefelter’s patient only immunoexpression of Cx43 was detected. Regardless of the species Cx43 protein was ubiquitously distributed in testes of reproductively normal males, whereas in those with testicular disorders either a weak intensity of staining or no staining within the seminiferous tubules was observed. Moderate to strong or very strong staining was confined to the interstitial tissue. In an immunoblot analysis of testicular homogenates Cx43 appeared as one major band of approximately 43 kDa. Our study adds three more examples of pathological gonads in which the absence or apparent decrease of Cx43 expression within the seminiferous tubules was found. A positive correlation between severe spermatogenic impairment and loss of Cx43 immunoreactivity observed in this study supports previous data that gap junctions play a crucial role in spermatogenesis. Strong Cx43 expression detected mostly in the interstitial tissue of the Klinefelter’s patient may presumably be of importance in sustaining Leydig cell metabolic activity. However, the role of gap junction communication in the control of Leydig cell function seems to be more complex than originally thought.

  11. Connexin43 hemichannels contributes to the disassembly of cell junctions through modulation of intracellular oxidative status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan Chi

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Connexin (Cx hemichannels regulate many cellular processes with little information available regarding their mechanisms. Given that many pathological factors that activate hemichannels also disrupts the integrity of cellular junctions, we speculated a potential participation of hemichannels in the regulation of cell junctions. Here we tested this hypothesis. Exposure of renal tubular epithelial cells to Ca2+-free medium led to disassembly of tight and adherens junctions, as indicated by the reduced level of ZO-1 and cadherin, disorganization of F-actin, and severe drop in transepithelial electric resistance. These changes were preceded by an activation of Cx43 hemichannels, as revealed by extracellular efflux of ATP and intracellular influx of Lucifer Yellow. Inhibition of hemichannels with chemical inhibitors or Cx43 siRNA greatly attenuated the disassembly of cell junctions. Further analysis using fetal fibroblasts derived from Cx43 wide-type (Cx43+/+, heterozygous (Cx43+/- and knockout (Cx43-/- littermates showed that Cx43-positive cells (Cx43+/+ exhibited more dramatic changes in cell shape, F-actin, and cadherin in response to Ca2+ depletion, as compared to Cx43-null cells (Cx43-/-. Consistently, these cells had higher level of protein carbonyl modification and phosphorylation, and much stronger activation of P38 and JNK. Hemichannel opening led to extracellular loss of the major antioxidant glutathione (GSH. Supplement of cells with exogenous GSH or inhibition of oxidative sensitive kinases largely prevented the above-mentioned changes. Taken together, our study indicates that Cx43 hemichannels promote the disassembly of cell junctions through regulation of intracellular oxidative status.

  12. Connexin 43 Channels are Essential for Normal Bone Structure and Osteocyte Viability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Huiyun; Gu, Sumin; Riquelme, Manuel A.; Burra, Sirisha; Callaway, Danielle; Cheng, Hongyun; Guda, Teja; Schmitz, James; Fajardo, Roberto J.; Werner, Sherry L.; Zhao, Hong; Shang, Peng; Johnson, Mark L.; Bonewald, Lynda F.; Jiang, Jean X.

    2014-01-01

    Connexin (Cx) 43 serves important roles in bone function and development. Targeted deletion of Cx43 in osteoblasts or osteocytes leads to increased osteocyte apoptosis, osteoclast recruitment, and reduced biomechanical properties. Cx43 forms both gap junction channels and hemichannels, which mediate the communication between adjacent cells or between cell and extracellular environments, respectively. Two transgenic mouse models driven by a DMP1 promoter with the overexpression of dominant negative Cx43 mutants were generated to dissect the functional contribution of Cx43 gap junction channels and hemichannels in osteocytes. The R76W mutant blocks gap junction channel, but not hemichannel function, and the Δ130-136 mutant inhibits activity of both types of channels. Δ130-136 mice showed a significant increase in bone mineral density compared to WT and R76W mice. MicroCT analyses revealed a significant increase in total tissue and bone area in midshaft cortical bone of Δ130-136 mice. The bone marrow cavity was expanded, whereas the cortical thickness was increased and associated with increased bone formation along the periosteal area. However, there is no significant alteration in the structure of trabecular bone. Histologic sections of the midshaft showed increased apoptotic osteocytes in Δ130-136, but not in WT and R76W, mice which correlated with altered biomechanical and estimated bone material properties. Osteoclasts were increased along the endocortical surface in both transgenic mice with a greater effect in Δ130-136 mice which likely contributed to the increased marrow cavity. Interestingly, the overall expression of serum bone formation and resorption markers were higher in R76W mice. These findings suggest that osteocytic Cx43 channels play distinctive roles in the bone; hemichannels play a dominant role in regulating osteocyte survival, endocortical bone resorption and periosteal apposition, and gap junction communication is involved in the process of

  13. Neurons and satellite glial cells in adult rat lumbar dorsal root ganglia express connexin 36.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez Armendariz, E Martha; Norcini, Monica; Hernández-Tellez, Beatriz; Castell-Rodríguez, Andrés; Coronel-Cruz, Cristina; Alquicira, Raquel Guerrero; Sideris, Alexandra; Recio-Pinto, Esperanza

    2018-04-01

    Previous studies have shown that following peripheral nerve injury there was a downregulation of the gap junction protein connexin 36 (Cx36) in the spinal cord; however, it is not known whether Cx36 protein is expressed in the dorsal root ganglia (DRGs), nor if its levels are altered following peripheral nerve injuries. Here we address these aspects in the adult rat lumbar DRG. Cx36 mRNA was detected using qRT-PCR, and Cx36 protein was identified in DRG sections using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence (IF). Double staining revealed that Cx36 co-localizes with both anti-β-III tubulin, a neuronal marker, and anti-glutamine synthetase, a satellite glial cell (SGC) marker. In neurons, Cx36 staining was mostly uniform in somata and fibers of all sizes and its intensity increased at the cell membranes. This labeling pattern was in contrast with Cx36 IF dots mainly found at junctional membranes in islet beta cells used as a control tissue. Co-staining with anti-Cx43 and anti-Cx36 showed that whereas mostly uniform staining of Cx36 was found throughout neurons and SGCs, Cx43 IF puncta were localized to SGCs. Cx36 mRNA was expressed in normal lumbar DRG, and it was significantly down-regulated in L4 DRG of rats that underwent sciatic nerve injury resulting in persistent hypersensitivity. Collectively, these findings demonstrated that neurons and SGCs express Cx36 protein in normal DRG, and suggested that perturbation of Cx36 levels may contribute to chronic neuropathic pain resulting from a peripheral nerve injury. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  14. Modulation of Connexin-36 Gap Junction Channels by Intracellular pH and Magnesium Ions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rimkute, Lina; Kraujalis, Tadas; Snipas, Mindaugas; Palacios-Prado, Nicolas; Jotautis, Vaidas; Skeberdis, Vytenis A; Bukauskas, Feliksas F

    2018-01-01

    Connexin-36 (Cx36) protein forms gap junction (GJ) channels in pancreatic beta cells and is also the main Cx isoform forming electrical synapses in the adult mammalian brain. Cx36 GJs can be regulated by intracellular pH (pH i ) and cytosolic magnesium ion concentration ([Mg 2+ ] i ), which can vary significantly under various physiological and pathological conditions. However, the combined effect and relationship of these two factors over Cx36-dependent coupling have not been previously studied in detail. Our experimental results in HeLa cells expressing Cx36 show that changes in both pH i and [Mg 2+ ] i affect junctional conductance (g j ) in an interdependent manner; in other words, intracellular acidification cause increase or decay in g j depending on whether [Mg 2+ ] i is high or low, respectively, and intracellular alkalization cause reduction in g j independently of [Mg 2+ ] i . Our experimental and modelling data support the hypothesis that Cx36 GJ channels contain two separate gating mechanisms, and both are differentially sensitive to changes in pH i and [Mg 2+ ] i . Using recombinant Cx36 we found that two glutamate residues in the N-terminus could be partly responsible for the observed interrelated effect of pH i and [Mg 2+ ] i . Mutation of glutamate at position 8 attenuated the stimulatory effect of intracellular acidification at high [Mg 2+ ] i , while mutation at position 12 and double mutation at both positions reversed stimulatory effect to inhibition. Moreover, Cx36 * E8Q lost the initial increase of g j at low [Mg 2+ ] i and double mutation lost the sensitivity to high [Mg 2+ ] i . These results suggest that E8 and E12 are involved in regulation of Cx36 GJ channels by Mg 2+ and H + ions.

  15. Estradiol Receptors Regulate Differential Connexin 43 Expression in F98 and C6 Glioma Cell Lines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahra Moinfar

    Full Text Available Glioma is the most common malignant primary brain tumour with male preponderance and poor prognosis. Glioma cells express variable amounts of connexin 43 (Cx43 and estrogen receptors (ERs. Both, Cx43 and ERs, play important roles in cell proliferation and migration. Therefore, we investigated the effects of 17-ß estradiol (E2 on Cx43 expression in two glioma cell lines with variable native expression of Cx43.F98 and C6 rat glioma cells were cultured for 24 h in the presence of 10 nM or 100 nM E2, and the E2-antagonist, Fulvestrant. An MTT assay was performed to evaluate cell viability. ERα, ERβ and Cx43 protein expressions were analysed by western blotting and Cx43 mRNA expression was analysed by real-time polymerase chain reaction. To quantify cell migration, an exclusive zone migration assay was used. Functional coupling of cells via gap junctions was examined using whole-cell patch-clamp technique.E2 reduced Cx43 expression in C6 cells, but increased Cx43 expression in F98 cultures. These effects were mediated via ERs. Moreover, E2 promoted C6 cell migration, but it did not affect F98 cell migration. The expression level of ERα was found to be high in C6, but low in F98 cells. ERβ was exclusively expressed in C6 cells. In addition, E2 treatment induced a significant decrease of ERβ in C6 cultures, while it decreased ERα expression in F98 glioma cells.These findings show that E2 differentially modulates Cx43 expression in F98 and C6 glioma cells, likely due to the differential expression of ERs in each of these cell lines. Our findings point to the molecular mechanisms that might contribute to the gender-specific differences in the malignancy of glioma and could have implications for therapeutic strategies against glioma.

  16. Dynamic changes in connexin expression following engraftment of neural stem cells to striatal tissue

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaederstad, Johan; Jaederstad, Linda Maria; Herlenius, Eric

    2011-01-01

    Gap-junctional intercellular communication between grafted neural stem cells (NSCs) and host cells seem to be essential for many of the beneficial effects associated with NSC engraftment. Utilizing murine NSCs (mNSCs) grafted into an organotypic ex vivo model system for striatal tissue we examined the prerequisites for formation of gap-junctional couplings between graft and host cells at different time points following implantation. We utilized flow cytometry (to quantify the proportion of connexin (Cx) 26 and 43 expressing cells), immunohistochemistry (for localization of the gap-junctional proteins in graft and host cells), dye-transfer studies with and without pharmacological gap-junctional blockers (assaying the functionality of the formed gap-junctional couplings), and proliferation assays (to estimate the role of gap junctions for NSC well-being) to this end. Immunohistochemical staining and dye-transfer studies revealed that the NSCs already form functional gap junctions prior to engraftment, thereby creating a substrate for subsequent graft and host communication. The expression of Cx43 by grafted NSCs was decreased by neurotrophin-3 overexpression in NSCs and culturing of grafted tissue in serum-free Neurobasal B27 medium. Cx43 expression in NSC-derived cells also changed significantly following engraftment. In host cells the expression of Cx43 peaked following traumatic stimulation and then declined within two weeks, suggesting a window of opportunity for successful host cell rescue by NSC engraftment. Further investigation of the dynamic changes in gap junction expression in graft and host cells and the associated variations in intercellular communication between implanted and endogenous cells might help to understand and control the early positive and negative effects evident following neural stem cell transplantation and thereby optimize the outcome of future clinical NSC transplantation therapies.

  17. Differential expression and localization of four connexins in the ovary of the ayu (Plecoglossus Altivelis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Y.; Yoshizaki, G.; Takeuchi, T.; Soyano, K.; Itoh, F.; Patino, R.

    2007-01-01

    The post-vitellogenic oocytes of teleost fish are generally unresponsive to maturation-inducing hormone (MIH) until a luteinizing hormone (LH) surge stimulates sensitivity via the acquisition of oocyte-maturational competence (OMC). Heterologous gap junctions (GJs) between granulosa cells and the oocyte have been previously implicated in the regulation of oocyte maturation in various vertebrate species. Although heterologous GJ are present in ovarian follicles of ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis), their role in maturation remains unclear. In the present study, we cloned and characterized complementary DNAs for GJ protein connexin (Cx), and examined the expression pattern of Cx messenger RNAs in the ayu ovary. Four Cx cDNAs with predicted molecular masses of 32.1 (Cx32.1), 34.9 (Cx34.9), 44.1 (Cx44.1), and 44.2 (Cx44.2) kDa, respectively, were cloned. Northern blot analysis revealed that the levels of Cx44.1 and Cx44.2 transcripts were similar during the vitellogenic and ovulatory stages. Cx32.1 transcripts were more abundant during the vitellogenic stage, but their levels declined thereafter. Cx34.9 transcript levels increased during the vitellogenic stage and remained high during the acquisition of OMC. In situ hybridization revealed that Cx44.1 and Cx44.2 signals were restricted to the oocyte, whereas the Cx32.1 and Cx34.9 signals were detected in both cellular fractions. Furthermore, a dye-transfer assay revealed the presence of functional GJs between the oocytes and follicle cells. These results suggest that Cx34.9 contributes to the formation of heterologous GJs between oocytes and granulosa cells. Moreover, GJs formed by Cx34.9 may function during the LH-dependent acquisition of OMC and the MIH-dependent resumption of meiosis in ayu. ?? 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Connexin 43-targeted T1 contrast agent for MRI diagnosis of glioma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abakumova, Tatiana; Abakumov, Maxim; Shein, Sergey; Chelushkin, Pavel; Bychkov, Dmitry; Mukhin, Vladimir; Yusubalieva, Gaukhar; Grinenko, Nadezhda; Kabanov, Alexander; Nukolova, Natalia; Chekhonin, Vladimir

    2016-01-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme is the most aggressive form of brain tumor. Early and accurate diagnosis of glioma and its borders is an important step for its successful treatment. One of the promising targets for selective visualization of glioma and its margins is connexin 43 (Cx43), which is highly expressed in reactive astrocytes and migrating glioma cells. The purpose of this study was to synthesize a Gd-based contrast agent conjugated with specific antibodies to Cx43 for efficient visualization of glioma C6 in vivo. We have prepared stable nontoxic conjugates of monoclonal antibody to Cx43 and polylysine-DTPA ligands complexed with Gd(III), which are characterized by higher T1 relaxivity (6.5 mM(-1) s(-1) at 7 T) than the commercial agent Magnevist® (3.4 mM(-1) s(-1)). Cellular uptake of Cx43-specific T1 contrast agent in glioma C6 cells was more than four times higher than the nonspecific IgG-contrast agent, as detected by flow cytometry and confocal analysis. MRI experiments showed that the obtained agents could markedly enhance visualization of glioma C6 in vivo after their intravenous administration. Significant accumulation of Cx43-targeted contrast agents in glioma and the peritumoral zone led not only to enhanced contrast but also to improved detection of the tumor periphery. Fluorescence imaging confirmed notable accumulation of Cx43-specific conjugates in the peritumoral zone compared with nonspecific IgG conjugates at 24 h after intravenous injection. All these features of Cx43-targeted contrast agents might be useful for more precise diagnosis of glioma and its borders by MRI. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  19. Silencing the expression of connexin 43 decreases inflammation and joint destruction in experimental arthritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuchida, Shinji; Arai, Yuji; Kishida, Tsunao; Takahashi, Kenji A; Honjo, Kuniaki; Terauchi, Ryu; Inoue, Hiroaki; Oda, Ryo; Mazda, Osam; Kubo, Toshikazu

    2013-04-01

    The objective of the present study was to determine whether the expression of connexin 43 (Cx43) effected on inflammatory conditions in rat fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) and on rat model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The expression of Cx43 in rat FLS stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was confirmed by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The effects of small-interfering RNA targeting Cx43 (siCx43) on pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokine were assessed by real-time RT-PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The therapeutic and side effects of siCx43 in a rat model of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) were examined by in vivo electroporation method. LPS markedly enhanced Cx43 gene expression in rat FLS, with transfection of siCx43 suppressing the over-expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the chemokine. Treatment of CIA rats with siCx43 significantly ameliorated paw swelling, and significantly reduced histological arthritis scores and radiographic scores. In histological appearance of rat ankle joints, siCx43 treatment significantly decreased the number of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive (osteoclast-like) cells. These findings indicated that siCx43 had anti-inflammatory effects in rat FLS and efficiently inhibited the development of CIA. Cx43 may play an important role in the pathophysiology of RA, and may be a potential target molecule for novel RA therapies. Copyright © 2012 Orthopaedic Research Society.

  20. Three novel GJB2 (connexin 26) variants associated with autosomal dominant syndromic and nonsyndromic hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMille, Desiree; Carlston, Colleen M; Tam, Oliver H; Palumbos, Janice C; Stalker, Heather J; Mao, Rong; Zori, Roberto T; Viskochil, David H; Park, Albert H; Carey, John C

    2018-04-01

    Connexin 26 (Cx26), encoded by the GJB2 gene, is a key protein involved in the formation of gap junctions in epithelial organs including the inner ear and palmoplantar epidermis. Pathogenic variants in GJB2 are responsible for approximately 50% of inherited sensorineural deafness. The majority of these variants are associated with autosomal recessive inheritance; however, rare reports of dominantly co-segregating variants have been published. Since we began offering GJB2 testing in 2003, only about 2% of detected GJB2 variants from our laboratory have been classified as dominant. Here we report three novel dominant GJB2 variants (p.Thr55Ala, p.Gln57_Pro58delinsHisSer, and p.Trp44Gly); two associated with syndromic sensorineural hearing loss and one with nonsyndromic hearing loss. In the kindred with the p.Thr55Ala variant, the proband and his father present with only leukonychia as a cutaneous finding of their syndromic hearing loss. This phenotype has been previously documented in conjunction with palmoplantar hyperkeratosis, but isolated leukonychia is a novel finding likely associated with the unique threonine to alanine change at codon 55 (other variants at this codon have been reported in cases of nonsyndromic hearing loss). This report contributes to the short list of GJB2 variants associated with autosomal dominant hearing loss, highlights the variability of skin and nail findings associated with such cases, and illustrates the occurrence of both syndromic and nonsyndromic presentations with changes in the same gene. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Domain-Specific Partitioning of Uterine Artery Endothelial Connexin43 and Caveolin-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ampey, Bryan C; Morschauser, Timothy J; Ramadoss, Jayanth; Magness, Ronald R

    2016-10-01

    Uterine vascular adaptations facilitate rises in uterine blood flow during pregnancy, which are associated with gap junction connexin (Cx) proteins and endothelial nitric oxide synthase. In uterine artery endothelial cells (UAECs), ATP activates endothelial nitric oxide synthase in a pregnancy (P)-specific manner that is dependent on Cx43 function. Caveolar subcellular domain partitioning plays key roles in ATP-induced endothelial nitric oxide synthase activation and nitric oxide production. Little is known regarding the partitioning of Cx proteins to caveolar domains or their dynamics with ATP treatment. We observed that Cx43-mediated gap junction function with ATP stimulation is associated with Cx43 repartitioning between the noncaveolar and caveolar domains. Compared with UAECs from nonpregnant (NP) ewes, levels of ATP, PGI2, cAMP, NOx, and cGMP were 2-fold higher (PLucifer yellow dye transfer, a response abrogated by Gap27, but not Gap 26, indicating involvement of Cx43, but not Cx37. Confocal microscopy revealed domain partitioning of Cx43 and caveolin-1. In pregnant UAECs, LC/MS/MS analysis revealed only Cx43 in the caveolar domain. In contrast, Cx37 was located only in the noncaveolar pool. Western analysis revealed that ATP increased Cx43 distribution (1.7-fold; P=0.013) to the caveolar domain, but had no effect on Cx37. These data demonstrate rapid ATP-stimulated repartitioning of Cx43 to the caveolae, where endothelial nitric oxide synthase resides and plays an important role in nitric oxide-mediated increasing uterine blood flow during pregnancy. © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.

  2. Localization of connexin 43 gap junctions and hemichannels in tanycytes of adult mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szilvásy-Szabó, Anett; Varga, Edina; Beliczai, Zsuzsa; Lechan, Ronald M; Fekete, Csaba

    2017-10-15

    Tanycytes are specialized glial cells lining the lateral walls and the floor of the third ventricle behind the optic chiasm. In addition to functioning as barrier cells, they also have an important role in the regulation of neuroendocrine axes and energy homeostasis. To determine whether tanycytes communicate with each other via Connexin 43 (Cx43) gap junctions, individual tanycytes were loaded with Lucifer yellow (LY) through a patch pipette. In all cases, LY filled a larger group of tanycytes as well as blood vessels adjacent to tanycyte processes. The Cx43-blocker, carbenoxolone, inhibited spreading of LY. The greatest density of Cx43-immunoreactive spots was observed in the cell membrane of α-tanycyte cell bodies. Cx43-immunoreactivity was also present in the membrane of β-tanycyte cell bodies, but in lower density. Processes of both types of tanycytes also contained Cx43-immunoreactivity. At the ultrastructural level, Cx43-immunoreactivity was present in the cell membrane of all types of tanycytes including their ventricular surface, but gap junctions were more frequent among α-tanycytes. Cx43-immunoreactivity was also observed in the cell membrane between contacting tanycyte endfeet processes, and between tanycyte endfeet process and axon varicosities in the external zone of the median eminence and capillaries in the arcuate nucleus and median eminence. These results suggest that gap junctions are present not only among tanycytes, but also between tanycytes and the axons of hypophysiotropic neurons. Cx43 hemichannels may also facilitate the transport between tanycytes and extracellular fluids, including the cerebrospinal fluid, extracellular space of the median eminence and bloodstream. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Conflicting Roles of Connexin43 in Tumor Invasion and Growth in the Central Nervous System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miaki Uzu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The tumor microenvironment is known to have increased levels of cytokines and metabolites, such as glutamate, due to their release from the surrounding cells. A normal cell around the tumor that responds to the inflammatory environment is likely to be subsequently altered. We discuss how these abnormalities will support tumor survival via the actions of gap junctions (GJs and hemichannels (HCs which are composed of hexamer of connexin43 (Cx43 protein. In particular, we discuss how GJ intercellular communication (GJIC in glioma cells, the primary brain tumor, is a regulatory factor and its attenuation leads to tumor invasion. In contrast, the astrocytes, which are normal cells around the glioma, are “hijacked” by tumor cells, either by receiving the transmission of malignant substances from the cancer cells via GJIC, or perhaps via astrocytic HC activity through the paracrine signaling which enable the delivery of these substances to the distal astrocytes. This astrocytic signaling would promote tumor expansion in the brain. In addition, brain metastasis from peripheral tissues has also been known to be facilitated by GJs formed between cerebral vascular endothelial cells and cancer cells. Astrocytes and microglia are generally thought to eliminate cancer cells at the blood–brain barrier. In contrast, some reports suggest they facilitate tumor progression as tumor cells take advantage of the normal functions of astrocytes that support the survival of the neurons by exchanging nutrients and metabolites. In summary, GJIC is essential for the normal physiological function of growth and allowing the diffusion of physiological substances. Therefore, whether GJIC is cancer promoting or suppressing may be dependent on what permeates through GJs, when it is active, and to which cells. The nature of GJs, which has been ambiguous in brain tumor progression, needs to be revisited and understood together with new findings on Cx proteins and HC

  4. Opening of pannexin and connexin based-channels increases the excitability of nodose ganglion sensory neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauricio Antonio Retamal

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Satellite glial cells (SGCs are the main glia in sensory ganglia. They surround neuronal bodies and form a cap that prevents the formation of chemical or electrical synapses between neighboring neurons. SGCs have been suggested to establish bidirectional paracrine communication with sensory neurons. However, the molecular mechanism involved in this cellular communication is unknown. In the central nervous system, astrocytes present connexin43 (Cx43 hemichannels and pannexin1 (Panx1 channels, and their opening allows the release of signal molecules, such as ATP and glutamate. We propose that these channels could play a role in the glia-neuron communication in sensory ganglia. Therefore, we studied the expression and function of Cx43 and Panx1 in rat and mouse nodose-petrosal-jugular complex (NPJc by confocal immunofluorescence, molecular and electrophysiological techniques. Cx43 and Panx1 were detected in SGCs and sensory neurons, respectively. In the rat and mouse, the electrical activity of vagal nerve increased significantly after nodose neurons were exposed to Ca2+/ Mg2+-free solution, a condition that increases the open probability of Cx hemichannels. This response was partially mimicked by a cell-permeable peptide corresponding to the last 10 amino acids of Cx43 (TAT-Cx43CT. Enhanced neuronal activity was reduced by Cx hemichannel, Panx1 channel and P2X7 receptor blockers. Moreover, the role of Panx1 was confirmed in NPJc, because Panx1 knockout mouse showed a reduced increase of neuronal activity induced by Ca2+/Mg2+-free extracellular conditions. Data suggest that Cx hemichannels and Panx channels serve as paracrine communication pathways between SGCs and neurons by modulating the excitability of sensory neurons.

  5. Histone deacetylase inhibition reduces cardiac Connexin43 expression and gap junction communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qin eXu

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Histone deactylase (HDAC inhibitors are being investigated as novel therapies for cancer, inflammation, neurodegeneration, and heart failure. The effects of HDAC inhibitors on the functional expression of cardiac gap junctions (GJ are essentially unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of trichostatin A (TSA and vorinostat (VOR on functional GJ expression in ventricular cardiomyocytes. The effects of HDAC inhibition on connexin43 (Cx43 expression and functional GJ assembly were examined in primary cultured neonatal mouse ventricular myocytes. TSA and VOR reduced Cx43 mRNA, protein expression, and immunolocalized Cx43 GJ plaque area within ventricular myocyte monolayer cultures in a dose-dependent manner. Chromatin-immunoprecipitation experiments revealed altered protein interactions with the Cx43 promoter. VOR also altered the phosphorylation state of several key regulatory Cx43 phospho-serine sites. Patch clamp analysis revealed reduced electrical coupling between isolated ventricular myocyte pairs, altered transjunctional voltage-dependent inactivation kinetics, and steady state junctional conductance inactivation and recovery relationships. Single GJ channel conductance was reduced to 54 pS only by maximum inhibitory doses of TSA (>= 100 nM. These two hydroxamate pan-HDAC inhibitors exert multiple levels of regulation on ventricular GJ communication by altering Cx43 expression, GJ area, post-translational modifications (e.g. phosphorylation, acetylation, gating, and channel conductance. Although a 50% downregulation of Cx43 GJ communication alone may not be sufficient to slow ventricular conduction or induce arrhythmias, the development of class-selective HDAC inhibitors may help avoid the potential negative cardiovascular effects of pan-HDACI.

  6. Streptozotocin alters glucose transport, connexin expression and endoplasmic reticulum functions in neurons and astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Joyshree; Gupta, Sonam; Verma, Dinesh Kumar; Singh, Sarika

    2017-07-25

    The study was undertaken to explore the cell-specific streptozotocin (STZ)-induced mechanistic alterations. STZ-induced rodent model is a well-established experimental model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in our previous studies we have established it as an in vitro screening model of AD by employing N2A neuronal cells. Therefore, STZ was selected in the present study to understand the STZ-induced cell-specific alterations by utilizing neuronal N2A and astrocytes C6 cells. Both neuronal and astrocyte cells were treated with STZ at 10, 50, 100 and 1000μM concentrations for 48h. STZ exposure caused significant decline in cellular viability and augmented cytotoxicity of cells involving astrocytes activation. STZ treatment also disrupted the energy metabolism by altered glucose uptake and its transport in both cells as reflected with decreased expression of glucose transporters (GLUT) 1/3. The consequent decrease in ATP level and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential was also observed in both the cells. STZ caused increased intracellular calcium which could cause the initiation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Significant upregulation of ER stress-related markers were observed in both cells after STZ treatment. The cellular communication of astrocytes and neurons was altered as reflected by increased expression of connexin 43 along with DNA fragmentation. STZ-induced apoptotic death was evaluated by elevated expression of caspase-3 and PI/Hoechst staining of cells. In conclusion, study showed that STZ exert alike biochemical alterations, ER stress and cellular apoptosis in both neuronal and astrocyte cells. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. The Cx43-like connexin protein Cx40.8 is differentially localized during fin ontogeny and fin regeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah V Gerhart

    Full Text Available Connexins (Cx are the subunits of gap junctions, membraneous protein channels that permit the exchange of small molecules between adjacent cells. Cx43 is required for cell proliferation in the zebrafish caudal fin. Previously, we found that a Cx43-like connexin, cx40.8, is co-expressed with cx43 in the population of proliferating cells during fin regeneration. Here we demonstrate that Cx40.8 exhibits novel differential subcellular localization in vivo, depending on the growth status of the fin. During fin ontogeny, Cx40.8 is found at the plasma membrane, but Cx40.8 is retained in the Golgi apparatus during regeneration. We next identified a 30 amino acid domain of Cx40.8 responsible for its dynamic localization. One possible explanation for the differential localization is that Cx40.8 contributes to the regulation of Cx43 in vivo, perhaps modifying channel activity during ontogenetic growth. However, we find that the voltage-gating properties of Cx40.8 are similar to Cx43. Together our findings reveal that Cx40.8 exhibits differential subcellular localization in vivo, dependent on a discrete domain in its carboxy terminus. We suggest that the dynamic localization of Cx40.8 differentially influences Cx43-dependent cell proliferation during ontogeny and regeneration.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Detailed regulatory mechanism of the interaction between ZO-1 PDZ2 and connexin43 revealed by MD simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Xiao

    Full Text Available The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43 binds to the second PDZ domain of Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1 through its C-terminal tail, mediating the regulation of gap junction plaque size and dynamics. Biochemical study demonstrated that the very C-terminal 12 residues of Cx43 are necessary and sufficient for ZO-1 PDZ2 binding and phosphorylation at residues Ser (-9 and Ser (-10 of the peptide can disrupt the association. However, only a crystal structure of ZO-1 PDZ2 in complex with a shorter 9 aa peptide of connexin43 was solved experimentally. Here, the interactions between ZO-1 PDZ2 and the short, long and phosphorylated Cx43 peptides were studied using molecular dynamics (MD simulations and free energy calculation. The short peptide bound to PDZ2 exhibits large structural variations, while the extension of three upstream residues stabilizes the peptide conformation and enhanced the interaction. Phosphorylation at Ser(-9 significantly weakens the binding and results in conformational flexibility of the peptide. Glu210 of ZO-1 PDZ2 was found to be a key regulatory point in Cx43 binding and phosphorylation induced dissociation.

  11. c-Jun N-terminal kinase mediates AML1-ETO protein-induced connexin-43 expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao Fenghou; Wang Qiong; Wu Yingli; Li Xi; Zhao Kewen; Chen Guoqiang

    2007-01-01

    AML1-ETO fusion protein, a product of leukemia-related chromosomal translocation t(8;21), was reported to upregulate expression of connexin-43 (Cx43), a member of gap junction-constituted connexin family. However, its mechanism(s) remains unclear. By bioinformatic analysis, here we showed that there are two putative AML1-binding consensus sequences followed by two activated protein (AP)1 sites in the 5'-flanking region upstream to Cx43 gene. AML1-ETO could directly bind to these two AML1-binding sites in electrophoretic mobility shift assay, but luciferase reporter assay revealed that the AML1 binding sites were not indispensable for Cx43 induction by AML1-ETO protein. Conversely, AP1 sites exerted an important role in this event. In agreement, AML1-ETO overexpression in leukemic U937 cells activated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), while its specific inhibitor SP600125 effectively abrogated AML1-ETO-induced Cx43 expression, indicating that JNK signaling pathway contributes to AML1-ETO induced Cx43 expression. These results would shed new insights for understanding mechanisms of AML1-ETO-associated leukemogenesis

  12. A novel mutation in the connexin 26 gene (GJB2) in a child with clinical and histological features of keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness (KID) syndrome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Koppelhus, Uffe; Tranebjaerg, L; Esberg, G

    2011-01-01

    Keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness (KID) syndrome is a rare congenital ectodermal disorder, caused by heterozygous missense mutation in GJB2, encoding the gap junction protein connexin 26. The commonest mutation is the p.Asp50Asn mutation, and only a few other mutations have been described to date....

  13. The dynamics of connexin expression, degradation and localisation are regulated by gonadotropins during the early stages of in vitro maturation of swine oocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Santiquet

    Full Text Available Gap junctional communication (GJC plays a primordial role in oocyte maturation and meiotic resumption in mammals by directing the transfer of numerous molecules between cumulus cells and the oocyte. Gap junctions are made of connexins (Cx, proteins that regulate GJC in numerous ways. Understanding the dynamic regulation of connexin arrangements during in vitro maturation (IVM could provide a powerful tool for controlling meiotic resumption and consequently in vitro development of fully competent oocytes. However, physiological events happening during the early hours of IVM may still be elucidated. The present study reports the dynamic regulation of connexin expression, degradation and localization during this stage. Cx43, Cx45 and Cx60 were identified as the main connexins expressed in swine COC. Cx43 and Cx45 transcripts were judged too static to be a regulator of GJC, while Cx43 protein expression was highly responsive to gonadotropins, suggesting that it might be the principal regulator of GJC. In addition, the degradation of Cx43 expressed after 4.5 h of IVM in response to equine chorionic gonadotropin appeared to involve the proteasomal complex. Cx43 localisation appeared to be associated with GJC. Taken together, these results show for the first time that gonadotropins regulate Cx43 protein expression, degradation and localisation in porcine COC during the first several hours of IVM. Regulation of Cx43 may in turn, via GJC, participate in the development of fully competent oocytes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Correlations of differentially expressed gap junction connexins Cx26, Cx30, Cx32, Cx43 and Cx46 with breast cancer progression and prognosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivett Teleki

    Full Text Available Connexins and their cell membrane channels contribute to the control of cell proliferation and compartmental functions in breast glands and their deregulation is linked to breast carcinogenesis. Our aim was to correlate connexin expression with tumor progression and prognosis in primary breast cancers.Meta-analysis of connexin isotype expression data of 1809 and 1899 breast cancers from the Affymetrix and Illumina array platforms, respectively, was performed. Expressed connexins were also monitored at the protein level in tissue microarrays of 127 patients equally representing all tumor grades, using immunofluorescence and multilayer, multichannel digital microscopy. Prognostic correlations were plotted in Kaplan-Meier curves and tested using the log-rank test and cox-regression analysis in univariate and multivariate models.The expression of GJA1/Cx43, GJA3/Cx46 and GJB2/Cx26 and, for the first time, GJA6/Cx30 and GJB1/Cx32 was revealed both in normal human mammary glands and breast carcinomas. Within their subfamilies these connexins can form homo- and heterocellular epithelial channels. In cancer, the array datasets cross-validated each other's prognostic results. In line with the significant correlations found at mRNA level, elevated Cx43 protein levels were linked with significantly improved breast cancer outcome, offering Cx43 protein detection as an independent prognostic marker stronger than vascular invasion or necrosis. As a contrary, elevated Cx30 mRNA and protein levels were associated with a reduced disease outcome offering Cx30 protein detection as an independent prognostic marker outperforming mitotic index and necrosis. Elevated versus low Cx43 protein levels allowed the stratification of grade 2 tumors into good and poor relapse free survival subgroups, respectively. Also, elevated versus low Cx30 levels stratified grade 3 patients into poor and good overall survival subgroups, respectively.Differential expression of Cx43 and Cx

  16. Connexin 43 astrocytopathy linked to rapidly progressive multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katsuhisa Masaki

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS and neuromyelitis optica (NMO occasionally have an extremely aggressive and debilitating disease course; however, its molecular basis is unknown. This study aimed to determine a relationship between connexin (Cx pathology and disease aggressiveness in Asian patients with MS and NMO. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Samples included 11 autopsied cases with NMO and NMO spectrum disorder (NMOSD, six with MS, and 20 with other neurological diseases (OND. Methods of analysis included immunohistochemical expression of astrocytic Cx43/Cx30, oligodendrocytic Cx47/Cx32 relative to AQP4 and other astrocytic and oligodendrocytic proteins, extent of demyelination, the vasculocentric deposition of complement and immunoglobulin, and lesion staging by CD68 staining for macrophages. Lesions were classified as actively demyelinating (n=59, chronic active (n=58 and chronic inactive (n=23. Sera from 120 subjects including 30 MS, 30 NMO, 40 OND and 20 healthy controls were examined for anti-Cx43 antibody by cell-based assay. Six NMO/NMOSD and three MS cases showed preferential loss of astrocytic Cx43 beyond the demyelinated areas in actively demyelinating and chronic active lesions, where heterotypic Cx43/Cx47 astrocyte oligodendrocyte gap junctions were extensively lost. Cx43 loss was significantly associated with a rapidly progressive disease course as six of nine cases with Cx43 loss, but none of eight cases without Cx43 loss regardless of disease phenotype, died within two years after disease onset (66.7% vs. 0%, P=0.0090. Overall, five of nine cases with Cx43 loss and none of eight cases without Cx43 loss had distal oligodendrogliopathy characterized by selective myelin associated glycoprotein loss (55.6% vs. 0.0%, P=0.0296. Loss of oligodendrocytic Cx32 and Cx47 expression was observed in most active and chronic lesions from all MS and NMO/NMOSD cases. Cx43-specific antibodies were absent in NMO/NMOSD and MS patients. CONCLUSIONS

  17. The potential prognostic value of connexin 26 and 46 expression in neoadjuvant-treated breast cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teleki Ivett

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Several classification systems are available to assess pathological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer, but reliable biomarkers to predict the efficiency of primary systemic therapy (PST are still missing. Deregulation of gap junction channel forming connexins (Cx has been implicated in carcinogenesis and tumour progression through loss of cell cycle control. In this study we correlated Cx expression and cell proliferation with disease survival and pathological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancers using existing classification systems. Methods The expression of Cx26, Cx32, Cx43, Cx46 and Ki67 was evaluated in 96 breast cancer patients prior to and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy using duplicate cores in tissue microarrays (TMA. Cx plaques of Results In our cohort dominated by hormone receptor (ER/PR positive and HER2 negative cases, only the CPS-EG classification showed prognostic relevance: cases with scores 1–2 had significantly better overall survival (p=0.015 than cases with scores 3–5. Pre-chemotherapy Cx43 expression correlated positively with hormone receptor status both before and after chemotherapy and had a negative correlation with HER2 expression pre-chemotherapy. There was a positive correlation between Cx32 and HER2 expression pre-chemotherapy and between Cx32 and Ki67 expression post-chemotherapy. A negative correlation was found between post-chemotherapy Cx46 and Ki67 expression. Decreased post-chemotherapy Cx26 expression (20% pre- and post-chemotherapy correlated with significantly better survival in the intermediate prognostic subgroups of EWGBSP TR2b (ppre-chemo=0.006; Sataloff TB (ppre-chemo=0.005; ppost-chemo=0.029 and in Miller-Payne G3 (ppre-chemo=0.002; ppost-chemo=0.012 classifications. Pre-chemotherapy, Cx46 expression was the only marker that correlated with overall survival within these subgroups. Conclusion Our results suggest that Cx46 and Cx26 expression

  18. The potential prognostic value of connexin 26 and 46 expression in neoadjuvant-treated breast cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teleki, Ivett; Varga, Zsuzsanna; Krenacs, Tibor; Szasz, Marcell A; Kulka, Janina; Wichmann, Barna; Leo, Cornelia; Papassotiropoulos, Barbel; Riemenschnitter, Cosima; Moch, Holger

    2013-01-01

    Several classification systems are available to assess pathological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer, but reliable biomarkers to predict the efficiency of primary systemic therapy (PST) are still missing. Deregulation of gap junction channel forming connexins (Cx) has been implicated in carcinogenesis and tumour progression through loss of cell cycle control. In this study we correlated Cx expression and cell proliferation with disease survival and pathological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancers using existing classification systems. The expression of Cx26, Cx32, Cx43, Cx46 and Ki67 was evaluated in 96 breast cancer patients prior to and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy using duplicate cores in tissue microarrays (TMA). Cx plaques of <1μm were detected with multilayer, multichannel fluorescence digital microscopy. Current classifications to assess residual tumour burden after primary systemic therapy included the EWGBSP, CPS-EG, Miller-Payne, Sataloff and NSABP systems. In our cohort dominated by hormone receptor (ER/PR) positive and HER2 negative cases, only the CPS-EG classification showed prognostic relevance: cases with scores 1–2 had significantly better overall survival (p=0.015) than cases with scores 3–5. Pre-chemotherapy Cx43 expression correlated positively with hormone receptor status both before and after chemotherapy and had a negative correlation with HER2 expression pre-chemotherapy. There was a positive correlation between Cx32 and HER2 expression pre-chemotherapy and between Cx32 and Ki67 expression post-chemotherapy. A negative correlation was found between post-chemotherapy Cx46 and Ki67 expression. Decreased post-chemotherapy Cx26 expression (<5%) statistically correlated with better overall survival (p=0.011). Moderate or higher Cx46 expression (>20%) pre- and post-chemotherapy correlated with significantly better survival in the intermediate prognostic subgroups of EWGBSP TR2b (p pre-chemo =0

  19. Novel Functional Role of Heat Shock Protein 90 in Mitochondrial Connexin 43-Mediated Hypoxic Postconditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rong-Hui Tu

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Previous studies have shown that heat shock protein 90 (HSP90-mediated mitochondrial import of connexin 43 (Cx43 is critical in preconditioning cardioprotection. The present study was designed to test whether postconditioning has the same effect as preconditioning in promoting Cx43 translocation to mitochondria and whether mitochondrial HSP90 modulates this effect. Methods: Cellular models of hypoxic postconditioning (HPC from rat heart-derived H9c2 cells and neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were employed. The effects of HPC on cardiomyocytes apoptosis were examined by flow cytometry and Hoechst 33342 fluorescent staining. Reactive oxidative species (ROS production was assessed with the peroxide-sensitive fluorescent probe 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescin in diacetate (DCFH-DA. The anti- and pro-apoptotic markers Bcl-2 and Bax, HSP90 and Cx43 protein levels were studied by Western blot analysis in total cell homogenate and sarcolemmal and mitochondrial fractions. The effects on HPC of the HSP90 inhibitor geldanamycin (GA, ROS scavengers superoxide dismutase (SOD and catalase (CAT, and small interfering RNA (siRNA targeting Cx43 and HSP90 were also investigated. Results: HPC significantly reduced hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis. These beneficial effects were accompanied by an increase in Bcl-2 levels and a decrease in Bax levels in both sarcolemmal and mitochondrial fractions. HPC with siRNA targeting Cx43 or the ROS scavengers SOD plus CAT significantly prevented ROS generation and HPC cardioprotection, but HPC with either SOD or CAT did not. These data strongly supported the involvement of Cx43 in HPC cardioprotection, likely via modulation of the ROS balance which plays a central role in HPC protection. Furthermore, HPC increased total and mitochondrial levels of HSP90 and the mitochondria-to-sarcolemma ratio of Cx43; blocking the function of HSP90 with the HSP90 inhibitor geldanamycin (GA or siRNA targeting

  20. Regulatory effect of connexin 43 on basal Ca2+ signaling in rat ventricular myocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It has been found that gap junction-associated intracellular Ca(2+ [Ca(2+](i disturbance contributes to the arrhythmogenesis and hyperconstriction in diseased heart. However, whether functional gaps are also involved in the regulation of normal Ca(2+ signaling, in particular the basal [Ca(2+](i activities, is unclear. METHODS AND RESULTS: Global and local Ca(2+ signaling and gap permeability were monitored in cultured neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs and freshly isolated mouse ventricular myocytes by Fluo4/AM and Lucifer yellow (LY, respectively. The results showed that inhibition of gap communication by heptanol, Gap 27 and flufenamic acid or interference of connexin 43 (Cx43 with siRNA led to a significant suppression of LY uptake and, importantly, attenuations of global Ca(2+ transients and local Ca(2+ sparks in monolayer NRVMs and Ca(2+ sparks in adult ventricular myocytes. In contrast, overexpression of rat-Cx43 in NRVMs induced enhancements in the above measurements, and so did in HEK293 cells expressing rat Cx43. Additionally, membrane-permeable inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3 butyryloxymethyl ester and phenylephrine, an agonist of adrenergic receptor, could relieve the inhibited Ca(2+ signal and LY uptake by gap uncouplers, whereas blockade of IP(3 receptor with xestospongin C or 2-aminoethoxydiphenylborate mimicked the effects of gap inhibitors. More importantly, all these gap-associated effects on Ca(2+ signaling were also found in single NRVMs that only have hemichannels instead of gap junctions. Further immunostaining/immunoblotting single myocytes with antibody against Cx43 demonstrated apparent increases in membrane labeling of Cx43 and non-junctional Cx43 in overexpressed cells, suggesting functional hemichannels exist and also contribute to the Ca(2+ signaling regulation in cardiomyocytes. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that Cx43-associated gap coupling plays a role in the regulation of resting Ca(2

  1. Cytotoxic effect of the Her-2/Her-1 inhibitor PKI-166 on renal cancer cells expressing the connexin 32 gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujimoto, Eriko; Yano, Tomohiro; Sato, Hiromi; Hagiwara, Kiyokazu; Yamasaki, Hiroshi; Shirai, Sumiko; Fukumoto, Keiko; Hagiwara, Hiromi; Negishi, Etsuko; Ueno, Koichi

    2005-02-01

    We have reported that connexin (Cx) 32 acts as a tumor suppressor gene in renal cancer cells partly due to Her-2 inactivation. Here, we determined if a Her-2/Her-1 inhibitor (PKI-166) can enhance the tumor-suppressive effect of Cx32 in Caki-2 cells from human renal cell carcinoma. The expression of Cx32 in Caki-2 cells was required for PKI-166-induced cytotoxic effect at lower doses. The cyctotoxicity was dependent on the occurrence of apoptosis and partly mediated by Cx32-driven gap junction intercellular communications. These results suggest that PKI-166 further supports the tumor-suppressive effect of the Cx32 gene in renal cancer cells through the induction of apoptosis.

  2. Laminin-332 alters connexin profile, dye coupling and intercellular Ca2+ waves in ciliated tracheal epithelial cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olsen Colin E

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tracheal epithelial cells are anchored to a dynamic basement membrane that contains a variety of extracellular matrix proteins including collagens and laminins. During development, wound repair and disease of the airway epithelium, significant changes in extracellular matrix proteins may directly affect cell migration, differentiation and events mediated by intercellular communication. We hypothesized that alterations in cell matrix, specifically type I collagen and laminin α3β3γ2 (LM-332 proteins within the matrix, directly affect intercellular communication in ciliated rabbit tracheal epithelial cells (RTEC. Methods Functional coupling of RTEC was monitored by microinjection of the negatively charged fluorescent dyes, Lucifer Yellow and Alexa 350, into ciliated RTEC grown on either a LM-332/collagen or collagen matrix. Coupling of physiologically significant molecules was evaluated by the mechanism and extent of propagated intercellular Ca2+ waves. Expression of connexin (Cx mRNA and proteins were assayed by reverse transcriptase – polymerase chain reaction and immunocytochemistry, respectively. Results When compared to RTEC grown on collagen alone, RTEC grown on LM-332/collagen displayed a significant increase in dye transfer. Although mechanical stimulation of RTEC grown on either LM-332/collagen or collagen alone resulted in intercellular Ca2+ waves, the mechanism of transfer was dependent on matrix: RTEC grown on LM-332/collagen propagated Ca2+waves via extracellular purinergic signaling whereas RTEC grown on collagen used gap junctions. Comparison of RTEC grown on collagen or LM-332/collagen matrices revealed a reorganization of Cx26, Cx43 and Cx46 proteins. Conclusion Alterations in airway basement membrane proteins such as LM-332 can induce connexin reorganizations and result in altered cellular communication mechanisms that could contribute to airway tissue function.

  3. THE FEATURES OF CONNEXINS EXPRESSION IN THE CELLS OF NEUROVASCLAR UNIT IN NORMAL CONDITIONS AND HYPOXIA IN VITRO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. V. Morgun

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this research was to assess a role of connexin 43 (Cx43 and associated molecule CD38 in the regulation of cell-cell interactions in the neurovascular unit (NVU in vitro in physiological conditions and in hypoxia.Materials and methods. The study was done using the original neurovascular unit model in vitro. The NVU consisted of three cell types: neurons, astrocytes, and cerebral endothelial cells derived from rats. Hypoxia was induced by incubating cells with sodium iodoacetate for 30 min at37 °C in standard culture conditions.Results. We investigated the role of connexin 43 in the regulation of cell interactions within the NVU in normal and hypoxic injury in vitro. We found that astrocytes were characterized by high levels of expression of Cx43 and low level of CD38 expression, neurons demonstrated high levels of CD38 and low levels of Cx43. In hypoxic conditions, the expression of Cx43 and CD38 in astrocytes markedly increased while CD38 expression in neurons decreased, however no changes were found in endothelial cells. Suppression of Cx43 activity resulted in down-regulation of CD38 in NVU cells, both in physiological conditions and at chemical hypoxia.Conclusion. Thus, the Cx-regulated intercellular NAD+-dependent communication and secretory phenotype of astroglial cells that are the part of the blood-brain barrier is markedly changed in hypoxia.

  4. Prolongation of atrio-ventricular node conduction in a rabbit model of ischaemic cardiomyopathy: Role of fibrosis and connexin remodelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nisbet, Ashley M; Camelliti, Patrizia; Walker, Nicola L; Burton, Francis L; Cobbe, Stuart M; Kohl, Peter; Smith, Godfrey L

    2016-05-01

    Conduction abnormalities are frequently associated with cardiac disease, though the mechanisms underlying the commonly associated increases in PQ interval are not known. This study uses a chronic left ventricular (LV) apex myocardial infarction (MI) model in the rabbit to create significant left ventricular dysfunction (LVD) 8weeks post-MI. In vivo studies established that the PQ interval increases by approximately 7ms (10%) with no significant change in average heart rate. Optical mapping of isolated Langendorff perfused rabbit hearts recapitulated this result: time to earliest activation of the LV was increased by 14ms (16%) in the LVD group. Intra-atrial and LV transmural conduction times were not altered in the LVD group. Isolated AVN preparations from the LVD group demonstrated a significantly longer conduction time (by approximately 20ms) between atrial and His electrograms than sham controls across a range of pacing cycle lengths. This difference was accompanied by increased effective refractory period and Wenckebach cycle length, suggesting significantly altered AVN electrophysiology post-MI. The AVN origin of abnormality was further highlighted by optical mapping of the isolated AVN. Immunohistochemistry of AVN preparations revealed increased fibrosis and gap junction protein (connexin43 and 40) remodelling in the AVN of LVD animals compared to sham. A significant increase in myocyte-non-myocyte connexin co-localization was also observed after LVD. These changes may increase the electrotonic load experienced by AVN muscle cells and contribute to slowed conduction velocity within the AVN. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  5. Gestational Protein Restriction Increases Cardiac Connexin 43 mRNA levels in male adult rat offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossini, Kamila Fernanda; Oliveira, Camila Andrea de; Rebelato, Hércules Jonas; Esquisatto, Marcelo Augusto Marreto; Catisti, Rosana

    2017-07-01

    The dietary limitation during pregnancy influences the growth and development of the fetus and offspring and their health into adult life. The mechanisms underlying the adverse effects of gestational protein restriction (GPR) in the development of the offspring hearts are not well understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of GPR on cardiac structure in male rat offspring at day 60 after birth (d60). Pregnant Wistar rats were fed a normal-protein (NP, 17% casein) or low-protein (LP, 6% casein) diet. Blood pressure (BP) values from 60-day-old male offspring were measured by an indirect tail-cuff method using an electro sphygmomanometer. Hearts (d60) were collected for assessment of connexin 43 (Cx43) mRNA expression and morphological and morphometric analysis. LP offspring showed no difference in body weight, although they were born lighter than NP offspring. BP levels were significantly higher in the LP group. We observed a significant increase in the area occupied by collagen fibers, a decrease in the number of cardiomyocytes by 104 µm2, and an increase in cardiomyocyte area associated with an increased Cx43 expression. GPR changes myocardial levels of Cx43 mRNA in male young adult rats, suggesting that this mechanism aims to compensate the fibrotic process by the accumulation of collagen fibers in the heart interstitium. A limitação dietética durante a gravidez influencia o crescimento e desenvolvimento do feto e da prole e sua saúde na vida adulta. Os mecanismos subjacentes dos efeitos adversos da restrição proteica gestacional (RPG) no desenvolvimento dos corações da prole não são bem compreendidos. Avaliar os efeitos da RPG sobre a estrutura cardíaca em filhotes machos de ratas aos 60 dias após o nascimento (d60). Ratos fêmeas Wistar grávidas foram alimentadas com uma dieta de proteína normal (PN, 17% caseína) ou de baixa proteína (BP, caseína 6%). Os valores de pressão arterial (PA) de descendentes do sexo masculino de

  6. Down-regulation of Connexin43 expression reveals the involvement of caveolin-1 containing lipid rafts in human U251 glioblastoma cell invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strale, Pierre-Olivier; Clarhaut, Jonathan; Lamiche, Coralie; Cronier, Laurent; Mesnil, Marc; Defamie, Norah

    2012-11-01

    Glioblastoma cells are characterized by high proliferation and invasive capacities. Tumor development has been associated with a decrease of gap-junctional intercellular communication, but the concrete involvement of gap junction proteins, connexins, remains elusive since they are also suspected to promote cell invasion. In order to better understand how connexins control the glioma cell phenotype, we studied the consequences of inhibiting the intrinsic expression of the major astrocytic connexin, Connexin43, in human U251 glioblastoma cells by the shRNA strategy. The induced down-regulation of Cx43 expression has various effects on the U251 cells such as increased clonogenicity, angiogenesis and decreased adhesion on specific extracellular matrix proteins. We demonstrate that the invasion capacity measured in vitro and ex vivo correlates with Cx43 expression level. For the first time in a cancer cell context, our work demonstrates that Cx43 cofractionates, colocalizes and coimmunoprecipitates with a lipid raft marker, caveolin-1 and that this interaction is inversely correlated to the level of Cx43. This localization of Cx43 in these lipid raft microdomains regulates both homo- and heterocellular gap junctional communications (respectively between U251 cells, or between U251 cells and astrocytes). Moreover, the adhesive and invasive capacities are not dependent, in our model, on Cav-1 expression level. Our results tend to show that heterocellular gap junctional communication between cancer and stroma cells may affect the behavior of the tumor cells. Altogether, our data demonstrate that Cx43 controls the tumor phenotype of glioblastoma U251 cells and in particular, invasion capacity, through its localization in lipid rafts containing Cav-1. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Changes in Expression of Connexin 32, Bile Canaliculus-Like Structures, and Localization of Alkaline Phosphatase in Primary Cultures of Fetal Rat Hepatocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fukazawa, Shoko; Chida, Kohsuke; Taguchi, Meiko; Takeuchi, Akihiro; Ikeda, Noriaki

    2013-01-01

    We devised an experimental design in primary cultures of fetal rat hepatocytes for studying hepatocyte differentiation over a short period. In the present study, hepatocytes were first cultured for 3 days in dexamethasone-supplemented medium and then for an additional 3 days in dexamethasone- or epidermal growth factor-supplemented medium. In hepatocytes cultured continuously in dexamethasone-supplemented medium, the expression of connexin 32 increased and bile canaliculus-like structures and localization of alkaline phosphatase in the plasma membrane around bile canaliculus-like structures were maintained. Few cells incorporated bromodeoxyuridine. On the other hand, in most of the hepatocytes cultured in epidermal growth factor-supplemented medium, the expression of connexin 32 was minimally recognized, bile canaliculus-like structures were shortened or eliminated, and alkaline phosphatase was localized as numerous fine spots throughout the cytoplasm. More than 20% of all hepatocytes incorporated bromodeoxyuridine. The present study suggests that in hepatocytes, there is a close relationship among connexin 32 expression, the maintenance of bile canaliculus-like structures, and the localization of alkaline phosphatase to the plasma membrane around the bile canaliculus-like structures, and this indicates that the present experimental model is useful for studying hepatocyte differentiation over a short period

  8. Disruption in connexin-based communication is associated with intracellular Ca²⁺ signal alterations in astrocytes from Niemann-Pick type C mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo J Sáez

    Full Text Available Reduced astrocytic gap junctional communication and enhanced hemichannel activity were recently shown to increase astroglial and neuronal vulnerability to neuroinflammation. Moreover, increasing evidence suggests that neuroinflammation plays a pivotal role in the development of Niemann-Pick type C (NPC disease, an autosomal lethal neurodegenerative disorder that is mainly caused by mutations in the NPC1 gene. Therefore, we investigated whether the lack of NPC1 expression in murine astrocytes affects the functional state of gap junction channels and hemichannels. Cultured cortical astrocytes of NPC1 knock-out mice (Npc1⁻/⁻ showed reduced intercellular communication via gap junctions and increased hemichannel activity. Similarly, astrocytes of newborn Npc1⁻/⁻ hippocampal slices presented high hemichannel activity, which was completely abrogated by connexin 43 hemichannel blockers and was resistant to inhibitors of pannexin 1 hemichannels. Npc1⁻/⁻ astrocytes also showed more intracellular Ca²⁺ signal oscillations mediated by functional connexin 43 hemichannels and P2Y₁ receptors. Therefore, Npc1⁻/⁻ astrocytes present features of connexin based channels compatible with those of reactive astrocytes and hemichannels might be a novel therapeutic target to reduce neuroinflammation in NPC disease.

  9. Structure-Function Correlation Analysis of Connexin50 Missense Mutations Causing Congenital Cataract: Electrostatic Potential Alteration Could Determine Intracellular Trafficking Fate of Mutants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devroop Sarkar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Connexin50 (Cx50 mutations are reported to cause congenital cataract probably through the disruption of intercellular transport in the lens. Cx50 mutants that undergo mistrafficking have generally been associated with failure to form functional gap junction channels; however, sometimes even properly trafficked mutants were found to undergo similar consequences. We hereby wanted to elucidate any structural bases of the varied functional consequences of Cx50 missense mutations through in silico approach. Computational studies have been done based on a Cx50 homology model to assess conservation, solvent accessibility, and 3-dimensional localization of mutated residues as well as mutation-induced changes in surface electrostatic potential, H-bonding, and steric clash. This was supplemented with meta-analysis of published literature on the functional properties of connexin missense mutations. Analyses revealed that the mutation-induced critical alterations of surface electrostatic potential in Cx50 mutants could determine their fate in intracellular trafficking. A similar pattern was observed in case of mutations involving corresponding conserved residues in other connexins also. Based on these results the trafficking fates of 10 uncharacterized Cx50 mutations have been predicted. Further experimental analyses are needed to validate the observed correlation.

  10. Disruption in connexin-based communication is associated with intracellular Ca²⁺ signal alterations in astrocytes from Niemann-Pick type C mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sáez, Pablo J; Orellana, Juan A; Vega-Riveros, Natalia; Figueroa, Vania A; Hernández, Diego E; Castro, Juan F; Klein, Andrés D; Jiang, Jean X; Zanlungo, Silvana; Sáez, Juan C

    2013-01-01

    Reduced astrocytic gap junctional communication and enhanced hemichannel activity were recently shown to increase astroglial and neuronal vulnerability to neuroinflammation. Moreover, increasing evidence suggests that neuroinflammation plays a pivotal role in the development of Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease, an autosomal lethal neurodegenerative disorder that is mainly caused by mutations in the NPC1 gene. Therefore, we investigated whether the lack of NPC1 expression in murine astrocytes affects the functional state of gap junction channels and hemichannels. Cultured cortical astrocytes of NPC1 knock-out mice (Npc1⁻/⁻) showed reduced intercellular communication via gap junctions and increased hemichannel activity. Similarly, astrocytes of newborn Npc1⁻/⁻ hippocampal slices presented high hemichannel activity, which was completely abrogated by connexin 43 hemichannel blockers and was resistant to inhibitors of pannexin 1 hemichannels. Npc1⁻/⁻ astrocytes also showed more intracellular Ca²⁺ signal oscillations mediated by functional connexin 43 hemichannels and P2Y₁ receptors. Therefore, Npc1⁻/⁻ astrocytes present features of connexin based channels compatible with those of reactive astrocytes and hemichannels might be a novel therapeutic target to reduce neuroinflammation in NPC disease.

  11. Connexin 43 reboots meiosis and reseals blood-testis barrier following toxicant-mediated aspermatogenesis and barrier disruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Nan; Mruk, Dolores D; Mok, Ka-Wai; Li, Michelle W M; Wong, Chris K C; Lee, Will M; Han, Daishu; Silvestrini, Bruno; Cheng, C Yan

    2016-04-01

    Earlier studies have shown that rats treated with an acute dose of 1-(2,4-dichlorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carbohydrazide (adjudin, a male contraceptive under development) causes permanent infertility due to irreversible blood-testis barrier (BTB) disruption even though the population of undifferentiated spermatogonia remains similar to normal rat testes, because spermatogonia fail to differentiate into spermatocytes to enter meiosis. Since other studies have illustrated the significance of connexin 43 (Cx43)-based gap junction in maintaining the homeostasis of BTB in the rat testis and the phenotypes of Sertoli cell-conditional Cx43 knockout mice share many of the similarities of the adjudin-treated rats, we sought to examine if overexpression of Cx43 in these adjudin-treated rats would reseal the disrupted BTB and reinitiate spermatogenesis. A full-length Cx43 cloned into mammalian expression vector pCI-neo was used to transfect testes of adjudin-treated ratsversusempty vector. It was found that overexpression of Cx43 indeed resealed the Sertoli cell tight junction-permeability barrier based on a functionalin vivoassay in tubules displaying signs of meiosis as noted by the presence of round spermatids. Thus, these findings suggest that overexpression of Cx43 reinitiated spermatogenesis at least through the steps of meiosis to generate round spermatids in testes of rats treated with an acute dose of adjudin that led to aspermatogenesis. It was also noted that the round spermatids underwent eventual degeneration with the formation of multinucleated cells following Cx43 overexpression due to the failure of spermiogenesis because no elongating/elongated spermatids were detected in any of the tubules examined. The mechanism by which overexpression of Cx43 reboots meiosis and rescues BTB function was also examined. In summary, overexpression of Cx43 in the testis with aspermatogenesis reboots meiosis and reseals toxicant-induced BTB disruption, even though it fails to

  12. Phosphorylation of connexin43 on S279/282 may contribute to laminopathy-associated conduction defects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Steven C., E-mail: bug@uw.edu [Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), Public Health Sciences Division, 1100 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109 (United States); University of Washington Department of Biochemistry, 1959 NE Pacific St., Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Kennedy, Brian K., E-mail: bkennedy@buckinstitute.org [University of Washington Department of Biochemistry, 1959 NE Pacific St., Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Buck Institute for Research on Aging, 8001 Redwood Boulevard, Novato, CA 94945 (United States); Lampe, Paul D., E-mail: plampe@fhcrc.org [Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), Public Health Sciences Division, 1100 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109 (United States)

    2013-04-01

    An understanding of the molecular mechanism behind the arrhythmic phenotype associated with laminopathies has yet to emerge. A-type lamins have been shown to interact and sequester activated phospho-ERK1/2(pERK1/2) at the nucleus. The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) can be phosphorylated by pERK1/2 on S279/282 (pS279/282), inhibiting intercellular communication. We hypothesized that without A-type lamins, pS279/282 Cx43 will increase due to inappropriate phosphorylation by pERK1/2, resulting in decreased gap junction function. We observed a 1.6-fold increase in pS279/282 Cx43 levels in Lmna{sup −/−} mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) compared to Lmna{sup +/+}, and 1.8-fold more pERK1/2 co-precipitated from Lmna{sup −/−} MEFs with Cx43 antibodies. We found a 3-fold increase in the fraction of non-nuclear pERK1/2 and a concomitant 2-fold increase in the fraction of pS279/282 Cx43 in Lmna{sup −/−} MEFs by immunofluorescence. In an assay of gap junctional function, Lmna{sup −/−} MEFs transferred dye to 60% fewer partners compared to Lmna{sup +/+} controls. These results are mirrored in 5–6 week-old Lmna{sup −/−} mice compared to their Lmna{sup +/+} littermates as we detect increased pS279/282 Cx43 in gap junctions by immunofluorescence and 1.7-fold increased levels by immunoblot. We conclude that increased pS279/282 Cx43 in the Lmna{sup −/−} background results in decreased cell communication and may contribute to the arrhythmic pathology in vivo. - Highlights: ► Connexin43 phosphorylation plays a role in laminopathy-associated conduction defects. ► Loss of A-type lamin activity results in release of pERK1/2 from the nucleus. ► Increased cytoplasmic localization of pERK1/2 acts to phosphorylate S279/282 of Cx43. ► Phosphorylation of S279/282 on Cx43 decreases gap junction activity in cell culture. ► Mice lacking A-type lamins have increased phosphorylation on S279/282 of Cx43.

  13. Rescue of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS)-mediated Sertoli cell injury by overexpression of gap junction protein connexin 43

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Release of gliotransmitters through astroglial connexin 43 hemichannels is necessary for fear memory consolidation in the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stehberg, Jimmy; Moraga-Amaro, Rodrigo; Salazar, Christian; Becerra, Alvaro; Echeverría, Cesar; Orellana, Juan A; Bultynck, Geert; Ponsaerts, Raf; Leybaert, Luc; Simon, Felipe; Sáez, Juan C; Retamal, Mauricio A

    2012-09-01

    Recent in vitro evidence indicates that astrocytes can modulate synaptic plasticity by releasing neuroactive substances (gliotransmitters). However, whether gliotransmitter release from astrocytes is necessary for higher brain function in vivo, particularly for memory, as well as the contribution of connexin (Cx) hemichannels to gliotransmitter release, remain elusive. Here, we microinfused into the rat basolateral amygdala (BLA) TAT-Cx43L2, a peptide that selectively inhibits Cx43-hemichannel opening while maintaining synaptic transmission or interastrocyte gap junctional communication. In vivo blockade of Cx43 hemichannels during memory consolidation induced amnesia for auditory fear conditioning, as assessed 24 h after training, without affecting short-term memory, locomotion, or shock reactivity. The amnesic effect was transitory, specific for memory consolidation, and was confirmed after microinfusion of Gap27, another Cx43-hemichannel blocker. Learning capacity was recovered after coinfusion of TAT-Cx43L2 and a mixture of putative gliotransmitters (glutamate, glutamine, lactate, d-serine, glycine, and ATP). We propose that gliotransmitter release from astrocytes through Cx43 hemichannels is necessary for fear memory consolidation at the BLA. Thus, the present study is the first to demonstrate a physiological role for astroglial Cx43 hemichannels in brain function, making these channels a novel pharmacological target for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

  15. Role of connexin43 and ATP in long-range bystander radiation damage and oncogenesis in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancuso, M; Pasquali, E; Leonardi, S; Rebessi, S; Tanori, M; Giardullo, P; Borra, F; Pazzaglia, S; Naus, C C; Di Majo, V; Saran, A

    2011-11-10

    Ionizing radiation is a genotoxic agent and human carcinogen. Recent work has questioned long-held dogmas by showing that cancer-associated genetic alterations occur in cells and tissues not directly exposed to radiation, questioning the robustness of the current system of radiation risk assessment. In vitro, diverse mechanisms involving secreted soluble factors, gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) and oxidative metabolism are proposed to mediate these indirect effects. In vivo, the mechanisms behind long-range 'bystander' responses remain largely unknown. Here, we investigate the role of GJIC in propagating radiation stress signals in vivo, and in mediating radiation-associated bystander tumorigenesis in mouse central nervous system using a mouse model in which intercellular communication is downregulated by targeted deletion of the connexin43 (Cx43) gene. We show that GJIC is critical for transmission of oncogenic radiation damage to the non-targeted cerebellum, and that a mechanism involving adenosine triphosphate release and upregulation of Cx43, the major GJIC constituent, regulates transduction of oncogenic damage to unirradiated tissues in vivo. Our data provide a novel hypothesis for transduction of distant bystander effects and suggest that the highly branched nervous system, similar to the vascular network, has an important role.

  16. Mechanism of Mitochondrial Connexin43′s Protection of the Neurovascular Unit under Acute Cerebral Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuai Hou

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available We observed mitochondrial connexin43 (mtCx43 expression under cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (I/R injury, analyzed its regulation, and explored its protective mechanisms. Wistar rats were divided into groups based on injections received before middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO. Cerebral infarction volume was detected by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolim chloride staining, and cell apoptosis was observed by transferase dUTP nick end labeling. We used transmission electron microscopy to observe mitochondrial morphology and determined superoxide dismutase (SOD activity and malondialdehyde (MDA content. MtCx43, p-mtCx43, protein kinase C (PKC, and p-PKC expression were detected by Western blot. Compared with those in the IR group, cerebral infarction volumes in the carbenoxolone (CBX and diazoxide (DZX groups were obviously smaller, and the apoptosis indices were down-regulated. Mitochondrial morphology was damaged after I/R, especially in the IR and 5-hydroxydecanoic acid (5-HD groups. Similarly, decreased SOD activity and increased MDA were observed after MCAO; CBX, DZX, and phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA reduced mitochondrial functional injury. Expression of mtCx43 and p-mtCx43 and the p-Cx43/Cx43 ratio were significantly lower in the IR group than in the sham group. These abnormalities were ameliorated by CBX, DZX, and PMA. MtCx43 may protect the neurovascular unit from acute cerebral IR injury via PKC activation induced by mitoKATP channel agonists.

  17. The oligodendroglial precursor cell line Oli-neu represents a cell culture system to examine functional expression of the mouse gap junction gene connexin29 (Cx29

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goran Christoph Söhl

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The potential gap junction forming mouse connexin29 (Cx29 protein is concomitantly expressed with connexin32 (Cx32 in peripheral myelin forming Schwann cells and together with both Cx32 and connexin47 (Cx47 in oligodendrocytes of the CNS. To study the genomic structure and functional expression of Cx29, either primary cells or cell culture systems might be selected, from which the latter are easier to cultivate. Both structure and expression of Cx29 is still not fully understood. In the mouse sciatic nerve, brain and the oligodendroglial precursor cell line Oli-neu the Cx29 gene is processed in two transcript isoforms both harbouring a unique reading frame. In contrast to Cx32 and Cx47, only Cx29 protein is abundantly expressed in undifferentiated as well as differentiated Oli-neu cells but the absence of Etbr dye transfer after microinjection concealed the function of Cx29 mediated gap junction communication between those cells. Although HeLa cells stably transfected with Cx29 or Cx29-eGFP neither demonstrated any permeability for Lucifer yellow nor for neurobiotin, blocking of Etbr uptake from the media by gap junction blockers does suppose a role of Cx29 in hemi-channel function. Thus, we conclude that, due to its high abundance of Cx29 expression and its reproducible culture conditions, the oligodendroglial precursor cell line Oli-neu might constitute an appropriate cell culture system to study molecular mechanisms or putative extracellular stimuli to functionally open Cx29 channels or hemi-channels.

  18. Impact of obesity on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced altered ovarian connexin gap junction proteins in female mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  19. Impact of obesity on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced altered ovarian connexin gap junction proteins in female mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ganesan, Shanthi, E-mail: shanthig@iastate.edu; Nteeba, Jackson, E-mail: nteeba@iastate.edu; Keating, Aileen F., E-mail: akeating@iastate.edu

    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.

  20. L-type calcium channels play a critical role in maintaining lens transparency by regulating phosphorylation of aquaporin-0 and myosin light chain and expression of connexins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddala, Rupalatha; Nagendran, Tharkika; de Ridder, Gustaaf G; Schey, Kevin L; Rao, Ponugoti Vasantha

    2013-01-01

    Homeostasis of intracellular calcium is crucial for lens cytoarchitecture and transparency, however, the identity of specific channel proteins regulating calcium influx within the lens is not completely understood. Here we examined the expression and distribution profiles of L-type calcium channels (LTCCs) and explored their role in morphological integrity and transparency of the mouse lens, using cDNA microarray, RT-PCR, immunoblot, pharmacological inhibitors and immunofluorescence analyses. The results revealed that Ca (V) 1.2 and 1.3 channels are expressed and distributed in both the epithelium and cortical fiber cells in mouse lens. Inhibition of LTCCs with felodipine or nifedipine induces progressive cortical cataract formation with time, in association with decreased lens weight in ex-vivo mouse lenses. Histological analyses of felodipine treated lenses revealed extensive disorganization and swelling of cortical fiber cells resembling the phenotype reported for altered aquaporin-0 activity without detectable cytotoxic effects. Analysis of both soluble and membrane rich fractions from felodipine treated lenses by SDS-PAGE in conjunction with mass spectrometry and immunoblot analyses revealed decreases in β-B1-crystallin, Hsp-90, spectrin and filensin. Significantly, loss of transparency in the felodipine treated lenses was preceded by an increase in aquaporin-0 serine-235 phosphorylation and levels of connexin-50, together with decreases in myosin light chain phosphorylation and the levels of 14-3-3ε, a phosphoprotein-binding regulatory protein. Felodipine treatment led to a significant increase in gene expression of connexin-50 and 46 in the mouse lens. Additionally, felodipine inhibition of LTCCs in primary cultures of mouse lens epithelial cells resulted in decreased intracellular calcium, and decreased actin stress fibers and myosin light chain phosphorylation, without detectable cytotoxic response. Taken together, these observations reveal a crucial

  1. Connexins in the early development of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis (Amphibia: The role of the connexin43 carboxyl terminal tail in the establishment of the dorso-ventral axis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Cofre

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Connexins are a family of related proteins identified in vertebrate forming gap junctions, which mediate cell-to-cell communication in early embryos, with an important role in establishing embryonic asymmetry and ‘communication compartments’. By in situ hybridization, immunocytochemistry, reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR and western blotting we show that a Cx43-like molecule is present in oocytes and embryos of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis, with specific localization in the animal-vegetal axis. This specific distribution is suggestive for an important role for this protein in the establishment of the dorso-ventral axis. Antisense RNA and antibodies directed against rat carboxyl terminal tail of the Cx43 (CT-Cx43 and injected in 1-cell stage Xenopus embryos, induced pronounced alterations in nervous system development, with a severe ventralization phenotype. Coherently, the overexpression of CT-Cx43 produced a dorsalization of the embryos. In antisense treated embryos, the expression of the beta-catenin gene is eliminated from the Nieuwkoop center, the pattern expression of the Chordin, Xnot and Xbra is modified, with no effect in expression of the Goosecoid gene. In CT-Cx43 mRNA treated embryos the pattern of expression of the beta-catenin, Chordin, Goosecoid, Xnot and engrailed-2 genes is modified. The expression of beta-catenin is increased in the Nieuwkoop center, the expression pattern of Chordin and Goosecoid is expanded to the posterior neural plate and engrailed-2 presents ectopic expression in the ventral region. Taken together our data suggest a role for CT-Cx43 as a maternal determinant with a critical function in the formation of the dorso-ventral axis in Xenopus laevis. The Cx43 may be one of the earliest markers of the dorso-ventral axis in these embryos and could possibly be acting through regionalization of factors responsible for the establishment of this axis.

  2. Inverse relationship between tumour proliferation markers and connexin expression in a malignant cardiac tumour originating from mesenchymal stem cell engineered tissue in a rat in-vivo model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathleen eSpath

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: Recently, we demonstrated the beneficial effects of engineered heart tissues for the treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy in rats. For further development of this technique we started to produce engineered tissue (ET from mesenchymal stem cells. Interestingly, we observed a malignant tumour invading the heart with an inverse relationship between proliferation markers and connexin-expression.Methods: Commercial CD54+/CD90+/CD34-/CD45- bone marrow derived mesenchymal rat stem cells (cBM-MSC, characterized were used for production of mesenchymal stem-cell-ET (MSC-ET by suspending them in a collagen-I, matrigel-mixture and cultivating for 14 days with electrical stimulation. 3 MSC-ET were implanted around the beating heart of adult rats for days. Another 3 MSC-ET were produced from freshly isolated rat bone marrow derived stem cells (sBM-MSC.Results: 3 weeks after implantation of the MSC-ETs the hearts were surgically excised. While in 5/6 cases the ET was clearly distinguishable and was found as a ring containing mostly connective tissue around the heart, in 1/6 the heart was completely surrounded by a huge, undifferentiated, pleomorphic tumour originating from the cMSC-ET (cBM-MSC, classified as a high grade malignant sarcoma. Quantitatively we found a clear inverse relationship between cardiac connexin-expression (Cx43, Cx40 or Cx45 and increased Ki-67 expression (Cx43: p<0.0001, Cx45: p<0.03, Cx40: p<0.014. At the tumour-heart border there were significantly more Ki-67 positive cells (p=0.001, and only 2% Cx45 and Ki-67-expressing cells, while the other connexins were nearly completely absent (p<0.0001.Conclusions and hypothesis: These observations strongly suggest the hypothesis, that invasive tumour growth is accompanied by reduction in connexins. This implicates that gap junction communication between tumour and normal tissue is reduced or absent, which could mean that growth and differentiation signals can not be exchanged.

  3. Altered thyroid status affects myocardial expression of connexin-43 and susceptibility of rat heart to malignant arrhythmias that can be partially normalized by red palm oil intake

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Szeiffová Bačová, B.; Vinczenzová, C.; Žurmanová, J.; Kašparová, Dita; Knezl, V.; Egan Beňová, T.; Pavelka, Stanislav; Soukup, Tomáš; Tribulová, N.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 147, č. 1 (2017), s. 63-73 ISSN 0948-6143 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LH15279; GA MŠk(CZ) 7AMB14SK123 Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) SAV-15-03 Program:Bilaterální spolupráce Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : thyroid hormones * cardiac arrhythmias * connexin-43 * PKC * red palm oil Subject RIV: ED - Physiology OBOR OECD: Physiology (including cytology) Impact factor: 2.553, year: 2016

  4. Msx1 and Msx2 are functional interacting partners of T-box factors in the regulation of Connexin43.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boogerd, Kees-Jan; Wong, L Y Elaine; Christoffels, Vincent M; Klarenbeek, Meinke; Ruijter, Jan M; Moorman, Antoon F M; Barnett, Phil

    2008-06-01

    T-box factors Tbx2 and Tbx3 play key roles in the development of the cardiac conduction system, atrioventricular canal, and outflow tract of the heart. They regulate the gap-junction-encoding gene Connexin43 (Cx43) and other genes critical for heart development and function. Discovering protein partners of Tbx2 and Tbx3 will shed light on the mechanisms by which these factors regulate these gene programs. Employing an yeast 2-hybrid screen and subsequent in vitro pull-down experiments we demonstrate that muscle segment homeobox genes Msx1 and Msx2 are able to bind the cardiac T-box proteins Tbx2, Tbx3, and Tbx5. This interaction, as that of the related Nkx2.5 protein, is supported by the T-box and homeodomain alone. Overlapping spatiotemporal expression patterns of Msx1 and Msx2 together with the T-box genes during cardiac development in mouse and chicken underscore the biological significance of this interaction. We demonstrate that Msx proteins together with Tbx2 and Tbx3 suppress Cx43 promoter activity and down regulate Cx43 gene activity in a rat heart-derived cell line. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis we demonstrate that Msx1 can bind the Cx43 promoter at a conserved binding site located in close proximity to a previously defined T-box binding site, and that the activity of Msx proteins on this promoter appears dependent in the presence of Tbx3. Msx1 and Msx2 can function in concert with the T-box proteins to suppress Cx43 and other working myocardial genes.

  5. Mixed electrical-chemical synapses in adult rat hippocampus are primarily glutamatergic and coupled by connexin-36

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farid eHamzei-Sichani

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Dendrodendritic electrical signaling via gap junctions is now an accepted feature of neuronal communication in the mammalian brain, whereas axodendritic and axosomatic gap junctions have rarely been described. We present ultrastructural, immunocytochemical, and dye-coupling evidence for mixed (electrical/chemical synapses in adult rat hippocampus on both principal cells and interneurons. Thin-section electron microscopic images of small gap junction-like appositions were found at mossy fiber (MF terminals on thorny excrescences of CA3 pyramidal neurons (CA3pyr, apparently forming glutamatergic mixed synapses. Lucifer Yellow injected into four weakly-fixed CA3pyr was detected in MF axons that contacted the injected CA3pyr, supporting gap junction-mediated coupling between those two types of principal cells. Freeze-fracture replica immunogold-labeling revealed diverse sizes and morphologies of connexin36-containing gap junctions throughout hippocampus. Of 20 immunogold-labeled gap junctions, seven were large (328-1140 connexons, three of which were consistent with electrical synapses between interneurons; but nine were at axon terminal synapses, three of which were immediately adjacent to distinctive glutamate receptor-containing postsynaptic densities, forming mixed glutamatergic synapses. Four others were adjacent to small clusters of immunogold-labeled 10-nm E-face intramembrane particles, apparently representing extrasynaptic glutamate receptor particles. Gap junctions also were on spines in stratum lucidum, stratum oriens, dentate gyrus, and hilus, on both interneurons and unidentified neurons. In addition, one putative GABAergic mixed synapse was found in thin section images of a CA3pyr, but none found by immunogold-labeling were at GABAergic mixed synapses, suggesting their rarity. Cx36-containing gap junctions throughout hippocampus suggest the possibility of reciprocal modulation of electrical and chemical signals in diverse hippocampal

  6. Cardiomyopathy-Associated Gene 1-Sensitive PKC-Dependent Connexin 43 Expression and Phosphorylation in Left Ventricular Noncompaction Cardiomyopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanyuan Xie

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Cardiomyopathy-associated gene 1 (CMYA1 plays an important role in embryonic cardiac development, postnatal cardiac remodeling and myocardial injury repair. Abnormal CMYA1 expression may be involved in cardiac dysplasia and primary cardiomyopathy. Our study aims to establish the relationship between CMYA1 and Left ventricular noncompaction cardiomyopathy (LVNC pathogenesis. Methods: We explored the effects of CMYA1 on connexins (Cx, which contribute to gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC, and the underlying signaling pathway in human normal tissues, LVNC myocardial tissues and HL1 cells by means of western blotting, RT-qPCR, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, co-immunoprecipitation and scrape loading-dye transfer. Results: CMYA1 expression was inversely associated with Cx43 and Cx40 expression, as determined by gap junction PCR array analysis. An increased expression and disordered distribution of CMYA1 at the intercalated discs in LVNC myocardial tissue was also observed. CMYA1 and Cx43 are co-expressed and interact in myocardial cells. CMYA1 expression was positively correlated with p-Cx43 (S368 via the Protein kinase C (PKC signaling pathway in myocardial tissue and HL1 cells. The diffusion distance of Lucifer Yellow in the HL1 cells in which CMYA1 was over-expressed or knocked down was significantly less or more than that of the control group, respectively. Conclusion: Abnormal CMYA1 expression affects the expression and phosphorylation of Cx43 through the PKC signaling pathway, which is involved in the regulation of GJIC. CMYA1 participates in the molecular mechanism of LVNC pathogenesis.

  7. Connexin 43-mediated modulation of polarized cell movement and the directional migration of cardiac neural crest cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xin; Francis, Richard; Wei, Chih Jen; Linask, Kaari L; Lo, Cecilia W

    2006-09-01

    Connexin 43 knockout (Cx43alpha1KO) mice have conotruncal heart defects that are associated with a reduction in the abundance of cardiac neural crest cells (CNCs) targeted to the heart. In this study, we show CNCs can respond to changing fibronectin matrix density by adjusting their migratory behavior, with directionality increasing and speed decreasing with increasing fibronectin density. However, compared with wild-type CNCs, Cx43alpha1KO CNCs show reduced directionality and speed, while CNCs overexpressing Cx43alpha1 from the CMV43 transgenic mice show increased directionality and speed. Altered integrin signaling was indicated by changes in the distribution of vinculin containing focal contacts, and altered temporal response of Cx43alpha1KO and CMV43 CNCs to beta1 integrin function blocking antibody treatment. High resolution motion analysis showed Cx43alpha1KO CNCs have increased cell protrusive activity accompanied by the loss of polarized cell movement. They exhibited an unusual polygonal arrangement of actin stress fibers that indicated a profound change in cytoskeletal organization. Semaphorin 3A, a chemorepellent known to inhibit integrin activation, was found to inhibit CNC motility, but in the Cx43alpha1KO and CMV43 CNCs, cell processes failed to retract with semaphorin 3A treatment. Immunohistochemical and biochemical analyses suggested close interactions between Cx43alpha1, vinculin and other actin-binding proteins. However, dye coupling analysis showed no correlation between gap junction communication level and fibronectin plating density. Overall, these findings indicate Cx43alpha1 may have a novel function in mediating crosstalk with cell signaling pathways that regulate polarized cell movement essential for the directional migration of CNCs.

  8. Extracellular gentamicin reduces the activity of connexin hemichannels and interferes with purinergic Ca2+ signaling in HeLa cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueroa, Vania A.; Retamal, Mauricio A.; Cea, Luis A.; Salas, José D.; Vargas, Aníbal A.; Verdugo, Christian A.; Jara, Oscar; Martínez, Agustín D.; Sáez, Juan C.

    2014-01-01

    Gap junction channels (GJCs) and hemichannels (HCs) are composed of protein subunits termed connexins (Cxs) and are permeable to ions and small molecules. In most organs, GJCs communicate the cytoplasm of adjacent cells, while HCs communicate the intra and extracellular compartments. In this way, both channel types coordinate physiological responses of cell communities. Cx mutations explain several genetic diseases, including about 50% of autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss. However, the possible involvement of Cxs in the etiology of acquired hearing loss remains virtually unknown. Factors that induce post-lingual hearing loss are diverse, exposure to gentamicin an aminoglycoside antibiotic, being the most common. Gentamicin has been proposed to block GJCs, but its effect on HCs remains unknown. In this work, the effect of gentamicin on the functional state of HCs was studied and its effect on GJCs was reevaluated in HeLa cells stably transfected with Cxs. We focused on Cx26 because it is the main Cx expressed in the cochlea of mammals where it participates in purinergic signaling pathways. We found that gentamicin applied extracellularly reduces the activity of HCs, while dye transfer across GJCs was not affected. HCs were also blocked by streptomycin, another aminoglycoside antibiotic. Gentamicin also reduced the adenosine triphosphate release and the HC-dependent oscillations of cytosolic free-Ca2+ signal. Moreover, gentamicin drastically reduced the Cx26 HC-mediated membrane currents in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Therefore, the extracellular gentamicin-induced inhibition of Cx HCs may adversely affect autocrine and paracrine signaling, including the purinergic one, which might partially explain its ototoxic effects. PMID:25237294

  9. Proinflammatory cytokines downregulate connexin 43-gap junctions via the ubiquitin-proteasome system in rat spinal astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fang Fang; Morioka, Norimitsu; Kitamura, Tomoya; Hisaoka-Nakashima, Kazue; Nakata, Yoshihiro

    2015-09-04

    Astrocytic gap junctions formed by connexin 43 (Cx43) are crucial for intercellular communication between spinal cord astrocytes. Various neurological disorders are associated with dysfunctional Cx43-gap junctions. However, the mechanism modulating Cx43-gap junctions in spinal astrocytes under pathological conditions is not entirely clear. A previous study showed that treatment of spinal astrocytes in culture with pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) decreased both Cx43 expression and gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) via a c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)-dependent pathway. The current study further elaborates the intracellular mechanism that decreases Cx43 under an inflammatory condition. Cycloheximide chase analysis revealed that TNF-α (10 ng/ml) alone or in combination with IFN-γ (5 ng/ml) accelerated the degradation of Cx43 protein in cultured spinal astrocytes. The reduction of both Cx43 expression and GJIC induced by a mixture of TNF-α and IFN-γ were blocked by pretreatment with proteasome inhibitors MG132 (0.5 μM) and epoxomicin (25 nM), a mixture of TNF-α and IFN-γ significantly increased proteasome activity and Cx43 ubiquitination. In addition, TNF-α and IFN-γ-induced activation of ubiquitin-proteasome systems was prevented by SP600125, a JNK inhibitor. Together, these results indicate that a JNK-dependent ubiquitin-proteasome system is induced under an inflammatory condition that disrupts astrocytic gap junction expression and function, leading to astrocytic dysfunction and the maintenance of the neuroinflammatory state. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Gap junction intercellular communication mediated by connexin43 in astrocytes is essential for their resistance to oxidative stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Hoa T; Sin, Wun Chey; Lozinsky, Shannon; Bechberger, John; Vega, José Luis; Guo, Xu Qiu; Sáez, Juan C; Naus, Christian C

    2014-01-17

    Oxidative stress induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) is associated with various neurological disorders including aging, neurodegenerative diseases, as well as traumatic and ischemic insults. Astrocytes have an important role in the anti-oxidative defense in the brain. The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) forms intercellular channels as well as hemichannels in astrocytes. In the present study, we investigated the contribution of Cx43 to astrocytic death induced by the ROS hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and the mechanism by which Cx43 exerts its effects. Lack of Cx43 expression or blockage of Cx43 channels resulted in increased ROS-induced astrocytic death, supporting a cell protective effect of functional Cx43 channels. H2O2 transiently increased hemichannel activity, but reduced gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC). GJIC in wild-type astrocytes recovered after 7 h, but was absent in Cx43 knock-out astrocytes. Blockage of Cx43 hemichannels incompletely inhibited H2O2-induced hemichannel activity, indicating the presence of other hemichannel proteins. Panx1, which is predicted to be a major hemichannel contributor in astrocytes, did not appear to have any cell protective effect from H2O2 insults. Our data suggest that GJIC is important for Cx43-mediated ROS resistance. In contrast to hypoxia/reoxygenation, H2O2 treatment decreased the ratio of the hypophosphorylated isoform to total Cx43 level. Cx43 has been reported to promote astrocytic death induced by hypoxia/reoxygenation. We therefore speculate the increase in Cx43 dephosphorylation may account for the facilitation of astrocytic death. Our findings suggest that the role of Cx43 in response to cellular stress is dependent on the activation of signaling pathways leading to alteration of Cx43 phosphorylation states.

  11. TGF-beta induces connexin43 gene expression in normal murine mammary gland epithelial cells via activation of p38 and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tacheau, Charlotte; Fontaine, Juliette; Loy, Jennifer; Mauviel, Alain; Verrecchia, Franck

    2008-12-01

    One of the shared physiological roles between TGF-beta and connexin family members is to inhibit epithelial cell cycle progression and consequently, to provide protection against malignant transformation. Herein, we demonstrated that TGF-beta1 induces the expression of connexin43 (Cx43) in normal murine mammary gland (NMuMG) cell lines at the protein and mRNA levels, and transcriptionally. Using overexpression of a truncated dominant-negative form of Cx43, we determined that the modulation of gap junctional communication by TGF-beta1 plays a key role in the control of NMuMG cells proliferation by TGF-beta1. In addition, using overexpression of truncated dominant-negative forms of either Smad2 or Smad3, and MDA-MB-468 human breast carcinoma cells deficient for Smad4, we determined that the Smad cascade is not implicated in TGF-beta1 effect on Cx43 expression. Using specific pharmacologic inhibitors for JNK, ERK, p38, and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways, we demonstrated the cooperative role of p38 and PI3K/AKT signaling in TGF-beta1-induced Cx43 expression and gap junctional communication. Furthermore, transfection of a c-jun antisense expression vector significantly prevented TGF-beta1-induced Cx43 gene expression demonstrating the involvement of c-Jun/AP-1 pathway together with p38 and PI3K/AKT pathways in mediating TGF-beta1-induced Cx43 gene expression.

  12. Complex role of connexin 43 in astrocytic tumors and possible promotion of glioma‑associated epileptic discharge (Review).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Hui; Zhou, Xing-Wang; Wang, Xiang; Yang, Yuan; Luo, Jie-Wen; Liu, Yan-Hui; Mao, Qing

    2017-12-01

    Connexin (Cx)43 is a multifunction protein which forms gap junction channels and hemi‑channels. It also contains abundant binding domains which possess the ability to interact with certain Cx43‑associated proteins and therefore serve a fundamental role in various physiological and pathological functions. However, the understanding of the association between cancer and Cx43 along with Cx43‑gap junctions (GJ) remains unclear. All available data illustrate that Cx43 and its associated GJ serve important functions in cancers. The expression levels of Cx43 demonstrate a downward trend and an increase in the levels of malignancy, particularly in astrocytomas. The GJ intercellular communication activity in glioma cells can be adjusted via Cx43 phosphorylation and through the combination of Cx43 and its associated protein. Available evidence reveals Cx43 as a tumor‑inhibiting factor that suppresses glioma growth and proliferation. However, its mechanism is also regarded as complicated and ambiguous. Furthermore, it is apparent that Cx43‑GJ and the carboxyl tail may contribute to glioma growth and proliferation too. However, this valuable role could be weakened by its effects on migration and invasiveness. The detailed mechanism remains unclear and full of controversies. Cx43 can enhance the motor ability and invasiveness of astrocytic glioma cells. It is also able to influence glioma cells to detach from the tumor core to the peritumoral neocortex. This peritumoral region has recently been regarded as the basic focus of glioma‑associated seizure. Thus, Cx43 may take part in the onset and development of glioma‑associated epileptic discharge. In addition, change and increase of Cx43 expression in GJs has been observed in seizure perilesional tissue, which is associated with brain tumors. Cx43 or GJ/hemi‑channels exert enduring effects in the promotion of glioma‑associated epileptic release through direct mass effects and change of the tumor microenvironment

  13. Irradiation-Induced Cardiac Connexin-43 and miR-21 Responses Are Hampered by Treatment with Atorvastatin and Aspirin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Csilla Viczenczova

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Radiation of the chest during cancer therapy is deleterious to the heart, mostly due to oxidative stress and inflammation related injury. A single sub-lethal dose of irradiation has been shown to result in compensatory up-regulation of the myocardial connexin-43 (Cx43, activation of the protein kinase C (PKC signaling along with the decline of microRNA (miR-1 and an increase of miR-21 levels in the left ventricle (LV. We investigated whether drugs with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or vasodilating properties, such as aspirin, atorvastatin, and sildenafil, may affect myocardial response in the LV and right ventricle (RV following chest irradiation. Adult, male Wistar rats were subjected to a single sub-lethal dose of chest radiation at 25 Gy and treated with aspirin (3 mg/day, atorvastatin (0.25 mg/day, and sildenafil (0.3 mg/day for six weeks. Cx43, PKCε and PKCδ proteins expression and levels of miR-1 as well as miR-21 were determined in the LV and RV. Results showed that the suppression of miR-1 was associated with an increase of total and phosphorylated forms of Cx43 as well as PKCε expression in the LV while having no effect in the RV post-irradiation as compared to the non-irradiated rats. Treatment with aspirin and atorvastatin prevented an increase in the expression of Cx43 and PKCε without change in the miR-1 levels. Furthermore, treatment with aspirin, atorvastatin, and sildenafil completely prevented an increase of miR-21 in the LV while having partial effect in the RV post irradiation. The increase in pro-apoptotic PKCδ was not affected by any of the used treatment. In conclusion, irradiation and drug-induced changes were less pronounced in the RV as compared to the LV. Treatment with aspirin and atorvastatin interfered with irradiation-induced compensatory changes in myocardial Cx43 protein and miR-21 by preventing their elevation, possibly via amelioration of oxidative stress and inflammation.

  14. Impact of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene exposure on connexin gap junction proteins in cultured rat ovaries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ganesan, Shanthi, E-mail: shanthig@iastate.edu; Keating, Aileen F., E-mail: akeating@iastate.edu

    2014-01-15

    7,12-Dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) destroys ovarian follicles in a concentration-dependent manner. The impact of DMBA on connexin (CX) proteins that mediate communication between follicular cell types along with pro-apoptotic factors p53 and Bax were investigated. Postnatal day (PND) 4 Fisher 344 rat ovaries were cultured for 4 days in vehicle medium (1% DMSO) followed by a single exposure to vehicle control (1% DMSO) or DMBA (12.5 nM or 75 nM) and cultured for 4 or 8 days. RT-PCR was performed to quantify Cx37, Cx43, p53 and Bax mRNA level. Western blotting and immunofluorescence staining were performed to determine CX37 or CX43 level and/or localization. Cx37 mRNA and protein increased (P < 0.05) at 4 days of 12.5 nM DMBA exposure. Relative to vehicle control-treated ovaries, mRNA encoding Cx43 decreased (P < 0.05) but CX43 protein increased (P < 0.05) at 4 days by both DMBA exposures. mRNA expression of pro-apoptotic p53 was decreased (P < 0.05) but no changes in Bax expression were observed after 4 days of DMBA exposures. In contrast, after 8 days, DMBA decreased Cx37 and Cx43 mRNA and protein but increased both p53 and Bax mRNA levels. CX43 protein was located between granulosa cells, while CX37 was located at the oocyte cell surface of all follicle stages. These findings support that DMBA exposure impacts ovarian Cx37 and Cx43 mRNA and protein prior to both observed changes in pro-apoptotic p53 and Bax and follicle loss. It is possible that such interference in follicular cell communication is detrimental to follicle viability, and may play a role in DMBA-induced follicular atresia. - Highlights: • DMBA increases Cx37 and Cx43 expression prior to follicle loss. • During follicle loss both Cx37 and Cx43 expressions are reduced. • CX43 protein is absent in follicle remnants lacking an oocyte.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. Argirein alleviates stress-induced and diabetic hypogonadism in rats via normalizing testis endothelin receptor A and connexin 43.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ming; Hu, Chen; Khan, Hussein-hamed; Shi, Fang-hong; Cong, Xiao-dong; Li, Qing; Dai, Yin; Dai, De-zai

    2016-02-01

    Argirein (rhein-arginine) is a derivative of rhein isolated from Chinese rhubarb (Rheum Officinale Baill.) that exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. In the present study we investigated the effects of argirein on stress-induced (hypergonadotrophic) and diabetic (hypogonadotrophic) hypogonadism in male rats. Stress-induced and diabetic hypogonadism was induced in male rats via injection of isoproterenol (ISO) or streptozotocin (STZ). ISO-injected rats were treated with argirein (30 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), po) or testosterone replacement (0.5 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), sc) for 5 days, and STZ-injected rats were treated with argirein (40-120 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), po) or aminoguanidine (100 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), po) for 4 weeks. After the rats were euthanized, blood samples and testes were collected. Serum hormone levels were measured, and the expression of endothelin receptor A (ETA), connexin 43 (Cx43) and other proteins in testes was detected. For in vitro experiments, testis homogenate was prepared from normal male rats, and incubated with ISO (1 μmol/L) or high glucose (27 mmol/L). ISO injection induced hyper-gonadotrophic hypogonadism characterized by low testosterone and high FSH and LH levels in the serum, whereas STZ injection induced hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism as evidenced by low testosterone and low FSH and LH levels in the serum. In the testes of ISO- and STZ-injected rats, the expression of ETA, MMP-9, NADPH oxidase and pPKCε was significantly increased, and the expression of Cx43 was decreased. Administration of argirein attenuated both the abnormal serum hormone levels and the testis changes in ISO- and STZ-injected rats, and aminoguanidine produced similar actions in STZ-injected rats; testosterone replacement reversed the abnormal serum hormone levels, but did not affect the testis changes in ISO-injected rats. Argirein (0.3-3 μmol/L) exerted similar effects in testis homogenate incubated with ISO or high glucose in vitro. Two types of

  17. Enteric Glia Mediate Neuron Death in Colitis Through Purinergic Pathways That Require Connexin-43 and Nitric OxideSummary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isola A.M. Brown

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background & Aims: The concept of enteric glia as regulators of intestinal homeostasis is slowly gaining acceptance as a central concept in neurogastroenterology. Yet how glia contribute to intestinal disease is still poorly understood. Purines generated during inflammation drive enteric neuron death by activating neuronal P2X7 purine receptors (P2X7R; triggering adenosine triphosphate (ATP release via neuronal pannexin-1 channels that subsequently recruits intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i in surrounding enteric glia. We tested the hypothesis that the activation of enteric glia contributes to neuron death during inflammation. Methods: We studied neuroinflammation in vivo using the 2,4-dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid model of colitis and in situ using whole-mount preparations of human and mouse intestine. Transgenic mice with a targeted deletion of glial connexin-43 (Cx43 [GFAP::CreERT2+/−/Cx43f/f] were used to specifically disrupt glial signaling pathways. Mice deficient in inducible nitric oxide (NO synthase (iNOS−/− were used to study NO production. Protein expression and oxidative stress were measured using immunohistochemistry and in situ Ca2+ and NO imaging were used to monitor glial [Ca2+]i and [NO]i. Results: Purinergic activation of enteric glia drove [Ca2+]i responses and enteric neuron death through a Cx43-dependent mechanism. Neurotoxic Cx43 activity, driven by NO production from glial iNOS, was required for neuron death. Glial Cx43 opening liberated ATP and Cx43-dependent ATP release was potentiated by NO. Conclusions: Our results show that the activation of glial cells in the context of neuroinflammation kills enteric neurons. Mediators of inflammation that include ATP and NO activate neurotoxic pathways that converge on glial Cx43 hemichannels. The glial response to inflammatory mediators might contribute to the development of motility disorders. Keywords: Enteric Nervous System, Hemichannels

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cinzia Ambrosi

    Full Text Available 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

  19. Identification of ischemia-regulated phosphorylation sites in connexin43: A possible target for the antiarrhythmic peptide analogue rotigaptide (ZP123)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Axelsen, Lene Nygaard; Stahlhut, Martin; Mohammed, Shabaz

    2006-01-01

    Previous studies suggest that dephosphorylation of connexin43 (Cx43) is related to uncoupling of gap junction communication, which plays an important role in the genesis of ischemia-induced ventricular tachycardia. We studied changes in Cx43 phosphorylation during global ischemia in the absence...... and presence of the antiarrhythmic peptide analogue rotigaptide (formerly known as ZP123). Phosphorylation analysis was performed on Cx43 purified from isolated perfused rat hearts using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass...... of ischemia, the critical time interval where gap junction uncoupling occurs, Ser297 and Ser368 also became fully dephosphorylated. During the same time period, all untreated hearts developed asystole. Treatment with rotigaptide significantly increased the time to ischemia-induced asystole and suppressed...

  20. Four novel connexin 32 mutations in X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Phenotypic variability and central nervous system involvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karadima, Georgia; Koutsis, Georgios; Raftopoulou, Maria; Floroskufi, Paraskewi; Karletidi, Karolina-Maria; Panas, Marios

    2014-06-15

    Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, the most common hereditary neuropathy, is clinically and genetically heterogeneous. X-linked CMT (CMTX) is usually caused by mutations in the gap junction protein b 1 gene (GJB1) coding for connexin 32 (Cx32). The clinical manifestations of CMTX are characterized by significant variability, with some patients exhibiting central nervous system (CNS) involvement. We report four novel mutations in GJB1, c.191G>A (p.Cys64Tyr), c.508G>T (p.Val170Phe), c.778A>G (p.Lys260Glu) and c.300C>G (p.His100Gln) identified in four unrelated Greek families. These mutations were characterized by variable phenotypic expression, including a family with the Roussy-Lévy syndrome, and three of them were associated with mild clinical CNS manifestations. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. Linoleic Acid Permeabilizes Gastric Epithelial Cells by Increasing Connexin43 Levels in the Cell Membrane Via a GPR40- and Akt-Dependent Mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puebla, Carlos; Cisterna, Bruno A.; Salas, Daniela P.; Delgado-López, Fernando; Lampe, Paul D.; Sáez, Juan C.

    2016-01-01

    Linoleic acid (LA) is known to activate G-protein coupled receptors and connexin hemichannels (Cx HCs) but possible interlinks between these two responses remain unexplored. Here, we evaluated the mechanism of action of LA on the membrane permeability mediated by Cx HCs in MKN28 cells. These cells were found to express connexins, GPR40, GPR120, and CD36 receptors. The Cx HC activity of these cells increased after 5 min of treatment with LA or GW9508, an agonist of GPR40/GPR120; or exposure to extracellular divalent cation-free solution (DCFS), known to increase the open probability of Cx HCs, yields an immediate increase in Cx HC of similar intensity and additive with LA-induced change. Treatment with a CD36 blocker or transfection with siRNA-GPR120 maintain the LA-induced Cx HC activity. However, cells transfected with siRNA-GPR40 did not show LA-induced Cx HC activity but activity was increased upon exposure to DCFS, confirming the presence of activatable Cx HCs in the cell membrane. Treatment with AKTi (Akt inhibitor) abrogated the LA-induced Cx HC activity. In HeLa cells transfected with Cx43 (HeLa-Cx43), LA induced phosphorylation of surface Cx43 at serine 373 (S373), site for Akt phosphorylation. HeLa-Cx43 but not HeLa-Cx43 cells with a S373A mutation showed a LA-induced Cx HC activity directly related to an increase in cell surface Cx43 levels. Thus, the increase in membrane permeability induced by LA is mediated by an intracellular signaling pathway activated by GPR40 that leads to an increase in membrane levels of Cx43 phosphorylated at serine 373 via Akt. PMID:26869446

  2. Inhibition of Connexin 26/43 and Extracellular-Regulated Kinase Protein Plays a Critical Role in Melatonin Facilitated Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication in Hydrogen Peroxide-Treated HaCaT Keratinocyte Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyo-Jung Lee

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Though melatonin was known to regulate gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC in chick astrocytes and mouse hepatocytes, the underlying mechanism by melatonin was not elucidated in hydrogen peroxide- (H2O2- treated HaCaT keratinocyte cells until now. In the current study, though melatonin at 2 mM and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 at 300 μM showed weak cytotoxicity in HaCaT keratinocyte cells, melatonin significantly suppressed the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells compared to untreated controls. Also, the scrape-loading dye-transfer assay revealed that melatonin enhances the intercellular communication by introducing Lucifer Yellow into H2O2-treated cells. Furthermore, melatonin significantly enhanced the expression of connexin 26 (Cx26 and connexin 43 (Cx43 at mRNA and protein levels, but not that of connexin 30 (Cx30 in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells. Of note, melatonin attenuated the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (ERKs more than p38 MAPK or JNK in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells. Conversely, ERK inhibitor PD98059 promoted the intercellular communication in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells. Furthermore, combined treatment of melatonin (200 μM and vitamin C (10 μg/mL significantly reduced ROS production in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells. Overall, these findings support the scientific evidences that melatonin facilitates gap junctional intercellular communication in H2O2-treated HaCaT keratinocyte cells via inhibition of connexin 26/43 and ERK as a potent chemopreventive agent.

  3. Hexavalent chromium at low concentration alters Sertoli cell barrier and connexin 43 gap junction but not claudin-11 and N-cadherin in the rat seminiferous tubule culture model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carette, Diane [INSERM U 1065, Team 5 “Physiopathology of Germ Cell Control: Genomic and Non Genomic Mechanisms” C3M, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice (France); UMR S775, University Paris Descartes, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75006, Paris (France); Perrard, Marie-Hélène, E-mail: marie-helene.durand@ens-lyon.fr [Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon I, CNRS, INRA, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon (France); Prisant, Nadia [University of Versailles/St Quentin-en-Yvelines (France); UMR S775, University Paris Descartes, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75006, Paris (France); Gilleron, Jérome; Pointis, Georges [INSERM U 1065, Team 5 “Physiopathology of Germ Cell Control: Genomic and Non Genomic Mechanisms” C3M, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice (France); Segretain, Dominique [University of Versailles/St Quentin-en-Yvelines (France); UMR S775, University Paris Descartes, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75006, Paris (France); Durand, Philippe [Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon I, CNRS, INRA, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon (France); Kallistem SAS Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon (France)

    2013-04-01

    Exposure to toxic metals, specifically those belonging to the nonessential group leads to human health defects and among them reprotoxic effects. The mechanisms by which these metals produce their negative effects on spermatogenesis have not been fully elucidated. By using the Durand's validated seminiferous tubule culture model, which mimics the in vivo situation, we recently reported that concentrations of hexavalent chromium, reported in the literature to be closed to that found in the blood circulation of men, increase the number of germ cell cytogenetic abnormalities. Since this metal is also known to affect cellular junctions, we investigated, in the present study, its potential influence on the Sertoli cell barrier and on junctional proteins present at this level such as connexin 43, claudin-11 and N-cadherin. Cultured seminiferous tubules in bicameral chambers expressed the three junctional proteins and ZO-1 for at least 12 days. Exposure to low concentrations of chromium (10 μg/l) increased the trans-epithelial resistance without major changes of claudin-11 and N-cadherin expressions but strongly delocalized the gap junction protein connexin 43 from the membrane to the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells. The possibility that the hexavalent chromium-induced alteration of connexin 43 indirectly mediates the effect of the toxic metal on the blood–testis barrier dynamic is postulated. - Highlights: ► Influence of Cr(VI) on the Sertoli cell barrier and on junctional proteins ► Use of cultured seminiferous tubules in bicameral chambers ► Low concentrations of Cr(VI) (10 μg/l) altered the trans-epithelial resistance. ► Cr(VI) did not alter claudin-11 and N-cadherin. ► Cr(VI) delocalized connexin 43 from the membrane to the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells.

  4. Cumulus expansion, nuclear maturation and connexin 43, cyclooxygenase-2 and FSH receptor mRNA expression in equine cumulus-oocyte complexes cultured in vitro in the presence of FSH and precursors for hyaluronic acid synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aiudi Giulio

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The aim of this study was to investigate cumulus expansion, nuclear maturation and expression of connexin 43, cyclooxygenase-2 and FSH receptor transcripts in equine cumuli oophori during in vivo and in vitro maturation in the presence of equine FSH (eFSH and precursors for hyaluronic acid synthesis. Equine cumulus-oocyte complexes (COC were cultured in a control defined medium supplemented with eFSH (0 to 5 micrograms/ml, Fetal Calf Serum (FCS, precursors for hyaluronic acid synthesis or glutamine according to the experiments. After in vitro maturation, the cumulus expansion rate was increased with 1 microgram/ml eFSH, and was the highest with 20% FCS. It was not influenced by precursors for hyaluronic acid synthesis or glutamine. The expression of transcripts related to cumulus expansion was analyzed in equine cumulus cells before maturation, and after in vivo and in vitro maturation, by using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR with specific primers. Connexin 43, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2 and FSH receptor (FSHr mRNA were detected in equine cumulus cells before and after maturation. Their level did not vary during in vivo or in vitro maturation and was influenced neither by FSH nor by precursors for hyaluronic acid synthesis. Results indicate that previously reported regulation of connexin 43 and COX-2 proteins during equine COC maturation may involve post-transcriptional mechanisms.

  5. Knockdown of connexin43-mediated regulation of the zone of polarizing activity in the developing chick limb leads to digit truncation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, Lee Yong; Lin, Jun Sheng; Becker, David L; Green, Colin R

    2002-12-01

    In the developing chick wing, the use of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides to transiently knock down the expression of the gap junction protein, connexin43 (Cx43), results in limb patterning defects, including deletion of the anterior digits. To understand more about how such defects arise, the effects of transient Cx43 knockdown on the expression patterns of several genes known to play pivotal roles in limb formation were examined. Sonic hedgehog (Shh), which is normally expressed in the zone of polarizing activity (ZPA) and is required to maintain both the ZPA and the apical ectodermal ridge (AER), was found to be downregulated in treated limbs within 30 h. Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (Bmp-2), a gene downstream of Shh, was similarly downregulated. Fibroblast growth factor-8 expression, however, was unaltered 30 h after treatment but was greatly reduced at 48 h post-treatment, when the AER begins to regress. Expressions of Bmp-4 and Muscle segment homeobox-like gene (Msx-1) were not affected at any of the time points examined. Cx43 expression is therefore involved in some, but not all patterning cascades, and appears to play a role in the regulation of ZPA activity.

  6. Androgen Signaling Disruption during Fetal and Postnatal Development Affects Androgen Receptor and Connexin 43 Expression and Distribution in Adult Boar Prostate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Hejmej

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available To date, limited knowledge exists regarding the role of the androgen signaling during specific periods of development in the regulation of androgen receptor (AR and connexin 43 (Cx43 in adult prostate. Therefore, in this study we examined mRNA and protein expression, and tissue distribution of AR and Cx43 in adult boar prostates following fetal (GD20, neonatal (PD2, and prepubertal (PD90 exposure to an antiandrogen flutamide (50 mg/kg bw. In GD20 and PD2 males we found the reduction of the luminal compartment, inflammatory changes, decreased AR and increased Cx43 expression, and altered localization of both proteins. Moreover, enhanced apoptosis and reduced proliferation were detected in the prostates of these animals. In PD90 males the alterations were less evident, except that Cx43 expression was markedly upregulated. The results presented herein indicate that in boar androgen action during early fetal and neonatal periods plays a key role in the maintenance of normal phenotype and functions of prostatic cells at adulthood. Furthermore, we demonstrated that modulation of Cx43 expression in the prostate could serve as a sensitive marker of hormonal disruption during different developmental stages.

  7. 17β estradiol regulation of connexin 43-based gap junction and mechanosensitivity through classical estrogen receptor pathway in osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells.

    KAUST Repository

    Ren, Jian

    2013-04-01

    Connexin 43 (Cx43) plays an essential role in osteocyte mechanotransduction. Although estrogen involves in the adaptive responses of bone cells to mechanical loadings, its effects on osteocytic Cx43-based gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) remain obscure. We found that 17β estradiol (E2) up-regulated Cx43, and enhanced GJIC in osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells in fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) assay. Combination of E2 pre-treatment and oscillating fluid flow (OFF) further enhanced Cx43 expression and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation, comparing to E2 or OFF treatment alone. Both blocking of classical estrogen receptors (ERα/β) by fulvestrant and ERα knockdown by small interfering RNA inhibited E2-mediated Cx43 increase, while a GPR30-specific agonist G-1 failed to promote Cx43 expression. Our results suggest that the presence of E2 enhanced Cx43-based GJIC mainly via ERα/β pathway, and sensitized osteocytes to mechanical loading. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Non-syndromic hearing loss caused by the dominant cis mutation R75Q with the recessive mutation V37I of the GJB2 (Connexin 26) gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Juwon; Jung, Jinsei; Lee, Min Goo; Choi, Jae Young; Lee, Kyung-A

    2015-06-19

    GJB2 alleles containing two cis mutations have been rarely found in non-syndromic hearing loss. Herein, we present a Korean patient with non-syndromic hearing loss caused by the R75Q cis mutation with V37I, which arose de novo in the father and was inherited by the patient. Biochemical coupling and hemichannel permeability assays were performed after molecular cloning and transfection of HEK293T cells. Student's t-tests or analysis of variance followed by Tukey's multiple comparison test was used as statistical analysis. Biochemical coupling was significantly reduced in connexin 26 (Cx26)-R75Q- and Cx26-V37I-transfected cells, with greater extent in Cx26-R75Q and Cx26-R75Q+V37I cells. Interestingly, our patient and his father with the mutations had more residual hearing compared with patients with the dominant mutation alone. Although the difference in hemichannel activity between R75Q alone and R75Q in combination with V37I failed to reach significance, it is of note that there is a possibility that V37I located upstream of R75Q might have the ability to ameliorate R75Q expression. Our study emphasizes the importance of cis mutations with R75Q, as the gene effect of R75Q can be modulated depending on the type of additional mutation.

  9. [Connexin gene 26 (GJB2) mutations in patients with hereditary non-syndromic sensorineural loss of hearing in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barashkov, N A; Dzhemileva, L U; Fedorova, S A; Maksimova, N R; Khusnutdinova, E K

    2008-01-01

    The aim of the study was to elucidate the causes of hereditary non-syndromic loss of hearing, a frequent monogene pathology in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). A search for mutations in the coding sequence of the connexin 26 gene gap-junction B2 (GJB2) was undertaken in 79 members of 65 unrelated families with the diagnosis of grade III-IV non-syndromic bilateral sensorineural loss of hearing. Five recessive mutations (35delG, V371, 312-326del14, 333-334delAA, R127H) and three polymorphic variants (V271, M34T, E114G) were identified in Yakut patients. Mutations 35delG (41.7%), 312-326dell4 (4.2%), and 333-334delAA (4.2%) were found in Caucasian patients (Russians, Ukrainians, Inguish). Yakuts were carriers of mutations 35delG (2.1%), V371 (2.1%), R127H (1.0%) and sequence variants V271 (6.3%), M34T (1.0%), E114G (1.0%). GJB2 mutations were identified in 50.1% of the Caucasian patients and in 7.2% of the Yakut patients. The low frequency of GJB2 mutations in Yakuts with non-syndromic sensorineural loss of hearing testifies to the presence of mutations of other genes controlling sound perception in this population.

  10. Evaluation of Connexin 43 Redistribution and Endocytosis in Astrocytes Subjected to Ischemia/Reperfusion or Oxygen-Glucose Deprivation and Reoxygenation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongyan Xie

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Connexin 43 (Cx43 is the major component protein in astrocytic gap junction communication. Recent studies have shown the cellular processes of gap junction internalization and degradation, but many details remain unknown. This study investigated the distribution of Cx43 and its mechanism after ischemic insult. Astrocyte culture system and a model of ischemia/reperfusion (IR or oxygen-glucose deprivation and reoxygenation (OGDR were established. Cx43 distribution was observed by laser scanning confocal microscopy under different cultivation conditions. Western blot and RT-PCR assays were applied to quantify Cx43 and MAPRE1 (microtubule-associated protein RP/EB family member 1 expression at different time points. The total number of Cx43 was unchanged in the normal and IR/OGDR groups, but Cx43 particles in the cytoplasm of the IR/OGDR group were significantly greater than that of the normal group. Particles in the cytoplasm were significantly fewer after endocytosis was blocked by dynasore. There was no difference among the groups at each time point regarding protein or gene expression of MAPRE1. We concluded that internalization of Cx43 into the cytoplasm occurred during ischemia, which was partially mediated through endocytosis, not by the change of Cx43 quantity. Moreover, internalization was not related to microtubule transport.

  11. Susceptibility of rats with altered thyroid status to malignant arrhythmias is primarily related to myocardial levels of connexin-43 and can be partially ameliorated by supplementation with red palm oil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bačová, B.; Vinczenzová, C.; Žurmanová, J.; Kašparová, Dita; Knezl, V.; Radošinská, J.; Beňová, T.; Pavelka, Stanislav; Soukup, Tomáš; Tribulová, N.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 18, Suppl A (2013), 41A-46A ISSN 1205-6626 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) 7AMB12SK158; GA ČR(CZ) GA305/09/1228; GA ČR(CZ) GAP304/12/0259 Grant - others:Univerzita Karlova(CZ) 628412 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : thyroid hormones * cardiac arrhythmias * connexin-43 * PKC.epsilon * red palm oil Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 0.758, year: 2013

  12. Investigação genética da surdez hereditária: mutação do gene da Conexina 26 Genetic investigation of hereditary deafness: connexin 26 gene mutation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Michele da Silva Schmidt

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Nos últimos anos houve grande progresso na localização de genes associados à deficiência auditiva hereditária, possibilitando diagnósticos cada vez mais precisos e precoces. Mutações no gene da Conexina 26 (GJB2 - Cx26 causam deficiência auditiva. Pela facilidade e benefício do rastreamento de mutações no gene GJB2, o teste genético está se tornando um importante recurso na saúde pública. O objetivo foi realizar pesquisa bibliográfica sobre a mutação do gene da Conexina 26 e sua influência na audição. Foi realizado um levantamento bibliográfico por meio de busca eletrônica utilizando os descritores: perda auditiva, genética, triagem genética, Conexina 26, nas bases de dados MEDLINE, SciELO e LILACS, desde a década de 90 até os dias atuais. Concluiu-se que a mutação 35delG da Conexina 26 está potencialmente vinculada a alguns casos de perda auditiva não esclarecida. A pesquisa desta mutação poderia ser incluída na bateria de exames de investigação etiológica da surdez indeterminada, uma vez que esclarece a etiologia de alguns casos e a sua identificação possibilita o aconselhamento genético.In the last few years, great progress has been made in the search for genes associated to hereditary hearing impairment, allowing more precise and earlier diagnosis. Connexin 26 gene mutations (GJB2 - Cx26 cause hearing impairment. Due to the easiness and benefits of the screening of mutations on the gene GJB2, genetic testing is becoming an important resource in public health. The aim of the present study was to conduct a literature research about the mutation of the Connexin 26 gene and its influence in hearing. It was carried out a literature review through electronic search using the keywords: hearing loss, genetics, genetic screening, and Connexin 26, at the databases MEDLINE, SciELO and LILACS, from the 90s to the present days. The results indicate that the 35delG mutation of Connexin 26 is potentially associated

  13. Immunohistochemistry of connexin 43 throughout anterior pituitary gland in a transgenic rat with green fluorescent protein-expressing folliculo-stellate cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

    Folliculo-stellate (FS) cells in the anterior pituitary gland have been speculated to possess multifunctional properties. Because gap junctions (GJ) have been identified between FS cells, FS cells may be interconnected electrophysiologically by GJ and serve as signal transmission networks to modulate hormone release in the anterior pituitary gland. But whether GJ are localized among FS cells from the pars tuberalis through the pars distalis is unclear. The S100b-GFP transgenic rat has recently been generated, which expresses green fluorescent protein (GFP) specifically in FS cells in the anterior pituitary. This model is expected to be a powerful tool for studies of FS cells. The purpose of the present paper was therefore to examine the localization of GJ on connexin 43 immunohistochemistry throughout the anterior pituitary gland of S100b-GFP rats under confocal laser microscopy. The localization patterns of FS cells was also observed in primary culture of anterior pituitary cells and the question of whether GJ between FS cells are reconstructed in vitro was investigated. In vivo studies showed that GJ were present specifically between FS cells from the pars tuberalis to the pars distalis in the anterior pituitary gland. The appearance of FS cells was distinguished into two types, with localization of GJ differing between types. In vitro, it was observed for the first time that FS cells in primary culture could be categorized into two types. In vivo localization of GJ between FS cells was reconstructed in vitro. These morphological observations are consistent with the hypothesis that FS cells form an electrophysiological network throughout the anterior pituitary for signal transmission.

  14. Ex vivo investigation of ocular tissue distribution following intravitreal administration of connexin43 mimetic peptide using the microdialysis technique and LC-MS/MS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisht, Rohit; Mandal, Abhirup; Rupenthal, Ilva D; Mitra, Ashim K

    2016-12-01

    This study aimed to develop and evaluate an ex vivo eye model for intravitreal drug sampling and tissue distribution of connexin43 mimetic peptide (Cx43MP) following intravitreal injection using the microdialysis technique and LC-MS/MS. An LC-MS/MS method was developed, validated, and applied for quantification of Cx43MP in ocular tissues. Microdialysis probes were calibrated for in vitro recovery studies. Bovine eyes were fixed in a customized eye holder and after intravitreal injection of Cx43MP, microdialysis probes were implanted in the vitreous body. Vitreous samples were collected at particular time intervals over 24 h. Moreover, 24 and 48 h after intravitreal injection ocular tissues were collected, processed, and analyzed for Cx43MP concentrations using LC-MS/MS. The LC-MS/MS method showed good linearity (r 2  = 0.9991). The mean percent recovery for lower (LQC), medium (MQC), and higher quality control (HQC) (0.244, 3.906, and 125 μg/mL) was found to be 83.83, 84.92, and 94.52, respectively, with accuracy ranges between 96 and 99 % and limits of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) of 0.122 and 0.412 μg/mL. The in vitro recovery of the probes was found to be over 80 %. As per microdialysis sample analysis, the Cx43MP concentration was found to increase slowly in the vitreous body up to 16 h and thereafter declined. After 48 h, the Cx43MP concentration was higher in vitreous, cornea, and retina compared to lens, iris, and aqueous humor. This ex vivo model may therefore be a useful tool to investigate intravitreal kinetics and ocular disposition of therapeutic molecules after intravitreal injection.

  15. Lack of connexin43-mediated Bergmann glial gap junctional coupling does not affect cerebellar long-term depression, motor coordination, or eyeblink conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mika Tanaka

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Bergmann glial cells are specialized astrocytes in the cerebellum. In the mature cerebellar molecular layer, Bergmann glial processes are closely associated with Purkinje cells, enclosing Purkinje cell dendritic synapses with a glial sheath. There is intensive gap junctional coupling between Bergmann glial processes, but their significance in cerebellar functions is not known. Connexin43 (Cx43, a major component of astrocytic gap junction channels, is abundantly expressed in Bergmann glial cells. To examine the role of Cx43-mediated gap junctions between Bergmann glial cells in cerebellar functions, we generated Cx43 conditional knockout mice with the S100b-Cre transgenic line (Cx43fl/fl:S100b-Cre, which exhibited a significant loss of Cx43 in the Bergmann glial cells and astrocytes in the cerebellum with a postnatal onset. The Cx43fl/fl:S100b-Cre mice had normal cerebellar architecture. Although gap junctional coupling between the Bergmann glial cells measured by spreading of microinjected Lucifer yellow was virtually abolished in Cx43fl/fl:S100b-Cre mice, electrophysiologic analysis revealed that cerebellar long-term depression could be induced and maintained normally in thier cerebellar slices. In addition, at the behavioral level, Cx43fl/fl:S100b-Cre mice had normal motor coordination in the rotarod task and normal conditioned eyelid response. Our findings suggest that Cx43-mediated gap junctional coupling between Bergmann glial cells is not necessary for the neuron-glia interactions required for cerebellum-dependent motor coordination and motor learning.

  16. Inhibition of GSK-3β Rescues the Impairments in Bone Formation and Mechanical Properties Associated with Fracture Healing in Osteoblast Selective Connexin 43 Deficient Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loiselle, Alayna E.; Lloyd, Shane A. J.; Paul, Emmanuel M.; Lewis, Gregory S.; Donahue, Henry J.

    2013-01-01

    Connexin 43 (Cx43) is the most abundant gap junction protein in bone and is required for osteoblastic differentiation and bone homeostasis. During fracture healing, Cx43 is abundantly expressed in osteoblasts and osteocytes, while Cx43 deficiency impairs bone formation and healing. In the present study we selectively deleted Cx43 in the osteoblastic lineage from immature osteoblasts through osteocytes and tested the hypothesis that Cx43 deficiency results in delayed osteoblastic differentiation and impaired restoration of biomechanical properties due to attenuated β-catenin expression relative to wild type littermates. Here we show that Cx43 deficiency results in alterations in the mineralization and remodeling phases of healing. In Cx43 deficient fractures the mineralization phase is marked by delayed expression of osteogenic genes. Additionally, the decrease in the RankL/ Opg ratio, osteoclast number and osteoclast size suggest decreased osteoclast bone resorption and remodeling. These changes in healing result in functional deficits as shown by a decrease in ultimate torque at failure. Consistent with these impairments in healing, β-catenin expression is attenuated in Cx43 deficient fractures at 14 and 21 days, while Sclerostin (Sost) expression, a negative regulator of bone formation is increased in Cx43cKO fractures at 21 days, as is GSK-3β, a key component of the β-catenin proteasomal degradation complex. Furthermore, we show that alterations in healing in Cx43 deficient fractures can be rescued by inhibiting GSK-3β activity using Lithium Chloride (LiCl). Treatment of Cx43 deficient mice with LiCl restores both normal bone formation and mechanical properties relative to LiCl treated WT fractures. This study suggests that Cx43 is a potential therapeutic target to enhance fracture healing and identifies a previously unknown role for Cx43 in regulating β-catenin expression and thus bone formation during fracture repair. PMID:24260576

  17. Impaired osteogenic differentiation associated with connexin43/microRNA-206 in steroid-induced avascular necrosis of the femoral head.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Gang; Luo, Gaobin; Bo, Zhandong; Liang, Xiaonan; Huang, Jie; Li, Donghui

    2016-08-01

    Connexin(Cx)43 and microRNA(miR)-206 play an important role in osteogenesis. However, their role in steroid-induced femoral head osteonecrosis (SANFH) is still ambiguous. The present study aimed to establish a rabbit model and investigate osteogenesis in steroid-induced femoral head osteonecrosis occurring via Cx43/miR-206 and the changes of Wnt/β-catenin signal pathway-related proteins. A total of 72 adult New Zealand white rabbits were divided randomly into a model group (Group A) and a control group (Group B) of 36 rabbits each. Group A was injected intravenously with lipopolysaccharide (10μg/kg body weight, once per day). After 48h, three injections of methylprednisolone (MPS; 20mg/kg body weight) were administered intramuscularly at 24-hour intervals. Group B were fed and housed under identical conditions but received saline injections. All animals were sacrificed at two, four, and eight weeks from the first MPS injection. Typical early osteonecrosis symptoms were observed in Group A. The expression of miR-206 in Group A was significantly higher than that of Group B. The mRNA and protein levels of Cx43, β-catenin, runt-related transcription factor 2, and alkaline phosphatase gradually decreased while Dickkopf-1 (Dkk-1) gradually increased in Group A compared with Group B. These findings indicated that Cx43/miR-206 is involved in the pathogenesis of early stage SANFH and may be associate with Wnt/β-catenin signal pathway. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Amitriptyline up-regulates connexin43-gap junction in rat cultured cortical astrocytes via activation of the p38 and c-Fos/AP-1 signalling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morioka, N; Suekama, K; Zhang, F F; Kajitani, N; Hisaoka-Nakashima, K; Takebayashi, M; Nakata, Y

    2014-06-01

    Intercellular communication via gap junctions, comprised of connexin (Cx) proteins, allow for communication between astrocytes, which in turn is crucial for maintaining CNS homeostasis. The expression of Cx43 is decreased in post-mortem brains from patients with major depression. A potentially novel mechanism of tricyclic antidepressants is to increase the expression and functioning of gap junctions in astrocytes. The effect of amitriptyline on the expression of Cx43 and gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) in rat primary cultured cortical astrocytes was investigated. We also investigated the role of p38 MAPK intracellular signalling pathway in the amitriptyline-induced expression of Cx43 and GJIC. Treatment with amitriptyline for 48 h significantly up-regulated Cx43 mRNA, protein and GJIC. The up-regulation of Cx43 was not monoamine-related since noradrenaline, 5-HT and dopamine did not induce Cx43 expression and pretreatment with α- and β-adrenoceptor antagonists had no effect. Intracellular signalling involved p38 MAPK, as amitriptyline significantly increased p38 MAPK phosphorylation and Cx43 expression and GJIC were significantly blocked by the p38 inhibitor SB 202190. Furthermore, amitriptyline-induced Cx43 expression and GJIC were markedly reduced by transcription factor AP-1 inhibitors (curcumin and tanshinone IIA). The translocation of c-Fos from the cytosol and the nucleus of cortical astrocytes was increased by amitriptyline, and this response was dependent on p38 activity. These findings indicate a novel mechanism of action of amitriptyline through cortical astrocytes, and further suggest that targeting this mechanism could lead to the development of a new class of antidepressants. © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.

  19. Astrocyte sigma-1 receptors modulate connexin 43 expression leading to the induction of below-level mechanical allodynia in spinal cord injured mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sheu-Ran; Roh, Dae-Hyun; Yoon, Seo-Yeon; Kwon, Soon-Gu; Choi, Hoon-Seong; Han, Ho-Jae; Beitz, Alvin J; Lee, Jang-Hern

    2016-12-01

    We have previously shown using a spinal cord injury (SCI) model that gap junctions contribute to the early spread of astrocyte activation in the lumbar spinal cord and that this astrocyte communication plays critical role in the induction of central neuropathic pain. Sigma-1 receptors (Sig-1Rs) have been implicated in spinal astrocyte activation and the development of peripheral neuropathic pain, yet their contribution to central neuropathic pain remains unknown. Thus, we investigated whether SCI upregulates spinal Sig-1Rs, which in turn increase the expression of the astrocytic gap junction protein, connexin 43 (Cx43) leading to the induction of central neuropathic pain. A thoracic spinal cord hemisection significantly increased both astrocyte activation and Cx43 expression in lumbar dorsal horn. Sig-1Rs were also increased in lumbar dorsal horn astrocytes, but not neurons or microglia. Intrathecal injection of an astrocyte metabolic inhibitor (fluorocitrate); a gap junction/hemichannel blocker (carbenoxolone); or a Cx43 mimetic peptide ( 43 Gap26) significantly reduced SCI-induced bilateral below-level mechanical allodynia. Blockade of Sig-1Rs with BD1047 during the induction phase of pain significantly suppressed the SCI-induced development of mechanical allodynia, astrocyte activation, increased expression of Cx43 in both total and membrane levels, and increased association of Cx43 with Sig-1R. However, SCI did not change the expression of oligodendrocyte (Cx32) or neuronal (Cx36) gap junction proteins. These findings demonstrate that SCI activates astrocyte Sig-1Rs leading to increases in the expression of the gap junction protein, Cx43 and astrocyte activation in the lumbar dorsal horn, and ultimately contribute to the induction of bilateral below-level mechanical allodynia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Adenovirus Vector E4 Gene Regulates Connexin 40 and 43 Expression in Endothelial Cells via PKA and PI3K Signal Pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fan; Cheng, Joseph; Lam, George; Jin, David K.; Vincent, Loïc; Hackett, Neil R.; Wang, Shiyang; Young, Lauren M.; Hempstead, Barbara; Crystal, Ronald G.; Rafii, Shahin

    2010-01-01

    Connexins (Cxs) provide a means for intercellular communication and play important roles in the pathophysiology of vascular cardiac diseases. Infection of endothelial cells (ECs) with first-generation E1/E3-deleted E4+ adenovirus (AdE4+) selectively modulates the survival and angiogenic potential of ECs by as of yet unrecognized mechanisms. We show here that AdE4+ vectors potentiate Cx expression in ECs in vitro and in mouse heart tissue. Infection of ECs with AdE4+, but not AdE4−, resulted in a time- and dose-dependent induction of junctional Cx40 expression and suppression of Cx43 protein and mRNA expression. Treatment of ECs with PKA inhibitor H89 or PI3K inhibitor LY294002 prevented the AdE4+-mediated regulation of Cx40 and Cx43 that was associated with diminished AdE4+-mediated survival of ECs. Moreover, both PKA activity and cAMP-response element (CRE)-binding activity were enhanced by treatment of ECs with AdE4+. However, there is no causal evidence of a cross-talk between the 2 modulatory pathways, PKA and PI3K. Remarkably, Cx40 immunostaining was markedly increased and Cx43 was decreased in the heart tissue of mice treated with intratracheal AdE4+. Taken together, these results suggest that AdE4+ may play an important role in the regulation of Cx expression in ECs, and that these effects are mediated by both the PKA/CREB and PI3K signaling pathways. PMID:15831817

  1. Remyelination in experimentally demyelinated connexin 32 KnockOut mice Remielinização em camundongos KnockOut para conexina 32 desmielinizados experimentalmente

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriano Tony Ramos

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of connexin 32 (Cx 32 during remyelination of the peripheral nervous system, through a local injection of either 0,1% ethidium bromide solution or saline in the sciatic nerve of Cx 32 knockout mice. Euthanasia was performed ranging from 1, 2, 3, 7, 15, 21 to 30 days after injection. Histochemical, immunohistochemical, immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopical techniques were used to analyze the development of the lesions. Within the sciatic nerves, Schwann cells initially showed signs of intoxication and rejected their sheaths; after seven days, some thin newly formed myelin sheaths with uneven compactness and redundant loops (tomacula were conspicuous. We concluded that the regeneration of lost myelin sheaths within the PNS followed the pattern already reported for this model in other laboratory species. Therefore, these results suggest that absence of Cx 32 did not interfere with the normal pattern of remyelination in this model in young mice.Este estudo visou avaliar o papel da conexina 32 (Cx 32 durante a remielinização no sistema nervoso periférico. Uma injeção local de 0,1% de solução de brometo de etídio foi realizada no nervo ciático de camundongos deletados para a Cx 32, com eutanásia dos animais aos 1, 2, 3, 7, 15, 21 e 30 dias pós-injeção. Avaliações histoquímicas, imunoistoquímicas, por imunofluorescência e por microscopia eletrônica de transmissão foram utilizadas na análise do desenvolvimento das lesões. Nos nervos ciáticos, células de Schwann mostraram inicialmente sinais de intoxicação e rejeitaram suas bainhas. Após sete dias, observaram-se finas bainhas neoformadas, com compactação desigual e alças redundantes (tomácula. Conclui-se que a regeneração de bainhas de mielina perdidas no SNP seguiu o padrão já relatado deste modelo em outras espécies de laboratório. Portanto, estes resultados sugerem que a ausência da Cx 32 n

  2. Cellular uptake of lead in the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier: Novel roles of Connexin 43 hemichannel and its down-regulations via Erk phosphorylation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Song, Han; Zheng, Gang; Liu, Yang; Shen, Xue-Feng; Zhao, Zai-Hua [Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and the Ministry-of-Education' s Key Laboratory of Hazard Assessment and Control in Special Operational Environment, School of Public Health, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an 710032 (China); Aschner, Michael [Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461 (United States); Luo, Wen-Jing, E-mail: luowenj@fmmu.edu.cn [Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and the Ministry-of-Education' s Key Laboratory of Hazard Assessment and Control in Special Operational Environment, School of Public Health, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an 710032 (China); Chen, Jing-Yuan, E-mail: jy_chen@fmmu.edu.cn [Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and the Ministry-of-Education' s Key Laboratory of Hazard Assessment and Control in Special Operational Environment, School of Public Health, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an 710032 (China)

    2016-04-15

    As the structural basis of blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCB), epithelial cells in the choroid plexus (CP) are targets for lead (Pb). Pb is known to accumulate in the CP; however, the mechanism of Pb uptake in the choroidal epithelial cells remains unknown. Recently, hemichannels of Connexin 43 (Cx43), the most ubiquitously expressed gap junction proteins in the CP, were found to be important pathways for many substances. This study was designed to investigate the roles of Cx43 in Pb uptake in the epithelial cells. Autometallography was used to outline Pb's subcellular location, and the characteristics of Pb transport into CP cells, including concentration- and time-dependence were analyzed by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Knockdown/overexpression of Cx43 with transient siRNA/plasmids transfections before Pb exposure diminished/increased the Pb accumulation. In the Z310 cell-based doxycycline-inducible Cx43 expression cell line (iZCx43), doxycycline induced a significant increase (3-fold) in Pb uptake, corresponding to the increased Cx43 levels. Activation of Cx43 hemichannels by reduced serum conditions caused an increase of Pb concentrations. Cx43-induced Pb uptake was attenuated after blockage of Cx43 hemichannels with its inhibitor, carbenoxolone. Additionally, down-regulation of Cx43 protein levels by Pb exposure paralleled cellular Pb concentrations in the time study. Concomitantly, expressions of phosphor-Src and phosphor-Erk were both significantly increased by Pb. However, inactivation of Erk, not Src pathway, reversed Pb-induced downregulation of Cx43. Taken together, these data establish that Pb can accumulate in the BCB and validate the role of Cx43 hemichannel in Pb uptake and its regulations through Erk phosphorylation. - Highlights: • Pb is sequestrated in choroid plexus both in vivo and in vitro. • Cx43 knockdown/overexpression prevents/increases Pb accumulations. • Cx43 hemichannels are required for Pb uptake. • Pb-induced Erk

  3. Cellular uptake of lead in the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier: Novel roles of Connexin 43 hemichannel and its down-regulations via Erk phosphorylation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Song, Han; Zheng, Gang; Liu, Yang; Shen, Xue-Feng; Zhao, Zai-Hua; Aschner, Michael; Luo, Wen-Jing; Chen, Jing-Yuan

    2016-01-01

    As the structural basis of blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCB), epithelial cells in the choroid plexus (CP) are targets for lead (Pb). Pb is known to accumulate in the CP; however, the mechanism of Pb uptake in the choroidal epithelial cells remains unknown. Recently, hemichannels of Connexin 43 (Cx43), the most ubiquitously expressed gap junction proteins in the CP, were found to be important pathways for many substances. This study was designed to investigate the roles of Cx43 in Pb uptake in the epithelial cells. Autometallography was used to outline Pb's subcellular location, and the characteristics of Pb transport into CP cells, including concentration- and time-dependence were analyzed by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Knockdown/overexpression of Cx43 with transient siRNA/plasmids transfections before Pb exposure diminished/increased the Pb accumulation. In the Z310 cell-based doxycycline-inducible Cx43 expression cell line (iZCx43), doxycycline induced a significant increase (3-fold) in Pb uptake, corresponding to the increased Cx43 levels. Activation of Cx43 hemichannels by reduced serum conditions caused an increase of Pb concentrations. Cx43-induced Pb uptake was attenuated after blockage of Cx43 hemichannels with its inhibitor, carbenoxolone. Additionally, down-regulation of Cx43 protein levels by Pb exposure paralleled cellular Pb concentrations in the time study. Concomitantly, expressions of phosphor-Src and phosphor-Erk were both significantly increased by Pb. However, inactivation of Erk, not Src pathway, reversed Pb-induced downregulation of Cx43. Taken together, these data establish that Pb can accumulate in the BCB and validate the role of Cx43 hemichannel in Pb uptake and its regulations through Erk phosphorylation. - Highlights: • Pb is sequestrated in choroid plexus both in vivo and in vitro. • Cx43 knockdown/overexpression prevents/increases Pb accumulations. • Cx43 hemichannels are required for Pb uptake. • Pb-induced Erk

  4. Disruption of gap junctional intercellular communication by antibiotic gentamicin is associated with aberrant localization of occludin, N-cadherin, connexin 43, and vimentin in SerW3 Sertoli cells in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekheet, Souad H M; Stahlmann, Ralf

    2009-09-01

    Spermatogenesis is a very complex process by which male germ cells differentiate into mature spermatozoa. The sophisticated communication network that controls spermatogenesis can be derailed so that dysfunction of one cell type propagates to all types as a cascade. This accounts for the particular vulnerability of the testis to environmental factors such as drugs and xenobiotics. Sertoli cells play an important role in protecting developing germ cells by forming a physiological barrier, limiting exposure to potentially toxic substrates, or conversely, facilitating uptake of xenobiotics within the testis. In this study, cells from the rat Sertoli line (SerW3) were incubated for 3, 6 and 9 subsequent days in serum free DMEM (SFDM) composed of DMEM supplemented with three different concentrations of antibiotic gentamicin (10, 30, and 100 μg). The effect of the three different concentrations of this antibiotic was determined on Sertoli cell-cell interaction through impaired expression of their constitutive tight junction proteins as early targets for different toxicants in vitro by immunochemistry analysis. The Sertoli SerW3 cell line illustrated the cytotoxicity of GS, as the intercellular junction proteins such as occludin, N-cadherin, connexin 43, and vimentin were delocalized from the membrane to the cytoplasmic compartment during exposure to the antibiotic. This study underlines the potential deleterious effects of the routine use of antibiotics during continuous cell culture.

  5. Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2 and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1 alter connexin 43 phosphorylation in MC3T3-E1 Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rudkin George H

    2001-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs and transforming growth factor-βs (TGF-βs are important regulators of bone repair and regeneration. BMP-2 and TGF-β1 have been shown to inhibit gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC in MC3T3-E1 cells. Connexin 43 (Cx43 has been shown to mediate GJIC in osteoblasts and it is the predominant gap junctional protein expressed in these murine osteoblast-like cells. We examined the expression, phosphorylation, and subcellular localization of Cx43 after treatment with BMP-2 or TGF-β1 to investigate a possible mechanism for the inhibition of GJIC. Results Northern blot analysis revealed no detectable change in the expression of Cx43 mRNA. Western blot analysis demonstrated no significant change in the expression of total Cx43 protein. However, significantly higher ratios of unphosphorylated vs. phosphorylated forms of Cx43 were detected after BMP-2 or TGF-β1 treatment. Immunofluorescence and cell protein fractionation revealed no detectable change in the localization of Cx43 between the cytosol and plasma membrane. Conclusions BMP-2 and TGF-β1 do not alter expression of Cx43 at the mRNA or protein level. BMP-2 and TGF-β1 may inhibit GJIC by decreasing the phosphorylated form of Cx43 in MC3T3-E1 cells.

  6. Connexin31.1 deficiency in the mouse impairs object memory and modulates open-field exploration, acetylcholine esterase levels in the striatum, and cAMP response element-binding protein levels in the striatum and piriform cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dere, E; Zheng-Fischhöfer, Q; Viggiano, D; Gironi Carnevale, U A; Ruocco, L A; Zlomuzica, A; Schnichels, M; Willecke, K; Huston, J P; Sadile, A G

    2008-05-02

    Neuronal gap junctions in the brain, providing intercellular electrotonic signal transfer, have been implicated in physiological and behavioral correlates of learning and memory. In connexin31.1 (Cx31.1) knockout (KO) mice the coding region of the Cx31.1 gene was replaced by a LacZ reporter gene. We investigated the impact of Cx31.1 deficiency on open-field exploration, the behavioral response to an odor, non-selective attention, learning and memory performance, and the levels of memory-related proteins in the hippocampus, striatum and the piriform cortex. In terms of behavior, the deletion of the Cx31.1 coding DNA in the mouse led to increased exploratory behaviors in a novel environment, and impaired one-trial object recognition at all delays tested. Despite strong Cx31.1 expression in the peripheral and central olfactory system, Cx31.1 KO mice exhibited normal behavioral responses to an odor. We found increased levels of acetylcholine esterase (AChE) and cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) in the striatum of Cx31.1 KO mice. In the piriform cortex the Cx31.1 KO mice had an increased heterogeneity of CREB expression among neurons. In conclusion, gap-junctions featuring the Cx31.1 protein might be involved in open-field exploration as well as object memory and modulate levels of AChE and CREB in the striatum and piriform cortex.

  7. Tetramethylpyrazine suppresses transient oxygen-glucose deprivation-induced connexin32 expression and cell apoptosis via the ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK pathway in cultured hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Gu; Yuan, Libang; Cai, Lin; Ran, Maorong; Zhang, Yulan; Gong, Huaqu; Dai, Xuemei; Wu, Wei; Dong, Hailong

    2014-01-01

    Tetramethylpyrazine (TMP) has been widely used in China as a drug for the treatment of various diseases. Recent studies have suggested that TMP has a protective effect on ischemic neuronal damage. However, the exact mechanism is still unclear. This study aims to investigate the mechanism of TMP mediated ischemic hippocampal neurons injury induced by oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). The effect of TMP on hippocampal neurons viability was detected by MTT assay, LDH release assay and apoptosis rate was measured by flow cytometry. TMP significantly suppressed neuron apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. TMP could significantly reduce the elevated levels of connexin32 (Cx32) induced by OGD. Knockdown of Cx32 by siRNA attenuated OGD injury. Moreover, our study showed that viability was increased in siRNA-Cx32-treated-neurons, and neuron apoptosis was suppressed by activating Bcl-2 expression and inhibiting Bax expression. Over expression of Cx32 could decrease neurons viability and increase LDH release. Furthermore, OGD increased phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and p38, whose inhibitors relieved the neuron injury and Cx32 up-regulation. Taken together, TMP can reverse the OGD-induced Cx32 expression and cell apoptosis via the ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK pathways.

  8. Tetramethylpyrazine suppresses transient oxygen-glucose deprivation-induced connexin32 expression and cell apoptosis via the ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK pathway in cultured hippocampal neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gu Gong

    Full Text Available Tetramethylpyrazine (TMP has been widely used in China as a drug for the treatment of various diseases. Recent studies have suggested that TMP has a protective effect on ischemic neuronal damage. However, the exact mechanism is still unclear. This study aims to investigate the mechanism of TMP mediated ischemic hippocampal neurons injury induced by oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD. The effect of TMP on hippocampal neurons viability was detected by MTT assay, LDH release assay and apoptosis rate was measured by flow cytometry. TMP significantly suppressed neuron apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. TMP could significantly reduce the elevated levels of connexin32 (Cx32 induced by OGD. Knockdown of Cx32 by siRNA attenuated OGD injury. Moreover, our study showed that viability was increased in siRNA-Cx32-treated-neurons, and neuron apoptosis was suppressed by activating Bcl-2 expression and inhibiting Bax expression. Over expression of Cx32 could decrease neurons viability and increase LDH release. Furthermore, OGD increased phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and p38, whose inhibitors relieved the neuron injury and Cx32 up-regulation. Taken together, TMP can reverse the OGD-induced Cx32 expression and cell apoptosis via the ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK pathways.

  9. Expression and distribution of connexin 32 in rat liver with experimentally induced fibrosis Expressão e distribuição da conexina 32 em fígados de ratos com fibrose induzida experimentalmente

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandro dos S. Rodrigues

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available The connexin 32 (Cx32 is a protein that forms the channels that promote the gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC in the liver, allowing the diffusion of small molecules through cytosol from cell-to-cell. Hepatic fibrosis is characterized by a disruption of normal tissue architeture by cellular lesions, and may alter the GJIC. This work aimed to study the expression and distribution of Cx32 in liver fibrosis induced by the oral administration of dimethylnitrosamine in female Wistar rats. The necropsy of the rats was carried out after five weeks of drug administration. They presented a hepatic fibrosis state. Sections from livers with fibrosis and from control livers were submitted to immunohistochemical, Real Time-PCR and Western-Blot analysis to Cx32. In fibrotic livers the Cxs were diffusely scattered in the cytoplasm, contrasting with the control livers, where the Cx32 formed junction plaques at the cell membrane. Also it was found a decrease in the gene expression of Cx32 without reduction in the protein quantity when compared with controls. These results suggest that there the mechanism of intercellular communication between hepatocytes was reduced by the fibrotic process, which may predispose to the occurrence of a neoplastic process, taken in account that connexins are considered tumor suppressing genes.A conexina 32 (Cx32 é uma proteína que constitui os canais que promovem as comunicações intercelulares via junções comunicantes (CIJC no fígado, permitindo difusão de pequenas moléculas citoplasmáticas de uma célula à outra. A fibrose hepática caracteriza-se pela alteração da arquitetura normal do fígado e podem alterar as CIJCs. O objetivo deste trabalho foi estudar a expressão e distribuição de Cx32 na fibrose hepática. O objetivo do presente trabalho foi estudar a expressão e distribuição da Cx32 em fígados com fibrose induzida pela administração oral de dimetilnitrosamina em fêmeas de ratos Wistar. A

  10. Intercellular communications within the rat anterior pituitary. XVI: postnatal changes of distribution of S-100 protein positive cells, connexin 43 and LH-RH positive sites in the pars tuberalis of the rat pituitary gland. An immunohistochemical and electron microscopic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wada, Ikuo; Sakuma, Eisuke; Shirasawa, Nobuyuki; Wakabayashi, Kenjiro; Otsuka, Takanobu; Hattori, Kazuki; Yashiro, Takashi; Herbert, Damon C; Soji, Tsuyoshi

    2014-02-01

    The architecture of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) nerve ends and the S-100 protein containing folliculo-stellate cells forming gap junctions in the pars tuberalis is basically important in understanding the regulation of the hormone producing mechanism of anterior pituitary glands. In this study, intact male rats 5-60 days old were prepared for immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. From immunostained sections, the S-100 containing cells in pars tuberalis were first detected on day 30 and increased in number to day 60; this was parallel to the immunohistochemical staining of gap junction protein, connexin 43. LH-RH positive sites were clearly observed on just behind the optic chiasm and on the root of pituitary stalk on day 30. On day 60, the width of layer increased, while follicles and gap junctions were frequently observed between agranular cells in 10 or more layers of pars tuberalis. In the present study, we investigated the sexual maturation of the anterior pituitary glands through the postnatal development of S-100 positive cells, connexin 43 and LH-RH nerves. It is suggested that the folliculo-stellate cell system including the LH-RH neurons in the pars tuberalis participates in the control of LH secretion along with the portal vein system. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. The role of connexin40 in developing atrial conduction

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Beneš Jr., Jiří; Ammirabile, G.; Šaňková, Barbora; Campione, M.; Krejčí, Eliška; Kvasilová, A.; Sedmera, David

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 588, č. 8 (2014), s. 1465-1469 ISSN 0014-5793 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA13-12412S; GA ČR(CZ) GAP302/11/1308; GA ČR(CZ) GD204/09/H084 Grant - others:Univerzita Karlova(CZ) PRVOUK-P35/LF1/5 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : heart development * arrhythmogenesis * sinoatrial node * optical mapping * mouse embryo Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology Impact factor: 3.169, year: 2014

  12. Permeant-specific gating of connexin 30 hemichannels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Brian Skriver; Alstrom, Jette Skov; Nicholson, Bruce

    2017-01-01

    Gap junctions confer interconnectivity of the cytoplasm in neighboring cells via docking of two connexons expressed in each of the adjacent membranes. Undocked connexons, referred to as hemichannels, may open and connect the cytoplasm with the extracellular fluid. The hemichannel configuration......)ethyl] methane thiosulfonate bromide (MTS-ET) increased Cx30-mediated currents, with unperturbed ethidium permeability. In summary, our results demonstrate that the permeability of hemichannels is regulated in a permeant-specific manner, and underscores that hemichannels are selective rather than non...

  13. Connexins and Cadherin Crosstalk in the Pathogenesis of Prostate Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-01

    Ru N, Morton RA, Robinson JC, Wheelock,M.J., Johnson KR, Barrett JC, and Isaacs WB (1995) Chromosome 5 suppresses tumorigenicity of PC3 prostate...individually tracking the movement and disappearance of puncta at cell-cell contact areas, we found that most Cx32220-EGFP puncta moved and disappeared within...10 min, whereas most Cx32-WT-EGFP gap junction puncta moved slowly and did not disappear even up to 2 h (Fig. 10, supplemental Movies S1 and S2). For

  14. HID and KID syndromes are associated with the same connexin 26 mutation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geel, M. van; Steensel, M.A.M. van; Kuster, W.; Hennies, H.C.; Happle, R.H.G.; Steijlen, P.M.; Konig, A.C.

    2002-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness (KID) syndrome is a debilitating ectodermal dysplasia that predisposes patients to develop squamous cell carcinomas in addition to leading to profound sensory deafness and erythrokeratoderma. We recently demonstrated that KID can be caused by a specific

  15. Characterization of the association of connexins and ZO-1 in the lens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nielsen, P A; Baruch, A; Giepmans, B N; Kumar, Nalin M

    2001-01-01

    ZO-1 (Zona Occludens protein 1) has previously been shown to bind Cx43alpha1. This interaction involves the most C-terminal residues of Cx43alpha1 and the second PDZ-domain of ZO-1. The biological significance of this interaction is not well understood. The similarity of the C-terminal residues of

  16. Connexin 26 ( GJB2 ) mutation in KID syndrome: An Egyptian patient

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Keratitis ± ichthyosis ± deafness (KID) syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by the occurrence of localized erythematous scaly skin lesions, severe bilateral keratitis, and sensorineural deafness. Other ocular manifestations include corneal epithelial defects and scarring, which cause progressive decline of visual acuity ...

  17. Astrocytic connexin hemichannels are regulated by PKC phosphorylation in an isoform-specific manner

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    MacAulay, N.; Alstrom, J. S.; Hansen, D. B.

    2017-01-01

    /activation of PKC and by mutational disruption of the proposed PKC-phosphorylation sites. Cx30 hemichannel activity, in contrast, was down-regulated by PKC activation, in a manner suggesting PKC-mediated channel closure. No single PKC consensus site could be assigned to this regulatory property by mutational...

  18. Diabetes and thyroid hormones affect connexin-43 and PKC-ε expression in rat heart atria

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mitašíková, M.; Lin, H.; Soukup, Tomáš; Imanaga, I.; Tribulová, N.

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 58, č. 2 (2009), s. 211-217 ISSN 0862-8408 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LC554; GA ČR(CZ) GA304/05/0327; GA ČR(CZ) GA304/08/0256 Grant - others:EC(XE) LSH-CT-2004-511978; VEGA(SK) 2/6064/27; APVV(SK) 51-059505 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509 Keywords : diabetes * triiodothyronine * atrial fibrillation Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 1.430, year: 2009

  19. A novel connexin 26 mutation in a patient diagnosed with keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness syndrome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Steensel, Maurice A. M.; van Geel, Michel; Nahuys, Marc; Smitt, J. Henk Sillevis; Steijlen, Peter M.

    2002-01-01

    Keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by erythrokeratoderma, deafness, and keratitis. Scarring alopecia and squamous cell carcinoma can also occur. Most cases described so far were sporadic. Here we present evidence that keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness syndrome is

  20. A novel connexin 26 mutation in a patient diagnosed with keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness syndrome.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steensel, M.A.M. van; Geel, M. van; Nahuys, M.; Smitt, J.H.; Steijlen, P.M.

    2002-01-01

    Keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by erythrokeratoderma, deafness, and keratitis. Scarring alopecia and squamous cell carcinoma can also occur. Most cases described so far were sporadic. Here we present evidence that keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness syndrome is

  1. GJB2 (Connexin-26) mutations are not frequent among hearing impaired patients in East Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Homoe, P.; Koch, A.; Rendtorff, Nanna Dahl

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Investigate genetic causes of HI among the Inuit populations in the Arctic with a high prevalence of hearing impairment (HI). Design: A cross-sectional survey with population-based controls. Study sample: Forty-five patients, with sensorineural or mixed HI and an available blood sample...... for GJB2 sequencing from DNA, were selected from 166 East Greenlanders by specialist audiology examination, including pure-tone air and bone conduction audiometry from 125 Hz to 8000 Hz. Controls were 108 East- and 109 West-Greenlanders. Results: Forty-five patients with HI were included, 24 males and 21...

  2. The congenital "ant-egg" cataract phenotype is caused by a missense mutation in connexin46

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Lars; Yao, Wenliang; Eiberg, Hans

    2006-01-01

    "Ant-egg" cataract is a rare, distinct variety of congenital/infantile cataract that was reported in a large Danish family in 1967. This cataract phenotype is characterized by ant-egg-like bodies embedded in the lens in a laminar configuration and is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. We r...

  3. GJA1 mutations, variants, and connexin 43 dysfunction as it relates to the oculodentodigital dysplasia phenotype.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Paznekas, W.A.; Karczeski, B.; Vermeer, S.; Lowry, R.B.; Delatycki, M.; Laurence, F.; Koivisto, P.A.; Maldergem, L. van; Boyadjiev, S.A.; Bodurtha, J.N.; Jabs, E.W.

    2009-01-01

    The predominantly autosomal dominant disorder, oculodentodigital dysplasia (ODDD) has high penetrance with intra- and interfamilial phenotypic variability. Abnormalities observed in ODDD affect the eye, dentition, and digits of the hands and feet. Patients present with a characteristic facial

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideyuki eTakeuchi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. Sphingosine-1-Phosphate reduces ischemia/reperfusion injury by phosphorylating the gap junction protein Connexin43

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morel, Sandrine; Christoffersen, Christina; Axelsen, Lene N

    2016-01-01

    recruitment seems only indirectly affected. Importantly, short-term S1P treatment at the onset of reperfusion was sufficient to reduce ischemia/reperfusion injury in isolated perfused hearts. Mechanistic in vitro and ex vivo studies revealed that 5 min of S1P treatment induced phosphorylation of the gap...

  6. P6 Electroacupuncture Improved QTc Interval Prolongation by Upregulation of Connexin43 in Droperidol Treated Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Zhao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. This study investigated the effect of P6 EA on droperidol-induced QTc interval prolongation and Cx43 expression in ventricular muscle of rats. Methods. Twenty-four rats were randomly divided into control group (C, droperidol group (D, or EA group (E. C group rats were injected with normal saline. D group rats were injected with droperidol 0.13 mg/kg. E group rats were pretreated with EA at left P6 acupoint for 30 min and then injected with droperidol (0.13 mg/kg. QTc intervals were recorded at lead II in ECG within 120 min. Cx43 expression was measured by RT-PCR and western blotting. Result. Droperidol significantly prolonged QTc intervals compared with controls at 5 min, 10 min, 15 min, and 30 min (P0.05. Conclusion. P6 EA could improve QTc interval prolongation induced by droperidol, which may relate to upregulation of Cx43 mRNA and protein. Antiemetic dose of droperidol had minor effects on Cx43 mRNA and protein expression at 120 min.

  7. Connexins and Cadherin Cross-talk in the Pathogenesis of Prostate Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-01

    1627-1636. 25. Ewing CM, Ru N, Morton RA, Robinson JC, Wheelock,M.J., Johnson KR, Barrett JC, and Isaacs WB (1995) Chromosome 5 suppresses tumorigenicity...plotted the distance traveled over time for each puncta as long as the particle could be visually traced as assessed by its disappearance from the focal...plane. The distance measurement was approximated in a quasi-1 dimensional manner using the punctum’s position before its disappearance with

  8. RXP-E: a connexin43-binding peptide that prevents action potential propagation block

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lewandowski, Rebecca; Procida, Kristina; Vaidyanathan, Ravi

    2008-01-01

    . Separately, RXP-E was concatenated to a cytoplasmic transduction peptide (CTP) for cytoplasmic translocation (CTP-RXP-E). The effect of RXP-E on action potential propagation was assessed by high-resolution optical mapping in monolayers of neonatal rat ventricular myocytes, containing approximately 20......% of randomly distributed myofibroblasts. In contrast to control experiments, when heptanol (2 mmol/L) was added to the superfusate of monolayers loaded with CTP-RXP-E, action potential propagation was maintained, albeit at a slower velocity. Similarly, intracellular acidification (pH(i) 6.2) caused a loss...... of action potential propagation in control monolayers; however, propagation was maintained in CTP-RXP-E-treated cells, although at a slower rate. Patch-clamp experiments revealed that RXP-E did not prevent heptanol-induced block of sodium currents, nor did it alter voltage dependence or amplitude of Kir2...

  9. Old cogs, new tricks: a scaffolding role for connexin43 and a junctional role for sodium channels?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veeraraghavan, Rengasayee; Poelzing, Steven; Gourdie, Robert G

    2014-04-17

    Cardiac conduction is the process by which electrical excitation is communicated from cell to cell within the heart, triggering synchronous contraction of the myocardium. The role of conduction defects in precipitating life-threatening arrhythmias in various disease states has spurred scientific interest in the phenomenon. While the understanding of conduction has evolved greatly over the last century, the process has largely been thought to occur via movement of charge between cells via gap junctions. However, it has long been hypothesized that electrical coupling between cardiac myocytes could also occur ephaptically, without direct transfer of ions between cells. This review will focus on recent insights into cardiac myocyte intercalated disk ultrastructure and their implications for conduction research, particularly the ephaptic coupling hypothesis. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Frequency of c.35delG Mutation in GJB2 Gene (Connexin 26 in Syrian Patients with Nonsyndromic Hearing Impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hazem Kaheel

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Hearing impairments (HI are the most common birth defect worldwide. Very large numbers of genes have been identified but the most profound is GJB2. The clinical interest regarding this gene is very pronounced due to its high carrier frequency (0.5–5.4% across different ethnic groups. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of common GJB2 mutations in Syrian patients with profound sensorineural HI. Methods. We carried out PCR, restriction enzyme based screening, and sequencing of 132 Syrian patients diagnosed clinically with hereditary deafness for different GJB2 mutations. Results. The result revealed that, in GJB2 gene, c.35delG is the most prevalent among affected studied subjects (13.64%, followed by c.457G>A (2.4%. Conclusion. The benefit of this study on the one hand is its first report of prelingual deafness causative gene mutations identified by sequencing technology in the Syrian families. It is obvious from the results that the deployment in biomedical research is highly effective and has a great impact on the ability to uncover the cause of genetic variation in different genetic diseases.

  11. Activation of KCa 3.1 by SKA-31 induces arteriolar dilation and lowers blood pressure in normo- and hypertensive connexin40-deficient mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Radtke, J; Schmidt, Kirsten; Wulff, H

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The calcium-activated potassium channel KCa 3.1 is expressed in the vascular endothelium where its activation causes endothelial hyperpolarization and initiates endothelium-derived hyperpolarization (EDH)-dependent dilations. We here investigated whether pharmacological ac...

  12. Expression changes of microRNA-1 and its targets Connexin 43 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the peripheral nervous system of chronic neuropathic rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Neumann, Elena; Hermanns, Henning; Barthel, Franziska; Werdehausen, Robert; Brandenburger, Timo

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in the neuroplastic changes which induce and maintain neuropathic pain. However, it is unknown whether nerve injury leads to altered miRNA expression and modulation of pain relevant target gene expression within peripheral nerves. In the present study, expression

  13. HYS-32, a novel analogue of combretastatin A-4, enhances connexin43 expression and gap junction intercellular communication in rat astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Pei-Chun; Shen, Chien-Chang; Liao, Chih-Kai; Jow, Guey-Mei; Chiu, Chi-Ting; Chung, Tun-Hui; Wu, Jiahn-Chun

    2013-05-01

    HYS-32 [4-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-3-(naphthalen-2-yl)-2(5H)-furanone] is a new analogue of the anti-tumor compound combretastatin A-4 containing a cis-stilbene moiety. In this study, we investigated its effects on Cx43 gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) and the signaling pathway involved in rat primary astrocytes. Western blot analyses showed that HYS-32 dose- and time-dependently upregulated Cx43 expression. A confocal microscopic study and scrape-loading/dye transfer analyses demonstrated that HYS-32 (5μM) induced microtubule coiling, accumulation of Cx43 in gap junction plaques, and increased GJIC in astrocytes. The HYS-32-induced microtubule coiling and Cx43 accumulation in gap junction plaques was reversed when HYS-32 was removed. Treatment of astrocytes with cycloheximide resulted in time-dependent degradation of by co-treatment with HYS-32 by increasing the half-life of Cx43. Co-treatment with HYS-32 also prevented the LPS-induced downregulation of Cx43 and inhibition of GJIC in astrocytes. HYS-32 induced activation of PKC, ERK, and JNK, and co-treatment with the PKC inhibitor Go6976 or the ERK inhibitor PD98059, but not the JNK inhibitor SP600125, prevented the HYS-32-induced increase in Cx43 expression and GJIC. Go6976 suppressed the HYS-32-induced PKC phosphorylation and increase in phospho-ERK levels, while PD98059 did not prevent the HYS-32-induced increase in phospho-PKC levels, suggesting that PKC is an upstream effector of ERK. In conclusion, our results show that HYS-32 increases the half-life of Cx43 and enhances Cx43 expression and GJIC in astrocytes via a PKC-ERK signaling cascade. These novel biological effects of HYS-32 on astrocyte gap junctions support its potential for therapeutic use as a protective agent for the central nervous system. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Axelsen, Lene Nygaard; Callø, Kirstine; von Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik

    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...... 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...

  15. Silver nanoparticles increase connexin43-mediated gap junctional intercellular communication in HaCaT cells through activation of reactive oxygen species and mitogen-activated protein kinase signal pathway

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Qin, Yu; Han, Limin; Yang, Di

    2018-01-01

    Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are widely used in health and consumer products that routinely contact skin. However, the biological effects and possible mechanisms of AgNPs on skin remain unclear. Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) plays a critical role in multicellular organisms to ...

  16. impairs gap junction function causing congenital cataract

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Navya

    2017-03-24

    Mar 24, 2017 ... experiment showed a lower dye diffusion distance of Cx46 V44M cells, ... Studies of connexins show that channel gating and permeability .... have found that connexin assembled into gap junction plaques is not soluble in 1% ..... high glucose reduces gap junction activity in microvascular endothelial cells.

  17. Gap Junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  18. Omega-3 polynenasýtené mastné kyseliny ovplyvňujú arytmogénne faktory a znižujú náchylnosť srdca k malígnym arytmiám v experimentálnom modeli ľudskej esenciálnej hypertenzie

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Radošinská, J.; Bačová, B.; Knezl, V.; Beňová, T.; Žurmanová, J.; Soukup, Tomáš; Arnoštová, P.; Slezák, J.; Goncalvesová, E.; Tribulová, N.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 1 (2014), s. 10-16 ISSN 1338-3655 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids * ventricular fibrillation * myocardial connexin-43 Subject RIV: FA - Cardiovascular Diseases incl. Cardiotharic Surgery

  19. impairs gap junction function causing congenital cataract

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Navya

    2017-03-24

    Mar 24, 2017 ... ... applied to analyze the expression and subcellular localization of recombinant ... Cx46. The fluorescent localization assay revealed the plaque formation ... composed of six trans-membrane protein subunits called connexins ...

  20. Journal of Genetics | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The connexin 46 mutant (V44M) impairs gap junction function causing congenital cataract ... Research article Volume 96 Issue 6 December 2017 pp 969-976 ... Immunoblotting analysis demonstrated that formation of Triton X-100 insoluble ...

  1. Connexons and pannexons: newcomers in neurophysiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giselle eCheung

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Connexin hemichannels are single membrane channels which have been traditionally thought to work in pairs to form gap junction channels across two opposing cells. In astrocytes, gap junction channels allow direct intercellular communication and greatly facilitate the transmission of signals. Recently, there has been growing evidence demonstrating that connexin hemichannels, as well as pannexin channels, on their own are open in various conditions. They allow bidirectional flow of ions and signaling molecules and act as release sites for transmitters like ATP and glutamate into the extracellular space. While much attention has focused on the function of connexin hemichannels and pannexons during pathological situations like epilepsy, inflammation, neurodegeneration or ischemia, their potential roles in physiology is often ignored. In order to fully understand the dynamic properties and roles of connexin hemichannels and pannexons in the brain, it is essential to decipher whether they also have some physiological functions and contribute to normal cerebral processes. Here, we present recent studies in the CNS suggesting emerging physiological functions of connexin hemichannels and pannexons in normal neuronal activity and behavior. We also discuss how these pioneer studies pave the way for future research to extend the physiological relevance of connexons and pannexons, and some fundamental issues yet to be addressed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Lavrov

    Full Text Available 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.

  3. Currently used methods for identification and characterization of hemichannels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schalper, Kurt A; Palacios-Prado, Nicolás; Orellana, Juan A; Sáez, Juan C

    2008-05-01

    Connexins and pannexins are vertebrate transmembrane proteins that form hexameric conduits termed hemichannels. Functional hemichannels allow the diffusional transport of ions and small molecules across the plasma membrane and serve as paracrine and autocrine communication pathways. During the last decade, interest in the hemichannel field increased substantially. Today, there is evidence for the existence of connexin hemichannels in vertebrate cells and bulk of information supports their function in diverse physiological and pathological responses. Controversy regarding the molecular identity of the hemichannel type mediating many responses arose recently with the identification of pannexin-based hemichannels. Here, the authors describe the most frequently used methods for studying hemichannels in living mammalian cells and focus on those with which they have more experience. Although the available in vitro evidence is substantial, further studies and possibly new experimental approaches are required to understand the role and properties of connexin and pannexin hemichannels in vivo.

  4. TAT-Gap19 and Carbenoxolone Alleviate Liver Fibrosis in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Crespo Yanguas

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Although a plethora of signaling pathways are known to drive the activation of hepatic stellate cells in liver fibrosis, the involvement of connexin-based communication in this process remains elusive. Connexin43 expression is enhanced in activated hepatic stellate cells and constitutes the molecular building stone of hemichannels and gap junctions. While gap junctions support intercellular communication, and hence the maintenance of liver homeostasis, hemichannels provide a circuit for extracellular communication and are typically opened by pathological stimuli, such as oxidative stress and inflammation. The present study was set up to investigate the effects of inhibition of connexin43-based hemichannels and gap junctions on liver fibrosis in mice. Liver fibrosis was induced by administration of thioacetamide to Balb/c mice for eight weeks. Thereafter, mice were treated for two weeks with TAT-Gap19, a specific connexin43 hemichannel inhibitor, or carbenoxolone, a general hemichannel and gap junction inhibitor. Subsequently, histopathological analysis was performed and markers of hepatic damage and functionality, oxidative stress, hepatic stellate cell activation and inflammation were evaluated. Connexin43 hemichannel specificity of TAT-Gap19 was confirmed in vitro by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching analysis and the measurement of extracellular release of adenosine-5′-triphosphate. Upon administration to animals, both TAT-Gap19 and carbenoxolone lowered the degree of liver fibrosis accompanied by superoxide dismutase overactivation and reduced production of inflammatory proteins, respectively. These results support a role of connexin-based signaling in the resolution of liver fibrosis, and simultaneously demonstrate the therapeutic potential of TAT-Gap19 and carbenoxolone in the treatment of this type of chronic liver disease.

  5. ‘Gap Junctions and Cancer: Communicating for 50 Years’

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aasen, Trond; Mesnil, Marc; Naus, Christian C.; Lampe, Paul D.; Laird, Dale W.

    2017-01-01

    Fifty years ago, tumour cells were found to lack electrical coupling, leading to the hypothesis that loss of direct intercellular communication is commonly associated with cancer onset and progression. Subsequent studies linked this phenomenon to gap junctions composed of connexin proteins. While many studies support the notion that connexins are tumour suppressors, recent evidence suggests that, in some tumour types, they may facilitate specific stages of tumour progression through both junctional and non-junctional signalling pathways. This Timeline article highlights the milestones connecting gap junctions to cancer, and underscores important unanswered questions, controversies and therapeutic opportunities in the field. PMID:27782134

  6. Genetics Home Reference: palmoplantar keratoderma with deafness

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Melegh B. Phenotypic variants of the deafness-associated mitochondrial DNA A7445G mutation. Curr Med Chem. 2008;15(13):1257-62. Review. Citation on PubMed Xu J, Nicholson BJ. The role of connexins in ear and skin physiology - functional insights from disease-associated mutations. Biochim Biophys ...

  7. Keratitis-Ichthyosis-Deafness syndrome-associated Cx26 mutants produce nonfunctional gap junctions but hyperactive hemichannels when co-expressed with wild type Cx43

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  8. A review of the current state of pannexin channels as they relate to the blood vessel wall

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brant E Isakson

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Pannexin proteins comprise a family of channels whose sole function, to date, is the release of nucleotides (e.g., adenosine 5'-triphosphate [ATP] and uridine 5′-triphosphate [UTP]. With purinergic signaling being such a prevalent form of cellular communication, it is hard to image why a channel dedicated to the release of nucleotides has not been previously identified. However, with their topography and discovery being lumped with the gap junction field (i.e., connexin, they were thought for a long time to be more similar to connexin-based proteins. It is now known that there is a distinct difference between pannexins and connexins. Unlike connexin hemichannels (undocked gap junctions, pannexins can open under physiological Ca2+ levels. With their distribution being nearly ubiquitous across the vasculature and importance of purinergic signaling in the vasculature, it is easy to see why pannexin channels may be, especially, important. In this mini-review, we highlight what we know about the cell biology of pannexins, followed closely by what is known about pannexins in the vasculature in regards to its importance in vascular physiology.

  9. Intercellular communication and cell proliferation in precision-cut rat liver slices : effect of medium composition and DDT

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Graaf, I.A.M.; Tajima, O.; Groten, J.P.; Wolterbeek, A.P.M.

    2000-01-01

    Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) and cell proliferation were studied in control and 1,1'-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-2,2,2,-trichloroethane (DDT) treated precision-cut liver slices of rat by evaluating connexin 32 (Cx32) expression and 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation. In

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Orellana, Juan A.; Palacios-Prado, Nicolas; Saez, Juan C.

    2006-01-01

    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

  11. Clouston syndrome can mimic pachyonychia congenita

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Steensel, MAM; Jonkman, MF; van Geel, M; Steijlen, PM; McLean, WHI; Smith, FJD

    2003-01-01

    We studied three families suffering from nail abnormalities who had previously been diagnosed as pachyonychia congenita. No keratin gene mutations were detected. Sequencing of connexin 30 (GJB6 gene) in these patients identified heterozygous missense mutations G11R and A88V that are known to be

  12. Calmodulin/CaMKII inhibition improves intercellular communication and impulse propagation in the heart and is antiarrhythmic under conditions when fibrosis is absent

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Takanari, Hiroki; Bourgonje, Vincent J A; Fontes, Magda S C; Raaijmakers, Antonia J A; Driessen, Helen; Jansen, John A.; Van Der Nagel, Roel; Kok, Bart; Van Stuijvenberg, Leonie; Boulaksil, Mohamed; Takemoto, Yoshio; Yamazaki, Masatoshi; Tsuji, Yukiomi; Honjo, Haruo; Kamiya, Kaichiro; Kodama, Itsuo; Anderson, Mark E.; Van Der Heyden, Marcel A G; Van Rijen, Harold V M; van Veen, AAB; Vos, Marc A.

    2016-01-01

    Aim In healthy hearts, ventricular gap junctions are mainly composed by connexin43 (Cx43) and localize in the intercalated disc, enabling appropriate electrical coupling. In diseased hearts, Cx43 is heterogeneously down-regulated, whereas activity of calmodulin/calcium-calmodulin protein kinase II

  13. Calmodulin/CaMKII inhibition improves intercellular communication and impulse propagation in the heart and is antiarrhythmic under conditions when fibrosis is absent

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Takanari, H.; Bourgonje, V.J.; Fontes, M.S.; Raaijmakers, A.J.; Driessen, H.; Jansen, JA; Nagel, R. van der; Kok, B; Stuijvenberg, L. van; Boulaksil, M.; Takemoto, Y.; Yamazaki, M.; Tsuji, Y.; Honjo, H.; Kamiya, K.; Kodama, I.; Anderson, M.E.; Heyden, M.A. van der; Rijen, H.V. van; Veen, T.A. van; Vos, M.A.

    2016-01-01

    AIM: In healthy hearts, ventricular gap junctions are mainly composed by connexin43 (Cx43) and localize in the intercalated disc, enabling appropriate electrical coupling. In diseased hearts, Cx43 is heterogeneously down-regulated, whereas activity of calmodulin/calcium-calmodulin protein kinase II

  14. Pages 552 - 556.pmd

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    the left ventricle to block gap junction communication in the experimental group 2 hours before injury, while the same volume of saline was ... which benefit for deeper understanding the mechanism of brain injury. Key words: ... multiparameter physiological monitor via ductus arteriosus. .... closure of connexin43 channels.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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'. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  16. Author Details

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Original Synthetic Report: Origin of the G2019S mutation associated to Parkinson's disease in Europeans and in North Africans Abstract PDF · Vol 1, No 2 (2009) - Articles Original Synthetic Report: Carrier frequencies of the common GJB2 (connexin-26) 35delG mutation in the Greek-Turkish area: predominance of the ...

  17. impairs gap junction function causing congenital cataract

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    LIJUAN CHEN

    2017-12-20

    Dec 20, 2017 ... showed a lower dye diffusion distance of Cx46 V44M cells, which indicates that the gap junction intercellular ... permeability could be affected by alterations of charged residues of .... bled into gap junction plaques is not soluble in 1% Triton ..... regulation of connexin 43 expression by high glucose reduces.

  18. Visfatin Reduces Gap Junction Mediated Cell-to-Cell Communication in Proximal Tubule-Derived Epithelial Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire E. Hills

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: In the current study we examined if the adipocytokine, visfatin, alters connexin-mediated intercellular communication in proximal tubule-derived epithelial cells. Methods: The effects of visfatin (10-200ng/mL on cell viability and cytotoxicity in HK2-cells were assessed by MTT, crystal violet and lactate dehydrogenase assays. Western blot analysis was used to confirm expression of Cx26, Cx40 and Cx43. The effect of visfatin (10-200ng/mL on TGF-β1 secretion was confirmed by ELISA, and the effects of both TGF-β1 (2-10ng/mL and visfatin (10-200ng/mL on connexin expression were assessed by western blot. Functional intercellular communication was determined using transfer of Lucifer Yellow and paired-whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology. Results: In low glucose (5mM, visfatin (10-200ng/mL did not affect membrane integrity, cytotoxicity or cell viability at 48hrs, but did evoke a concentration-dependent reduction in Cx26 and Cx43 expression. The expression of Cx40 was unaffected. At 48hrs, visfatin (10-200ng/mL increased the secretion of TGF-β1 and the visfatin-evoked changes in connexin expression were mimicked by exogenous application of the pro-fibrotic cytokine (2-10ng/ml. Visfatin reduced dye transfer between coupled cells and decreased functional conductance, with levels falling by 63% as compared to control. Although input resistance was increased following visfatin treatment by 166%, the change was not significant as compared to control. The effects of visfatin on Cx-expression and cell-coupling were blocked in the presence of a TGF-β1 specific neutralizing antibody. Conclusions: The adipocytokine visfatin selectively evoked a non-toxic reduction in connexin expression in HK2-cells. The loss in gap-junction associated proteins was mirrored by a loss in functional conductance between coupled cells. Visfatin increased TGF-β secretion and the pattern of change for connexins expression was mimicked by exogenous

  19. [Morphological features of the myometrium in connective tissue dysplasia in women with uterine inertia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konovalov, P V; Mitrofanova, L B; Gorshkov, A N; Ovsyannikov, F A

    2015-01-01

    to reveal the morphological features of the lower uterine segment myometrium in connective tissue dysplasia (CTD) in women with uterine inertia. Histological, immunohistochemical (with antibodies against collagen types I and III, matrix metalloproteinases 1 and 9 (MMR-1, MMP-9), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1), fibronectin; fibulin-5, connexin-43), electron microscopic, and electron immunocytochemical studies with morphometry of myometrial fragments from 15 parturient women with CTD and uterine inertia (a study group) and those from 10 women without CTD (a control group). The myometrium in CTD exhibited the decreased expression of connextin-43, fibulin-5, TIMP-1, collagens types I and III with collagen type III predominance and the unchanged levels of fibronectin and MMP-1 and MMP-9. Electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry showed fewer intercellular contacts and the dramatically lower expression of connexin-43 than in the control. A set of found myometrial changes in women with uterine inertia is a manifestation of CTD.

  20. TUNABLE TENSOR VOTING FOR REGULARIZING PUNCTATE PATTERNS OF MEMBRANE-BOUND PROTEIN SIGNALS

    OpenAIRE

    Loss, Leandro

    2009-01-01

    Membrane-bound protein, expressed in the basal-lateral region, is heterogeneous and an important endpoint for understanding biological processes. At the optical resolution, membrane-bound protein can be visualized as being diffused (e.g., E-cadherin), punctate (e.g., connexin), or simultaneously diffused and punctate as a result of sample preparation or conditioning. Furthermore, there is a significant amount of heterogeneity as a result of technical and biological variations. This paper aims...

  1. Control of the neurovascular coupling by nitric oxide-dependent regulation of astrocytic Ca2+ signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Francisco Muñoz

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal activity must be tightly coordinated with blood flow to keep proper brain function, which is achieved by a mechanism known as neurovascular coupling. Then, an increase in synaptic activity leads to a dilation of local parenchymal arterioles that matches the enhanced metabolic demand. Neurovascular coupling is orchestrated by astrocytes. These glial cells are located between neurons and the microvasculature, with the astrocytic endfeet ensheathing the vessels, which allows fine intercellular communication. The neurotransmitters released during neuronal activity reach astrocytic receptors and trigger a Ca2+ signaling that propagates to the endfeet, activating the release of vasoactive factors and arteriolar dilation. The astrocyte Ca2+ signaling is coordinated by gap junction channels and hemichannels formed by connexins (Cx43 and Cx30 and channels formed by pannexins (Panx-1. The neuronal activity-initiated Ca2+ waves are propagated among neighboring astrocytes directly via gap junctions or through ATP release via connexin hemichannels or pannexin channels. In addition, Ca2+ entry via connexin hemichannels or pannexin channels may participate in the regulation of the astrocyte signaling-mediated neurovascular coupling. Interestingly, nitric oxide (NO can activate connexin hemichannel by S-nitrosylation and the Ca2+-dependent NO-synthesizing enzymes endothelial NO synthase (eNOS and neuronal NOS (nNOS are expressed in astrocytes. Therefore, the astrocytic Ca2+ signaling triggered in neurovascular coupling may activate NO production, which, in turn, may lead to Ca2+ influx through hemichannel activation. Furthermore, NO release from the hemichannels located at astrocytic endfeet may contribute to the vasodilation of parenchymal arterioles. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms involved in the regulation of the astrocytic Ca2+ signaling that mediates neurovascular coupling, with a special emphasis in the possible participation of NO in

  2. Modafinil enhances thalamocortical activity by increasing neuronal electrotonic coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbano, Francisco J.; Leznik, Elena; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2007-01-01

    Modafinil (Provigil, Modiodal), an antinarcoleptic and mood-enhancing drug, is shown here to sharpen thalamocortical activity and to increase electrical coupling between cortical interneurons and between nerve cells in the inferior olivary nucleus. After irreversible pharmacological block of connexin permeability (i.e., by using either 18β-glycyrrhetinic derivatives or mefloquine), modafinil restored electrotonic coupling within 30 min. It was further established that this restoration is implemented through a Ca2+/calmodulin protein kinase II-dependent step. PMID:17640897

  3. Oculodentodigital Dysplasia Presenting as Spastic Paraparesis: The First Genetically Confirmed Korean Case and a Literature Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kye Won Park

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Oculodentodigital dysplasia (ODDD is a rare autosomal dominant inherited disease caused by mutations of the human gap junction alpha 1 gene, which encodes the protein Connexin-43. Patients with ODDD may present with neurological deficits with a typical pleiotropic combination of characteristic craniofacial, ophthalmological, phalangeal, and dental anomalies. In this report, we describe the first genetically confirmed Korean ODDD patient, who presented with spastic paraparesis. We will also review the neurological aspects of ODDD as reported in the literature.

  4. Functional roles of the amino terminal domain in determining biophysical properties of Cx50 gap junction channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li eXin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Communication through gap junction channels is essential for synchronized and coordinated cellular activities. The gap junction channel pore size, its switch control for opening/closing, and the modulations by chemicals can be different depending on the connexin subtypes that compose the channel. Recent structural and functional studies provide compelling evidence that the amino terminal (NT domains of several connexins line the pore of gap junction channels and play an important role in single channel conductance (γj and transjunctional voltage-dependent gating (Vj-gating. This article reviews recent studies conducted on a series of mutations/chimeras in the NT domain of connexin50 (Cx50. Functional examination of the gap junction channels formed by these mutants/chimeras shows the net charge number at the NT domain to be an important factor in γj and in Vj-gating. Furthermore, with an increase in the net negative charge at the NT domain, we observed an increase in the γj, as well as changes in the parameters of the Boltzmann fit of the normalized steady-state conductance and Vj relationship. Our data are consistent with a structural model where the NT domain of Cx50 lines the gap junction pore and plays an important role in sensing Vj and in the subsequent conformational changes leading to gating, as well as in limiting the rate of ion permeation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianyong Xiao

    Full Text Available 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.

  6. Interfering amino terminal peptides and functional implications for heteromeric gap junction formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard David Veenstra

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Connexin43 (Cx43 is widely expressed in many different tissues of the human body. In cells of some organs, Cx43 is co-expressed with other connexins (Cx, including Cx46 and Cx50 in lens, Cx40 in atrium, Purkinje fibers, and the blood vessel wall, Cx45 in heart, and Cx37 in the ovary. Interactions with the co-expressed connexins may have profound functional implications. The abilities of Cx37, Cx45, Cx46, and Cx50 to function in heteromeric gap junction combinations with Cx43 are well documented. Different studies disagree regarding the ability of Cx43 and Cx40 to produce functional heteromeric gap junctions with each other. We review previous studies regarding the heteromeric interactions of Cx43. The possibility of negative functional interactions between the cytoplasmic pore-forming amino terminal (NT domains of these connexins was assessed using pentameric connexin sequence-specific NT domain (iNT peptides applied to cells expressing homomeric Cx40, Cx37, Cx45, Cx46, and Cx50 gap junctions. A Cx43 iNT peptide corresponding to amino acids 9 to 13 (Ac-KLLDK-NH2 specifically inhibited the electrical coupling of Cx40 gap junctions in a transjunctional (Vj voltage-dependent manner without affecting the function of homologous Cx37, Cx46, Cx50, and Cx45 gap junctions. A Cx40 iNT (Ac-EFLEE-OH peptide counteracted the Vj-dependent block of Cx40 gap junctions, whereas a similarly charged Cx50 iNT (Ac-EEVNE-OH peptide did not, suggesting that these NT domain interactions are not solely based on electrostatics. These data are consistent with functional Cx43 heteromeric gap junction formation with Cx37, Cx45, Cx46, and Cx50 and suggest that Cx40 uniquely experiences functional suppressive interactions with a Cx43 NT domain sequence. These findings present unique functional implications about the heteromeric interactions between Cx43 and Cx40 that may influence cardiac conduction in atrial myocardium and the specialized conduction system.

  7. In-vitro formation of the blood-testis barrier during long-term organotypic culture of human prepubertal tissue: comparison with a large cohort of pre/peripubertal boys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Michele, F; Poels, J; Giudice, M G; De Smedt, F; Ambroise, J; Vermeulen, M; Gruson, D; Wyns, C

    2018-03-12

    How does the formation of the blood-testis barrier (BTB), as reflected by the expression of connexin 43 and claudin 11 proteins during the pubertal transition period, take place in vitro compared to samples from a large cohort of pre/peripubertal boys? The BTB connexin 43 and claudin 11 expression patterns appeared to be partially achieved in organotypic culture when compared to that in samples from 71 pre/peripubertal patients. Although alterations in the protein expression patterns of the BTB, whose main components are connexin 43 and claudin 11, are known to be associated with impaired spermatogenesis in mice and adult men, there is a lack of knowledge on its formation in pre-peripubertal human tissue both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, despite Sertoli cell (SC) maturation during long-term organotypic culture of immature testicular tissue (ITT), initiation of spermatogenesis has not yet been achieved. Histological sections from 71 pre-peripubertal patients were evaluated for the formation of the BTB acting as in-vivo controls according to age, SC maturation, clinical signs of puberty and germ cell differentiation. Testicular tissue fragments retrieved from three prepubertal boys were cultured in a long term organotypic system to analyze the BTB formation and expression pattern in correlation with SC maturation. Testicular histological sections from 71 patients aged 0-16 years who underwent a biopsy between 2005 and 2014 to preserve their fertility before gonadotoxic treatment were examined. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) results for connexin 43 and claudin 11 as BTB markers, using a semi-quantitative score for their expression, and for Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), as SC maturation marker, were analyzed. Germ cell differentiation was evaluated on Hematoxylin-Eosin sections. Tanner stages at the time of biopsy were recorded from medical files. A longitudinal analysis of connexin 43, claudin 11 and AMH expressions on immunohistological sections of organotypic

  8. Oligomeric structure and functional characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans Innexin-6 gap junction protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshima, Atsunori; Matsuzawa, Tomohiro; Nishikawa, Kouki; Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2013-04-12

    Innexin is the molecular component of invertebrate gap junctions. Here we successfully expressed and purified Caenorhabditis elegans innexin-6 (INX-6) gap junction channels and characterized the molecular dimensions and channel permeability using electron microscopy (EM) and microinjection of fluorescent dye tracers, respectively. Negative staining and thin-section EM of isolated INX-6 gap junction membranes revealed a loosely packed hexagonal lattice and a greater cross-sectional width than that of connexin26 and connexin43 (Cx43)-GFP. In gel filtration analysis, the elution profile of purified INX-6 channels in dodecyl maltoside solution exhibited a peak at ∼400 kDa that was shifted to ∼800 kDa in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. We also obtained the class averages of purified INX-6 channels from these peak fractions by single particle analysis. The class average from the ∼800-kDa fraction showed features of the junction form with a longitudinal height of 220 Å, a channel diameter of 110 Å in the absence of detergent micelles, and an extracellular gap space of 60 Å, whereas the class averages from the ∼400-kDa fraction showed diameters of up to 140 Å in the presence of detergent micelles. These findings indicate that the purified INX-6 channels are predominantly hemichannels in dodecyl maltoside and docked junction channels in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. Dye transfer experiments revealed that the INX-6-GFP-His channels are permeable to 3- and 10-kDa tracers, whereas no significant amounts of these tracers passed through the Cx43-GFP channels. Based on these findings, INX-6 channels have a larger overall structure and greater permeability than connexin channels.

  9. Oligomeric Structure and Functional Characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans Innexin-6 Gap Junction Protein*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshima, Atsunori; Matsuzawa, Tomohiro; Nishikawa, Kouki; Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2013-01-01

    Innexin is the molecular component of invertebrate gap junctions. Here we successfully expressed and purified Caenorhabditis elegans innexin-6 (INX-6) gap junction channels and characterized the molecular dimensions and channel permeability using electron microscopy (EM) and microinjection of fluorescent dye tracers, respectively. Negative staining and thin-section EM of isolated INX-6 gap junction membranes revealed a loosely packed hexagonal lattice and a greater cross-sectional width than that of connexin26 and connexin43 (Cx43)-GFP. In gel filtration analysis, the elution profile of purified INX-6 channels in dodecyl maltoside solution exhibited a peak at ∼400 kDa that was shifted to ∼800 kDa in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. We also obtained the class averages of purified INX-6 channels from these peak fractions by single particle analysis. The class average from the ∼800-kDa fraction showed features of the junction form with a longitudinal height of 220 Å, a channel diameter of 110 Å in the absence of detergent micelles, and an extracellular gap space of 60 Å, whereas the class averages from the ∼400-kDa fraction showed diameters of up to 140 Å in the presence of detergent micelles. These findings indicate that the purified INX-6 channels are predominantly hemichannels in dodecyl maltoside and docked junction channels in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. Dye transfer experiments revealed that the INX-6-GFP-His channels are permeable to 3- and 10-kDa tracers, whereas no significant amounts of these tracers passed through the Cx43-GFP channels. Based on these findings, INX-6 channels have a larger overall structure and greater permeability than connexin channels. PMID:23460640

  10. Overexpression of Cardiac-Specific Kinase TNNI3K Promotes Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells Differentiation into Cardiomyocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yin; Wang, Shi-Qiang; Wang, Li-Peng; Yao, Yu-Hong; Ma, Chun-Yan; Ding, Jin-Feng; Ye, Jue; Meng, Xian-Min; Li, Jian-Jun; Xu, Rui-Xia

    2017-01-01

    Backgroud/Aims: The biological function of cardiac troponin I-interacting kinase (TNNI3K), a cardiac-specific functional kinase, is largely unknown. We investigated the effect of human TNNI3K (hTNNI3K) on the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) into cardiomyocytes. First, the time-space expression of endogenous Tnni3k was detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and western blotting at 16 different time-points over a period of 28 days. Further, action potentials and calcium current with/without 5 µM nifedipine were measured by patch clamp for mESC-derived cardiomyocytes. HTNNI3K and mouse-derived siRNA were transfected into mESC using lentivirus vector to induce hTNNI3K overexpression and knock-down, respectively. The number of troponin-T (cTnT) positive cells was greater in the group with TNNI3K overexpression as compared to that in control group, while less such cells were detected in the mTnni3k knock-down group as evaluated on flow cytometry (FCM) and ImageXpress Micro system. After upregulation of connexin43, cardiac troponin-I (Ctni), Ctni, Gata4 were detected in mESCs with TNNI3K overexpression; however, overexpression of α-Actinin and Mlc2v was not detected. Interestingly, Ctnt, connexin40 and connexin45, the markers of ventricular, atrial, and pacemaker cells, respectively, were detected in by real-time PCR in TNNI3K overexpression group. our study indicated that TNNI3K overexpression promoted mESC differentiating into beating cardiomyocytes and induced up-regulating expression of cTnT by PKCε signal pathway, which suggested a modulation of TNNI3K activity as a potential therapeutic approach for ischemic cardiac disease. © 2017 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  11. Etiology and one-year follow-up results of hearing loss identified by screening of newborn hearing in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adachi, Nodoka; Ito, Ken; Sakata, Hideaki; Yamasoba, Tatsuya

    2010-07-01

    To evaluate the incidence of newborn hearing loss in a Japanese population and to elucidate etiological factors and one-year prognosis. Screening of newborn hearing. Children's tertiary referral center. Between 1999 and 2008, 101,912 newborn infants were screened, with 693 infants (0.68%) referred. Etiology investigation included CT, detection of cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA, and connexin 26 mutation. Abnormal results (auditory brainstem response [ABR] threshold > or = 35 normal hearing level [dB nHL] in either side) were observed in 312 infants (0.31%), and 133 subjects (0.13%) with ABR thresholds > or = 50 dB nHL on both sides were classified into the habilitation group. In this group, inner ear/internal auditory meatus anomalies were detected in 20 of 121 subjects (17%) tested, middle/external ear anomalies in 14 of 121 subjects (12%), CMV DNA in 13 of 77 subjects (17%), and connexin 26 mutation in 28 of 89 subjects (31%). In 68 subjects undergoing all three investigations (CT, CMV, and connexin 26), 41 (60%) had positive results in at least one test. With inclusion of otitis media with effusion and perinatal problems, this rate amounted to 78% (53 subjects). Of the 97 infants in the habilitation group successfully followed up to one year, 36 (37%) showed a threshold change of 20 dB or more in either ear: 11 (11%) progression and 25 (26%) improvement, and 15 infants (15%) were reclassified into a less severe classification. Considering that 26 percent of infants with bilateral moderate to severe hearing loss showed improvement in one year, habilitation protocols, especially very early cochlear implantation within one year of birth, should be reconsidered. 2010 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Gap junctional coupling in the vertebrate retina: variations on one theme?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Völgyi, Béla; Kovács-Oller, Tamás; Atlasz, Tamás; Wilhelm, Márta; Gábriel, Róbert

    2013-05-01

    Gap junctions connect cells in the bodies of all multicellular organisms, forming either homologous or heterologous (i.e. established between identical or different cell types, respectively) cell-to-cell contacts by utilizing identical (homotypic) or different (heterotypic) connexin protein subunits. Gap junctions in the nervous system serve electrical signaling between neurons, thus they are also called electrical synapses. Such electrical synapses are particularly abundant in the vertebrate retina where they are specialized to form links between neurons as well as glial cells. In this article, we summarize recent findings on retinal cell-to-cell coupling in different vertebrates and identify general features in the light of the evergrowing body of data. In particular, we describe and discuss tracer coupling patterns, connexin proteins, junctional conductances and modulatory processes. This multispecies comparison serves to point out that most features are remarkably conserved across the vertebrate classes, including (i) the cell types connected via electrical synapses; (ii) the connexin makeup and the conductance of each cell-to-cell contact; (iii) the probable function of each gap junction in retinal circuitry; (iv) the fact that gap junctions underlie both electrical and/or tracer coupling between glial cells. These pan-vertebrate features thus demonstrate that retinal gap junctions have changed little during the over 500 million years of vertebrate evolution. Therefore, the fundamental architecture of electrically coupled retinal circuits seems as old as the retina itself, indicating that gap junctions deeply incorporated in retinal wiring from the very beginning of the eye formation of vertebrates. In addition to hard wiring provided by fast synaptic transmitter-releasing neurons and soft wiring contributed by peptidergic, aminergic and purinergic systems, electrical coupling may serve as the 'skeleton' of lateral processing, enabling important functions such

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  14. Atrial overexpression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 improves the canine rapid atrial pacing-induced structural and electrical remodeling. Fan, ACE2 improves atrial substrate remodeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Jinqi; Zou, Lili; Cui, Kun; Woo, Kamsang; Du, Huaan; Chen, Shaojie; Ling, Zhiyu; Zhang, Quanjun; Zhang, Bo; Lan, Xianbin; Su, Li; Zrenner, Bernhard; Yin, Yuehui

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether atrial overexpression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) by homogeneous transmural atrial gene transfer can reverse atrial remodeling and its mechanisms in a canine atrial-pacing model. Twenty-eight mongrel dogs were randomly divided into four groups: Sham-operated, AF-control, gene therapy with adenovirus-enhanced green fluorescent protein (Ad-EGFP) and gene therapy with Ad-ACE2 (Ad-ACE2) (n = 7 per subgroup). AF was induced in all dogs except the Sham-operated group by rapid atrial pacing at 450 beats/min for 2 weeks. Ad-EGFP and Ad-ACE2 group then received epicardial gene painting. Three weeks after gene transfer, all animals except the Sham group underwent rapid atrial pacing for another 3 weeks and then invasive electrophysiological, histological and molecular studies. The Ad-ACE2 group showed an increased ACE2 and Angiotensin-(1-7) expression, and decreased Angiotensin II expression in comparison with Ad-EGFP and AF-control group. ACE2 overexpression attenuated rapid atrial pacing-induced increase in activated extracellular signal-regulated kinases and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) levels, and decrease in MAPK phosphatase 1(MKP-1) level, resulting in attenuation of atrial fibrosis collagen protein markers and transforming growth factor-β1. Additionally, ACE2 overexpression also modulated the tachypacing-induced up-regulation of connexin 40, down-regulation of connexin 43 and Kv4.2, and significantly decreased the inducibility and duration of AF. ACE2 overexpression could shift the renin-angiotensin system balance towards the protective axis, attenuate cardiac fibrosis remodeling associated with up-regulation of MKP-1 and reduction of MAPKs activities, modulate tachypacing-induced ion channels and connexin remodeling, and subsequently reduce the inducibility and duration of AF.

  15. Purinergic responses of chondrogenic stem cells to dynamic loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gađanski Ivana

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In habitually loaded tissues, dynamic loading can trigger ATP (adenosine 5’- triphosphate release to extracellular environment, and result in calcium signaling via ATP binding to purine P2 receptors1. In the current study we have compared purinergic responses (ATP release of two types of cells: bovine chondrocytes (bCHs and human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC that were encapsulated in agarose and subjected to dynamic loading. Both cell types were cultured under chondrogenic conditions, and their responses to loading were evaluated by ATP release assay in combination with connexin (Cx-sensitive fluorescent dye (Lucifer Yellow - LY and a Cx-hemichannel blocker (Flufenamic acid - FFA. In response to dynamic loading, chondrogenic hMSCs released significantly higher amounts of ATP (5-fold in comparison to the bCHs early in culture (day 2. Triggering of LY uptake in the bCHs and hMSCs by dynamic loading implies opening of the Cx-hemichannels. However, the number of LY-positive cells in hMSC-constructs was 2.5-fold lower compared to the loaded bCH-constructs, suggesting utilization of additional mechanisms of ATP release. Cx-reactive sites were detected in both bCHs and hMSCs-constructs. FFA application led to reduced ATP release both in bCHs and hMSCs, which confirms the involvement of connexin hemichannels, with more prominent effects in bCHs than in hMSCs, further implying the existence of additional mechanism of ATP release in chondrogenic hMSCs. Taken together, these results indicate stronger purinergic response to dynamic loading of chondrogenic hMSCs than primary chondrocytes, by activation of connexin hemichannels and additional mechanisms of ATP release. [Projekat Ministrastva nauke Republike Srbije, ON174028 i br. III41007

  16. The effects of the Histone Deacetylase (HDAC Inhibitor 4-Phenylbutyrate on gap junction conductance and permeability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua eKaufman

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Longitudinal resistance is a key factor in determining cardiac action potential propagation. Action potential conduction velocity has been shown to be proportional to the square root of longitudinal resistance. A major determinant of longitudinal resistance in myocardium is the gap junction channel, comprised of connexin proteins. Within the ventricular myocardium connexin 43 (Cx43 is the dominantly expressed connexin. Reduced numbers of gap junction channels will result in an increase in longitudinal resistance creating the possibility of slowed conduction velocity while increased numbers of channels would potentially result in an increase in conduction velocity. We sought to determine if inhibition of histone deacetylase (HDAC by 4-phenylbutyrate (4-PB, a known inhibitor of HDAC resulted in an increase in junctional conductance and permeability, which is not the result of changes in single channel unitary conductance. These experiments were performed using HEK-293 cells and HeLa cells stably transfected with Cx43. Following treatment with increasing concentrations of 4-PB up-regulation of Cx43 was observed via Western blot analysis. Junctional (gj conductance and unitary single channel conductance were measured via whole-cell patch clamp. In addition intercellular transfer of Lucifer Yellow (LY was determined by fluorescence microscopy. The data in this study indicates that 4-PB is able to enhance functional Cx43 gap junction coupling as indicated by LY dye transfer and multichannel and single channel data along with Western blot analysis. As a corollary, pharmacological agents such as 4-PB have the potential, by increasing intercellular coupling, to reduce the effect of ischemia. It remains to be seen whether drugs like 4-PB will be effective in preventing cardiac maladies.

  17. Lycopene and Beta-Carotene Induce Growth Inhibition and Proapoptotic Effects on ACTH-Secreting Pituitary Adenoma Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leite de Oliveira, Felipe; Soares, Nathália; de Mattos, Rômulo Medina; Hecht, Fábio; Dezonne, Rômulo Sperduto; Vairo, Leandro; Goldenberg, Regina Coeli dos Santos; Gomes, Flávia Carvalho Alcântara; de Carvalho, Denise Pires; Gadelha, Mônica R.; Nasciutti, Luiz Eurico; Miranda-Alves, Leandro

    2013-01-01

    Pituitary adenomas comprise approximately 10–15% of intracranial tumors and result in morbidity associated with altered hormonal patterns, therapy and compression of adjacent sella turcica structures. The use of functional foods containing carotenoids contributes to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and vascular disorders. In this study, we evaluated the influence of different concentrations of beta-carotene and lycopene on cell viability, colony formation, cell cycle, apoptosis, hormone secretion, intercellular communication and expression of connexin 43, Skp2 and p27kip1 in ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma cells, the AtT20 cells, incubated for 48 and 96 h with these carotenoids. We observed a decrease in cell viability caused by the lycopene and beta-carotene treatments; in these conditions, the clonogenic ability of the cells was also significantly decreased. Cell cycle analysis revealed that beta-carotene induced an increase of the cells in S and G2/M phases; furthermore, lycopene increased the proportion of these cells in G0/G1 while decreasing the S and G2/M phases. Also, carotenoids induced apoptosis after 96 h. Lycopene and beta-carotene decreased the secretion of ACTH in AtT20 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Carotenoids blocked the gap junction intercellular communication. In addition, the treatments increased the expression of phosphorylated connexin43. Finally, we also demonstrate decreased expression of S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 (Skp2) and increased expression of p27kip1 in carotenoid-treated cells. These results show that lycopene and beta-carotene were able to negatively modulate events related to the malignant phenotype of AtT-20 cells, through a mechanism that could involve changes in the expression of connexin 43, Skp2 and p27kip1; and suggest that these compounds might provide a novel pharmacological approach to the treatment of Cushing’s disease. PMID:23667519

  18. Lycopene and beta-carotene induce growth inhibition and proapoptotic effects on ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natália F Haddad

    Full Text Available Pituitary adenomas comprise approximately 10-15% of intracranial tumors and result in morbidity associated with altered hormonal patterns, therapy and compression of adjacent sella turcica structures. The use of functional foods containing carotenoids contributes to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and vascular disorders. In this study, we evaluated the influence of different concentrations of beta-carotene and lycopene on cell viability, colony formation, cell cycle, apoptosis, hormone secretion, intercellular communication and expression of connexin 43, Skp2 and p27(kip1 in ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma cells, the AtT20 cells, incubated for 48 and 96 h with these carotenoids. We observed a decrease in cell viability caused by the lycopene and beta-carotene treatments; in these conditions, the clonogenic ability of the cells was also significantly decreased. Cell cycle analysis revealed that beta-carotene induced an increase of the cells in S and G2/M phases; furthermore, lycopene increased the proportion of these cells in G0/G1 while decreasing the S and G2/M phases. Also, carotenoids induced apoptosis after 96 h. Lycopene and beta-carotene decreased the secretion of ACTH in AtT20 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Carotenoids blocked the gap junction intercellular communication. In addition, the treatments increased the expression of phosphorylated connexin43. Finally, we also demonstrate decreased expression of S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 (Skp2 and increased expression of p27(kip1 in carotenoid-treated cells. These results show that lycopene and beta-carotene were able to negatively modulate events related to the malignant phenotype of AtT-20 cells, through a mechanism that could involve changes in the expression of connexin 43, Skp2 and p27(kip1; and suggest that these compounds might provide a novel pharmacological approach to the treatment of Cushing's disease.

  19. Gap junctions-guards of excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stroemlund, Line Waring; Jensen, Christa Funch; Qvortrup, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Cardiomyocytes are connected by mechanical and electrical junctions located at the intercalated discs (IDs). Although these structures have long been known, it is becoming increasingly clear that their components interact. This review describes the involvement of the ID in electrical disturbances...... of the heart and focuses on the role of the gap junctional protein connexin 43 (Cx43). Current evidence shows that Cx43 plays a crucial role in organizing microtubules at the intercalated disc and thereby regulating the trafficking of the cardiac sodium channel NaV1.5 to the membrane....

  20. Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis in X-Linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease with Central Nervous System Involvement

    OpenAIRE

    Koutsis, Georgios; Karadima, Georgia; Floroskoufi, Paraskewi; Raftopoulou, Maria; Panas, Marios

    2015-01-01

    We report a patient with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) and X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX), carrying a GJB1 mutation affecting connexin-32 (c.191G>A, p. Cys64Tyr) which was recently reported by our group. This is the third case report of a patient with CMTX developing MS, but it is unique in the fact that other family members carrying the same mutation were found to have asymptomatic central nervous system (CNS) involvement (diffuse white matter hyperintensity on bra...

  1. Changes in Myocardial Composition and Conduction Properties in Rat Heart Failure Model Induced by Chronic Volume Overload

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sedmera, David; Neckář, Jan; Beneš Jr., Jiří; Pospíšilová, J.; Petrák, J.; Sedláček, K.; Melenovský, V.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 7, Aug 25 (2016), s. 367 ISSN 1664-042X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0109; GA ČR(CZ) GAP302/11/1308; GA ČR(CZ) GA13-12412S; GA MZd(CZ) NV15-27735A Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : connexin43 * autonomic heart innervation * hypertrophy * conduction velocity * aorto-caval fistula Subject RIV: FA - Cardiovascular Diseases incl. Cardiotharic Surgery Impact factor: 4.134, year: 2016

  2. Thyroid hormones and cardiac arrhythmias

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tribulová, N.; Knezl, V.; Shainberg, A.; Seki, S.; Soukup, Tomáš

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 52, 3-4 (2010), s. 102-112 ISSN 1537-1891 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA304/08/0256 Grant - others:VEGA(SK) 2/0049/09; APVV(SK) 51-059505; APVV(SK) 51-017905 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509 Keywords : thyroid hormone * arrhythmias * ion channels * connexin-43 Subject RIV: FA - Cardiovascular Disease s incl. Cardiotharic Surgery Impact factor: 2.174, year: 2010

  3. Dietary omega-3 fatty acids attenuate myocardial arrhythmogenic factors and propensity of the heart to lethal arrhythmias in a rodent model of human essential hypertension

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Radošinská, J.; Bačová, B.; Knezl, V.; Beňová, T.; Žurmanová, J.; Soukup, Tomáš; Arnoštová, P.; Slezák, J.; Goncalvesová, E.; Tribulová, N.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 31, č. 9 (2013), s. 1876-1885 ISSN 0263-6352 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA304/08/0256; GA MŠk(CZ) 7AMB12SK158 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : hypertension * omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids * ventricular fibrillation * sinus rhythm restoration * myocardial connexin-43 * protein kinase C * myosin heavy chain Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology Impact factor: 4.222, year: 2013

  4. A novel GJA8 mutation (p.V44A causing autosomal dominant congenital cataract.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanan Zhu

    Full Text Available To examine the mechanism by which a novel connexin 50 (Cx50 mutation, Cx50 V44A, in a Chinese family causes suture-sparing autosomal dominant congenital nuclear cataracts.Family history and clinical data were recorded and direct gene sequencing was used to identify the disease-causing mutation. The Cx50 gene was cloned from a human lens cDNA library. Connexin protein distributions were assessed by fluorescence microscopy. Hemichannel functions were analyzed by dye uptake assay. Formation of functional channels was assessed by dye transfer experiments.Direct sequencing of the candidate GJA8 gene revealed a novel c.131T>C transition in exon 2, which cosegregated with the disease in the family and resulted in the substitution of a valine residue with alanine at codon 44 (p. V44A in the extracellular loop 1 of the Cx50 protein. Both Cx50 and Cx50V44A formed functional gap junctions, as shown by the neurobiotin transfer assay. However, unlike wild-type Cx50, Cx50V44A was unable to form open hemichannels in dye uptake experiments.This work identified a unique congenital cataract in the Chinese population, caused by the novel mutation Cx50V44A, and it showed that the V44A mutation specifically impairs the gating of the hemichannels but not the gap junction channels. The dysfunctional hemichannels resulted in the development of human congenital cataracts.

  5. Anchored PKA as a gatekeeper for gap junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pidoux, Guillaume; Taskén, Kjetil

    2015-01-01

    Anchored protein kinase A (PKA) bound to A Kinase Anchoring Protein (AKAP) mediates effects of localized increases in cAMP in defined subcellular microdomains and retains the specificity in cAMP-PKA signaling to distinct extracellular stimuli. Gap junctions are pores between adjacent cells constituted by connexin proteins that provide means of communication and transfer of small molecules. While the PKA signaling is known to promote human trophoblast cell fusion, the gap junction communication through connexin 43 (Cx43) is a prerequisite for this process. We recently demonstrated that trophoblast fusion is regulated by ezrin, a known AKAP, which binds to Cx43 and delivers PKA in the vicinity gap junctions. We found that disruption of the ezrin-Cx43 interaction abolished PKA-dependent phosphorylation of Cx43 as well as gap junction communication and subsequently cell fusion. We propose that the PKA-ezrin-Cx43 macromolecular complex regulating gap junction communication constitutes a general mechanism to control opening of Cx43 gap junctions by phosphorylation in response to cAMP signaling in various cell types.

  6. Early structural changes of the heart after experimental polytrauma and hemorrhagic shock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halbgebauer, Rebecca; Eisele, Philipp; Messerer, David A. C.; Weckbach, Sebastian; Schultze, Anke; Braumüller, Sonja; Gebhard, Florian

    2017-01-01

    Evidence is emerging that systemic inflammation after trauma drives structural and functional impairment of cardiomyocytes and leads to cardiac dysfunction, thus worsening the outcome of polytrauma patients. This study investigates the structural and molecular changes in heart tissue 4 h after multiple injuries with additional hemorrhagic shock using a clinically relevant rodent model of polytrauma. We determined mediators of systemic inflammation (keratinocyte chemoattractant, macrophage chemotactic protein 1), activated complement component C3a and cardiac troponin I in plasma and assessed histological specimen of the mouse heart via standard histomorphology and immunohistochemistry for cellular and subcellular damage and ongoing apoptosis. Further we investigated spatial and quantitative changes of connexin 43 by immunohistochemistry and western blotting. Our results show significantly increased plasma levels of both keratinocyte chemoattractant and cardiac troponin I 4 h after polytrauma and 2 h after induction of hypovolemia. Although we could not detect any morphological changes, immunohistochemical evaluation showed increased level of tissue high-mobility group box 1, which is both a damage-associated molecule and actively released as a danger response signal. Additionally, there was marked lateralization of the cardiac gap-junction protein connexin 43 following combined polytrauma and hemorrhagic shock. These results demonstrate a molecular manifestation of remote injury of cardiac muscle cells in the early phase after polytrauma and hemorrhagic shock with marked disruption of the cardiac gap junction. This disruption of an important component of the electrical conduction system of the heart may lead to arrhythmia and consequently to cardiac dysfunction. PMID:29084268

  7. Heterocellular interaction enhances recruitment of α and β-catenins and ZO-2 into functional gap-junction complexes and induces gap junction-dependant differentiation of mammary epithelial cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Talhouk, Rabih S.; Mroue, Rana; Mokalled, Mayssa; Abi-Mosleh, Lina; Nehme, Ralda; Ismail, Ayman; Khalil, Antoine; Zaatari, Mira; El-Sabban, Marwan E.

    2008-01-01

    Gap junctions (GJ) are required for mammary epithelial differentiation. Using epithelial (SCp2) and myoepithelial-like (SCg6) mouse-derived mammary cells, the role of heterocellular interaction in assembly of GJ complexes and functional differentiation (β-casein expression) was evaluated. Heterocellular interaction is critical for β-casein expression, independent of exogenous basement membrane or cell anchoring substrata. Functional differentiation of SCp2, co-cultured with SCg6, is more sensitive to GJ inhibition relative to homocellular SCp2 cultures differentiated by exogenous basement membrane. Connexin (Cx)32 and Cx43 levels were not regulated across culture conditions; however, GJ functionality was enhanced under differentiation-permissive conditions. Immunoprecipitation studies demonstrated association of junctional complex components (α-catenin, β-catenin and ZO-2) with Cx32 and Cx43, in differentiation conditions, and additionally with Cx30 in heterocellular cultures. Although β-catenin did not shuttle between cadherin and GJ complexes, increased association between connexins and β-catenin in heterocellular cultures was observed. This was concomitant with reduced nuclear β-catenin, suggesting that differentiation in heterocellular cultures involves sequestration of β-catenin in GJ complexes

  8. Characteristics and mechanisms of the bystander response in monolayer cell cultures exposed to very low fluences of alpha particles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, John B.; Azzam, Edouard I.; Toledo, Sonia M. de; Nagasawa, Hatsumi

    2005-01-01

    When confluent cultures of mammalian cells are irradiated with very low fluences of alpha particles whereby only occasional cells receive any radiation exposure, genetic changes are observed in the non-irradiated ('bystander') cells. Upregulation of the p53 damage-response pathway as well as activation of proteins in the MAPK family occurred in bystander cells; p53 was phosphorylated on the serine 15 residue suggesting that the upregulation of p53 was a consequence of DNA damage. Damage signals were transmitted to bystander cells through gap junctions, as confirmed by the use of genetically manipulated cells including connexin43 knockouts. Expression of connexin43 was markedly enhanced by irradiation. A moderate bystander effect was observed for specific gene mutations and chromosomal aberrations. This effect was markedly enhanced in cells defective in the non-homologous end joining DNA repair pathway. Finally, an upregulation of oxidative metabolism occurred in bystander cells; the increased levels of reactive oxygen species appeared to be derived from flavine-containing oxidase enzymes. We hypothesize that genetic effects observed in non-irradiated bystander cells are a consequence of oxidative base damage; >90% of mutations in bystander cells were point mutations. When bystander cells cannot repair DNA double strand breaks, they become much more sensitive to the induction of chromosomal aberrations and mutations, the latter consisting primarily of deletion mutants. While we propose that the genetic effects occurring in bystander cells are a consequence of oxidative stress, the nature of the signal that initiates this process remains to be determined

  9. GAP junctional communication in brain secondary organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosone, Camilla; Andreu, Abraham; Echevarria, Diego

    2016-06-01

    Gap junctions (GJs) are integral membrane proteins that enable the direct cytoplasmic exchange of ions and low molecular weight metabolites between adjacent cells. They are formed by the apposition of two connexons belonging to adjacent cells. Each connexon is formed by six proteins, named connexins (Cxs). Current evidence suggests that gap junctions play an important part in ensuring normal embryo development. Mutations in connexin genes have been linked to a variety of human diseases, although the precise role and the cell biological mechanisms of their action remain almost unknown. Among the big family of Cxs, several are expressed in nervous tissue but just a few are expressed in the anterior neural tube of vertebrates. Many efforts have been made to elucidate the molecular bases of Cxs cell biology and how they influence the morphogenetic signal activity produced by brain signaling centers. These centers, orchestrated by transcription factors and morphogenes determine the axial patterning of the mammalian brain during its specification and regionalization. The present review revisits the findings of GJ composed by Cx43 and Cx36 in neural tube patterning and discuss Cx43 putative enrollment in the control of Fgf8 signal activity coming from the well known secondary organizer, the isthmic organizer. © 2016 The Authors. Development, Growth & Differentiation published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  10. Cellular Interaction of Integrin α3β1 with Laminin 5 Promotes Gap Junctional Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampe, Paul D.; Nguyen, Beth P.; Gil, Susana; Usui, Marcia; Olerud, John; Takada, Yoshikazu; Carter, William G.

    1998-01-01

    Wounding of skin activates epidermal cell migration over exposed dermal collagen and fibronectin and over laminin 5 secreted into the provisional basement membrane. Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) has been proposed to integrate the individual motile cells into a synchronized colony. We found that outgrowths of human keratinocytes in wounds or epibole cultures display parallel changes in the expression of laminin 5, integrin α3β1, E-cadherin, and the gap junctional protein connexin 43. Adhesion of keratinocytes on laminin 5, collagen, and fibronectin was found to differentially regulate GJIC. When keratinocytes were adhered on laminin 5, both structural (assembly of connexin 43 in gap junctions) and functional (dye transfer) assays showed a two- to threefold increase compared with collagen and five- to eightfold over fibronectin. Based on studies with immobilized integrin antibody and integrin-transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells, the interaction of integrin α3β1 with laminin 5 was sufficient to promote GJIC. Mapping of intermediate steps in the pathway linking α3β1–laminin 5 interactions to GJIC indicated that protein trafficking and Rho signaling were both required. We suggest that adhesion of epithelial cells to laminin 5 in the basement membrane via α3β1 promotes GJIC that integrates individual cells into synchronized epiboles. PMID:9852164

  11. Targeting neuronal gap junctions in mouse retina offers neuroprotection in glaucoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sandeep; Ramakrishnan, Hariharasubramanian; Roy, Kaushambi; Viswanathan, Suresh; Bloomfield, Stewart A.

    2017-01-01

    The progressive death of retinal ganglion cells and resulting visual deficits are hallmarks of glaucoma, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In many neurodegenerative diseases, cell death induced by primary insult is followed by a wave of secondary loss. Gap junctions (GJs), intercellular channels composed of subunit connexins, can play a major role in secondary cell death by forming conduits through which toxic molecules from dying cells pass to and injure coupled neighbors. Here we have shown that pharmacological blockade of GJs or genetic ablation of connexin 36 (Cx36) subunits, which are highly expressed by retinal neurons, markedly reduced loss of neurons and optic nerve axons in a mouse model of glaucoma. Further, functional parameters that are negatively affected in glaucoma, including the electroretinogram, visual evoked potential, visual spatial acuity, and contrast sensitivity, were maintained at control levels when Cx36 was ablated. Neuronal GJs may thus represent potential therapeutic targets to prevent the progressive neurodegeneration and visual impairment associated with glaucoma. PMID:28604388

  12. TGF-beta1 inhibits Cx43 expression and formation of functional syncytia in cultured smooth muscle cells from human detrusor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuhaus, Jochen; Heinrich, Marco; Schwalenberg, Thilo; Stolzenburg, Jens-Uwe

    2009-02-01

    Human detrusor smooth muscle cells (hBSMCs) are coupled by connexin 43 (Cx43)-positive gap junctions to form functional syncytia. Gap junctional communication likely is necessary for synchronised detrusor contractions and is supposed to be altered in voiding disturbances. Other authors have shown that the pleiotropic cytokine TGF-beta1 upregulates Cx43 expression in human aortic smooth muscle cells. In this study, we examined the TGF-beta1 effects on Cx43 expression in cultured hBSMCs. hBSMC cultures, established from patients undergoing cystectomy, were treated with recombinant human TGF-beta1. Cx43 expression was then examined by Western blotting, real-time PCR, and immunocytochemistry. Dye-injection experiments were used to study the size of functional syncytia. Dye-coupling experiments revealed stable formation of functional syncytia in passaged cell cultures (P1-P4). Stimulation with TGF-beta1 led to significant reduction of Cx43 immunoreactivity and coupling. Cx43 protein expression was significantly downregulated and Cx43 mRNA was only 30% of the control level. Interestingly, low phosphorylation species of Cx43 were particularly affected. Our experiments demonstrated a significant down regulation of connexin 43 by TGF-beta1 in cultured hBSMCs. These findings support the view that TGF-beta1 is involved in the pathophysiology of urinary bladder dysfunction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  14. Renal epithelial cells can release ATP by vesicular fusion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Randi G Bjaelde

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Renal epithelial cells have the ability to release nucleotides as paracrine factors. In the intercalated cells of the collecting duct, ATP is released by connexin30 (cx30, which is selectively expressed in this cell type. However, ATP is released by virtually all renal epithelia and the aim of the present study was to identify possible alternative nucleotide release pathways in a renal epithelial cell model. We used MDCK (type1 cells to screen for various potential ATP release pathways. In these cells, inhibition of the vesicular H+-ATPases (bafilomycin reduced both the spontaneous and hypotonically (80%-induced nucleotide release. Interference with vesicular fusion using N-ethylamide markedly reduced the spontaneous nucleotide release, as did interference with trafficking from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus (brefeldin A1 and vesicular transport (nocodazole. These findings were substantiated using a siRNA directed against SNAP-23, which significantly reduced spontaneous ATP release. Inhibition of pannexin and connexins did not affect the spontaneous ATP release in this cell type, which consists of ∼90% principal cells. TIRF-microscopy of either fluorescently-labeled ATP (MANT-ATP or quinacrine-loaded vesicles, revealed that spontaneous release of single vesicles could be promoted by either hypoosmolality (50% or ionomycin. This vesicular release decreased the overall cellular fluorescence by 5.8% and 7.6% respectively. In summary, this study supports the notion that spontaneous and induced ATP release can occur via exocytosis in renal epithelial cells.

  15. Dominant de novo DSP mutations cause erythrokeratodermia-cardiomyopathy syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyden, Lynn M; Kam, Chen Y; Hernández-Martín, Angela; Zhou, Jing; Craiglow, Brittany G; Sidbury, Robert; Mathes, Erin F; Maguiness, Sheilagh M; Crumrine, Debra A; Williams, Mary L; Hu, Ronghua; Lifton, Richard P; Elias, Peter M; Green, Kathleen J; Choate, Keith A

    2016-01-15

    Disorders of keratinization (DOK) show marked genotypic and phenotypic heterogeneity. In most cases, disease is primarily cutaneous, and further clinical evaluation is therefore rarely pursued. We have identified subjects with a novel DOK featuring erythrokeratodermia and initially-asymptomatic, progressive, potentially fatal cardiomyopathy, a finding not previously associated with erythrokeratodermia. We show that de novo missense mutations clustered tightly within a single spectrin repeat of DSP cause this novel cardio-cutaneous disorder, which we term erythrokeratodermia-cardiomyopathy (EKC) syndrome. We demonstrate that DSP mutations in our EKC syndrome subjects affect localization of desmosomal proteins and connexin 43 in the skin, and result in desmosome aggregation, widening of intercellular spaces, and lipid secretory defects. DSP encodes desmoplakin, a primary component of desmosomes, intercellular adhesion junctions most abundant in the epidermis and heart. Though mutations in DSP are known to cause other disorders, our cohort features the unique clinical finding of severe whole-body erythrokeratodermia, with distinct effects on localization of desmosomal proteins and connexin 43. These findings add a severe, previously undescribed syndrome featuring erythrokeratodermia and cardiomyopathy to the spectrum of disease caused by mutation in DSP, and identify a specific region of the protein critical to the pathobiology of EKC syndrome and to DSP function in the heart and skin. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. A multidisciplinary approach to paediatric hearing loss: programme at the centre for hearing intervention and language development, National University Hospital, Singapore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Lynne H Y

    2008-12-01

    The objective is to describe the multidisciplinary management programme at the National University Hospital (NUH) in Singapore for children with hearing impairment (HI). Over 99.95% of babies born at NUH have hearing tested with both otoacoustic emission and automated auditory brainstem response tests by 6 weeks of age. The referral rate to Otolaryngology is 0.5%. Acquired causes of congenital HI are decreasing. Thirty percent of patients at NUH with idiopathic congenital sensorineural HI have DFNB1/ GJB6 Connexin 26 HI. CT scan or MRI imaging has a higher diagnostic yield when there is unilateral, fluctuating or non-Connexin 26 related HI. Routine electrocardiogram and Opthalmology evaluations will exclude associations of fatal cardiac rhythm anomaly and retinopathy. Other investigations are directed by history and clinical examination. There is now a very wide range of increasingly sophisticated medication, neuro-otologic external, middle and inner ear surgery, hearing aids, middle ear implants and cochlear implants available to improve hearing. A multidisciplinary team from neonatology, paediatrics, otolaryngology, audiology, auditory verbal and speech therapy, ophthalmology, radiology, and psychology working closely with the child, family and schools is needed to develop a cost-effective and comprehensive management programme for paediatric HI.

  17. PRELP (proline/arginine-rich end leucine-rich repeat protein) promotes osteoblastic differentiation of preosteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells by regulating the β-catenin pathway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Haiying; Cui, Yazhou; Luan, Jing [School of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Jinan-Shandong Academy of Medical Science, Ji' nan, Shandong (China); Key Laboratory for Rare Disease Research of Shandong Province, Key Laboratory for Biotech Drugs of the Ministry of Health, Shandong Medical Biotechnological Center, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Ji' nan, Shandong (China); Zhang, Xiumei [School of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Jinan-Shandong Academy of Medical Science, Ji' nan, Shandong (China); Li, Chengzhi; Zhou, Xiaoyan; Shi, Liang [School of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Jinan-Shandong Academy of Medical Science, Ji' nan, Shandong (China); Key Laboratory for Rare Disease Research of Shandong Province, Key Laboratory for Biotech Drugs of the Ministry of Health, Shandong Medical Biotechnological Center, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Ji' nan, Shandong (China); Wang, Huaxin [Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ji' an, Shandong (China); Han, Jinxiang, E-mail: jxhan9888@aliyun.com [School of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Jinan-Shandong Academy of Medical Science, Ji' nan, Shandong (China); Key Laboratory for Rare Disease Research of Shandong Province, Key Laboratory for Biotech Drugs of the Ministry of Health, Shandong Medical Biotechnological Center, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Ji' nan, Shandong (China)

    2016-02-12

    Proline/arginine-rich end leucine-rich repeat protein (PRELP) is a collagen-binding proteoglycan highly expressed in the developing bones. Recent studies indicated that PRELP could inhibit osteoclastogenesis as a NF-κB inhibitor. However, its role during osteoblast differentiation is still unclear. In this study, we confirmed that the expression of PRELP increased with the osteogenesis induction of preosteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells. Down-regulation of PRELP expression by shRNA reduced ALP activity, mineralization and expression of osteogenic marker gene Runx2. Our microarray analysis data suggested that β-catenin may act as a hub gene in the PRELP-mediated gene network. We validated furtherly that PRELP knockdown could inhibit the level of connexin43, a key regulator of osteoblast differentiation by affecting β-catenin protein expression, and its nuclear translocation in MC3T3-E1 preosteoblasts. Therefore, this study established a new role of PRELP in modulating β-catenin/connexin43 pathway and osteoblast differentiation.

  18. Aberrant Cx43 Expression and Mislocalization in Metastatic Human Melanomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaga, Katanya C; Crawford, Melissa; Dagnino, Lina; Laird, Dale W

    2017-01-01

    At present, it is unclear if melanocytes contain Cx43 gap junctions and whether Cx43 expression is regulated in melanoma onset and progression. To this end, we cultured pure populations of mouse melanocytes and found that they had no detectable Cx43 and exhibited an inability for dye transfer indicating they were devoid of functional gap junctions. Given the evidence that melanomas acquire the expression of other connexin isoforms during tumor progression, we assessed if Cx43 was also expressed and assembled into gap junctions at any stage of human melanoma onset and progression to distant metastases. Nearly all primary melanomas within the epidermis lacked Cx43. In contrast, nodal metastases expressed low levels of Cx43 which was markedly higher in distant metastases that had invaded vital organs. Importantly, in all stages of melanoma progression, Cx43 could be detected in intracellular compartments but was rarely assembled into gap junctions indicative of functional gap junction channels. Overall, these studies suggest that melanocytes do not form Cx43 homocellular gap junctions and even though Cx43 levels increase during melanoma progression, this connexin rarely assembles into gap junction structures.

  19. What is hidden in the pannexin treasure trove: the sneak peek and the guesswork.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litvin, Oxana; Tiunova, Anya; Connell-Alberts, Yvette; Panchin, Yuri; Baranova, Ancha

    2006-01-01

    Connexins had been considered to be the only class of the vertebrate proteins capable of gap junction formation; however, new candidates for this function with no homology to connexins, termed pannexins were discovered. So far three pannexins were described in rodent and human genomes: Panx1, Panx2 and Panx3. Expressions of pannexins can be detected in numerous brain structures, and now found both in neuronal and glial cells. Hypothetical roles of pannexins in the nervous system include participating in sensory processing, hippocampal plasticity, synchronization between hippocampus and cortex, and propagation of the calcium waves supported by glial cells, which help maintain and modulate neuronal metabolism. Pannexin also may participate in pathological reactions of the neural cells, including their damage after ischemia and subsequent cell death. Recent study revealed non-gap junction function of Panx1 hemichannels in erythrocytes, where they serve as the conduits for the ATP release in response to the osmotic stress. High-throughput studies produced some evidences of the pannexin involvement in the process of tumorigenesis. According to brain cancer gene expression database REMBRANDT, PANX2 expression levels can predict post diagnosis survival for patients with glial tumors. Further investigations are needed to verify or reject hypotheses listed.

  20. Mice Lacking Pannexin 1 Release ATP and Respond Normally to All Taste Qualities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandenbeuch, Aurelie; Anderson, Catherine B; Kinnamon, Sue C

    2015-09-01

    Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is required for the transmission of all taste qualities from taste cells to afferent nerve fibers. ATP is released from Type II taste cells by a nonvesicular mechanism and activates purinergic receptors containing P2X2 and P2X3 on nerve fibers. Several ATP release channels are expressed in taste cells including CALHM1, Pannexin 1, Connexin 30, and Connexin 43, but whether all are involved in ATP release is not clear. We have used a global Pannexin 1 knock out (Panx1 KO) mouse in a series of in vitro and in vivo experiments. Our results confirm that Panx1 channels are absent in taste buds of the knockout mice and that other known ATP release channels are not upregulated. Using a luciferin/luciferase assay, we show that circumvallate taste buds from Panx1 KO mice normally release ATP upon taste stimulation compared with wild type (WT) mice. Gustatory nerve recordings in response to various tastants applied to the tongue and brief-access behavioral testing with SC45647 also show no difference between Panx1 KO and WT. These results confirm that Panx1 is not required for the taste evoked release of ATP or for neural and behavioral responses to taste stimuli. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Electrical stimulation directs engineered cardiac tissue to an age-matched native phenotype

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard A Lasher

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Quantifying structural features of native myocardium in engineered tissue is essential for creating functional tissue that can serve as a surrogate for in vitro testing or the eventual replacement of diseased or injured myocardium. We applied three-dimensional confocal imaging and image analysis to quantitatively describe the features of native and engineered cardiac tissue. Quantitative analysis methods were developed and applied to test the hypothesis that environmental cues direct engineered tissue toward a phenotype resembling that of age-matched native myocardium. The analytical approach was applied to engineered cardiac tissue with and without the application of electrical stimulation as well as to age-matched and adult native tissue. Individual myocytes were segmented from confocal image stacks and assigned a coordinate system from which measures of cell geometry and connexin-43 spatial distribution were calculated. The data were collected from 9 nonstimulated and 12 electrically stimulated engineered tissue constructs and 5 postnatal day 12 and 7 adult hearts. The myocyte volume fraction was nearly double in stimulated engineered tissue compared to nonstimulated engineered tissue (0.34 ± 0.14 vs 0.18 ± 0.06 but less than half of the native postnatal day 12 (0.90 ± 0.06 and adult (0.91 ± 0.04 myocardium. The myocytes under electrical stimulation were more elongated compared to nonstimulated myocytes and exhibited similar lengths, widths, and heights as in age-matched myocardium. Furthermore, the percentage of connexin-43-positive membrane staining was similar in the electrically stimulated, postnatal day 12, and adult myocytes, whereas it was significantly lower in the nonstimulated myocytes. Connexin-43 was found to be primarily located at cell ends for adult myocytes and irregularly but densely clustered over the membranes of nonstimulated, stimulated, and postnatal day 12 myocytes. These findings support our hypothesis and reveal

  2. Cell motility in models of wounded human skin is improved by Gap27 despite raised glucose, insulin and IGFBP-5

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, Catherine S.; Berends, Rebecca F. [Department of Life Sciences, School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, 70 Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA (United Kingdom); Flint, David J. [Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, 161 Cathedral Street, Glasgow G4 0RE (United Kingdom); Martin, Patricia E.M., E-mail: Patricia.Martin@gcu.ac.uk [Department of Life Sciences, School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, 70 Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA (United Kingdom)

    2013-02-15

    Reducing Cx43 expression stimulates skin wound healing. This is mimicked in models when Cx43 function is blocked by the connexin mimetic peptide Gap27. IGF-I also stimulates wound healing with IGFBP-5 attenuating its actions. Further, the IGF-I to IGFBP-5 ratio is altered in diabetic skin, where wound closure is impaired. We investigated whether Gap27 remains effective in augmenting scrape-wound closure in human skin wound models simulating diabetes-induced changes, using culture conditions with raised glucose, insulin and IGFBP-5. Gap27 increased scrape-wound closure in normal glucose and insulin (NGI) and to a lesser extent in high glucose and insulin (HGI). IGF-I enhanced scrape-wound closure in keratinocytes whereas IGFBP-5 inhibited this response. Gap27 overcame the inhibitory effects of IGFBP-5 on IGF-I activity. Connexin-mediated communication (CMC) was reduced in HGI, despite raised Cx43, and Gap27 significantly decreased CMC in NGI and HGI. IGF-I and IGFBP-5 did not affect CMC. IGF-I increased keratinocyte proliferation in NGI, and Gap27 increased proliferation in NGI to a greater extent than in HGI. We conclude that IGF-I and Gap27 stimulate scrape-wound closure by independent mechanisms with Gap27 inhibiting Cx43 function. Gap27 can enhance wound closure in diabetic conditions, irrespective of the IGF-I:IGFBP-5 balance. - Highlights: ► Human organotypic and keratinocyte ‘diabetic’ skin models were used to demonstrate the ability of Gap27 to improve scrape-wound closure. ► Gap27 enhanced scrape-wound closure by reducing Cx43-mediated communication, whereas IGFBP-5 retarded cell migration. ► IGF-I and IGFBP-5 did not affect connexin-mediated pathways. ► Gap27 can override altered glucose, insulin, IGF-I, and IGFBP-5 in ‘diabetic’ skin models and thus has therapeutic potential.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mindaugas Snipas

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. [Effects of Chinese herbal compound for supplementing qi and activating blood circulation on actin, Cx43 expressions and gap junctional intercellular communication functions of myocardial cells in patients with Coxsackie virus B 3 viral myocarditis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ming-xue; He, Wei; Gu, Ping

    2010-08-01

    To observe the effect of Chinese herbal compound for supplementing qi and activating blood circulation (CHC) on the gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) function of myocardial cells in patients with Coxsackie virus B 3 (CVB3) viral myocarditis. Expressions of actin and connexin43 (Cx43) in myocardial cells of patients arranged in three groups (the normal control group, the viral infected group and the CHC treated group) were detected by immunohistochemical method; the fluorescence photobleaching recovery rate of cells was detected by laser scanning confocal microscope. As compared with the viral infected group, the expressions of actin and Cx43 were increased and the GJIC function was improved in the CHC treated group. CHC could antagonize viral injury on skeleton protein, and repair the structure of gap junction channel to improve the GJIC function of myocardial cells after being attacked by CVB3.

  5. Waardenburg syndrome type 2: an orthodontic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Şuhani, Raluca Diana; Şuhani, Mihai Flaviu; Muntean, Alexandrina; Mesaroş, Michaela Florica; Badea, Mîndra Eugenia

    2015-01-01

    Waardenburg syndrome is a rare form of neurocristopathy. It is a disorder in the development of neural crest cells, caused by an altered cellular migration during the embryonic phase. That alteration causes an association of different abnormalities such as pigmentary disturbances of the hair, iris, skin, stria vascularis of the cochlea, dystopia canthorum and sensorineural hearing loss. We report a case of a 14-year-old Romanian male, with a family history of Waardenburg syndrome (mother) and Usher syndrome (father - congenitally sensorineural hearing loss and retinal degeneration). The case particularities are: the correlation between malocclusion and Waardenburg syndrome due to hypoplastic alae nasi and also factors that produced hearing loss, which could be Waardenburg syndrome, Usher syndrome or the presence of the connexin 26 (W24X) gene mutation.

  6. Enhancement of Spontaneous Activity by HCN4 Overexpression in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes - A Possible Biological Pacemaker.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yukihiro Saito

    Full Text Available Establishment of a biological pacemaker is expected to solve the persisting problems of a mechanical pacemaker including the problems of battery life and electromagnetic interference. Enhancement of the funny current (If flowing through hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN channels and attenuation of the inward rectifier K+ current (IK1 flowing through inward rectifier potassium (Kir channels are essential for generation of a biological pacemaker. Therefore, we generated HCN4-overexpressing mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs and induced cardiomyocytes that originally show poor IK1 currents, and we investigated whether the HCN4-overexpressing mESC-derived cardiomyocytes (mESC-CMs function as a biological pacemaker in vitro.The rabbit Hcn4 gene was transfected into mESCs, and stable clones were selected. mESC-CMs were generated via embryoid bodies and purified under serum/glucose-free and lactate-supplemented conditions. Approximately 90% of the purified cells were troponin I-positive by immunostaining. In mESC-CMs, expression level of the Kcnj2 gene encoding Kir2.1, which is essential for generation of IK1 currents that are responsible for stabilizing the resting membrane potential, was lower than that in an adult mouse ventricle. HCN4-overexpressing mESC-CMs expressed about a 3-times higher level of the Hcn4 gene than did non-overexpressing mESC-CMs. Expression of the Cacna1h gene, which encodes T-type calcium channel and generates diastolic depolarization in the sinoatrial node, was also confirmed. Additionally, genes required for impulse conduction including Connexin40, Connexin43, and Connexin45 genes, which encode connexins forming gap junctions, and the Scn5a gene, which encodes sodium channels, are expressed in the cells. HCN4-overexpressing mESC-CMs showed significantly larger If currents and more rapid spontaneous beating than did non-overexpressing mESC-CMs. The beating rate of HCN4-overexpressing mESC-CMs responded

  7. Alkaline pH sensor molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murayama, Takashi; Maruyama, Ichiro N

    2015-11-01

    Animals can survive only within a narrow pH range. This requires continual monitoring of environmental and body-fluid pH. Although a variety of acidic pH sensor molecules have been reported, alkaline pH sensor function is not well understood. This Review describes neuronal alkaline pH sensors, grouped according to whether they monitor extracellular or intracellular alkaline pH. Extracellular sensors include the receptor-type guanylyl cyclase, the insulin receptor-related receptor, ligand-gated Cl- channels, connexin hemichannels, two-pore-domain K+ channels, and transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. Intracellular sensors include TRP channels and gap junction channels. Identification of molecular mechanisms underlying alkaline pH sensing is crucial for understanding how animals respond to environmental alkaline pH and how body-fluid pH is maintained within a narrow range. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Niklas Rye; Teilmann, Stefan Cuoni; Henriksen, Zanne

    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 Cx...

  9. Secret handshakes: cell-cell interactions and cellular mimics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Daniel J; Nelson, W James

    2018-02-01

    Cell-cell junctions, acting as 'secret handshakes', mediate cell-cell interactions and make multicellularity possible. Work over the previous century illuminated key players comprising these junctions including the cadherin superfamily, nectins, CAMs, connexins, notch/delta, lectins, and eph/Ephrins. Recent work has focused on elucidating how interactions between these complex and often contradictory cues can ultimately give rise to large-scale organization in tissues. This effort, in turn, has enabled bioengineering advances such as cell-mimetic interfaces that allow us to better probe junction biology and to develop new biomaterials. This review details exciting, recent developments in these areas as well as providing both historical context and a discussion of some topical challenges and opportunities for the future. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Changes in immunostaining of inner ears after antigen challenge into the scala tympani.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ichimiya, I; Kurono, Y; Hirano, T; Mogi, G

    1998-04-01

    To study the mechanisms of immune responses and immune injuries in inner ears, labyrinthitis was induced by inoculation of keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) into the scala tympani of systemically sensitized guinea pigs. Inner ears were then immunostained for KLH, immunoglobulin G (IgG), albumin, connexin26 (Cx26), and sodium-potassium adenosine triphosphate (Na,K-ATPase). Inflammatory cells containing KLH were observed in the scala tympani and in the collecting venule of the spiral modiolar vein (SMV). Spiral ligament, spiral limbus, and blood vessels including the SMV were diffusely positive for IgG and albumin. Immunoreactivity for Cx26 and Na,K-ATPase was decreased compared with the normal ears in the fibrocytes of the spiral ligament. These results suggest that inflammatory cells and blood constituents could extravasate into the cochlea from blood vessels and that fibrocyte damage in the spiral ligament could cause cochlear dysfunction.

  11. Modulation of rod photoreceptor output by HCN1 channels is essential for regular mesopic cone vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seeliger, Mathias W; Brombas, Arne; Weiler, Reto; Humphries, Peter; Knop, Gabriel; Tanimoto, Naoyuki; Müller, Frank

    2011-11-08

    Retinal photoreceptors permit visual perception over a wide range of lighting conditions. Rods work best in dim, and cones in bright environments, with considerable functional overlap at intermediate (mesopic) light levels. At many sites in the outer and inner retina where rod and cone signals interact, gap junctions, particularly those containing Connexin36, have been identified. However, little is known about the dynamic processes associated with the convergence of rod and cone system signals into ON- and OFF-pathways. Here we show that proper cone vision under mesopic conditions requires rapid adaptational feedback modulation of rod output via hyperpolarization-activated and cyclic nucleotide-gated channels 1. When these channels are absent, sustained rod responses following bright light exposure saturate the retinal network, resulting in a loss of downstream cone signalling. By specific genetic and pharmacological ablation of key signal processing components, regular cone signalling can be restored, thereby identifying the sites involved in functional rod-cone interactions.

  12. [Octanol preconditioning alleviates mouse cardiomyocyte swelling induced by simulated ischemia/reperfusion challenge in vitro].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Yukun; Fang, Jun; Fan, Lin; Lin, Chaogui; Chen, Zhaoyang; Chen, Lianglong

    2012-10-01

    To investigate the role of connexin 43-formed hemichannels in cell volume regulation induced by simulated ischemia/reperfusion (SI/R). Mouse cardiomyocytes isolated on a Langendorff apparatus with enzyme solution were aliquoted into control, SI/R and SI/R +octanol groups. Calcein-AM was used to stain the cells and the cell volume was measured with confocal microscope by stack scanning. Trypan blue was used to measure the cell viability after the treatments. Calcein-AM staining and cofocal microscopy yielded stable and reproducible results for cell volume measurement. Mouse cardiomyocytes subjected to simulated SI/R showed obvious cell swelling as compared with the control cells [(126∓6)% vs 100%, Poctanol preconditioning significantly attenuated the cell swelling [(113∓6)%, Poctanol preconditioning obviously reduced the viability of the cells with SI/R challenge [(31∓2)%, Poctanol can alleviate the cell swelling to enhance the viability of the cardiomyocytes following SI/R.

  13. Advances in the Understanding of the Genetic Causes of Hearing Loss in Children Inform a Rational Approach to Evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, John C; Palumbos, Janice C

    2016-10-01

    Hearing loss represents the most common sensory disability of children. Remarkable advances in the identification of genes underlying nonsyndromic and syndromic hearing loss in just the last 2 decades have led to the ability to determine the specific genetic cause of hearing loss in many children. Surprisingly one gene, GJB2, encoding the protein connexin-26, accounts for about 20 % of sensorineural hearing loss (including in India) and is considered the first tier test in evaluating an infant with unexplained congenital hearing loss. Using the knowledge of the etiology of hearing loss, the authors propose a diagnostic reasoning process for the assessment of a child in the pediatric setting. Second tier testing consists of the multiple gene panels using whole exome sequencing strategies, and is becoming available in some regions of the world including the US. Referral to medical genetics is always a consideration in a child with no explanation for the hearing loss and in families with questions about recurrence risk.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. A novel GJA3 mutation associated with congenital nuclear pulverulent and posterior polar cataract in a Chinese family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Ke; Wang, Wei; Zhu, Yanan; Jin, Chongfei; Shentu, Xingchao; Jiang, Jin; Zhang, Yidong; Ni, Shuang

    2011-12-01

    Congenital cataract (CC) is the leading cause of visual disability in children. To date, mutations in many genes have been linked to CC. In a four-generation Chinese family with congenital nuclear pulverulent and posterior polar cataracts, we detected a heterozygous c.5G>A transition in the second exon of GJA3, resulting in the substitution of a highly conserved glycine with aspartic acid (p.G2D) at the N-terminus of the connexin46 (Cx46) protein. Wild type (wt) and mutant Cx46 plasmids were transfected into HeLa cells to examine the molecular basis of cataract formation. Unlike wt Cx46, Cx46G2D mutant formed gap junction plaques inefficiently, changed hemichannel permeability, and caused apoptosis. These results suggest that the glycine residue at the second position of the N-terminus is important for gap junction plaque formation and hemichannel function. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. PI3K/Akt signaling is involved in the disruption of gap junctional communication caused by v-Src and TNF-α.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Satoko; Hyodo, Toshinori; Hasegawa, Hitoki; Yuan, Hong; Hamaguchi, Michinari; Senga, Takeshi

    2010-09-17

    Gap junctional communication, which is mediated by the connexin protein family, is essential for the maintenance of normal tissue function and homeostasis. Loss of intercellular communication results in a failure to coordinately regulate cellular functions, and it can facilitate tumorigenesis. Expression of oncogenes and stimulation with cytokines has been shown to suppress intercellular communication; however, the exact mechanism by which intercellular communication is disrupted by these factors remains uncertain. In this report, we show that Akt is essential for the disruption of gap junctional communication in v-Src-transformed cells. In addition, inhibition of Akt restores gap junctional communication after it is suppressed by TNF-α signaling. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the expression of a constitutively active form of Akt1, but not of Akt2 or Akt3, is sufficient to suppress gap junctional communication. Our results clearly define Akt1 as one of the critical regulators of gap junctional communication. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Mutation analysis and evaluation of the cardiac localization of TMEM43 in arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, A H; Andersen, C B; Tybjærg-Hansen, A

    2011-01-01

    Christensen AH, Andersen CB, Tybjærg-Hansen A, Haunso S, Svendsen JH. Mutation analysis and evaluation of the cardiac localization of TMEM43 in arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. A single report has associated mutations in TMEM43 (LUMA) with a distinctive form of arrhythmogenic right...... with anti-TMEM43, anti-plakoglobin, anti-plakophilin-2, anti-connexin-43, and anti-emerin antibodies was performed on myocardium from TMEM43-positive patients (n = 3) and healthy controls (n = 3). The genetic screening identified heterozygous variants in two families: one reported mutation (c.1073C> T......; in two related patients) and one novel variant (c.705+ 7G> A; in one patient) of unknown significance. All three patients fulfilled Task Force criteria and did not carry mutations in any other ARVC-related gene. Immunostaining with TMEM43 antibody showed intense staining of the sarcolemma. The signal...

  18. Temperature-sensitive gating of hCx26: high-resolution Raman spectroscopy sheds light on conformational changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kniggendorf, Ann-Kathrin; Meinhardt-Wollweber, Merve; Yuan, Xiaogang; Roth, Bernhard; Seifert, Astrid; Fertig, Niels; Zeilinger, Carsten

    2014-07-01

    The temperature-sensitive gating of human Connexin 26 (hCx26) was analyzed with confocal Raman microscopy. High-resolution Raman spectra covering the spectral range between 400 and 1500 rel. cm(-1) with a spectral resolution of 1 cm(-1) were fully annotated, revealing notable differences between the spectrum recorded from solubilized hCx26 in Ca(2+)-buffered POPC at 10°C and any other set of protein conditions (temperature, Ca(2+) presence, POPC presence). Spectral components originating from specific amino acids show that the TM1/EL1 parahelix and probably the TM4 trans-membrane helix and the plug domain are involved in the gating process responsible for fully closing the hemichannel.

  19. Complex Membrane Channel Blockade: A Unifying Hypothesis for the Prodromal and Acute Neuropsychiatric Sequelae Resulting from Exposure to the Antimalarial Drug Mefloquine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane C. Quinn

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The alkaloid toxin quinine and its derivative compounds have been used for many centuries as effective medications for the prevention and treatment of malaria. More recently, synthetic derivatives, such as the quinoline derivative mefloquine (bis(trifluoromethyl-(2-piperidyl-4-quinolinemethanol, have been widely used to combat disease caused by chloroquine-resistant strains of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. However, the parent compound quinine, as well as its more recent counterparts, suffers from an incidence of adverse neuropsychiatric side effects ranging from mild mood disturbances and anxiety to hallucinations, seizures, and psychosis. This review considers how the pharmacology, cellular neurobiology, and membrane channel kinetics of mefloquine could lead to the significant and sometimes life-threatening neurotoxicity associated with mefloquine exposure. A key role for mefloquine blockade of ATP-sensitive potassium channels and connexins in the substantia nigra is considered as a unifying hypothesis for the pathogenesis of severe neuropsychiatric events after mefloquine exposure in humans.

  20. Critical role of gap junction communication, calcium and nitric oxide signaling in bystander responses to focal photodynamic injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Central motor and sensory pathway involvement in an X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zambelis, T; Panas, M; Kokotis, P; Karadima, G; Kararizou, E; Karandreas, N

    2008-06-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the subclinical involvement of the central nervous system (CNS) in an X-linked Charcot-Marie-Toth (CMTX) family. Seven subjects, all members of one family with a C.462T > G connexin 32 (Cx32) mutation were investigated by Blink reflex, Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP) and Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). There were five clinically symptomatic for CMT neuropathy (four male and one female) and two asymptomatic (female) subjects. Subclinical CNS involvement was observed in all, symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects. This is the largest CMTX neuropathy family investigated for CNS involvement. Electrophysiological involvement of the CNS in every examined member of this family was observed, raising the question of a more systematic involvement of the CNS in CMTX disease.

  2. Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis in X-Linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease with Central Nervous System Involvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgios Koutsis

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We report a patient with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS and X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX, carrying a GJB1 mutation affecting connexin-32 (c.191G>A, p. Cys64Tyr which was recently reported by our group. This is the third case report of a patient with CMTX developing MS, but it is unique in the fact that other family members carrying the same mutation were found to have asymptomatic central nervous system (CNS involvement (diffuse white matter hyperintensity on brain MRI and extensor plantars. Although this may be a chance association, the increasing number of cases with CMTX and MS, especially with mutations involving the CNS, may imply some causative effect and provide insights into MS pathogenesis.

  3. Relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis in x-linked charcot-marie-tooth disease with central nervous system involvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koutsis, Georgios; Karadima, Georgia; Floroskoufi, Paraskewi; Raftopoulou, Maria; Panas, Marios

    2015-01-01

    We report a patient with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) and X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX), carrying a GJB1 mutation affecting connexin-32 (c.191G>A, p. Cys64Tyr) which was recently reported by our group. This is the third case report of a patient with CMTX developing MS, but it is unique in the fact that other family members carrying the same mutation were found to have asymptomatic central nervous system (CNS) involvement (diffuse white matter hyperintensity on brain MRI and extensor plantars). Although this may be a chance association, the increasing number of cases with CMTX and MS, especially with mutations involving the CNS, may imply some causative effect and provide insights into MS pathogenesis.

  4. Astroglial Metabolic Networks Sustain Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouach, Nathalie; Koulakoff, Annette; Abudara, Veronica; Willecke, Klaus; Giaume, Christian

    2008-12-01

    Astrocytes provide metabolic substrates to neurons in an activity-dependent manner. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this function, as well as its role in synaptic transmission, remain unclear. Here, we show that the gap-junction subunit proteins connexin 43 and 30 allow intercellular trafficking of glucose and its metabolites through astroglial networks. This trafficking is regulated by glutamatergic synaptic activity mediated by AMPA receptors. In the absence of extracellular glucose, the delivery of glucose or lactate to astrocytes sustains glutamatergic synaptic transmission and epileptiform activity only when they are connected by gap junctions. These results indicate that astroglial gap junctions provide an activity-dependent intercellular pathway for the delivery of energetic metabolites from blood vessels to distal neurons.

  5. Deafness genes in Israel: implications for diagnostics in the clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownstein, Zippora; Avraham, Karen B

    2009-08-01

    The identification of the molecular basis of deafness in the last decade has made a remarkable impact on genetic counseling and diagnostics for the hearing impaired population. Since the discovery of the most prevalent form of deafness associated with mutations in the GJB2 (connexin 26) gene, many other genes have been found worldwide, with a subset of these, including unique mutations, in Israel. Here, we review the current status of deafness genes in Israel and report one known mutation in a syndromic form of deafness, Usher syndrome, described in the Jewish Israeli population for the first time. In the future, the identification of specific mutations may be relevant for specific types of treatment.

  6. Astroglial metabolic networks sustain hippocampal synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouach, Nathalie; Koulakoff, Annette; Abudara, Veronica; Willecke, Klaus; Giaume, Christian

    2008-12-05

    Astrocytes provide metabolic substrates to neurons in an activity-dependent manner. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this function, as well as its role in synaptic transmission, remain unclear. Here, we show that the gap-junction subunit proteins connexin 43 and 30 allow intercellular trafficking of glucose and its metabolites through astroglial networks. This trafficking is regulated by glutamatergic synaptic activity mediated by AMPA receptors. In the absence of extracellular glucose, the delivery of glucose or lactate to astrocytes sustains glutamatergic synaptic transmission and epileptiform activity only when they are connected by gap junctions. These results indicate that astroglial gap junctions provide an activity-dependent intercellular pathway for the delivery of energetic metabolites from blood vessels to distal neurons.

  7. Gap Junctions Contribute to Ictal/Interictal Genesis in Human Hypothalamic Hamartomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Wu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Human hypothalamic hamartoma (HH is a rare subcortical lesion associated with treatment-resistant epilepsy. Cellular mechanisms responsible for epileptogenesis are unknown. We hypothesized that neuronal gap junctions contribute to epileptogenesis through synchronous activity within the neuron networks in HH tissue. We studied surgically resected HH tissue with Western-blot analysis, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, biocytin microinjection of recorded HH neurons, and microelectrode patch clamp recordings with and without pharmacological blockade of gap junctions. Normal human hypothalamus tissue was used as a control. Western blots showed increased expression of both connexin-36 (Cx36 and connexin-43 (Cx43 in HH tissue compared with normal human mammillary body tissue. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that Cx36 and Cx43 are expressed in HH tissue, but Cx36 was mainly expressed within neuron clusters while Cx43 was mainly expressed outside of neuron clusters. Gap-junction profiles were observed between small HH neurons with electron microscopy. Biocytin injection into single recorded small HH neurons showed labeling of adjacent neurons, which was not observed in the presence of a neuronal gap-junction blocker, mefloquine. Microelectrode field recordings from freshly resected HH slices demonstrated spontaneous ictal/interictal-like discharges in most slices. Bath-application of gap-junction blockers significantly reduced ictal/interictal-like discharges in a concentration-dependent manner, while not affecting the action-potential firing of small gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA neurons observed with whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from the same patient's HH tissue. These results suggest that neuronal gap junctions between small GABAergic HH neurons participate in the genesis of epileptic-like discharges. Blockade of gap junctions may be a new therapeutic strategy for controlling seizure activity in HH patients.

  8. Ca²⁺-dependent nitric oxide release in the injured endothelium of excised rat aorta: a promising mechanism applying in vascular prosthetic devices in aging patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berra-Romani, Roberto; Avelino-Cruz, José Everardo; Raqeeb, Abdul; Della Corte, Alessandro; Cinelli, Mariapia; Montagnani, Stefania; Guerra, Germano; Moccia, Francesco; Tanzi, Franco

    2013-01-01

    Nitric oxide is key to endothelial regeneration, but it is still unknown whether endothelial cell (EC) loss results in an increase in NO levels at the wound edge. We have already shown that endothelial damage induces a long-lasting Ca²⁺ entry into surviving cells though connexin hemichannels (CxHcs) uncoupled from their counterparts on ruptured cells. The physiological outcome of injury-induced Ca²⁺ inflow is, however, unknown. In this study, we sought to determine whether and how endothelial scraping induces NO production (NOP) in the endothelium of excised rat aorta by exploiting the NO-sensitive fluorochrome, DAF-FM diacetate and the Ca²⁺-sensitive fluorescent dye, Fura-2/AM. We demonstrated that injury-induced NOP at the lesion site is prevented in presence of the endothelial NO synthase inhibitor, L-NAME, and in absence of extracellular Ca²⁺. Unlike ATP-dependent NO liberation, the NO response to injury is insensitive to BTP-2, which selectively blocks store-operated Ca²⁺ inflow. However, injury-induced NOP is significantly reduced by classic gap junction blockers, and by connexin mimetic peptides specifically targeting Cx37Hcs, Cx40HCs, and Cx43Hcs. Moreover, disruption of caveolar integrity prevents injury-elicited NO signaling, but not the accompanying Ca²⁺ response. The data presented provide the first evidence that endothelial scraping stimulates NO synthesis at the wound edge, which might both exert an immediate anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory action and promote the subsequent re-endothelialization.

  9. Astrocytes and Müller cells changes during retinal degeneration in a transgenic rat model of retinitis pigmentosa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura eFernández-Sánchez

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Retinitis pigmentosa includes a group of progressive retinal degenerative diseases that affect the structure and function of photoreceptors. Secondarily to the loss of photoreceptors, there is a reduction in retinal vascularization, which seems to influence the cellular degenerative process. Retinal macroglial cells, astrocytes and Müller cells provide support for retinal neurons and are fundamental for maintaining normal retinal function. The aim of this study was to investigate the evolution of macroglial changes during retinal degeneration in P23H rats. Methods: Homozygous P23H line-3 rats aged from P18 to 18 months were used to study the evolution of the disease, and SD rats were used as controls. Immunolabeling with antibodies against GFAP, vimentin, and transducin were used to visualize macroglial cells and cone photoreceptors. Results: In P23H rats, increased GFAP labeling in Müller cells was observed as an early indicator of retinal gliosis. At 4 and 12 months of age, the apical processes of Müller cells in P23H rats clustered in firework-like structures, which were associated with ring-like shaped areas of cone degeneration in the outer nuclear layer. These structures were not observed at 16 months of age. The number of astrocytes was higher in P23H rats than in the SD matched controls at 4 and 12 months of age, supporting the idea of astrocyte proliferation. As the disease progressed, astrocytes exhibited a deteriorated morphology and marked hypertrophy. The increase in the complexity of the astrocytic processes correlated with greater connexin 43 expression and higher density of connexin 43 immunoreactive puncta within the ganglion cell layer of P23H versus SD rat retinas. Conclusions: In the P23H rat model of retinitis pigmentosa, the loss of photoreceptors triggers major changes in the number and morphology of glial cells affecting the inner retina.

  10. Ultrastructural and biochemical localization of N-RAP at the interface between myofibrils and intercalated disks in the mouse heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, J Q; Elzey, B; Williams, G; Lu, S; Law, D J; Horowits, R

    2001-12-11

    N-RAP is a recently discovered muscle-specific protein found at cardiac intercalated disks. Double immunogold labeling of mouse cardiac muscle reveals that vinculin is located immediately adjacent to the fascia adherens region of the intercalated disk membrane, while N-RAP extends approximately 100 nm further toward the interior of the cell. We partially purified cardiac intercalated disks using low- and high-salt extractions followed by density gradient centrifugation. Immunoblots show that this preparation is highly enriched in desmin and junctional proteins, including N-RAP, talin, vinculin, beta1-integrin, N-cadherin, and connexin 43. Electron microscopy and immunolabeling demonstrate that N-RAP and vinculin are associated with the large fragments of intercalated disks that are present in this preparation, which also contains numerous membrane vesicles. Detergent treatment of the partially purified intercalated disks removed the membrane vesicles and extracted vinculin and beta1-integrin. Further separation on a sucrose gradient removed residual actin and myosin and yielded a fraction morphologically similar to fasciae adherentes that was highly enriched in N-RAP, N-cadherin, connexin 43, talin, desmin, and alpha-actinin. The finding that N-RAP copurifies with detergent-extracted intercalated disk fragments even though beta-integrin and vinculin have been completely removed suggests that N-RAP association with the adherens junction region is mediated by the cadherin system. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that recombinant N-RAP fragments bind alpha-actinin in a gel overlay assay. In addition, immunofluorescence shows that N-RAP remains bound at the ends of isolated, detergent-treated cardiac myofibrils. These results demonstrate that N-RAP remains tightly bound to myofibrils and fasciae adherentes during biochemical purification and may be a key constituent in the mechanical link between these two structures.

  11. Gap junctions at the dendritic cell-T cell interface are key elements for antigen-dependent T cell activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elgueta, Raul; Tobar, Jaime A; Shoji, Kenji F; De Calisto, Jaime; Kalergis, Alexis M; Bono, Maria R; Rosemblatt, Mario; Sáez, Juan C

    2009-07-01

    The acquired immune response begins with Ag presentation by dendritic cells (DCs) to naive T cells in a heterocellular cell-cell contact-dependent process. Although both DCs and T cells are known to express connexin43, a gap junction protein subunit, the role of connexin43 on the initiation of T cell responses remains to be elucidated. In the present work, we report the formation of gap junctions between DCs and T cells and their role on T cell activation during Ag presentation by DCs. In cocultures of DCs and T cells, Lucifer yellow microinjected into DCs is transferred to adjacent transgenic CD4(+) T cells, only if the specific antigenic peptide was present at least during the first 24 h of cocultures. This dye transfer was sensitive to gap junction blockers, such as oleamide, and small peptides containing the extracellular loop sequences of conexin. Furthermore, in this system, gap junction blockers drastically reduced T cell activation as reflected by lower proliferation, CD69 expression, and IL-2 secretion. This lower T cell activation produced by gap junction blockers was not due to a lower expression of CD80, CD86, CD40, and MHC-II on DCs. Furthermore, gap junction blocker did not affect polyclonal activation of T cell induced with anti-CD3 plus anti-CD28 Abs in the absence of DCs. These results strongly suggest that functional gap junctions assemble at the interface between DCs and T cells during Ag presentation and that they play an essential role in T cell activation.

  12. Improving cardiac gap junction communication as a new antiarrhythmic mechanism: the action of antiarrhythmic peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhein, Stefan; Hagen, Anja; Jozwiak, Joanna; Dietze, Anna; Garbade, Jens; Barten, Markus; Kostelka, Martin; Mohr, Friedrich-Wilhelm

    2010-03-01

    Co-ordinated electrical activation of the heart is maintained by intercellular coupling of cardiomyocytes via gap junctional channels located in the intercalated disks. These channels consist of two hexameric hemichannels, docked to each other, provided by either of the adjacent cells. Thus, a complete gap junction channel is made from 12 protein subunits, the connexins. While 21 isoforms of connexins are presently known, cardiomyocytes typically are coupled by Cx43 (most abundant), Cx40 or Cx45. Some years ago, antiarrhythmic peptides were discovered and synthesised, which were shown to increase macroscopic gap junction conductance (electrical coupling) and enhance dye transfer (metabolic coupling). The lead substance of these peptides is AAP10 (H-Gly-Ala-Gly-Hyp-Pro-Tyr-CONH(2)), a peptide with a horseshoe-like spatial structure as became evident from two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance studies. A stable D: -amino-acid derivative of AAP10, rotigaptide, as well as a non-peptide analogue, gap-134, has been developed in recent years. Antiarrhythmic peptides act on Cx43 and Cx45 gap junctions but not on Cx40 channels. AAP10 has been shown to enhance intercellular communication in rat, rabbit and human cardiomyocytes. Antiarrhythmic peptides are effective against ventricular tachyarrhythmias, such as late ischaemic (type IB) ventricular fibrillation, CaCl(2) or aconitine-induced arrhythmia. Interestingly, the effect of antiarrhythmic peptides is higher in partially uncoupled cells and was shown to be related to maintained Cx43 phosphorylation, while arrhythmogenic conditions like ischaemia result in Cx43 dephosphorylation and intercellular decoupling. It is still a matter of debate whether these drugs also act against atrial fibrillation. The present review outlines the development of this group of peptides and derivatives, their mode of action and molecular mechanisms, and discusses their possible therapeutic potential.

  13. Cell intrinsic immunity spreads to bystander cells via the intercellular transfer of cGAMP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ablasser, Andrea; Schmid-Burgk, Jonathan L; Hemmerling, Inga; Horvath, Gabor L; Schmidt, Tobias; Latz, Eicke; Hornung, Veit

    2013-11-28

    The innate immune defence of multicellular organisms against microbial pathogens requires cellular collaboration. Information exchange allowing immune cells to collaborate is generally attributed to soluble protein factors secreted by pathogen-sensing cells. Cytokines, such as type I interferons (IFNs), serve to alert non-infected cells to the possibility of pathogen challenge. Moreover, in conjunction with chemokines they can instruct specialized immune cells to contain and eradicate microbial infection. Several receptors and signalling pathways exist that couple pathogen sensing to the induction of cytokines, whereas cytosolic recognition of nucleic acids seems to be exquisitely important for the activation of type I IFNs, master regulators of antiviral immunity. Cytosolic DNA is sensed by the receptor cyclic GMP-AMP (cGAMP) synthase (cGAS), which catalyses the synthesis of the second messenger cGAMP(2'-5'). This molecule in turn activates the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident receptor STING, thereby inducing an antiviral state and the secretion of type I IFNs. Here we find in murine and human cells that cGAS-synthesized cGAMP(2'-5') is transferred from producing cells to neighbouring cells through gap junctions, where it promotes STING activation and thus antiviral immunity independently of type I IFN signalling. In line with the limited cargo specificity of connexins, the proteins that assemble gap junction channels, most connexins tested were able to confer this bystander immunity, thus indicating a broad physiological relevance of this local immune collaboration. Collectively, these observations identify cGAS-triggered cGAMP(2'-5') transfer as a novel host strategy that serves to rapidly convey antiviral immunity in a transcription-independent, horizontal manner.

  14. Effects of valsartan on ventricular arrhythmia induced by programmed electrical stimulation in rats with myocardial infarction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Kun-Li; Li, Yi-Gang; Zhang, Peng-Pai; Chen, Ren-Hua; Yu, Yi

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The impact of angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) on electrical remodelling after myocardial infarction (MI) remains unclear. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effect of valsartan on incidence of ventricular arrhythmia induced by programmed electrical stimulation (PES) and potential link to changes of myocardial connexins (Cx) 43 expression and distribution in MI rats. Fifty-nine rats were randomly divided into three groups: Sham (n = 20), MI (n = 20) and MI + Val (20 mg/kg/day per gavage, n = 19). After eight weeks, the incidence of PES-induced ventricular tachycardia (VT) and fibrillation (VF) was compared among groups. mRNA and protein expressions of Cx43, angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) in the LV border zone (BZ) and non-infarct zone (NIZ) were determined by real-time PCR and Western blot, respectively. Connexins 43 protein and collagen distribution were examined by immunohistochemistry in BZ and NIZ sections from MI hearts. Valsartan effectively improved the cardiac function, reduced the prolonged QTc (163.7 ± 3.7 msec. versus 177.8 ± 4.5 msec., P valsartan. The mRNA and protein expressions of Cx43 in BZ were significantly reduced after MI and up-regulated by valsartan. Increased collagen deposition and reduced Cx43 expression in BZ after MI could be partly attenuated by Valsartan. Valsartan reduced the incidence of PES-induced ventricular arrhythmia, this effect was possibly through modulating the myocardial AT1R and Cx43 expression. PMID:22128836

  15. The ATP required for potentiation of skeletal muscle contraction is released via pannexin hemichannels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riquelme, Manuel A; Cea, Luis A; Vega, José L; Boric, Mauricio P; Monyer, Hannah; Bennett, Michael V L; Frank, Marina; Willecke, Klaus; Sáez, Juan C

    2013-12-01

    During repetitive stimulation of skeletal muscle, extracellular ATP levels raise, activating purinergic receptors, increasing Ca2+ influx, and enhancing contractile force, a response called potentiation. We found that ATP appears to be released through pannexin1 hemichannels (Panx1 HCs). Immunocytochemical analyses and function were consistent with pannexin1 localization to T-tubules intercalated with dihydropyridine and ryanodine receptors in slow (soleus) and fast (extensor digitorum longus, EDL) muscles. Isolated myofibers took up ethidium (Etd+) and released small molecules (as ATP) during electrical stimulation. Consistent with two glucose uptake pathways, induced uptake of 2-NBDG, a fluorescent glucose derivative, was decreased by inhibition of HCs or glucose transporter (GLUT4), and blocked by dual blockade. Adult skeletal muscles apparently do not express connexins, making it unlikely that connexin hemichannels contribute to the uptake and release of small molecules. ATP release, Etd+ uptake, and potentiation induced by repetitive electrical stimulation were blocked by HC blockers and did not occur in muscles of pannexin1 knockout mice. MRS2179, a P2Y1R blocker, prevented potentiation in EDL, but not soleus muscles, suggesting that in fast muscles ATP activates P2Y1 but not P2X receptors. Phosphorylation on Ser and Thr residues of pannexin1 was increased during potentiation, possibly mediating HC opening. Opening of Panx1 HCs during repetitive activation allows efflux of ATP, influx of glucose and possibly Ca2+ too, which are required for potentiation of contraction. This article is part of the Special Issue Section entitled 'Current Pharmacology of Gap Junction Channels and Hemichannels'. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Pannexin2 oligomers localize into endosomal vesicles in mammalian cells while Pannexin1 channels traffic to the plasma membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela eBoassa

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Pannexin2 (Panx2 is the largest of three members of the pannexin proteins. Pannexins are topologically related to connexins and innexins, but serve different functional roles than forming gap junctions. We previously showed that pannexins form oligomeric channels but unlike connexins and innexins, they form only single membrane channels. High levels of Panx2 mRNA and protein in the Central Nervous System (CNS have been documented. Whereas Pannexin1 (Panx1 is fairly ubiquitous and Pannexin3 (Panx3 is found in skin and connective tissue, both are fully glycosylated, traffic to the plasma membrane and have functions correlated with extracellular ATP release. Here, we describe trafficking and subcellular localizations of exogenous Panx2 and Panx1 protein expression in MDCK, HeLa and HEK293T cells as well as endogenous Panx1 and Panx2 patterns in the CNS. Panx2 was found in intracellular localizations, was partially N-glycosylated, and localizations were non-overlapping with Panx1. Confocal images of hippocampal sections immunolabeled for the astrocytic protein GFAP, Panx1 and Panx2 demonstrated that the two isoforms, Panx1 and Panx2, localized at different subcellular compartments in both astrocytes and neurons. Using recombinant fusions of Panx2 with appended genetic tags developed for correlated light and electron microscopy and then expressed in different cell lines, we determined that Panx2 is localized in the membrane of intracellular vesicles and not in the endoplasmic reticulum as initially indicated by calnexin colocalization experiments. Dual immunofluorescence imaging with protein markers for specific vesicle compartments showed that Panx2 vesicles are early endosomal in origin. In electron tomographic volumes, cross-sections of these vesicles displayed fine structural details and close proximity to actin filaments. Thus, pannexins expressed at different subcellular compartments likely exert distinct functional roles, particularly in the

  17. Digenic inheritance in autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss cases carrying GJB2 heterozygote mutations: assessment of GJB4, GJA1, and GJC3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooshavar, Daniz; Tabatabaiefar, Mohammad Amin; Farrokhi, Effat; Abolhasani, Marziye; Noori-Daloii, Mohammad-Reza; Hashemzadeh-Chaleshtori, Morteza

    2013-02-01

    Autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss (ARNSHL) can be caused by many genes. However, mutations in the GJB2 gene, which encodes the gap-junction (GJ) protein connexin (Cx) 26, constitute a considerable proportion differing among population. Between 10 and 42 percent of patients with recessive GJB2 mutations carry only one mutant allele. Mutations in GJB4, GJA1, and GJC3 encoding Cx30.3, Cx43, and Cx29, respectively, can lead to HL. Combination of different connexins in heteromeric and heterotypic GJ assemblies is possible. This study aims to determine whether variations in any of the genes GJB4, GJA1 or GJC3 can be the second mutant allele causing the disease in the digenic mode of inheritance in the studied GJB2 heterozygous cases. We examined 34 unrelated GJB2 heterozygous ARNSHL subjects from different geographic and ethnic areas in Iran, using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by direct DNA sequencing to identify any sequence variations in these genes. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) assays were performed on 400 normal hearing individuals. Sequence analysis of GJB4 showed five heterozygous variations including c.451C>A, c.219C>T, c.507C>G, c.155_158delTCTG and c.542C>T, with only the latter variation not being detected in any of control samples. There were three heterozygous variations including c.758C>T, c.717G>A and c.3*dupA in GJA1 in four cases. We found no variations in GJC3 gene sequence. Our data suggest that GJB4 c.542C>T variant and less likely some variations of GJB4 and GJA1, but not possibly GJC3, can be assigned to ARNSHL in GJB2 heterozygous mutation carriers providing clues of the digenic pattern. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Astrocytes and Müller Cell Alterations During Retinal Degeneration in a Transgenic Rat Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Sánchez, Laura; Lax, Pedro; Campello, Laura; Pinilla, Isabel; Cuenca, Nicolás

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Retinitis pigmentosa includes a group of progressive retinal degenerative diseases that affect the structure and function of photoreceptors. Secondarily to the loss of photoreceptors, there is a reduction in retinal vascularization, which seems to influence the cellular degenerative process. Retinal macroglial cells, astrocytes, and Müller cells provide support for retinal neurons and are fundamental for maintaining normal retinal function. The aim of this study was to investigate the evolution of macroglial changes during retinal degeneration in P23H rats. Methods: Homozygous P23H line-3 rats aged from P18 to 18 months were used to study the evolution of the disease, and SD rats were used as controls. Immunolabeling with antibodies against GFAP, vimentin, and transducin were used to visualize macroglial cells and cone photoreceptors. Results: In P23H rats, increased GFAP labeling in Müller cells was observed as an early indicator of retinal gliosis. At 4 and 12 months of age, the apical processes of Müller cells in P23H rats clustered in firework-like structures, which were associated with ring-like shaped areas of cone degeneration in the outer nuclear layer. These structures were not observed at 16 months of age. The number of astrocytes was higher in P23H rats than in the SD matched controls at 4 and 12 months of age, supporting the idea of astrocyte proliferation. As the disease progressed, astrocytes exhibited a deteriorated morphology and marked hypertrophy. The increase in the complexity of the astrocytic processes correlated with greater connexin 43 expression and higher density of connexin 43 immunoreactive puncta within the ganglion cell layer (GCL) of P23H vs. SD rat retinas. Conclusions: In the P23H rat model of retinitis pigmentosa, the loss of photoreceptors triggers major changes in the number and morphology of glial cells affecting the inner retina. PMID:26733810

  19. Retinoic acid and cAMP inhibit rat hepatocellular carcinoma cell proliferation and enhance cell differentiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ionta, M. [Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade Federal de Alfenas, Alfenas MG (Brazil); Departamento de Biologia Celular e do Desenvolvimento, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo SP (Brazil); Rosa, M.C.; Almeida, R.B.; Freitas, V.M.; Rezende-Teixeira, P.; Machado-Santelli, G.M. [Departamento de Biologia Celular e do Desenvolvimento, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo SP (Brazil)

    2012-05-25

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third highest cause of cancer death worldwide. In general, the disease is diagnosed at an advanced stage when potentially curative therapies are no longer feasible. For this reason, it is very important to develop new therapeutic approaches. Retinoic acid (RA) is a natural derivative of vitamin A that regulates important biological processes including cell proliferation and differentiation. In vitro studies have shown that RA is effective in inhibiting growth of HCC cells; however, responsiveness to treatment varies among different HCC cell lines. The objective of the present study was to determine if the combined use of RA (0.1 µM) and cAMP (1 mM), an important second messenger, improves the responsiveness of HCC cells to RA treatment. We evaluated the proliferative behavior of an HCC cell line (HTC) and the expression profile of genes related to cancer signaling pathway (ERK and GSK-3β) and liver differentiation [E-cadherin, connexin 26 (Cx26), and connexin 32 (Cx32)]. RA and cAMP were effective in inhibiting the proliferation of HTC cells independently of combined use. However, when a mixture of RA and cAMP was used, the signals concerning the degree of cell differentiation were increased. As demonstrated by Western blot, the treatment increased E-cadherin, Cx26, Cx32 and Ser9-GSK-3β (inactive form) expression while the expression of Cx43, Tyr216-GSK-3β (active form) and phosphorylated ERK decreased. Furthermore, telomerase activity was inhibited along treatment. Taken together, the results showed that the combined use of RA and cAMP is more effective in inducing differentiation of HTC cells.

  20. The contribution of CXCL12-expressing radial glia cells to neuro-vascular patterning during human cerebral cortex development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariella eErrede

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted on human developing brain by laser confocal and transmission electron microscopy to make a detailed analysis of important features of blood-brain barrier microvessels and possible control mechanisms of vessel growth and differentiation during cerebral cortex vascularization. The blood-brain barrier status of cortex microvessels was examined at a defined stage of cortex development, at the end of neuroblast waves of migration and before cortex lamination, with blood-brain barrier-endothelial cell markers, namely tight junction proteins (occludin and claudin-5 and influx and efflux transporters (Glut-1 and P-glycoprotein, the latter supporting evidence for functional effectiveness of the fetal blood-brain barrier. According to the well-known roles of astroglia cells on microvessel growth and differentiation, the early composition of astroglia/endothelial cell relationships was analysed by detecting the appropriate astroglia, endothelial, and pericyte markers. GFAP, chemokine CXCL12, and connexin 43 (Cx43 were utilized as markers of radial glia cells, CD105 (endoglin as a marker of angiogenically activated endothelial cells, and proteoglycan NG2 as a marker of immature pericytes. Immunolabeling for CXCL12 showed the highest level of the ligand in radial glial fibres in contact with the growing cortex microvessels. These specialized contacts, recognizable on both perforating radial vessels and growing collaterals, appeared as CXCL12-reactive en passant, symmetrical and asymmetrical vessel-specific RG fibre swellings. At the highest confocal resolution, these RG varicosities showed a CXCL12-reactive dot-like content whose microvesicular nature was confirmed by ultrastructural observations. A further analysis of radial glial varicosities reveals colocalization of CXCL12 with connexin Cx43, which is possibly implicated in vessel-specific chemokine signalling.

  1. S-diclofenac Protects against Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiomyopathy in Mice via Ameliorating Cardiac Gap Junction Remodeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. Ammonia modifies enteric neuromuscular transmission through glial γ-aminobutyric acid signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fried, David E; Watson, Ralph E; Robson, Simon C; Gulbransen, Brian D

    2017-12-01

    Impaired gut motility may contribute, at least in part, to the development of systemic hyperammonemia and systemic neurological disorders in inherited metabolic disorders, or in severe liver and renal disease. It is not known whether enteric neurotransmission regulates intestinal luminal and hence systemic ammonia levels by induced changes in motility. Here, we propose and test the hypothesis that ammonia acts through specific enteric circuits to influence gut motility. We tested our hypothesis by recording the effects of ammonia on neuromuscular transmission in tissue samples from mice, pigs, and humans and investigated specific mechanisms using novel mutant mice, selective drugs, cellular imaging, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Exogenous ammonia increased neurogenic contractions and decreased neurogenic relaxations in segments of mouse, pig, and human intestine. Enteric glial cells responded to ammonia with intracellular Ca 2+ responses. Inhibition of glutamine synthetase and the deletion of glial connexin-43 channels in hGFAP :: Cre ER T2+/- /connexin43 f/f mice potentiated the effects of ammonia on neuromuscular transmission. The effects of ammonia on neuromuscular transmission were blocked by GABA A receptor antagonists, and ammonia drove substantive GABA release as did the selective pharmacological activation of enteric glia in GFAP::hM3Dq transgenic mice. We propose a novel mechanism whereby local ammonia is operational through GABAergic glial signaling to influence enteric neuromuscular circuits that regulate intestinal motility. Therapeutic manipulation of these mechanisms may benefit a number of neurological, hepatic, and renal disorders manifesting hyperammonemia. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We propose that local circuits in the enteric nervous system sense and regulate intestinal ammonia. We show that ammonia modifies enteric neuromuscular transmission to increase motility in human, pig, and mouse intestine model systems. The mechanisms underlying the

  3. Altered ubiquitin causes perturbed calcium homeostasis, hyperactivation of calpain, dysregulated differentiation, and cataract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ke; Lyu, Lei; Chin, David; Gao, Junyuan; Sun, Xiurong; Shang, Fu; Caceres, Andrea; Chang, Min-Lee; Rowan, Sheldon; Peng, Junmin; Mathias, Richard; Kasahara, Hideko; Jiang, Shuhong; Taylor, Allen

    2015-01-27

    Although the ocular lens shares many features with other tissues, it is unique in that it retains its cells throughout life, making it ideal for studies of differentiation/development. Precipitation of proteins results in lens opacification, or cataract, the major blinding disease. Lysines on ubiquitin (Ub) determine fates of Ub-protein substrates. Information regarding ubiquitin proteasome systems (UPSs), specifically of K6 in ubiquitin, is undeveloped. We expressed in the lens a mutant Ub containing a K6W substitution (K6W-Ub). Protein profiles of lenses that express wild-type ubiquitin (WT-Ub) or K6W-Ub differ by only ∼2%. Despite these quantitatively minor differences, in K6W-Ub lenses and multiple model systems we observed a fourfold Ca(2+) elevation and hyperactivation of calpain in the core of the lens, as well as calpain-associated fragmentation of critical lens proteins including Filensin, Fodrin, Vimentin, β-Crystallin, Caprin family member 2, and tudor domain containing 7. Truncations can be cataractogenic. Additionally, we observed accumulation of gap junction Connexin43, and diminished Connexin46 levels in vivo and in vitro. These findings suggest that mutation of Ub K6 alters UPS function, perturbs gap junction function, resulting in Ca(2+) elevation, hyperactivation of calpain, and associated cleavage of substrates, culminating in developmental defects and a cataractous lens. The data show previously unidentified connections between UPS and calpain-based degradative systems and advance our understanding of roles for Ub K6 in eye development. They also inform about new approaches to delay cataract and other protein precipitation diseases.

  4. The R245X mutation of PCDH15 in Ashkenazi Jewish children diagnosed with nonsyndromic hearing loss foreshadows retinitis pigmentosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownstein, Zippora; Ben-Yosef, Tamar; Dagan, Orit; Frydman, Moshe; Abeliovich, Dvorah; Sagi, Michal; Abraham, Fabian A; Taitelbaum-Swead, Riki; Shohat, Mordechai; Hildesheimer, Minka; Friedman, Thomas B; Avraham, Karen B

    2004-06-01

    Usher syndrome is a frequent cause of the combination of deafness and blindness due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Five genes are known to underlie different forms of Usher syndrome type I (USH1). In the Ashkenazi Jewish population, the R245X mutation of the PCDH15 gene may be the most common cause of USH1 (Ben-Yosef T, Ness SL, Madeo AC, Bar-Lev A, Wolfman JH, Ahmed ZM, Desnick RK, Willner JP, Avraham KB, Ostrer H, Oddoux C, Griffith AJ, Friedman TB N Engl J Med 348: 1664-1670, 2003). To estimate what percentage of Ashkenazi Jewish children born with profound hearing loss will develop RP due to R245X, we examined the prevalence of the R245X PCDH15 mutation and its carrier rate among Ashkenazi Jews in Israel. Among probands diagnosed with nonsyndromic hearing loss not due to mutations of connexin 26 (GJB2) and/or connexin 30 (GJB6), and below the age of 10, 2 of 20 (10%) were homozygous for the R245X mutation. Among older nonsyndromic deaf individuals, no homozygotes were detected, although one individual was heterozygous for R245X. The carrier rate of the R245X mutation among the normal hearing Ashkenazi population in Israel was estimated at 1%. Ashkenazi Jewish children with profound prelingual hearing loss should be evaluated for the R245X PCDH15 mutation and undergo ophthalmologic evaluation to determine whether they will develop RP. Rehabilitation can then begin before loss of vision. Early use of cochlear implants in such cases may rescue these individuals from a dual neurosensory deficit.

  5. Speech Perception Outcomes after Cochlear Implantation in Children with GJB2/DFNB1 associated Deafness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Davcheva-Chakar

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Cochlear implants (CI for the rehabilitation of patients with profound or total bilateral sensorineural hypoacusis represent the initial use of electrical fields to provide audibility in cases where the use of sound amplifiers does not provide satisfactory results. Aims: To compare speech perception performance after cochlear implantation in children with connexin 26-associated deafness with that of a control group of children with deafness of unknown etiology. Study Design: Retrospective comparative study. Methods: During the period from 2006 to , cochlear implantation was performed on 26 children. Eighteen of these children had undergone genetic tests for mutation of the Gap Junction Protein Beta 2 (GJB2 gene. Bi-allelic GJB2 mutations were confirmed in 7 out of 18 examined children. In order to confirm whether genetic factors have influence on speech perception after cochlear implantation, we compared the post-implantation speech performance of seven children with mutations of the GBJ2 (connexin 26 gene with seven other children who had the wild type version of this particular gene. The latter were carefully matched according to the age at cochlear implantation. Speech perception performance was measured before cochlear implantation, and one and two years after implantation. All the patients were arranged in line with the appropriate speech perception category (SPC. Non-parametric tests, Friedman ANOVA and Mann-Whitney’s U test were used for statistical analysis. Results: Both groups showed similar improvements in speech perception scores after cochlear implantation. Statistical analysis did not confirm significant differences between the groups 12 and 24 months after cochlear implantation. Conclusion: The results obtained in this study showed an absence of apparent distinctions in the scores of speech perception between the two examined groups and therefore might have significant implications in selecting prognostic indicators

  6. Gap junctions and hydrogen peroxide are involved in endothelium-derived hyperpolarising responses to bradykinin in omental arteries and veins isolated from pregnant women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, Stephanie; Mathewson, Alastair M; Baker, Philip N; Mayhew, Terry M; Dunn, William R

    2011-10-01

    Altered endothelial function may underlie human cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, diabetes and pre-eclampsia. While much is known about endothelial function in small arteries, very little is known about endothelial responses in small veins isolated from humans. Therefore, we assessed endothelium-dependent responses in omental arteries and veins isolated from healthy pregnant women, focussing on endothelium-dependent hyperpolarising (EDH) mechanisms. Human omental arteries and veins were obtained from women undergoing elective caesarean sections and examined using pressure myography. In pressurised vessels, the effects of proposed inhibitors of EDH production/function were examined on responses to bradykinin. The expression of connexins Cx37, 40 and 43 was assessed using immunohistochemistry. Bradykinin caused vasodilatation in human pressurised omental arteries and veins. In both vessels, responses to bradykinin were partially blocked in the presence of the gap junction uncoupler, carbenoxolone, and reduced further with the addition of catalase, which acts to degrade H(2)O(2). The effect of catalase alone was more pronounced in venous preparations. All three connexins were expressed in both arteries and veins, with a similar distribution pattern, where Cx37 and Cx40 were located mainly in the endothelium and Cx43 located mostly in the media. These data show that, in human omental vessels, an EDH mechanism is produced in response to bradykinin that involves gap junction communication and the production of H(2)O(2). These mechanisms may be involved in the haemodynamic alterations that take place during pregnancy, and any aberration in their function could contribute to raised blood pressure in hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, such as pre-eclampsia. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Progressive age-dependence and frequency difference in the effect of gap junctions on active cochlear amplification and hearing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zong, Liang; Chen, Jin; Zhu, Yan; Zhao, Hong-Bo

    2017-07-22

    Mutations of Connexin 26 (Cx26, GJB2), which is a predominant gap junction isoform in the cochlea, can induce high incidence of nonsyndromic hearing loss. We previously found that targeted-deletion of Cx26 in supporting Deiters cells and outer pillar cells in the cochlea can influence outer hair cell (OHC) electromotility and reduce active cochlear amplification leading to hearing loss, even though there are no gap junction connexin expressions in the auditory sensory hair cells. Here, we further report that hearing loss and the reduction of active amplification in the Cx26 targeted-deletion mice are progressive and different at high and low frequency regions, first occurring in the high frequency region and then progressively extending to the middle and low frequency regions with mouse age increased. The speed of hearing loss extending was fast in the basal high frequency region and slow in the apical low frequency region, showing a logarithmic function with mouse age. Before postnatal day 25, there were no significant hearing loss and the reduction of active cochlear amplification in the low frequency region. Hearing loss and the reduction of active cochlear amplification also had frequency difference, severe and large in the high frequency regions. These new data indicate that the effect of gap junction on active cochlear amplification is progressive, but, consistent with our previous report, exists in both high and low frequency regions in adulthood. These new data also suggest that cochlear gap junctions may have an important role in age-related hearing loss. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Pannexin2 oligomers localize in the membranes of endosomal vesicles in mammalian cells while Pannexin1 channels traffic to the plasma membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boassa, Daniela; Nguyen, Phuong; Hu, Junru; Ellisman, Mark H; Sosinsky, Gina E

    2014-01-01

    Pannexin2 (Panx2) is the largest of three members of the pannexin proteins. Pannexins are topologically related to connexins and innexins, but serve different functional roles than forming gap junctions. We previously showed that pannexins form oligomeric channels but unlike connexins and innexins, they form only single membrane channels. High levels of Panx2 mRNA and protein in the Central Nervous System (CNS) have been documented. Whereas Pannexin1 (Panx1) is fairly ubiquitous and Pannexin3 (Panx3) is found in skin and connective tissue, both are fully glycosylated, traffic to the plasma membrane and have functions correlated with extracellular ATP release. Here, we describe trafficking and subcellular localizations of exogenous Panx2 and Panx1 protein expression in MDCK, HeLa, and HEK 293T cells as well as endogenous Panx1 and Panx2 patterns in the CNS. Panx2 was found in intracellular localizations, was partially N-glycosylated, and localizations were non-overlapping with Panx1. Confocal images of hippocampal sections immunolabeled for the astrocytic protein GFAP, Panx1 and Panx2 demonstrated that the two isoforms, Panx1 and Panx2, localized at different subcellular compartments in both astrocytes and neurons. Using recombinant fusions of Panx2 with appended genetic tags developed for correlated light and electron microscopy and then expressed in different cell lines, we determined that Panx2 is localized in the membrane of intracellular vesicles and not in the endoplasmic reticulum as initially indicated by calnexin colocalization experiments. Dual immunofluorescence imaging with protein markers for specific vesicle compartments showed that Panx2 vesicles are early endosomal in origin. In electron tomographic volumes, cross-sections of these vesicles displayed fine structural details and close proximity to actin filaments. Thus, pannexins expressed at different subcellular compartments likely exert distinct functional roles, particularly in the nervous system.

  9. Glycogen metabolism in brain and neurons - astrocytes metabolic cooperation can be altered by pre- and neonatal lead (Pb) exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baranowska-Bosiacka, Irena; Falkowska, Anna; Gutowska, Izabela; Gąssowska, Magdalena; Kolasa-Wołosiuk, Agnieszka; Tarnowski, Maciej; Chibowska, Karina; Goschorska, Marta; Lubkowska, Anna; Chlubek, Dariusz

    2017-09-01

    Lead (Pb) is an environmental neurotoxin which particularly affects the developing brain but the molecular mechanism of its neurotoxicity still needs clarification. The aim of this paper was to examine whether pre- and neonatal exposure to Pb (concentration of Pb in rat offspring blood below the "threshold level") may affect the brain's energy metabolism in neurons and astrocytes via the amount of available glycogen. We investigated the glycogen concentration in the brain, as well as the expression of the key enzymes involved in glycogen metabolism in brain: glycogen synthase 1 (Gys1), glycogen phosphorylase (PYGM, an isoform active in astrocytes; and PYGB, an isoform active in neurons) and phosphorylase kinase β (PHKB). Moreover, the expression of connexin 43 (Cx43) was evaluated to analyze whether Pb poisoning during the early phase of life may affect the neuron-astrocytes' metabolic cooperation. This work shows for the first time that exposure to Pb in early life can impair brain energy metabolism by reducing the amount of glycogen and decreasing the rate of its metabolism. This reduction in brain glycogen level was accompanied by a decrease in Gys1 expression. We noted a reduction in the immunoreactivity and the gene expression of both PYGB and PYGM isoform, as well as an increase in the expression of PHKB in Pb-treated rats. Moreover, exposure to Pb induced decrease in connexin 43 immunoexpression in all the brain structures analyzed, both in astrocytes as well as in neurons. Our data suggests that exposure to Pb in the pre- and neonatal periods results in a decrease in the level of brain glycogen and a reduction in the rate of its metabolism, thereby reducing glucose availability, which as a further consequence may lead to the impairment of brain energy metabolism and the metabolic cooperation between neurons and astrocytes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Response of thyroid follicular cells to accelerated iron ions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Green, L.M.; Bianski, B.M.

    2003-01-01

    Full text: Suspension cultures of early and later passages thyroid follicular fisher rat thyroid cells (FRTL-5) were exposed to iron ions delivered over a dose range of 0-3 Gy and their comparative biological responses measured. Early passage FRTL-5 cultures are slow-growing, connexin32 competent whereas, later passage cultures are relatively rapidly growing and connexin32 defective. The iron-irradiated cells had sustained levels of incorporated dUTP into 3' strand breaks, reflecting DNA damage. There were no significant differences between early and later passage cultures except at 0.5 and 1 Gy, 48-hours (p 0.05). The presence of consistently medium-larger micronuclei was evidence that severe damage was introduced by exposure to iron ions. The levels of apoptosis were not linear with dose, nor was there a marked difference with time. In all cases the 3 Gy levels were less than or equal to the levels measured at 0.5 Gy. When survival characteristics were compared the most significant difference between early and later passage cultures were in the a-components of the survival curves (0.60 Gy -1 for early and 0.71 Gy-1 for the later passage cultures, p<0.014). When cell cycle phase redistribution was measured, both the early and later passage cultures displayed a significant shift toward G2 (p<0.001). In conclusion, these findings suggest that neither the presence of gap junctions, nor the differences in growth rate translated to significant differences in the biological response of thyroid follicles to iron ions

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Growth factor-induced mobilization of cardiac progenitor cells reduces the risk of arrhythmias, in a rat model of chronic myocardial infarction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Bocchi

    Full Text Available Heart repair by stem cell treatment may involve life-threatening arrhythmias. Cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs appear best suited for reconstituting lost myocardium without posing arrhythmic risks, being commissioned towards cardiac phenotype. In this study we tested the hypothesis that mobilization of CPCs through locally delivered Hepatocyte Growth Factor and Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 to heal chronic myocardial infarction (MI, lowers the proneness to arrhythmias. We used 133 adult male Wistar rats either with one-month old MI and treated with growth factors (GFs, n = 60 or vehicle (V, n = 55, or sham operated (n = 18. In selected groups of animals, prior to and two weeks after GF/V delivery, we evaluated stress-induced ventricular arrhythmias by telemetry-ECG, cardiac mechanics by echocardiography, and ventricular excitability, conduction velocity and refractoriness by epicardial multiple-lead recording. Invasive hemodynamic measurements were performed before sacrifice and eventually the hearts were subjected to anatomical, morphometric, immunohistochemical, and molecular biology analyses. When compared with untreated MI, GFs decreased stress-induced arrhythmias and concurrently prolonged the effective refractory period (ERP without affecting neither the duration of ventricular repolarization, as suggested by measurements of QTc interval and mRNA levels for K-channel α-subunits Kv4.2 and Kv4.3, nor the dispersion of refractoriness. Further, markers of cardiomyocyte reactive hypertrophy, including mRNA levels for K-channel α-subunit Kv1.4 and β-subunit KChIP2, interstitial fibrosis and negative structural remodeling were significantly reduced in peri-infarcted/remote ventricular myocardium. Finally, analyses of BrdU incorporation and distribution of connexin43 and N-cadherin indicated that cytokines generated new vessels and electromechanically-connected myocytes and abolished the correlation of infarct size with deterioration

  13. Intraoperative inspection of the ureteropelvic junction during pyeloplasty is not sufficient to distinguish between extrinsic and intrinsic causes of obstruction: Correlation with histological analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mut, Tuna; Acar, Ömer; Oktar, Tayfun; Kılıçaslan, Işın; Esen, Tarık; Ander, Haluk; Ziylan, Orhan

    2016-08-01

    Based on current knowledge, it is possible to have an initial diagnosis of intrinsic or extrinsic ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJO) based solely on clinical and imaging findings. However, it may not be possible to strictly discriminate an intrinsic case with an additional extrinsic component from a primarily intrinsic stenosis because of lower pole aberrant vessels. These two disorders may coexist or trigger each other. Herein, we aimed to compare the histological changes observed in intrinsic and extrinsic types of UPJO. Our hypothesis is that inspecting the UPJ during pyeloplasty may not be a sufficient way to delineate the underlying cause of obstruction in every individual. We retrospectively reviewed the data of 56 patients who had dismembered pyeloplasty. The intrinsic and extrinsic groups consisted of 38 and 18 patients, respectively. Masson's trichrome stain, CD117, and connexin 43 (Cx43) antibody were used in histopathology and immunochemistry. Statistical calculations were done with chi-square and Mann-Whitney U tests. Connexin 43 staining pattern, CD117 positive cell count, and the extent of fibrosis did not differ significantly between extrinsic and intrinsic cases. However, the difference with regard to the degree of muscular hypertrophy was close to statistical significance. The exact pathophysiological mechanism underlying UPJO has yet to be elucidated. A study directly comparing both groups histologically is indeed rare. Our study showed that there are no significant differences between the intrinsic and extrinsic groups in terms of the pacemaker activity, gap junctional communication, and extent of fibrosis. Muscular hypertrophy, which was marginally higher in our extrinsic group, may persist despite successful relocation of the obstructing vessel. The main drawbacks of our study are; the absence of a control group and the retrospective study design with its inherent selection biases. Immunohistochemical profiles of intrinsic and extrinsic

  14. Evaluation of Changes in Morphology and Function of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Derived Cardiomyocytes (HiPSC-CMs) Cultured on an Aligned-Nanofiber Cardiac Patch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Mahmood; Xu, Yanyi; Hua, Serena; Johnson, Jed; Belevych, Andriy; Janssen, Paul M L; Gyorke, Sandor; Guan, Jianjun; Angelos, Mark G

    2015-01-01

    Dilated cardiomyopathy is a major cause of progressive heart failure. Utilization of stem cell therapy offers a potential means of regenerating viable cardiac tissue. However, a major obstacle to stem cell therapy is the delivery and survival of implanted stem cells in the ischemic heart. To address this issue, we have developed a biomimetic aligned nanofibrous cardiac patch and characterized the alignment and function of human inducible pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) cultured on this cardiac patch. This hiPSC-CMs seeded patch was compared with hiPSC-CMs cultured on standard flat cell culture plates. hiPSC-CMs were cultured on; 1) a highly aligned polylactide-co-glycolide (PLGA) nanofiber scaffold (~50 microns thick) and 2) on a standard flat culture plate. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to determine alignment of PLGA nanofibers and orientation of the cells on the respective surfaces. Analysis of gap junctions (Connexin-43) was performed by confocal imaging in both the groups. Calcium cycling and patch-clamp technique were performed to measure calcium transients and electrical coupling properties of cardiomyocytes. SEM demonstrated >90% alignment of the nanofibers in the patch which is similar to the extracellular matrix of decellularized rat myocardium. Confocal imaging of the cardiomyocytes demonstrated symmetrical alignment in the same direction on the aligned nanofiber patch in sharp contrast to the random appearance of cardiomyocytes cultured on a tissue culture plate. The hiPSC-CMs cultured on aligned nanofiber cardiac patches showed more efficient calcium cycling compared with cells cultured on standard flat surface culture plates. Quantification of mRNA with qRT-PCR confirmed that these cardiomyocytes expressed α-actinin, troponin-T and connexin-43 in-vitro. Overall, our results demonstrated changes in morphology and function of human induced pluripotent derived cardiomyocytes cultured in an anisotropic environment

  15. Biologically improved nanofibrous scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhaarathy, V. [Centre for Nanofibers and Nanotechnology, NUSNNI, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117576 (Singapore); Department of Nanoscience and Technology, School of Physical Sciences, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore 641046 (India); Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, 138673 (Singapore); Venugopal, J., E-mail: nnijrv@nus.edu.sg [Centre for Nanofibers and Nanotechnology, NUSNNI, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117576 (Singapore); Gandhimathi, C. [Centre for Nanofibers and Nanotechnology, NUSNNI, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117576 (Singapore); Ponpandian, N.; Mangalaraj, D. [Department of Nanoscience and Technology, School of Physical Sciences, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore 641046 (India); Ramakrishna, S. [Centre for Nanofibers and Nanotechnology, NUSNNI, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117576 (Singapore)

    2014-11-01

    Nanofibrous structure developed by electrospinning technology provides attractive extracellular matrix conditions for the anchorage, migration and differentiation of stem cells, including those responsible for regenerative medicine. Recently, biocomposite nanofibers consisting of two or more polymeric blends are electrospun more tidily in order to obtain scaffolds with desired functional and mechanical properties depending on their applications. The study focuses on one such an attempt of using copolymer Poly(L-lactic acid)-co-poly (ε-caprolactone) (PLACL), silk fibroin (SF) and Aloe Vera (AV) for fabricating biocomposite nanofibrous scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering. SEM micrographs of fabricated electrospun PLACL, PLACL/SF and PLACL/SF/AV nanofibrous scaffolds are porous, beadless, uniform nanofibers with interconnected pores and obtained fibre diameter in the range of 459 ± 22 nm, 202 ± 12 nm and 188 ± 16 nm respectively. PLACL, PLACL/SF and PLACL/SF/AV electrospun mats obtained at room temperature with an elastic modulus of 14.1 ± 0.7, 9.96 ± 2.5 and 7.0 ± 0.9 MPa respectively. PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers have more desirable properties to act as flexible cell supporting scaffolds compared to PLACL for the repair of myocardial infarction (MI). The PLACL/SF and PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers had a contact angle of 51 ± 12° compared to that of 133 ± 15° of PLACL alone. Cardiac cell proliferation was increased by 21% in PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers compared to PLACL by day 6 and further increased to 42% by day 9. Confocal analysis for cardiac expression proteins myosin and connexin 43 was observed better by day 9 compared to all other nanofibrous scaffolds. The results proved that the fabricated PLACL/SF/AV nanofibrous scaffolds have good potentiality for the regeneration of infarcted myocardium in cardiac tissue engineering. - Highlights: • Fabricated nanofibrous scaffolds are porous, beadless and uniform structures. • PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers improve the

  16. The role of the Cx43 C-terminus in GJ plaque formation and internalization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wayakanon, Praween; Bhattacharjee, Rajib; Nakahama, Ken-ichi; Morita, Ikuo

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Cx43-GFP or -DsRed fusion proteins were expressed in HeLa cells. ► Roles of C-terminus were examined using various mutants. ► Gap junction plaque size was dependent on the length of C-terminus. ► C-terminus dependent gap junction plaque internalization was observed. -- Abstract: Connexin 43 (Cx43) is a major gap junction (GJ) protein found in many mammalian cell types. The C-terminal (CT) domain of Cx43 has unique characteristics in terms of amino acid (aa) sequence and its length differs from other connexins. This CT domain can be associated with protein partners to regulate GJ assembly and degradation, which results in the direct control of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC). However, the essential roles of the CT regions involved in these mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we aimed to investigate the specific regions of Cx43CT involved in GJ formation and internalization. Wild type Cx43 (382aa) and 10 CT truncated mutants were stably expressed in HeLa cells as GFP or DsRed tagged proteins. First, we found that the deletion of 235–382aa from Cx43 resulted in failure to make GJ and establish GJIC. Second, the Cx43 with 242–382aa CT deletion could form functional GJs and be internalized as annular gap junctions (AGJs). However, the plaques consisting of Cx43 with CT deletions (Δ242–382aa to Δ271–382aa) were longer than the plaques consisting of Cx43 with CT deletions (Δ302–382aa). Third, co-culture experiments of cells expressing wild type Cx43 (382) with cells expressing Cx43CT mutants revealed that the directions of GJ internalization were dependent on the length of the respective CT. Moreover, a specific region, 325–342aa residues of Cx43, played an important role in the direction of GJ internalization. These results showed the important roles of the Cx43 C-terminus in GJ expression and its turnover.

  17. Dedifferentiation, Proliferation, and Redifferentiation of Adult Mammalian Cardiomyocytes After Ischemic Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei Eric; Li, Liangpeng; Xia, Xuewei; Fu, Wenbin; Liao, Qiao; Lan, Cong; Yang, Dezhong; Chen, Hongmei; Yue, Rongchuan; Zeng, Cindy; Zhou, Lin; Zhou, Bin; Duan, Dayue Darrel; Chen, Xiongwen; Houser, Steven R; Zeng, Chunyu

    2017-08-29

    Adult mammalian hearts have a limited ability to generate new cardiomyocytes. Proliferation of existing adult cardiomyocytes (ACMs) is a potential source of new cardiomyocytes. Understanding the fundamental biology of ACM proliferation could be of great clinical significance for treating myocardial infarction (MI). We aim to understand the process and regulation of ACM proliferation and its role in new cardiomyocyte formation of post-MI mouse hearts. β-Actin-green fluorescent protein transgenic mice and fate-mapping Myh6-MerCreMer-tdTomato/lacZ mice were used to trace the fate of ACMs. In a coculture system with neonatal rat ventricular myocytes, ACM proliferation was documented with clear evidence of cytokinesis observed with time-lapse imaging. Cardiomyocyte proliferation in the adult mouse post-MI heart was detected by cell cycle markers and 5-ethynyl-2-deoxyuridine incorporation analysis. Echocardiography was used to measure cardiac function, and histology was performed to determine infarction size. In vitro, mononucleated and bi/multinucleated ACMs were able to proliferate at a similar rate (7.0%) in the coculture. Dedifferentiation proceeded ACM proliferation, which was followed by redifferentiation. Redifferentiation was essential to endow the daughter cells with cardiomyocyte contractile function. Intercellular propagation of Ca 2+ from contracting neonatal rat ventricular myocytes into ACM daughter cells was required to activate the Ca 2+ -dependent calcineurin-nuclear factor of activated T-cell signaling pathway to induce ACM redifferentiation. The properties of neonatal rat ventricular myocyte Ca 2+ transients influenced the rate of ACM redifferentiation. Hypoxia impaired the function of gap junctions by dephosphorylating its component protein connexin 43, the major mediator of intercellular Ca 2+ propagation between cardiomyocytes, thereby impairing ACM redifferentiation. In vivo, ACM proliferation was found primarily in the MI border zone. An ischemia

  18. Localisation of SCN10A gene product Na(v)1.8 and novel pain-related ion channels in human heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Facer, Paul; Punjabi, Prakash P; Abrari, Andleeb; Kaba, Riyaz A; Severs, Nicholas J; Chambers, John; Kooner, Jaspal S; Anand, Praveen

    2011-01-01

    We have shown that the gene SCN10A encoding the sodium channel Na(v)1.8 is a susceptibility factor for heart block and serious ventricular arrhythmia. Since Na(v)1.8 is known to be present in nerve fibres that mediate pain, it may be related to both cardiac pain and dysrhythmia. The localisation of Na(v)1.8 and other key nociceptive ion channels, including Na(v)1.7, Na(v)1.9, capsaicin receptor TRPV1, and purinergic receptor P2X(3), have not been reported in human heart. The aim of this study was to determine the distribution of Na(v)1.8, related sodium and other sensory channels in human cardiac tissue, and correlate their density with sympathetic nerves, regenerating nerves (GAP-43), and vascularity. Human heart atrial appendage tissues (n = 13) were collected during surgery for valve disease. Tissues were investigated by immunohistology using specific antibodies to Na(v)1.8 and other markers. Na(v)1.8 immunoreactivity was detected in nerve fibres and fascicles in the myocardium, often closely associated with small capillaries. Na(v)1.8 nerve fibres per mm(2) correlated significantly with vascular markers. Na(v)1.8-immunoreactivity was present also in cardiomyocytes with a similar distribution pattern to that seen with connexins, the specialised gap junction proteins of myocardial intercalated discs. Na(v)1.5-immunoreactivity was detected in cardiomyocytes but not in nerve fibres. Na(v)1.7, Na(v)1.9, TRPV1, P2X(3)/P2X(2), and GAP43 positive nerve fibres were relatively sparse, whereas sympathetic innervation and connexin43 were abundant. We conclude that sodium channel Na(v)1.8 is present in sensory nerves and cardiomyocytes of human heart. Na(v)1.8 and other pain channels provide new targets for the understanding and treatment of cardiac pain and dysrhythmia.

  19. Biologically improved nanofibrous scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhaarathy, V.; Venugopal, J.; Gandhimathi, C.; Ponpandian, N.; Mangalaraj, D.; Ramakrishna, S.

    2014-01-01

    Nanofibrous structure developed by electrospinning technology provides attractive extracellular matrix conditions for the anchorage, migration and differentiation of stem cells, including those responsible for regenerative medicine. Recently, biocomposite nanofibers consisting of two or more polymeric blends are electrospun more tidily in order to obtain scaffolds with desired functional and mechanical properties depending on their applications. The study focuses on one such an attempt of using copolymer Poly(L-lactic acid)-co-poly (ε-caprolactone) (PLACL), silk fibroin (SF) and Aloe Vera (AV) for fabricating biocomposite nanofibrous scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering. SEM micrographs of fabricated electrospun PLACL, PLACL/SF and PLACL/SF/AV nanofibrous scaffolds are porous, beadless, uniform nanofibers with interconnected pores and obtained fibre diameter in the range of 459 ± 22 nm, 202 ± 12 nm and 188 ± 16 nm respectively. PLACL, PLACL/SF and PLACL/SF/AV electrospun mats obtained at room temperature with an elastic modulus of 14.1 ± 0.7, 9.96 ± 2.5 and 7.0 ± 0.9 MPa respectively. PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers have more desirable properties to act as flexible cell supporting scaffolds compared to PLACL for the repair of myocardial infarction (MI). The PLACL/SF and PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers had a contact angle of 51 ± 12° compared to that of 133 ± 15° of PLACL alone. Cardiac cell proliferation was increased by 21% in PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers compared to PLACL by day 6 and further increased to 42% by day 9. Confocal analysis for cardiac expression proteins myosin and connexin 43 was observed better by day 9 compared to all other nanofibrous scaffolds. The results proved that the fabricated PLACL/SF/AV nanofibrous scaffolds have good potentiality for the regeneration of infarcted myocardium in cardiac tissue engineering. - Highlights: • Fabricated nanofibrous scaffolds are porous, beadless and uniform structures. • PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers improve the

  20. N-cadherin in adult rat cardiomyocytes in culture. II. Spatio-temporal appearance of proteins involved in cell-cell contact and communication. Formation of two distinct N-cadherin/catenin complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertig, C M; Butz, S; Koch, S; Eppenberger-Eberhardt, M; Kemler, R; Eppenberger, H M

    1996-01-01

    The spatio-temporal appearance and distribution of proteins forming the intercalated disc were investigated in adult rat cardiomyocytes (ARC). The 'redifferentiation model' of ARC involves extensive remodelling of the plasma membrane and of the myofibrillar apparatus. It represents a valuable system to elucidate the formation of cell-cell contact between cardiomyocytes and to assess the mechanisms by which different proteins involved in the cell-cell adhesion process are sorted in a precise manner to the sites of function. Appearance of N-cadherin, the catenins and connexin43 within newly formed adherens and gap junctions was studied. Here first evidence is provided for a formation of two distinct and separable N-cadherin/catenin complexes in cardiomyocytes. Both complexes are composed of N-cadherin and alpha-catenin which bind to either beta-catenin or plakoglobin in a mutually exclusive manner. The two N-cadherin/catenin complexes are assumed to be functionally involved in the formation of cell-cell contacts in ARC; however, the differential appearance and localization of the two types of complexes may also point to a specific role during ARC differentiation. The newly synthesized beta-catenin containing complex is more abundant during the first stages in culture after ARC isolation, while the newly synthesized plakoglobin containing complex progressively accumulates during the morphological changes of ARC. ARC formed a tissue-like pattern in culture whereby the new cell-cell contacts could be dissolved through Ca2+ depletion. Presence of cAMP and replenishment of Ca2+ content in the culture medium not only allowed reformation of cell-cell contacts but also affected the relative protein ratio between the two N-cadherin/catenin complexes, increasing the relative amount of newly synthesized beta-catenin over plakoglobin at a particular stage of ARC differentiation. The clustered N-cadherin/catenin complexes at the plasma membrane appear to be a prerequisite for the

  1. Tissue-Mimicking Geometrical Constraints Stimulate Tissue-Like Constitution and Activity of Mouse Neonatal and Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiac Myocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Götz Pilarczyk

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The present work addresses the question of to what extent a geometrical support acts as a physiological determining template in the setup of artificial cardiac tissue. Surface patterns with alternating concave to convex transitions of cell size dimensions were used to organize and orientate human-induced pluripotent stem cell (hIPSC-derived cardiac myocytes and mouse neonatal cardiac myocytes. The shape of the cells, as well as the organization of the contractile apparatus recapitulates the anisotropic line pattern geometry being derived from tissue geometry motives. The intracellular organization of the contractile apparatus and the cell coupling via gap junctions of cell assemblies growing in a random or organized pattern were examined. Cell spatial and temporal coordinated excitation and contraction has been compared on plain and patterned substrates. While the α-actinin cytoskeletal organization is comparable to terminally-developed native ventricular tissue, connexin-43 expression does not recapitulate gap junction distribution of heart muscle tissue. However, coordinated contractions could be observed. The results of tissue-like cell ensemble organization open new insights into geometry-dependent cell organization, the cultivation of artificial heart tissue from stem cells and the anisotropy-dependent activity of therapeutic compounds.

  2. Overexpression of Cx43 in cells of the myocardial scar: Correction of post-infarct arrhythmias through heterotypic cell-cell coupling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roell, Wilhelm; Klein, Alexandra M; Breitbach, Martin; Becker, Torsten S; Parikh, Ashish; Lee, Jane; Zimmermann, Katrin; Reining, Shaun; Gabris, Beth; Ottersbach, Annika; Doran, Robert; Engelbrecht, Britta; Schiffer, Miriam; Kimura, Kenichi; Freitag, Patricia; Carls, Esther; Geisen, Caroline; Duerr, Georg D; Sasse, Philipp; Welz, Armin; Pfeifer, Alexander; Salama, Guy; Kotlikoff, Michael; Fleischmann, Bernd K

    2018-05-08

    Ventricular tachycardia (VT) is the most common and potentially lethal complication following myocardial infarction (MI). Biological correction of the conduction inhomogeneity that underlies re-entry could be a major advance in infarction therapy. As minimal increases in conduction of infarcted tissue markedly influence VT susceptibility, we reasoned that enhanced propagation of the electrical signal between non-excitable cells within a resolving infarct might comprise a simple means to decrease post-infarction arrhythmia risk. We therefore tested lentivirus-mediated delivery of the gap-junction protein Connexin 43 (Cx43) into acute myocardial lesions. Cx43 was expressed in (myo)fibroblasts and CD45 + cells within the scar and provided prominent and long lasting arrhythmia protection in vivo. Optical mapping of Cx43 injected hearts revealed enhanced conduction velocity within the scar, indicating Cx43-mediated electrical coupling between myocytes and (myo)fibroblasts. Thus, Cx43 gene therapy, by direct in vivo transduction of non-cardiomyocytes, comprises a simple and clinically applicable biological therapy that markedly reduces post-infarction VT.

  3. Garlic (Allium sativum) feeding impairs Sertoli cell junctional proteins in male Wistar rat testis: microscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammami, I; Nahdi, A; Atig, F; El May, A; El May, M V

    2016-12-01

    Sertoli cell junctions, such as adhesion junction (AJ), gap junction (GJ) and tight junction (TJ), are important for maintaining spermatogenesis. In previous studies, we showed the inhibitory effect of crude garlic (Allium sativum, As) on spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis. The aim of this work was to complete our investigation on the impact of this plant, especially on Sertoli cell junctional proteins (SCJPs). During 1 month, 24 male rats were divided into groups: group control (0% of As) and treated groups fed 5%, 10% and 15% of As. Light and electron microscopy observations were performed to localise junctional proteins: connexin-43, Zona Occluding-1 and N-cadherin (immunohistochemistry) and to describe junctions. We showed that the specific cells involved in the localisation of the SCJP were similar in both control and treated groups, but with different immunoreactivity intensity between them. The electron microscopy observation focused on TJs between Sertoli cells, constituting the blood-testis barrier, showed ultrastructural changes such as fragmentation of TJs between adjacent Sertoli cell membranes and dilatation of rough endoplasmic reticulum saccules giving an aspect of scale to these junctions. We concluded that crude garlic consumption during 1 month induces perturbations on Sertoli cell junctions. These alterations can explain apoptosis in testicular germ cells previously showed. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  4. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Electrical and chemical transmission between striatal GABAergic output neurones in rat brain slices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venance, Laurent; Glowinski, Jacques; Giaume, Christian

    2004-01-01

    Basal ganglia are interconnected subcortical nuclei, connected to the thalamus and all cortical areas involved in sensory motor control, limbic functions and cognition. The striatal output neurones (SONs), the major striatal population, are believed to act as detectors and integrators of distributed patterns of cerebral cortex inputs. Despite the key role of SONs in cortico-striatal information processing, little is known about their local interactions. Here, we report the existence and characterization of electrical and GABAergic transmission between SONs in rat brain slices. Tracer coupling (biocytin) incidence was high during the first two postnatal weeks and then decreased (postnatal days (P) 5–25, 60%; P25–30, 29%; n = 61). Electrical coupling was observed between 27% of SON pairs (coupling coefficient: 3.1 ± 0.3%, n = 89 at P15) and as shown by single-cell RT-PCR, several connexin (Cx) mRNAs were found to be expressed (Cx31.1, Cx32, Cx36 and Cx47). GABAergic synaptic transmission (abolished by bicuculline, a GABAA receptor antagonist) observed in 19% of SON pairs (n = 62) was reliable (mean failure rate of 6 ± 3%), precise (variation coefficient of latency, 0.06), strong (IPSC amplitudes of 38 ± 12 pA) and unidirectional. Interestingly, electrical and chemical transmission were mutually exclusive. These results suggest that preferential networks of electrically and chemically connected SONs, might be involved in the channelling of cortico-basal ganglia information processing. PMID:15235091

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Ezrin/NF-kB activation regulates epithelial- mesenchymal transition induced by EGF and promotes metastasis of colorectal cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yingru; Lin, Zhaoyu; Chen, Bin; Chen, Shuang; Jiang, Zhipeng; Zhou, Taicheng; Hou, Zehui; Wang, Youyuan

    2017-08-01

    There is growing evidence that epithelial mesenchymal-transition (EMT) plays significant roles in terms of tumor metastasis. There are a lot of cytokines inducing EMT of tumor cells, EGF is one of the important cytokines.Ezrin is a connexin between the cytoskeleton and the cell membrane, which is closely related to the morphological movement and metastasis of tumor cells.EGF can activate Ezrin and affects cell motility. In recent years, many studies have shown that NF-kB acts as an important transcription factor, involving in the process of EMT. However, does Ezrin participate in the regulation of EGF-induced EMT through the NF-kB pathway? This question needs us to discuss.In the present study, we found that EGF could induce colorectal cancer cells to develop EMT,enhance their ability to invade and migrate and promotes phosphorylation of Ezrin Tyr353.On the other hand, inhibition of Ezrin could reverse EGF-induced EMT and inhibit NF-kB P65 translocating into the nucleus. Finally, knockout of Ezrin inhibited EGF-induced lung metastasis of colorectal cancer xenografts and abnormal activation of Ezrin and NF-kB were related with colorectal cancer metastasis and poor prognosis. Our present results suggest that Ezrin/NF-kB pathway may provide experimental evidence for new targeted drugs for colorectal cancer metastasis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  8. Intracellular Cleavage of the Cx43 C-Terminal Domain by Matrix-Metalloproteases: A Novel Contributor to Inflammation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marijke De Bock

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The coordination of tissue function is mediated by gap junctions (GJs that enable direct cell-cell transfer of metabolic and electric signals. GJs are formed by connexin (Cx proteins of which Cx43 is most widespread in the human body. Beyond its role in direct intercellular communication, Cx43 also forms nonjunctional hemichannels (HCs in the plasma membrane that mediate the release of paracrine signaling molecules in the extracellular environment. Both HC and GJ channel function are regulated by protein-protein interactions and posttranslational modifications that predominantly take place in the C-terminal domain of Cx43. Matrix metalloproteases (MMPs are a major group of zinc-dependent proteases, known to regulate not only extracellular matrix remodeling, but also processing of intracellular proteins. Together with Cx43 channels, both GJs and HCs, MMPs contribute to acute inflammation and a small number of studies reports on an MMP-Cx43 link. Here, we build further on these reports and present a novel hypothesis that describes proteolytic cleavage of the Cx43 C-terminal domain by MMPs and explores possibilities of how such cleavage events may affect Cx43 channel function. Finally, we set out how aberrant channel function resulting from cleavage can contribute to the acute inflammatory response during tissue injury.

  9. Keratitis–ichthyosis–deafness syndrome: first affected family reported in the Middle East

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Al Fahaad H

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Hamad Al FahaadDepartment of Dermatology, College of Medicine, Najran University, Najran, Saudi ArabiaIntroduction: Keratitis–ichthyosis–deafness (KID syndrome is a rare congenital multisystem disorder affecting certain tissues of ectodermal origin such as epidermis, cochlea, and cornea, leading mainly to palmoplantar hyperkeratosis, ichthyosiform scaling, deafness, and blindness. The author reports for the first time in the Middle East three family members suffering from KID syndrome in the southwestern part of Saudi Arabia.Case presentation: Three patients from one family (ages 26, 16, and 14 years of apparently normal parents, with the two eldest being females and the youngest being male. All three patients were referred from a peripheral hospital to our dermatology clinic due to recurrent cutaneous fungal infections on their trunk, forearms, legs, and nails. On full assessment, they also found to have nearly similar cutaneous problems manifested by palmoplantar hyperkeratosis, generalized ichthyosiform scaling, subungual hyperkeratosis, and nail dystrophies. All patients suffered from total hearing loss in both ears since childhood as confirmed by pure tune audiometry. However, there was no blindness in any case; blepharitis with marked photophobia was the only ocular complaint. All these features are classically suggestive of KID syndrome.Keywords: connexin 26, GJB2, ichthyosis, KID syndrome, palmoplantar hyperkeratosis

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose L Serrano-Velez

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available 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 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.

  11. 17β-Estradiol-induced interaction of ERα with NPPA regulates gene expression in cardiomyocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahmoodzadeh, Shokoufeh; Pham, Thi Hang; Kuehne, Arne; Fielitz, Britta; Dworatzek, Elke; Kararigas, Georgios; Petrov, George; Davidson, Mercy M; Regitz-Zagrosek, Vera

    2012-12-01

    17β-Oestradiol (E2) and its receptors (ERα and ERβ) are important regulators of physiological and pathological processes in the cardiovascular system. ER act in concert with other regulatory factors mediating oestrogenic effects. However, the underlying mechanisms modulating ER transcriptional activity are not fully elucidated. To gain better understanding of E2-induced ERα action in the human heart, we aimed to identify and functionally analyse interaction partners of ERα. Using yeast two-hybrid assays with a human heart cDNA library, we identified atrial natriuretic peptide precursor A (NPPA), a well-known cardiac hypertrophy marker, as a novel ERα interaction partner interacting in an E2-dependent manner. Mutation analyses and immunofluorescence data indicated that the LXXLL motif within NPPA is necessary for its E2-induced interaction with ERα, its action as a co-repressor of ERα, and its translocation into the nucleus of human and rat cardiomyocytes. Expression analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays in a human left ventricular cardiomyocyte cell line, AC16, showed that NPPA interacts with E2/ERα, suppressing the transcriptional activity of ERα on E2-target genes, such as NPPA, connexin43, αactinin-2, nuclear factor of activated T-cells, and collagens I and III. We characterize for the first time an E2-regulated interaction of NPPA with ERα in cardiomyocytes, that may be crucial in physiological and/or pathological cardiac processes, thereby representing a potential therapeutic target.

  12. Hypothesizing an ancient Greek origin of the GJB2 35delG mutation: can science meet history?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokotas, Haris; Grigoriadou, Maria; Villamar, Manuela; Giannoulia-Karantana, Aglaia; del Castillo, Ignacio; Petersen, Michael B

    2010-04-01

    One specific mutation of the GJB2 gene that encodes the connexin 26 protein, the 35delG mutation, has become a major interest among scientists who focus on the genetics of nonsyndromic hearing loss. The mutation accounts for the majority of GJB2 mutations detected in Caucasian populations and represents one of the most frequent disease mutations identified so far. The debate was so far between the arguments whether or not the 35delG mutation constitutes a mutational hot-spot or a founder effect; however, it was recently clarified that the latter seems the most likely. In an attempt to explore the origin and propagation of the 35delG mutation, several groups have reported the prevalence of the mutation and the carrier rates in different populations worldwide. It is now certain that the theory of a common founder prevails and that the highest carrier frequencies of the 35delG mutation are observed in southern European populations, giving rise to a discussion regarding the origin of the 35delG mutation. In this study, we discuss data previously published by our and other groups and also compare the haplotype distribution of the mutation in southern Europe, trying to understand the pathways of science and history and the conflict between them.

  13. Antiproliferative Action of Conjugated Linoleic Acid on Human MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells Mediated by Enhancement of Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication through Inactivation of NF-κB

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md. Abdur Rakib

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The major conjugated linoleic acid (CLA isomers, c9,t11-CLA and t10,c12-CLA, have anticancer effects; however, the exact mechanisms underlying these effects are unknown. Evidence suggests that reversal of reduced gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC in cancer cells inhibits cell growth and induces cell death. Hence, we determined that CLA isomers enhance GJIC in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells and investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms. The CLA isomers significantly enhanced GJIC of MCF-7 cells at 40 μM concentration, whereas CLA inhibited cell growth and induced caspase-dependent apoptosis. CLA increased connexin43 (Cx43 expression both at the transcriptional and translational levels. CLA inhibited nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB activity and enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS generation. No significant difference was observed in the efficacy of c9,t11-CLA and t10,c12-CLA. These results suggest that the anticancer effect of CLA is associated with upregulation of GJIC mediated by enhanced Cx43 expression through inactivation of NF-κB and generation of ROS in MCF-7 cells.

  14. Targeted disruption of the mouse Csrp2 gene encoding the cysteine- and glycine-rich LIM domain protein CRP2 result in subtle alteration of cardiac ultrastructure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stoll Doris

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The cysteine and glycine rich protein 2 (CRP2 encoded by the Csrp2 gene is a LIM domain protein expressed in the vascular system, particularly in smooth muscle cells. It exhibits a bimodal subcellular distribution, accumulating at actin-based filaments in the cytosol and in the nucleus. In order to analyze the function of CRP2 in vivo, we disrupted the Csrp2 gene in mice and analysed the resulting phenotype. Results A ~17.3 kbp fragment of the murine Csrp2 gene containing exon 3 through 6 was isolated. Using this construct we confirmed the recently determined chromosomal localization (Chromosome 10, best fit location between markers D10Mit203 proximal and D10Mit150 central. A gene disruption cassette was cloned into exon 4 and a mouse strain lacking functional Csrp2 was generated. Mice lacking CRP2 are viable and fertile and have no obvious deficits in reproduction and survival. However, detailed histological and electron microscopic studies reveal that CRP2-deficient mice have subtle alterations in their cardiac ultrastructure. In these mice, the cardiomyocytes display a slight increase in their thickness, indicating moderate hypertrophy at the cellular level. Although the expression of several intercalated disc-associated proteins such as β-catenin, N-RAP and connexin-43 were not affected in these mice, the distribution of respective proteins was changed within heart tissue. Conclusion We conclude that the lack of CRP2 is associated with alterations in cardiomyocyte thickness and hypertrophy.

  15. Bipolar cell gap junctions serve major signaling pathways in the human retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kántor, Orsolya; Varga, Alexandra; Nitschke, Roland; Naumann, Angela; Énzsöly, Anna; Lukáts, Ákos; Szabó, Arnold; Németh, János; Völgyi, Béla

    2017-08-01

    Connexin36 (Cx36) constituent gap junctions (GJ) throughout the brain connect neurons into functional syncytia. In the retina they underlie the transmission, averaging and correlation of signals prior conveying visual information to the brain. This is the first study that describes retinal bipolar cell (BC) GJs in the human inner retina, whose function is enigmatic even in the examined animal models. Furthermore, a number of unique features (e.g. fovea, trichromacy, midget system) necessitate a reexamination of the animal model results in the human retina. Well-preserved postmortem human samples of this study are allowed to identify Cx36 expressing BCs neurochemically. Results reveal that both rod and cone pathway interneurons display strong Cx36 expression. Rod BC inputs to AII amacrine cells (AC) appear in juxtaposition to AII GJs, thus suggesting a strategic AII cell targeting by rod BCs. Cone BCs serving midget, parasol or koniocellular signaling pathways display a wealth of Cx36 expression to form homologously coupled arrays. In addition, they also establish heterologous GJ contacts to serve an exchange of information between parallel signaling streams. Interestingly, a prominent Cx36 expression was exhibited by midget system BCs that appear to maintain intimate contacts with bistratified BCs serving other pathways. These findings suggest that BC GJs in parallel signaling streams serve both an intra- and inter-pathway exchange of signals in the human retina.

  16. Well-Controlled Cell-Trapping Systems for Investigating Heterogeneous Cell-Cell Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamiya, Koki; Abe, Yuta; Inoue, Kosuke; Osaki, Toshihisa; Kawano, Ryuji; Miki, Norihisa; Takeuchi, Shoji

    2018-03-01

    Microfluidic systems have been developed for patterning single cells to study cell-cell interactions. However, patterning multiple types of cells to understand heterogeneous cell-cell interactions remains difficult. Here, it is aimed to develop a cell-trapping device to assemble multiple types of cells in the well-controlled order and morphology. This device mainly comprises a parylene sheet for assembling cells and a microcomb for controlling the cell-trapping area. The cell-trapping area is controlled by moving the parylene sheet on an SU-8 microcomb using tweezers. Gentle downward flow is used as a driving force for the cell-trapping. The assembly of cells on a parylene sheet with round and line-shaped apertures is demonstrated. The cell-cell contacts of the trapped cells are then investigated by direct cell-cell transfer of calcein via connexin nanopores. Finally, using the device with a system for controlling the cell-trapping area, three different types of cells in the well-controlled order are assembled. The correct cell order rate obtained using the device is 27.9%, which is higher than that obtained without the sliding parylene system (0.74%). Furthermore, the occurrence of cell-cell contact between the three cell types assembled is verified. This cell-patterning device will be a useful tool for investigating heterogeneous cell-cell interactions. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. Active sulforhodamine 101 uptake into hippocampal astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Schnell

    Full Text Available Sulforhodamine 101 (SR101 is widely used as a marker of astrocytes. In this study we investigated labeling of astrocytes by SR101 in acute slices from the ventrolateral medulla and the hippocampus of transgenic mice expressing EGFP under the control of the astrocyte-specific human GFAP promoter. While SR101 efficiently and specifically labeled EGFP-expressing astrocytes in hippocampus, we found that the same staining procedure failed to label astrocytes efficiently in the ventrolateral medulla. Although carbenoxolone is able to decrease the SR101-labeling of astrocytes in the hippocampus, it is unlikely that SR101 is taken up via gap-junction hemichannels because mefloquine, a blocker for pannexin and connexin hemichannels, was unable to prevent SR101-labeling of hippocampal astrocytes. However, SR101-labeling of the hippocampal astrocytes was significantly reduced by substrates of organic anion transport polypeptides, including estron-3-sulfate and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, suggesting that SR101 is actively transported into hippocampal astrocytes.

  18. Graphene Sheet-Induced Global Maturation of Cardiomyocytes Derived from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jiaxian; Cui, Chang; Nan, Haiyan; Yu, Yuanfang; Xiao, Yini; Poon, Ellen; Yang, Gang; Wang, Xijie; Wang, Chenchen; Li, Lingsong; Boheler, Kenneth Richard; Ma, Xu; Cheng, Xin; Ni, Zhenhua; Chen, Minglong

    2017-08-09

    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) can proliferate infinitely. Their ability to differentiate into cardiomyocytes provides abundant sources for disease modeling, drug screening and regenerative medicine. However, hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) display a low degree of maturation and fetal-like properties. Current in vitro differentiation methods do not mimic the structural, mechanical, or physiological properties of the cardiogenesis niche. Recently, we present an efficient cardiac maturation platform that combines hiPSCs monolayer cardiac differentiation with graphene substrate, which is a biocompatible and superconductive material. The hiPSCs lines were successfully maintained on the graphene sheets and were able to differentiate into functional cardiomyocytes. This strategy markedly increased the myofibril ultrastructural organization, elevated the conduction velocity, and enhanced both the Ca 2+ handling and electrophysiological properties in the absence of electrical stimulation. On the graphene substrate, the expression of connexin 43 increased along with the conduction velocity. Interestingly, the bone morphogenetic proteins signaling was also significantly activated during early cardiogenesis, confirmed by RNA sequencing analysis. Here, we reasoned that graphene substrate as a conductive biomimetic surface could facilitate the intrinsic electrical propagation, mimicking the microenvironment of the native heart, to further promote the global maturation of hiPSC-CMs. Our findings highlight the capability of electrically active substrates to influence cardiomyocyte development. We believe that application of graphene sheets will be useful for simple, fast, and scalable maturation of regenerated cardiomyocytes.

  19. Intraepithelial lymphocytes express junctional molecules in murine small intestine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inagaki-Ohara, Kyoko; Sawaguchi, Akira; Suganuma, Tatsuo; Matsuzaki, Goro; Nawa, Yukifumi

    2005-01-01

    Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) that reside at basolateral site regulate the proliferation and differentiation of epithelial cells (EC) for providing a first line of host defense in intestine. However, it remains unknown how IEL interact and communicate with EC. Here, we show that IEL express junctional molecules like EC. We identified mRNA expression of the junctional molecules in IEL such as zonula occludens (ZO)-1, occludin and junctional adhesion molecule (JAM) (tight junction), β-catenin and E-cadherin (adherens junction), and connexin26 (gap junction). IEL constitutively expressed occludin and E-cadherin at protein level, while other T cells in the thymus, spleen, liver, mesenteric lymph node, and Peyer's patches did not. γδ IEL showed higher level of these expressions than αβ IEL. The expression of occludin was augmented by anti-CD3 Ab stimulation. These results suggest the possibility of a novel role of IEL concerning epithelial barrier and communication between IEL and EC

  20. Islands of spatially discordant APD alternans underlie arrhythmogenesis by promoting electrotonic dyssynchrony in models of fibrotic rat ventricular myocardium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majumder, Rupamanjari; Engels, Marc C.; de Vries, Antoine A. F.; Panfilov, Alexander V.; Pijnappels, Daniël A.

    2016-04-01

    Fibrosis and altered gap junctional coupling are key features of ventricular remodelling and are associated with abnormal electrical impulse generation and propagation. Such abnormalities predispose to reentrant electrical activity in the heart. In the absence of tissue heterogeneity, high-frequency impulse generation can also induce dynamic electrical instabilities leading to reentrant arrhythmias. However, because of the complexity and stochastic nature of such arrhythmias, the combined effects of tissue heterogeneity and dynamical instabilities in these arrhythmias have not been explored in detail. Here, arrhythmogenesis was studied using in vitro and in silico monolayer models of neonatal rat ventricular tissue with 30% randomly distributed cardiac myofibroblasts and systematically lowered intercellular coupling achieved in vitro through graded knockdown of connexin43 expression. Arrhythmia incidence and complexity increased with decreasing intercellular coupling efficiency. This coincided with the onset of a specialized type of spatially discordant action potential duration alternans characterized by island-like areas of opposite alternans phase, which positively correlated with the degree of connexinx43 knockdown and arrhythmia complexity. At higher myofibroblast densities, more of these islands were formed and reentrant arrhythmias were more easily induced. This is the first study exploring the combinatorial effects of myocardial fibrosis and dynamic electrical instabilities on reentrant arrhythmia initiation and complexity.

  1. Depletion of 4-hydroxynonenal in hGSTA4-transfected HLE B-3 cells results in profound changes in gene expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patrick, Brad; Li Jie; Jeyabal, Prince V.S.; Reddy, Prasada M.R.V.; Yang Yusong; Sharma, Rajendra; Sinha, Mala; Luxon, Bruce; Zimniak, Piotr; Awasthi, Sanjay; Awasthi, Yogesh C.

    2005-01-01

    Previously, we have shown that overexpression of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE)-detoxifying enzyme glutathione S-transferase A4-4 (hGSTA4-4) in human lens epithelial cells (HLE B-3) leads to pro-carcinogenic phenotypic transformation of these cells [R. Sharma, et al. Eur. J. Biochem. 271 (2004) 1960-1701]. We now demonstrate that hGSTA4-transfection also causes a profound change in the expression of genes involved in cell adhesion, cell cycle control, proliferation, cell growth, and apoptosis, which is consistent with phenotypic changes of the transformed cells. The expression of p53, p21, p16, fibronectin 1, laminin γ1, connexin 43, Fas, integrin α6, TGFα, and c-jun was down-regulated, while the expression of protein kinase C beta II (PKCβII), c-myc, cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2), and TGFβ was up-regulated in transfected cells. These results demonstrate that HNE serves as a crucial signaling molecule and, by modulating the expression of genes, can influence cellular functions

  2. [Effects of gap junction blocking on the oxygen partial pressure in acupoints of the bladder meridian].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qi; Yu, Wei-Chang; Jiang, Hong-Zhi; Chen, Sheng-Li; Zhang, Ming-Min; Kong, E-Sheng; Huang, Guang-Ying

    2010-12-01

    To explore the relation between gap junction and meridian phenomenon. The oxygen partial pressure in acupoints [see text for formula] and in their corresponding non-acupoints of the Bladder Meridian was observed with the needle-type tissue oxygen tension sensor in the gap junction blocking goats by 1-Heptanol injection and the Connexin 43 (Cx43) gene knockout mice. (1) The oxygen partial pressure in acupoints of Bladder Meridian on goats was higher than that in non-acupoints after 1-Heptanol injection with significant differences between them (both P oxygen partial pressure in acupoints of Bladder Meridian on goats increased significantly after injecting 1-Heptanol as compare with that either injecting normal saline or injecting nothing with significant differences between them (all P oxygen partial pressure in acupoints of the Bladder Meridian was significantly higher than that in the non-acupoint controls in Cx43 wild type (WT) mice (all P oxygen partial pressure between acupoints and non-acupoint controls showed no significant differences (all P > 0.05). (4) In acupoints, the oxygen partial pressure in Cx43 WT mice was significantly higher than that in Cx43 HT mice (all P 0.05). Gap junction maybe the essential factor in signal transduction of acupuncture.

  3. Immunohistochemical Distribution of Serum Proteins in Living Mouse Heart with In Vivo Cryotechnique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shi, Liye; Terada, Nobuo; Saitoh, Yurika; Saitoh, Sei; Ohno, Shinichi

    2011-01-01

    In vivo cryotechnique (IVCT), which immediately cryofixes target organs in situ, was used to clarify the morphological features of beating heart tissue of living mice. IVCT was performed for diastolic heart tissue under the condition of monitoring with electrocardiogram (ECG). Other mouse hearts were prepared with conventional perfusion-fixation (PF-DH) or immersion-fixation followed by dehydration (IM-DH), and quick-freezing of resected heart tissues (FQF). Immunolocalizations of albumin, immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1), intravenously injected bovine serum albumin (BSA), and connexin 43 were examined after different intervals of BSA injection. In the case of IVCT, the exact stop time of beating mouse hearts was recorded by ECG, and open blood vessels with flowing erythrocytes were observed with less artificial tissue shrinkage than with conventional preparation methods. Both albumin and BSA were well preserved in intercalated discs and t-tubules of cardiomyocytes in addition to blood vessels and interstitial matrices. IgG1 was immunolocalized in interstitial matrices of heart tissues in addition to their blood vessels. At 4 hr after BSA injection, it was immunolocalized in the intercalated discs of cardiomyocytes and lost later at 8 hr. IVCT should prove to be more useful for the morphofunctional examination of dynamically changing heart tissue than conventional preparation methods

  4. Kölliker’s Organ and the Development of Spontaneous Activity in the Auditory System: Implications for Hearing Dysfunction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. W. Nishani Dayaratne

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Prior to the “onset of hearing,” developing cochlear inner hair cells (IHCs and primary auditory neurons undergo experience-independent activity, which is thought to be important in retaining and refining neural connections in the absence of sound. One of the major hypotheses regarding the origin of such activity involves a group of columnar epithelial supporting cells forming Kölliker’s organ, which is only present during this critical period of auditory development. There is strong evidence for a purinergic signalling mechanism underlying such activity. ATP released through connexin hemichannels may activate P2 purinergic receptors in both Kölliker’s organ and the adjacent IHCs, leading to generation of electrical activity throughout the auditory system. However, recent work has suggested an alternative origin, by demonstrating the ability of IHCs to generate this spontaneous activity without activation by ATP. Regardless, developmental abnormalities of Kölliker’s organ may lead to congenital hearing loss, considering that mutations in ion channels (hemichannels, gap junctions, and calcium channels involved in Kölliker’s organ activity share strong links with such types of deafness.

  5. Minimally invasive injectable short nanofibers of poly(glycerol sebacate) for cardiac tissue engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ravichandran, Rajeswari; Venugopal, Jayarama Reddy; Sundarrajan, Subramanian; Mukherjee, Shayanti; Sridhar, Radhakrishnan; Ramakrishna, Seeram

    2012-01-01

    Myocardial tissue lacks the ability to appreciably regenerate itself following myocardial infarction (MI) which ultimately results in heart failure. Current therapies can only retard the progression of disease and hence tissue engineering strategies are required to facilitate the engineering of a suitable biomaterial to repair MI. The aim of this study was to investigate the in vitro properties of an injectable biomaterial for the regeneration of infarcted myocardium. Fabrication of core/shell fibers was by co-axial electrospinning, with poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS) as core material and poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA) as shell material. The PLLA was removed by treatment of the PGS/PLLA core/shell fibers with DCM:hexane (2:1) to obtain PGS short fibers. These PGS short fibers offer the advantage of providing a minimally invasive injectable technique for the regeneration of infarcted myocardium. The scaffolds were characterized by SEM, FTIR and contact angle and cell–scaffold interactions using cardiomyocytes. The results showed that the cardiac marker proteins actinin, troponin, myosin heavy chain and connexin 43 were expressed more on short PGS fibers compared to PLLA nanofibers. We hypothesized that the injection of cells along with short PGS fibers would increase cell transplant retention and survival within the infarct, compared to the standard cell injection system. (paper)

  6. Gap-junction-mediated communication in human periodontal ligament cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, R; Ishihara, Y; Kawanabe, N; Sumiyoshi, K; Yoshikawa, Y; Nakamura, M; Imai, Y; Yanagita, T; Fukushima, H; Kamioka, H; Takano-Yamamoto, T; Yamashiro, T

    2013-07-01

    Periodontal tissue homeostasis depends on a complex cellular network that conveys cell-cell communication. Gap junctions (GJs), one of the intercellular communication systems, are found between adjacent human periodontal ligament (hPDL) cells; however, the functional GJ coupling between hPDL cells has not yet been elucidated. In this study, we investigated functional gap-junction-mediated intercellular communication in isolated primary hPDL cells. SEM images indicated that the cells were in contact with each other via dendritic processes, and also showed high anti-connexin43 (Cx43) immunoreactivity on these processes. Gap-junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) among hPDL cells was assessed by fluorescence recovery after a photobleaching (FRAP) analysis, which exhibited dye coupling between hPDL cells, and was remarkably down-regulated when the cells were treated with a GJ blocker. Additionally, we examined GJs under hypoxic stress. The fluorescence recovery and expression levels of Cx43 decreased time-dependently under the hypoxic condition. Exposure to GJ inhibitor or hypoxia increased RANKL expression, and decreased OPG expression. This study shows that GJIC is responsible for hPDL cells and that its activity is reduced under hypoxia. This is consistent with the possible role of hPDL cells in regulating the biochemical reactions in response to changes in the hypoxic environment.

  7. The relation of Cx43 and NMDA to visceral sensitization in rats with irritable bowel syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing-yu ZHANG

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective  To study the relationship between connexin 43 (Cx43 and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptors and visceral sensitization in the rats with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS. Methods  Thirty rats were gavaged with Triehinella spiralis to reproduce the IBS model. These rats were randomly divided into IBS group, IBS+colon distension group, and IBS+STI-571+colon distension group, and other groups of normal rats were randomized into normal group and normal+colon distension group, with 10 rats in each group. Immunofluorescent double staining were used to observe the expressions of intestine Cx43 and sacral NMDA re ceptors of rats in all the groups. Results  The Cx43 and sacral NMDA expressions in the normal group, normal+colon distension group and IBS group showed no significant changes (P>0.05, however, Cx43 and sacral NMDA expressions were significantly higher in IBS rats with colon distension as compared with those in normal group, normal+colon distension group, and IBS group (P<0.05, while they were significantly lower in the IBS+STI-571+colon distension group after STI-571 intervention (P<0.05. Conclusion  Cx43 and sacral NMDA may be the most important factor of visceral sensitization in IBS rats. DOI: 10.11855/j.issn.0577-7402.2015.12.02

  8. Endothelial remodelling and intracellular calcium machinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moccia, F; Tanzi, F; Munaron, L

    2014-05-01

    Rather being an inert barrier between vessel lumen and surrounding tissues, vascular endothelium plays a key role in the maintenance of cardiovascular homeostasis. The de-endothelialization of blood vessels is regarded as the early event that results in the onset of severe vascular disorders, including atherosclerosis, acute myocardial infarction, brain stroke, and aortic aneurysm. Restoration of the endothelial lining may be accomplished by the activation of neighbouring endothelial cells (ECs) freed by contact inhibition and by circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). Intracellular Ca(2+) signalling is essential to promote wound healing: however, the molecular underpinnings of the Ca(2+) response to injury are yet to be fully elucidated. Similarly, the components of the Ca(2+) toolkit that drive EPC incorporation into denuded vessels are far from being fully elucidated. The present review will survey the current knowledge on the role of Ca(2+) signalling in endothelial repair and in EPC activation. We propose that endothelial regeneration might be boosted by intraluminal release of specific Ca(2+) channel agonists or by gene transfer strategies aiming to enhance the expression of the most suitable Ca(2+) channels at the wound site. In this view, connexin (Cx) channels/hemichannels and store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) stand amid the most proper routes to therapeutically induce the regrowth of denuded vessels. Cx stimulation might trigger the proliferative and migratory behaviour of ECs facing the lesion site, whereas activation of SOCE is likely to favour EPC homing to the wounded vessel.

  9. Characterization of a Novel Water Pocket Inside the Human Cx26 Hemichannel Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araya-Secchi, Raul; Perez-Acle, Tomas; Kang, Seung-gu; Huynh, Tien; Bernardin, Alejandro; Escalona, Yerko; Garate, Jose-Antonio; Martínez, Agustin D.; García, Isaac E.; Sáez, Juan C.; Zhou, Ruhong

    2014-01-01

    Connexins (Cxs) are a family of vertebrate proteins constituents of gap junction channels (GJCs) that connect the cytoplasm of adjacent cells by the end-to-end docking of two Cx hemichannels. The intercellular transfer through GJCs occurs by passive diffusion allowing the exchange of water, ions, and small molecules. Despite the broad interest to understand, at the molecular level, the functional state of Cx-based channels, there are still many unanswered questions regarding structure-function relationships, perm-selectivity, and gating mechanisms. In particular, the ordering, structure, and dynamics of water inside Cx GJCs and hemichannels remains largely unexplored. In this work, we describe the identification and characterization of a believed novel water pocket—termed the IC pocket—located in-between the four transmembrane helices of each human Cx26 (hCx26) monomer at the intracellular (IC) side. Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to characterize hCx26 internal water structure and dynamics, six IC pockets were identified per hemichannel. A detailed characterization of the dynamics and ordering of water including conformational variability of residues forming the IC pockets, together with multiple sequence alignments, allowed us to propose a functional role for this cavity. An in vitro assessment of tracer uptake suggests that the IC pocket residue Arg-143 plays an essential role on the modulation of the hCx26 hemichannel permeability. PMID:25099799

  10. Spatiotemporal stability of neonatal rat cardiomyocyte monolayers spontaneous activity is dependent on the culture substrate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Boudreau-Béland

    Full Text Available In native conditions, cardiac cells must continuously comply with diverse stimuli necessitating a perpetual adaptation. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS is commonly used in cell culture to study cellular response to changes in the mechanical environment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of using PDMS substrates on the properties of spontaneous activity of cardiomyocyte monolayer cultures. We compared PDMS to the gold standard normally used in culture: a glass substrate. Although mean frequency of spontaneous activity remained unaltered, incidence of reentrant activity was significantly higher in samples cultured on glass compared to PDMS substrates. Higher spatial and temporal instability of the spontaneous rate activation was found when cardiomyocytes were cultured on PDMS, and correlated with decreased connexin-43 and increased CaV3.1 and HCN2 mRNA levels. Compared to cultures on glass, cultures on PDMS were associated with the strongest response to isoproterenol and acetylcholine. These results reveal the importance of carefully selecting the culture substrate for studies involving mechanical stimulation, especially for tissue engineering or pharmacological high-throughput screening of cardiac tissue analog.

  11. Hypoxia enhances proliferation and tissue formation of human mesenchymal stem cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grayson, Warren L.; Zhao, Feng; Bunnell, Bruce; Ma, Teng

    2007-01-01

    Changes in oxygen concentrations affect many of the innate characteristics of stem and progenitor cells. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) were maintained under hypoxic atmospheres (2% O 2 ) for up to seven in vitro passages. This resulted in approximately 30-fold higher hMSC expansion over 6 weeks without loss of multi-lineage differentiation capabilities. Under hypoxia, hMSCs maintained their growth-rates even after reaching confluence, resulting in the formation of multiple cell layers. Hypoxic hMSCs also displayed differences in the cell and nuclear morphologies as well as enhanced ECM formation and organization. These changes in cellular characteristics were accompanied by higher mRNA levels of Oct-4 and HIF-2α, as well as increased expression levels of connexin-43, a protein used in gap junction formation. The results from this study demonstrated that oxygen concentrations affected many aspects of stem-cell physiology, including growth and in vitro development, and may be a critical parameter during expansion and differentiation

  12. Molecular tissue changes in early myocardial ischemia: from pathophysiology to the identification of new diagnostic markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aljakna, Aleksandra; Fracasso, Tony; Sabatasso, Sara

    2018-03-01

    Diagnosing early myocardial ischemia (the initial 4 to 6 h after interruption of blood flow to part of the myocardium) remains a challenge for clinical and forensic pathologists. Several immunohistochemical markers have been proposed for improving postmortem detection of early myocardial ischemia; however, no single marker appears to be both sufficiently specific as well as sensitive. This review summarizes the diverse categories of molecular tissue markers that have been investigated in human autopsy samples with acute myocardial infarction as well as in the well-established and widely used in vivo animal model of early myocardial ischemia (permanent ligation of the coronary artery). Recently identified markers appearing during the initial 2 h of myocardial ischemia are highlighted. Among them, only six were tested for specificity (C5b-9, hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha, vascular endothelial growth factor, heart fatty acid binding protein, connexin 43, and JunB). Despite the discovery of several potentially promising markers (in terms of early expression and specificity), many of them remain to be tested and validated for application in routine diagnostics in clinical and forensic pathology. In particular, research investigating the postmortem stability of these markers is required before any might be implemented into routine diagnostics. Establishing a standardized panel of immunohistochemical markers may be more useful for improving sensitivity and specificity than searching for a single marker.

  13. Gap Junctions Are Involved in the Rescue of CFTR-Dependent Chloride Efflux by Amniotic Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Coculture with Cystic Fibrosis CFBE41o- Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annalucia Carbone

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available We previously found that human amniotic mesenchymal stem cells (hAMSCs in coculture with CF immortalised airway epithelial cells (CFBE41o- line, CFBE on Transwell® filters acquired an epithelial phenotype and led to the expression of a mature and functional CFTR protein. In order to explore the role of gap junction- (GJ- mediated intercellular communication (GJIC in this rescue, cocultures (hAMSC : CFBE, 1 : 5 ratio were studied for the formation of GJIC, before and after silencing connexin 43 (Cx43, a major component of GJs. Functional GJs in cocultures were inhibited when the expression of the Cx43 protein was downregulated. Transfection of cocultures with siRNA against Cx43 resulted in the absence of specific CFTR signal on the apical membrane and reduction in the mature form of CFTR (band C, and in parallel, the CFTR-dependent chloride channel activity was significantly decreased. Cx43 downregulation determined also a decrease in transepithelial resistance and an increase in paracellular permeability as compared with control cocultures, implying that GJIC may regulate CFTR expression and function that in turn modulate airway epithelium tightness. These results indicate that GJIC is involved in the correction of CFTR chloride channel activity upon the acquisition of an epithelial phenotype by hAMSCs in coculture with CF cells.

  14. Gap Junctions Are Involved in the Rescue of CFTR-Dependent Chloride Efflux by Amniotic Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Coculture with Cystic Fibrosis CFBE41o- Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbone, Annalucia; Zefferino, Roberto; Beccia, Elisa; Casavola, Valeria; Castellani, Stefano; Di Gioia, Sante; Giannone, Valentina; Seia, Manuela; Angiolillo, Antonella; Colombo, Carla; Favia, Maria; Conese, Massimo

    2018-01-01

    We previously found that human amniotic mesenchymal stem cells (hAMSCs) in coculture with CF immortalised airway epithelial cells (CFBE41o- line, CFBE) on Transwell® filters acquired an epithelial phenotype and led to the expression of a mature and functional CFTR protein. In order to explore the role of gap junction- (GJ-) mediated intercellular communication (GJIC) in this rescue, cocultures (hAMSC : CFBE, 1 : 5 ratio) were studied for the formation of GJIC, before and after silencing connexin 43 (Cx43), a major component of GJs. Functional GJs in cocultures were inhibited when the expression of the Cx43 protein was downregulated. Transfection of cocultures with siRNA against Cx43 resulted in the absence of specific CFTR signal on the apical membrane and reduction in the mature form of CFTR (band C), and in parallel, the CFTR-dependent chloride channel activity was significantly decreased. Cx43 downregulation determined also a decrease in transepithelial resistance and an increase in paracellular permeability as compared with control cocultures, implying that GJIC may regulate CFTR expression and function that in turn modulate airway epithelium tightness. These results indicate that GJIC is involved in the correction of CFTR chloride channel activity upon the acquisition of an epithelial phenotype by hAMSCs in coculture with CF cells.

  15. Plakophilin-2 c.419C>T and risk of heart failure and arrhythmias in the general population

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Alex Hørby; Kamstrup, Pia Rørbœk; Gandjbakhch, Estelle

    2016-01-01

    A rare genetic variant in the desmosomal gene plakophilin-2 (PKP2) c.419C>T(p.(S140F)) has repeatedly been identified in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). Whether this is a disease-causing variant remains highly controversial. We...... ratios as a function of c.419C>T genotype were 2.11 (0.50-8.99) for ARVC, 0.72 (0.16-3.28) for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)/DCM, and 1.28 (0.46-3.54) for end points combined. Third, in in vitro studies cellular localization of plakophilin-2, plakoglobin, connexin-43, or N-cadherin were similar...... in cells transfected with wild-type or mutant plakophilin-2. In conclusion, combining epidemiological data, with data on patients referred for genetic testing for ARVC or HCM/DCM, and data from in vitro studies, PKP2 c.419C>T did not associate with heart failure, arrhythmias, or premature death, with ARVC...

  16. Treadmill Running Ameliorates Destruction of Articular Cartilage and Subchondral Bone, Not Only Synovitis, in a Rheumatoid Arthritis Rat Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seiji Shimomura

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available We analyzed the influence of treadmill running on rheumatoid arthritis (RA joints using a collagen-induced arthritis (CIA rat model. Eight-week-old male Dark Agouti rats were randomly divided into four groups: The control group, treadmill group (30 min/day for 4 weeks from 10-weeks-old, CIA group (induced CIA at 8-weeks-old, and CIA + treadmill group. Destruction of the ankle joint was evaluated by histological analyses. Morphological changes of subchondral bone were analyzed by μ-CT. CIA treatment-induced synovial membrane invasion, articular cartilage destruction, and bone erosion. Treadmill running improved these changes. The synovial membrane in CIA rats produced a large amount of tumor necrosis factor-α and Connexin 43; production was significantly suppressed by treadmill running. On μ-CT of the talus, bone volume fraction (BV/TV was significantly decreased in the CIA group. Marrow star volume (MSV, an index of bone loss, was significantly increased. These changes were significantly improved by treadmill running. Bone destruction in the talus was significantly increased with CIA and was suppressed by treadmill running. On tartrate-resistant acid phosphate and alkaline phosphatase (TRAP/ALP staining, the number of osteoclasts around the pannus was decreased by treadmill running. These findings indicate that treadmill running in CIA rats inhibited synovial hyperplasia and joint destruction.

  17. Different mechanisms of modulation of gap junction communication by non-genotoxic carcinogens in rat liver in vivo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cowles, C.; Mally, A.; Chipman, J.K.

    2007-01-01

    This is a comparative study of the mechanisms by which three different rodent non-genotoxic carcinogens modulate connexin-mediated gap junction intercellular communication in male rat liver in vivo. In the case of the peroxisome proliferating agent Wy-14,643, a non-hepatotoxic dose of 50 mg/kg led to a marked loss of inter-hepatocyte dye transfer associated with a loss of both Cx32 and Cx26 protein expression. In contrast, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) at a non-hepatotoxic dose (25 mg/kg) was not found to alter Cx32 or Cx26 expression or to produce a measurable Cx32 serine phosphorylation but did give a small, significant reduction of cell communication. Carbon tetrachloride (CCl 4 ) did not affect cell communication (despite a small significant reduction of Cx32 content) at a non-hepatotoxic dose. Both loss of communication and Cx32 expression was observed only at a dose that caused hepatocyte toxicity as evidenced by increased serum alanine aminotransferase activity. Overall, the findings emphasise that loss of gap junctional communication in vivo can contribute to carcinogenesis by non-genotoxic carcinogens through different primary mechanism. In contrast to Wy-14,643 and DDT, the results with CCl 4 are consistent with a requirement for hepatotoxicity in its carcinogenic action

  18. Mouse Panx1 Is Dispensable for Hearing Acquisition and Auditory Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zorzi, Veronica; Paciello, Fabiola; Ziraldo, Gaia; Peres, Chiara; Mazzarda, Flavia; Nardin, Chiara; Pasquini, Miriam; Chiani, Francesco; Raspa, Marcello; Scavizzi, Ferdinando; Carrer, Andrea; Crispino, Giulia; Ciubotaru, Catalin D; Monyer, Hannah; Fetoni, Anna R; M Salvatore, Anna; Mammano, Fabio

    2017-01-01

    Panx1 forms plasma membrane channels in brain and several other organs, including the inner ear. Biophysical properties, activation mechanisms and modulators of Panx1 channels have been characterized in detail, however the impact of Panx1 on auditory function is unclear due to conflicts in published results. To address this issue, hearing performance and cochlear function of the Panx1 -/- mouse strain, the first with a reported global ablation of Panx1 , were scrutinized. Male and female homozygous ( Panx1 -/-), hemizygous ( Panx1 +/-) and their wild type (WT) siblings ( Panx1 +/+) were used for this study. Successful ablation of Panx1 was confirmed by RT-PCR and Western immunoblotting in the cochlea and brain of Panx1 -/- mice. Furthermore, a previously validated Panx1-selective antibody revealed strong immunoreactivity in WT but not in Panx1 -/- cochleae. Hearing sensitivity, outer hair cell-based "cochlear amplifier" and cochlear nerve function, analyzed by auditory brainstem response (ABR) and distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) recordings, were normal in Panx1 +/- and Panx1 -/- mice. In addition, we determined that global deletion of Panx1 impacts neither on connexin expression, nor on gap-junction coupling in the developing organ of Corti. Finally, spontaneous intercellular Ca 2+ signal (ICS) activity in organotypic cochlear cultures, which is key to postnatal development of the organ of Corti and essential for hearing acquisition, was not affected by Panx1 ablation. Therefore, our results provide strong evidence that, in mice, Panx1 is dispensable for hearing acquisition and auditory function.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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

  20. Cxs and Panx- hemichannels in peripheral and central chemosensing in mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edison Pablo Reyes

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Connexins (Cxs and Pannexins (Panx form hemichannels at the plasma membrane of animals. Despite their low open probability under physiological conditions, these hemichannels release signaling molecules (i.e., ATP, Glutamate, PGE2 to the extracellular space, thus subserving several important physiological processes. Oxygen and CO2 sensing are fundamental to the normal functioning of vertebrate organisms. Fluctuations in blood PO2, PCO2 and pH are sensed at the carotid bifurcations of adult mammals by glomus cells of the carotid bodies. Likewise, changes in pH and/or PCO2 of cerebrospinal fluid are sensed by central chemoreceptors, a group of specialized neurones distributed in the ventrolateral medulla (VLM, raphe nuclei, and some other brainstem areas. After many years of research, the molecular mechanisms involved in chemosensing process are not completely understood. This manuscript will review data regarding relationships between chemosensitive cells and the expression of channels formed by Cxs and Panx, with special emphasis on hemichannels.

  1. Lipoxin A4 Preconditioning and Postconditioning Protect Myocardial Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qifeng Zhao

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to investigate the pre- and postconditioning effects of lipoxin A4 (LXA4 on myocardial damage caused by ischemia/reperfusion (I/R injury. Seventy-two rats were divided into 6 groups: sham groups (C1 and C2, I/R groups (I/R1 and I/R2, and I/R plus LXA4 preconditioning and postconditioning groups (LX1 and LX2. The serum levels of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF-α, and cardiac troponin I (cTnI were measured. The content and the activity of Na+-K+-ATPase as well as the superoxide dismutase (SOD, and malondialdehyde (MDA levels were determined. Along with the examination of myocardium ultrastructure and ventricular arrhythmia scores (VAS, connexin 43 (Cx43 expression were also detected. Lower levels of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, cTnI, MDA content, and VAS and higher levels of IL-10, SOD activity, Na+-K+-ATPase content and activity, and Cx43 expression appeared in LX groups than I/R groups. Besides, H&E staining, TEM examination as well as analysis of gene, and protein confirmed that LXA4 preconditioning was more effective than postconditioning in preventing arrhythmogenesis via the upregulation of Cx43. That is, LXA4 postconditioning had better protective effect on Na+-K+-ATPase and myocardial ultrastructure.

  2. Functional Testing of SLC26A4 Variants—Clinical and Molecular Analysis of a Cohort with Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct from Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardinelli, Emanuele; Nofziger, Charity; Patsch, Wolfgang; Rasp, Gerd; Paulmichl, Markus; Dossena, Silvia

    2018-01-01

    The prevalence and spectrum of sequence alterations in the SLC26A4 gene, which codes for the anion exchanger pendrin, are population-specific and account for at least 50% of cases of non-syndromic hearing loss associated with an enlarged vestibular aqueduct. A cohort of nineteen patients from Austria with hearing loss and a radiological alteration of the vestibular aqueduct underwent Sanger sequencing of SLC26A4 and GJB2, coding for connexin 26. The pathogenicity of sequence alterations detected was assessed by determining ion transport and molecular features of the corresponding SLC26A4 protein variants. In this group, four uncharacterized sequence alterations within the SLC26A4 coding region were found. Three of these lead to protein variants with abnormal functional and molecular features, while one should be considered with no pathogenic potential. Pathogenic SLC26A4 sequence alterations were only found in 12% of patients. SLC26A4 sequence alterations commonly found in other Caucasian populations were not detected. This survey represents the first study on the prevalence and spectrum of SLC26A4 sequence alterations in an Austrian cohort and further suggests that genetic testing should always be integrated with functional characterization and determination of the molecular features of protein variants in order to unequivocally identify or exclude a causal link between genotype and phenotype. PMID:29320412

  3. The effects of octanol on penicillin induced epileptiform activity in rats: an in vivo study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bostanci, M Omer; Bağirici, Faruk

    2006-10-01

    The common features of all types of epilepsy are the synchronized and uncontrolled discharges of nerve cell assemblies. The reason for the pathologically synchronized discharges of the neuron is not exactly known yet. Recent reports claim that gap junctions have a critical role in neuronal synchronization. The present study was planned to investigate the effects of octanol, a gap junction blocker, on penicillin-induced experimental epilepsy. Permanent screw electrodes allowing EEG monitoring from conscious animals and permanent cannula providing the administration of the substances to the brain ventricle were placed into the cranium of rats under general anesthesia. After the postoperative recovery period, epileptiform activity was generated by injecting 300 IU crystallized penicillin through the ventricular cannula. When epileptiform activity, monitored from a digital recording system, reached at its maximum intensity, octanol was applied in the same way as penicillin administered. Application of octanol caused an inhibition in the epileptiform activity. Vehicle solution alone did not affect the epileptiform activity. Results of this study suggest that the blockade of electrical synapses may contribute to the prevention and amelioration of epileptic activity. Production of gap junction blockers selective for connexin types is needed. Further studies on the differential roles of gap junctions on certain epileptiform activities are required.

  4. Characterization of the Tetraspan Junctional Complex (4JC) superfamily.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Amy; Lee, Andre; Hendargo, Kevin J; Reddy, Vamsee S; Shlykov, Maksim A; Kuppusamykrishnan, Harikrishnan; Medrano-Soto, Arturo; Saier, Milton H

    2017-03-01

    Connexins or innexins form gap junctions, while claudins and occludins form tight junctions. In this study, statistical data, derived using novel software, indicate that these four junctional protein families and eleven other families of channel and channel auxiliary proteins are related by common descent and comprise the Tetraspan (4 TMS) Junctional Complex (4JC) Superfamily. These proteins all share similar 4 transmembrane α-helical (TMS) topologies. Evidence is presented that they arose via an intragenic duplication event, whereby a 2 TMS-encoding genetic element duplicated tandemly to give 4 TMS proteins. In cases where high resolution structural data were available, the conclusion of homology was supported by conducting structural comparisons. Phylogenetic trees reveal the probable relationships of these 15 families to each other. Long homologues containing fusions to other recognizable domains as well as internally duplicated or fused domains are reported. Large "fusion" proteins containing 4JC domains proved to fall predominantly into family-specific patterns as follows: (1) the 4JC domain was N-terminal; (2) the 4JC domain was C-terminal; (3) the 4JC domain was duplicated or occasionally triplicated and (4) mixed fusion types were present. Our observations provide insight into the evolutionary origins and subfunctions of these proteins as well as guides concerning their structural and functional relationships. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Time- and Dose-Dependent Effects of 17 Beta-Estradiol on Short-Term, Real-Time Proliferation and Gene Expression in Porcine Granulosa Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylwia Ciesiółka

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The key mechanisms responsible for achievement of full reproductive and developmental capability in mammals are the differentiation and transformation of granulosa cells (GCs during folliculogenesis, oogenesis, and oocyte maturation. Although the role of 17 beta-estradiol (E2 in ovarian activity is widely known, its effect on proliferative capacity, gap junction connection (GJC formation, and GCs-luteal cells transformation requires further research. Therefore, the goal of this study was to assess the real-time proliferative activity of porcine GCs in vitro in relation to connexin (Cx, luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR, follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR, and aromatase (CYP19A1 expression during short-term (168 h primary culture. The cultured GCs were exposed to acute (at 96 h of culture and/or prolonged (between 0 and 168 h of culture administration of 1.8 and 3.6 μM E2. The relative abundance of Cx36, Cx37, Cx40, Cx43, LHR, FSHR, and CYP19A1 mRNA was measured. We conclude that the proliferation capability of GCs in vitro is substantially associated with expression of Cxs, LHR, FSHR, and CYP19A1. Furthermore, the GC-luteal cell transformation in vitro may be significantly accompanied by the proliferative activity of GCs in pigs.

  6. Electrotonic Coupling in the Pituitary Supports the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis in a Sex Specific Manner

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina Göngrich

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Gap junctions are present in many cell types throughout the animal kingdom and allow fast intercellular electrical and chemical communication between neighboring cells. Connexin-36 (Cx36, the major neuronal gap junction protein, synchronizes cellular activity in the brain, but also in other organs. Here we identify a sex-specific role for Cx36 within the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG axis at the level of the anterior pituitary gland (AP. We show that Cx36 is expressed in gonadotropes of the AP sustaining their synchronous activity. Cx36 ablation affects the entire downstream HPG axis in females, but not in males. We demonstrate that Cx36-mediated coupling between gonadotropes in the AP supports gonadotropin-releasing hormone-induced secretion of luteinizing hormone. Furthermore, we provide evidence for negative feedback regulation of Cx36 expression in the AP by estradiol. We thus conclude that hormonally-controlled plasticity of gap junction communication at the level of the AP constitutes an additional mechanism affecting female reproduction.

  7. Concomitant imaging and genetic findings in children with unilateral sensorineural hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber, M; Brown, C; Mahadevan, M; Neeff, M

    2017-08-01

    To describe the concomitant imaging and genetic findings in children diagnosed with non-syndromic unilateral sensorineural hearing loss. A retrospective cohort study was conducted of 60 children diagnosed between January 2005 and December 2015 in a tertiary-level paediatric institution. Average age at diagnosis was 4.3 years. All children were considered non-syndromic. Hearing loss was categorised as mild (17 children), moderate (17 children), severe (7 children) or profound (19 children). Imaging was performed in 43 children (71.66 per cent). Nineteen patients (44.2 per cent) had positive computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging findings. Genetic testing was performed in 51 children (85 per cent). Sixteen children (31 per cent) tested positive to connexin 26 (GJB2); 1 patient (2 per cent) had a homozygous mutation of GJB2 and 15 were heterozygous carriers. Amongst children who tested positive as heterozygous carriers of a GJB2 mutation, there was a high rate of positive imaging findings (47 per cent compared to 37.2 per cent in the total cohort). A genetic abnormality was confirmed in 50 per cent of children with positive imaging findings who underwent genetic testing. Rates of concomitant imaging and genetic findings suggest that both investigations are of value in the study of these patients.

  8. Myocardial scaffold-based cardiac tissue engineering: application of coordinated mechanical and electrical stimulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bo; Wang, Guangjun; To, Filip; Butler, J Ryan; Claude, Andrew; McLaughlin, Ronald M; Williams, Lakiesha N; de Jongh Curry, Amy L; Liao, Jun

    2013-09-03

    Recently, we developed an optimal decellularization protocol to generate 3D porcine myocardial scaffolds, which preserve the natural extracellular matrix structure, mechanical anisotropy, and vasculature templates and also show good cell recellularization and differentiation potential. In this study, a multistimulation bioreactor was built to provide coordinated mechanical and electrical stimulation for facilitating stem cell differentiation and cardiac construct development. The acellular myocardial scaffolds were seeded with mesenchymal stem cells (10(6) cells/mL) by needle injection and subjected to 5-azacytidine treatment (3 μmol/L, 24 h) and various bioreactor conditioning protocols. We found that after 2 days of culturing with mechanical (20% strain) and electrical stimulation (5 V, 1 Hz), high cell density and good cell viability were observed in the reseeded scaffold. Immunofluorescence staining demonstrated that the differentiated cells showed a cardiomyocyte-like phenotype by expressing sarcomeric α-actinin, myosin heavy chain, cardiac troponin T, connexin-43, and N-cadherin. Biaxial mechanical testing demonstrated that positive tissue remodeling took place after 2 days of bioreactor conditioning (20% strain + 5 V, 1 Hz); passive mechanical properties of the 2 day and 4 day tissue constructs were comparable to those of the tissue constructs produced by stirring reseeding followed by 2 weeks of static culturing, implying the effectiveness and efficiency of the coordinated simulations in promoting tissue remodeling. In short, the synergistic stimulations might be beneficial not only for the quality of cardiac construct development but also for patients by reducing the waiting time in future clinical scenarios.

  9. Channelled scaffolds for engineering myocardium with mechanical stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ting; Wan, Leo Q; Xiong, Zhuo; Marsano, Anna; Maidhof, Robert; Park, Miri; Yan, Yongnian; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana

    2012-10-01

    The characteristics of the matrix (composition, structure, mechanical properties) and external culture environment (pulsatile perfusion, physical stimulation) of the heart are important characteristics in the engineering of functional myocardial tissue. This study reports on the development of chitosan-collagen scaffolds with micropores and an array of parallel channels (~ 200 µm in diameter) that were specifically designed for cardiac tissue engineering using mechanical stimulation. The scaffolds were designed to have similar structural and mechanical properties of those of native heart matrix. Scaffolds were seeded with neonatal rat heart cells and subjected to dynamic tensile stretch using a custom designed bioreactor. The channels enhanced oxygen transport and facilitated the establishment of cell connections within the construct. The myocardial patches (14 mm in diameter, 1-2 mm thick) consisted of metabolically active cells that began to contract synchronously after 3 days of culture. Mechanical stimulation with high tensile stress promoted cell alignment, elongation, and expression of connexin-43 (Cx-43). This study confirms the importance of scaffold design and mechanical stimulation for the formation of contractile cardiac constructs. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. Channeled Scaffolds for Engineering Myocardium with Mechanical Stimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ting; Wan, Leo Q.; Xiong, Zhuo; Marsano, Anna; Maidhof, Robert; Park, Miri; Yan, Yongnian; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana

    2011-01-01

    The characteristics of the matrix (composition, structure, mechanical properties) and external culture environment (pulsatile perfusion, physical stimulation) are critically important for engineering functional myocardial tissue. We report the development of chitosan-collagen scaffolds with micro-pores and an array of parallel channels (~200 μm in diameter) that were specifically designed for cardiac tissue engineering with mechanical stimulation. The scaffolds were designed to have the structural and mechanical properties similar to those of the native human heart matrix. Scaffolds were seeded with neonatal rat heart cells and subjected to dynamic tensile stretch using a custom-designed bioreactor. The channels enhanced oxygen transport and facilitated the establishment of cell connections within the construct. The myocardial patches (14 mm in diameter, 1–2 mm thick) consisted of metabolically active cells and started to contract synchronously after 3 days of culture. Mechanical stimulation with high tensile stresses promoted cell alignment, elongation, and the expression of connexin-43 (Cx-43). This study confirms the importance of scaffold design and mechanical stimulation for the formation of contractile cardiac constructs. PMID:22081518

  11. Eye lens membrane junctional microdomains: a comparison between healthy and pathological cases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buzhynskyy, Nikolay; Scheuring, Simon [Institut Curie, Equipe Inserm Avenir, UMR168-CNRS, 26 Rue d' Ulm, 75248 Paris Cedex 05 (France); Sens, Pierre [ESPCI, CNRS-UMR 7083, 75231 Paris (France); Behar-Cohen, Francine, E-mail: simon.scheuring@curie.fr [UMRS Inserm 872, Universite Paris Descartes, Centre de Recherches des Cordeliers, 15 rue de l' Ecole de Medecine, 75270 Paris Cedex 06 (France)

    2011-08-15

    The eye lens is a transparent tissue constituted of tightly packed fiber cells. To maintain homeostasis and transparency of the lens, the circulation of water, ions and metabolites is required. Junctional microdomains connect the lens cells and ensure both tight cell-to-cell adhesion and intercellular flow of fluids through a microcirculation system. Here, we overview membrane morphology and tissue functional requirements of the mammalian lens. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has opened up the possibility of visualizing the junctional microdomains at unprecedented submolecular resolution, revealing the supramolecular assembly of lens-specific aquaporin-0 (AQP0) and connexins (Cx). We compare the membrane protein assembly in healthy lenses with senile and diabetes-II cataract cases and novel data of the lens membranes from a congenital cataract. In the healthy case, AQP0s form characteristic square arrays confined by connexons. In the cases of senile and diabetes-II cataract patients, connexons were degraded, leading to malformation of AQP0 arrays and breakdown of the microcirculation system. In the congenital cataract, connexons are present, indicating probable non-membranous grounds for lens opacification. Further, we discuss the energetic aspects of the membrane organization in junctional microdomains. The AFM hence becomes a biomedical nano-imaging tool for the analysis of single-membrane protein supramolecular association in healthy and pathological membranes.

  12. Eye lens membrane junctional microdomains: a comparison between healthy and pathological cases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buzhynskyy, Nikolay; Sens, Pierre; Behar-Cohen, Francine; Scheuring, Simon

    2011-08-01

    The eye lens is a transparent tissue constituted of tightly packed fiber cells. To maintain homeostasis and transparency of the lens, the circulation of water, ions and metabolites is required. Junctional microdomains connect the lens cells and ensure both tight cell-to-cell adhesion and intercellular flow of fluids through a microcirculation system. Here, we overview membrane morphology and tissue functional requirements of the mammalian lens. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has opened up the possibility of visualizing the junctional microdomains at unprecedented submolecular resolution, revealing the supramolecular assembly of lens-specific aquaporin-0 (AQP0) and connexins (Cx). We compare the membrane protein assembly in healthy lenses with senile and diabetes-II cataract cases and novel data of the lens membranes from a congenital cataract. In the healthy case, AQP0s form characteristic square arrays confined by connexons. In the cases of senile and diabetes-II cataract patients, connexons were degraded, leading to malformation of AQP0 arrays and breakdown of the microcirculation system. In the congenital cataract, connexons are present, indicating probable non-membranous grounds for lens opacification. Further, we discuss the energetic aspects of the membrane organization in junctional microdomains. The AFM hence becomes a biomedical nano-imaging tool for the analysis of single-membrane protein supramolecular association in healthy and pathological membranes.

  13. In vitro effects of three blood derivatives on human corneal epithelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freire, Vanesa; Andollo, Noelia; Etxebarria, Jaime; Durán, Juan A; Morales, María-Celia

    2012-08-15

    We compared the effects of three blood derivatives, autologous serum (AS), platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and serum derived from plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF), on a human corneal epithelial (HCE) cell line to evaluate their potential as an effective treatment for corneal epithelial disorders. The concentrations of epidermal growth factor (EGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), and fibronectin were quantified by ELISA. The proliferation and viability of HCE cells were measured by an 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) colorimetric assay. Cell morphology was assessed by phase-contrast microscopy. The patterns of expression of several connexin, involucrin, and integrin α6 genes were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR. We found significantly higher levels of EGF in PRGF compared to AS and PRP. However, AS and PRGF induced robust proliferation of HCE cells. In addition, PRGF cultured cells grew as heterogeneous colonies, exhibiting differentiated and non-differentiated cell phenotypes, whereas AS- and PRP-treated cultures exhibited quite homogeneous colonies. Finally, PRGF upregulated the expression of several genes associated with communication and cell differentiation, in comparison to AS or PRP. PRGF promotes biological processes required for corneal epithelialization, such as proliferation and differentiation. Since PRGF effects are similar to those associated with routinely used blood derivatives, the present findings warrant further research on PRGF as a novel alternative treatment for ocular surface diseases.

  14. The Neuroglial Dialog Between Cannabinoids and Hemichannels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labra, Valeria C.; Santibáñez, Cristian A.; Gajardo-Gómez, Rosario; Díaz, Esteban F.; Gómez, Gonzalo I.; Orellana, Juan A.

    2018-01-01

    The formation of gap junctions was initially thought to be the central role of connexins, however, recent evidence had brought to light the high relevance of unopposed hemichannels as an independent mechanism for the selective release of biomolecules during physiological and pathological conditions. In the healthy brain, the physiological opening of astrocyte hemichannels modulates basal excitatory synaptic transmission. At the other end, the release of potentially neurotoxic compounds through astroglial hemichannels and pannexons has been insinuated as one of the functional alterations that negatively affect the progression of multiple brain diseases. Recent insights in this matter have suggested encannabinoids (eCBs) as molecules that could regulate the opening of these channels during diverse conditions. In this review, we discuss and hypothesize the possible interplay between the eCB system and the hemichannel/pannexon-mediated signaling in the inflamed brain and during event of synaptic plasticity. Most findings indicate that eCBs seem to counteract the activation of major neuroinflammatory pathways that lead to glia-mediated production of TNF-α and IL-1β, both well-known triggers of astroglial hemichannel opening. In contrast to the latter, in the normal brain, eCBs apparently elicit the Ca2+-activation of astrocyte hemichannels, which could have significant consequences on eCB-dependent synaptic plasticity. PMID:29662436

  15. Neurogenetics of Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osório, M Joana; Goldman, Steven A

    2018-01-01

    Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) is an X-linked disorder caused by mutations in the PLP1 gene, which encodes the proteolipid protein of myelinating oligodendroglia. PMD exhibits phenotypic variability that reflects its considerable genotypic heterogeneity, but all forms of the disease result in central hypomyelination associated with early neurologic dysfunction, progressive deterioration, and ultimately death. PMD has been classified into three major subtypes, according to the age of presentation: connatal PMD, classic PMD, and transitional PMD, combining features of both connatal and classic forms. Two other less severe phenotypes were subsequently described, including the spastic paraplegia syndrome and PLP1-null disease. These disorders may be associated with duplications, as well as with point, missense, and null mutations within the PLP1 gene. A number of clinically similar Pelizaeus-Merzbacher-like disorders (PMLD) are considered in the differential diagnosis of PMD, the most prominent of which is PMLD-1, caused by misexpression of the GJC2 gene encoding connexin-47. No effective therapy for PMD exists. Yet, as a relatively pure central nervous system hypomyelinating disorder, with limited involvement of the peripheral nervous system and little attendant neuronal pathology, PMD is an attractive therapeutic target for neural stem cell and glial progenitor cell transplantation, efforts at which are now underway in a number of centers internationally. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Towards a Tissue-Engineered Contractile Fontan-Conduit: The Fate of Cardiac Myocytes in the Subpulmonary Circulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Biermann

    Full Text Available The long-term outcome of patients with single ventricles improved over time, but remains poor compared to other congenital heart lesions with biventricular circulation. Main cause for this unfavourable outcome is the unphysiological hemodynamic of the Fontan circulation, such as subnormal systemic cardiac output and increased systemic-venous pressure. To overcome this limitation, we are developing the concept of a contractile extracardiac Fontan-tunnel. In this study, we evaluated the survival and structural development of a tissue-engineered conduit under in vivo conditions. Engineered heart tissue was generated from ventricular heart cells of neonatal Wistar rats, fibrinogen and thrombin. Engineered heart tissues started beating around day 8 in vitro and remained contractile in vivo throughout the experiment. After culture for 14 days constructs were implanted around the right superior vena cava of Wistar rats (n = 12. Animals were euthanized after 7, 14, 28 and 56 days postoperatively. Hematoxylin and eosin staining showed cardiomyocytes arranged in thick bundles within the engineered heart tissue-conduit. Immunostaining of sarcomeric actin, alpha-actin and connexin 43 revealed a well -developed cardiac myocyte structure. Magnetic resonance imaging (d14, n = 3 revealed no constriction or stenosis of the superior vena cava by the constructs. Engineered heart tissues survive and contract for extended periods after implantation around the superior vena cava of rats. Generation of larger constructs is warranted to evaluate functional benefits of a contractile Fontan-conduit.

  17. The anti-malarial drug Mefloquine disrupts central autonomic and respiratory control in the working heart brainstem preparation of the rat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lall Varinder K

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mefloquine is an anti-malarial drug that can have neurological side effects. This study examines how mefloquine (MF influences central nervous control of autonomic and respiratory systems using the arterially perfused working heart brainstem preparation (WHBP of the rat. Recordings of nerve activity were made from the thoracic sympathetic chain and phrenic nerve, while heart rate (HR and perfusion pressure were also monitored in the arterially perfused, decerebrate, rat WHBP. MF was added to the perfusate at 1 μM to examine its effects on baseline parameters as well as baroreceptor and chemoreceptor reflexes. Results MF caused a significant, atropine resistant, bradycardia and increased phrenic nerve discharge frequency. Chemoreceptor mediated sympathoexcitation (elicited by addition of 0.1 ml of 0.03% sodium cyanide to the aortic cannula was significantly attenuated by the application of MF to the perfusate. Furthermore MF significantly decreased rate of return to resting HR following chemoreceptor induced bradycardia. An increase in respiratory frequency and attenuated respiratory-related sympathetic nerve discharge during chemoreceptor stimulation was also elicited with MF compared to control. However, MF did not significantly alter baroreceptor reflex sensitivity. Conclusions These studies indicate that in the WHBP, MF causes profound alterations in autonomic and respiratory control. The possibility that these effects may be mediated through actions on connexin 36 containing gap junctions in central neurones controlling sympathetic nervous outflow is discussed.

  18. Oculodentodigital dysplasia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dharmil C Doshi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Oculodentodigital dysplasia is a rare, autosomal dominant disorder with high penetrance and variable expressivity, caused by mutations in the connexin 43 or gap junction protein alpha-1 gene. It has been diagnosed in fewer than 300 people worldwide with an incidence of around 1 in 10 million. It affects many parts of the body, particularly eyes (oculo, teeth (dento, and fingers and/or toes (digital. The common clinical features include facial dysmorphism with thin nose, microphthalmia, syndactyly, tooth anomalies such as enamel hypoplasia, anodontia, microdontia, early tooth loss and conductive deafness. Other less common features are abnormalities of the skin and its appendages, such as brittle nails, sparse hair, and neurological abnormalities. To prevent this syndrome from being overlooked, awareness of possible symptoms is necessary. Early recognition can prevent blindness, dental problems and learning disabilities. Described here is the case of a 21-year-old male who presented to the ophthalmology outpatient department with a complaint of bilateral progressive loss of vision since childhood.

  19. Permanent Childhood Hearing Impairment: Aetiological Evaluation of Infants identified through the Irish Newborn Hearing Screening Programme

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Smith, A

    2017-11-01

    The Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) was established in Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) in April 2011. Between April 2011 and July 2014, 42 infants were identified with a Permanent Childhood Hearing Impairment (PCHI). Following this diagnosis, infants underwent a paediatric assessment according to recognised guidelines with the intention of identifying the underlying aetiology of the PCHI. The aim of this study was to assess the findings of this aetiological workup via retrospective chart review. PCHI data was obtained from the eSP database. This is a web based information system (eSP) used to track each baby through the screening and referral process A retrospective chart review of these patients was performed. Sixteen (38%) infants were diagnosed with a bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. Two infants had congenital CMV infection. A Connexin 26 gene mutation was detected in one infant. Two infants were diagnosed with Waardenburg syndrome, One with Pendred syndrome and one with Pfeiffer syndrome. Five babies underwent cochlear implantation. Through adherence to the recommended protocol a possible cause of PCHI may be determined. This study has identified areas of future improvement for this service in Ireland.

  20. Recent advances in the study of epigenetic effects induced by the phycotoxin okadaic acid

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Creppy, Edmond Ekue; Traore, Adama; Baudrimont, Isabelle; Cascante, Marta; Carratu, Maria-Rosaria

    2002-01-01

    Okadaic acid (OA) is a phycotoxin produced by dinoflagellates. It accumulates in the digestive tracts of shellfish causing diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) in consumers. OA is a tumour promoter, and an inhibitor of both protein phosphatases and protein synthesis. OA induces DNA adducts, suggesting it may be carcinogenic. Since the Ames test without S 9 was negative, but a mutagenesis test was positive in mammalian cells, the question as to whether its molecular mechanism is genotoxic or epigenetic became unavoidable. Therefore, experiments were performed to search for epigenetic effects, since evidence for DNA-adduct formation using the γ- 32 P-ATP post-labelling method was not obtained. We found that OA is a potent inducer of lipid peroxidation in human intestinal cells (Caco-2) at low concentrations (0.75-7.5 ng/ml versus IC50 of 15 ng/ml) with increased rates of 8-OH-dG and m 5 dC formation causing CG to AT transversion mutations and gene deregulation, respectively. The transcription and translation of connexin 43-specific mRNA were inhibited, and 3 H-uridine incorporation in RNA was concomitantly increased. Consequently gap junction intracellular communication (GJIC) was inhibited, making possible cellular anarchic proliferation. Higher OA concentrations also disorganized the cellular cytoskeleton, since both actin and tubulin formations were impaired. Our results suggest that OA may induce tumours via an epigenetic mechanism

  1. Nf1 Loss and Ras Hyperactivation in Oligodendrocytes Induce NOS-Driven Defects in Myelin and Vasculature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debra A. Mayes

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1 and Costello syndrome Rasopathy have behavioral deficits. In NF1 patients, these may correlate with white matter enlargement and aberrant myelin. To model these features, we induced Nf1 loss or HRas hyperactivation in mouse oligodendrocytes. Enlarged brain white matter tracts correlated with myelin decompaction, downregulation of claudin-11, and mislocalization of connexin-32. Surprisingly, non-cell-autonomous defects in perivascular astrocytes and the blood-brain barrier (BBB developed, implicating a soluble mediator. Nitric oxide (NO can disrupt tight junctions and gap junctions, and NO and NO synthases (NOS1–NOS3 were upregulated in mutant white matter. Treating mice with the NOS inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester or the antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine corrected cellular phenotypes. CNP-HRasG12V mice also displayed locomotor hyperactivity, which could be rescued by antioxidant treatment. We conclude that Nf1/Ras regulates oligodendrocyte NOS and that dysregulated NO signaling in oligodendrocytes can alter the surrounding vasculature. The data suggest that antioxidants may improve some behavioral deficits in Rasopathy patients.

  2. Non-syndromic sensorineural prelingual deafness: the importance of genetic counseling in demystifying parents' beliefs about the cause of their children's deafness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Fidjy; Paneque, Milena; Reis, Cláudia; Venâncio, Margarida; Sequeiros, Jorge; Saraiva, Jorge

    2013-08-01

    Recent advances in molecular genetics have allowed the determination of the genetic cause of some childhood non-syndromic deafness. In Portugal only a small proportion of families are referred to a clinical genetics service in order to clarify the etiology of the deafness and to provide genetic counseling. Consequently, there are no published studies of the prior beliefs of parents about the causes of hereditary deafness of their children and their genetic knowledge after receipt of genetic counseling. In order to evaluate the impact of genetic counseling, 44 parents of 24 children with the diagnosis of non-syndromic sensorineural prelingual deafness due to mutations in the GJB2 (connexin 26), completed surveys before and after genetic counseling. Before counseling 13.6 % of the parents knew the cause of deafness; at a post-counseling setting this percentage was significantly higher, with 84.1 % of the parents accurately identifying the etiology. No significant differences were found between the answers of mothers and fathers either before or after genetic counseling. Parents' level of education was a significant factor in pre-test knowledge. After genetic counseling 95.5 % of the parents stated that the consultation had met their expectations, 70.5 % remembered correctly the inheritance pattern, and 93.2 % correctly recalled the chance of risk of deafness. These results underline the importance of genetic counseling in demystifying parents' beliefs about the etiology of their children's deafness.

  3. Non-genotoxic carcinogens: early effects on gap junctions, cell proliferation and apoptosis in the rat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mally, Angela; Chipman, James Kevin

    2002-01-01

    Non-genotoxic carcinogens are thought to induce tumour formation by disturbing the balance between cell growth and cell death. Gap junctions (GJ) contribute to the maintenance of tissue homeostasis by allowing the intercellular exchange of growth regulatory signals and potential inhibition of GJ intercellular communication through loss of connexin (Cx) plaques has been shown to be involved in the cancer process. We have investigated the time- and dose-dependent effects of the non-genotoxic hepatocarcinogens Wy-14,643, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, methapyrilene and hexachlorobenzene and the male rat kidney carcinogens chloroform, p-dichlorobenzene and d-limonene on gap junction plaque expression in relation to proliferation and apoptosis. With the exception of limonene, all non-genotoxic carcinogens significantly reduced the expression of GJ plaques containing Cx32 in their respective target tissue. No dose-dependent, significant effects were seen in non-target organs. Although alteration of Cx32 expression did not appear to correlate with induction of cell proliferation, out data suggest that the interaction of both processes--interference of GJ coupled with a proliferative stimulus (at the carcinogenic dose)--may be important in non-genotoxic carcinogenesis and provide a potential alert for non-genotoxic carcinogens in short-term toxicity tests

  4. Four whole-istic aspects of schistosome granuloma biology: fractal arrangement, internal regulation, autopoietic component and closure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    HL Lenzi

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper centers on some whole-istic organizational and functional aspects of hepatic Schistosoma mansoni granuloma, which is an extremely complex system. First, it structurally develops a collagenic topology, originated bidirectionally from an inward and outward assembly of growth units. Inward growth appears to be originated from myofibroblasts derived from small portal vessel around intravascular entrapped eggs, while outward growth arises from hepatic stellate cells. The auto-assembly of the growth units defines the three-dimensional scaffold of the schistosome granulomas. The granuloma surface irregularity and its border presented fractal dimension equal to 1.58. Second, it is internally regulated by intricate networks of immuneneuroendocrine stimuli orchestrated by leptin and leptin receptors, substance P and Vasoactive intestinal peptide. Third, it can reach the population of ± 40,000 cells and presents an autopoietic component evidenced by internal proliferation (Ki-67+ Cells, and by expression of c-Kit+ Cells, leptin and leptin receptor (Ob-R, granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF-R, and erythropoietin (Epo-R receptors. Fourth, the granulomas cells are intimately connected by pan-cadherins, occludin and connexin-43, building a state of closing (granuloma closure. In conclusion, the granuloma is characterized by transitory stages in such a way that its organized structure emerges as a global property which is greater than the sum of actions of its individual cells and extracellular matrix components.

  5. Transmural expression of ion channels and transporters in human nondiseased and end-stage failing hearts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soltysinska, Ewa; Olesen, Søren-Peter; Christ, Torsten

    2009-01-01

    The cardiac action potential is primarily shaped by the orchestrated function of several different types of ion channels and transporters. One of the regional differences believed to play a major role in the progression and stability of the action potential is the transmural gradient of electrica...... cardiac ion channels and transporters which may in part explain the increased susceptibility to arrhythmia in end-state failing hearts....... activity across the ventricular wall. An altered balance in the ionic currents across the free wall is assumed to be a substrate for arrhythmia. A large fraction of patients with heart failure experience ventricular arrhythmia. However, the underlying substrate of these functional changes is not well......-established as expression analyses of human heart failure (HF) are sparse. We have investigated steady-state RNA levels by quantitative polymerase chain reaction of ion channels, transporters, connexin 43, and miR-1 in 11 end-stage HF and seven nonfailing (NF) hearts. The quantifications were performed on endo-, mid...

  6. ATP Release Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akiyuki Taruno

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Adenosine triphosphate (ATP has been well established as an important extracellular ligand of autocrine signaling, intercellular communication, and neurotransmission with numerous physiological and pathophysiological roles. In addition to the classical exocytosis, non-vesicular mechanisms of cellular ATP release have been demonstrated in many cell types. Although large and negatively charged ATP molecules cannot diffuse across the lipid bilayer of the plasma membrane, conductive ATP release from the cytosol into the extracellular space is possible through ATP-permeable channels. Such channels must possess two minimum qualifications for ATP permeation: anion permeability and a large ion-conducting pore. Currently, five groups of channels are acknowledged as ATP-release channels: connexin hemichannels, pannexin 1, calcium homeostasis modulator 1 (CALHM1, volume-regulated anion channels (VRACs, also known as volume-sensitive outwardly rectifying (VSOR anion channels, and maxi-anion channels (MACs. Recently, major breakthroughs have been made in the field by molecular identification of CALHM1 as the action potential-dependent ATP-release channel in taste bud cells, LRRC8s as components of VRACs, and SLCO2A1 as a core subunit of MACs. Here, the function and physiological roles of these five groups of ATP-release channels are summarized, along with a discussion on the future implications of understanding these channels.

  7. Age-related changes in rat bone-marrow mesenchymal stem cell plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chase P Bryant

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The efficacy of adult stem cells is known to be compromised as a function of age. This therefore raises questions about the effectiveness of autologous cell therapy in elderly patients. Results We demonstrated that the expression profile of stemness markers was altered in BM-MSCs derived from old rats. BM-MSCs from young rats (4 months expressed Oct-4, Sox-2 and NANOG, but we failed to detect Sox-2 and NANOG in BM-MSCs from older animals (15 months. Chondrogenic, osteogenic and adipogenic potential is compromised in old BM-MSCs. Stimulation with a cocktail mixture of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP-2, fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2 and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1 induced cardiomyogenesis in young BM-MSCs but not old BM-MSCs. Significant differences in the expression of gap junction protein connexin-43 were observed between young and old BM-MSCs. Young and old BM-MSCs fused with neonatal ventricular cardiomyocytes in co-culture and expressed key cardiac transcription factors and structural proteins. Cells from old animals expressed significantly lower levels of VEGF, IGF, EGF, and G-CSF. Significantly higher levels of DNA double strand break marker γ-H2AX and diminished levels of telomerase activity were observed in old BM-MSCs. Conclusion The results suggest age related differences in the differentiation capacity of BM-MSCs. These changes may affect the efficacy of BM-MSCs for use in stem cell therapy.

  8. Regulation of ACh release from guinea pig bladder urothelial cells: potential role in bladder filling sensations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLatchie, L M; Young, J S; Fry, C H

    2014-07-01

    The aim of this study was to quantify and characterize the mechanism of non-neuronal ACh release from bladder urothelial cells and to determine if urothelial cells could be a site of action of anti-muscarinic drugs. A novel technique was developed whereby ACh could be measured from freshly isolated guinea pig urothelial cells in suspension following mechanical stimulation. Various agents were used to manipulate possible ACh release pathways in turn and to study the effects of muscarinic receptor activation and inhibition on urothelial ATP release. Minimal mechanical stimulus achieved full ACh release, indicating a small dynamic range and possible all-or-none signal. ACh release involved a mechanism dependent on the anion channel CFTR and intracellular calcium concentration, but was independent of extracellular calcium, vesicular trafficking, connexins or pannexins, organic cation transporters and was not affected by botulinum-A toxin. Stimulating ACh receptors increased ATP production and antagonizing them reduced ATP release, suggesting a link between ACh and ATP release. These results suggest that release of non-neuronal ACh from the urothelium is large enough and well located to act as a modulator of ATP release. It is hypothesized that this pathway may contribute to the actions of anti-muscarinic drugs in reducing the symptoms of lower urinary tract syndromes. Additionally the involvement of CFTR in ACh release suggests an exciting new direction for the treatment of these conditions. © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.

  9. Surfing the wave, cycle, life history, and genes/proteins expressed by testicular germ cells. Part 5: intercellular junctions and contacts between germs cells and Sertoli cells and their regulatory interactions, testicular cholesterol, and genes/proteins associated with more than one germ cell generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermo, Louis; Pelletier, R-Marc; Cyr, Daniel G; Smith, Charles E

    2010-04-01

    In the testis, cell adhesion and junctional molecules permit specific interactions and intracellular communication between germ and Sertoli cells and apposed Sertoli cells. Among the many adhesion family of proteins, NCAM, nectin and nectin-like, catenins, and cadherens will be discussed, along with gap junctions between germ and Sertoli cells and the many members of the connexin family. The blood-testis barrier separates the haploid spermatids from blood borne elements. In the barrier, the intercellular junctions consist of many proteins such as occludin, tricellulin, and claudins. Changes in the expression of cell adhesion molecules are also an essential part of the mechanism that allows germ cells to move from the basal compartment of the seminiferous tubule to the adluminal compartment thus crossing the blood-testis barrier and well-defined proteins have been shown to assist in this process. Several structural components show interactions between germ cells to Sertoli cells such as the ectoplasmic specialization which are more closely related to Sertoli cells and tubulobulbar complexes that are processes of elongating spermatids embedded into Sertoli cells. Germ cells also modify several Sertoli functions and this also appears to be the case for residual bodies. Cholesterol plays a significant role during spermatogenesis and is essential for germ cell development. Lastly, we list genes/proteins that are expressed not only in any one specific generation of germ cells but across more than one generation. Copyright 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. HDAC inhibition amplifies gap junction communication in neural progenitors: Potential for cell-mediated enzyme prodrug therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, Zahidul; Akhtar, Monira; Asklund, Thomas; Juliusson, Bengt; Almqvist, Per M.; Ekstroem, Tomas J.

    2007-01-01

    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

  11. How Shigella Utilizes Ca(2+) Jagged Edge Signals during Invasion of Epithelial Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnet, Mariette; Tran Van Nhieu, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Shigella, the causative agent of bacillary dysentery invades intestinal epithelial cells using a type III secretion system (T3SS). Through the injection of type III effectors, Shigella manipulates the actin cytoskeleton to induce its internalization in epithelial cells. At early invasion stages, Shigella induces atypical Ca(2+) responses confined at entry sites allowing local cytoskeletal remodeling for bacteria engulfment. Global Ca(2+) increase in the cell triggers the opening of connexin hemichannels at the plasma membrane that releases ATP in the extracellular milieu, favoring Shigella invasion and spreading through purinergic receptor signaling. During intracellular replication, Shigella regulates inflammatory and death pathways to disseminate within the epithelium. At later stages of infection, Shigella downregulates hemichannel opening and the release of extracellular ATP to dampen inflammatory signals. To avoid premature cell death, Shigella activates cell survival by upregulating the PI3K/Akt pathway and downregulating the levels of p53. Furthermore, Shigella interferes with pro-apoptotic caspases, and orients infected cells toward a slow necrotic cell death linked to mitochondrial Ca(2+) overload. In this review, we will focus on the role of Ca(2+) responses and their regulation by Shigella during the different stages of bacterial infection.

  12. How Shigella Utilizes Ca2+ Jagged Edge Signals during Invasion of Epithelial Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnet, Mariette; Tran Van Nhieu, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Shigella, the causative agent of bacillary dysentery invades intestinal epithelial cells using a type III secretion system (T3SS). Through the injection of type III effectors, Shigella manipulates the actin cytoskeleton to induce its internalization in epithelial cells. At early invasion stages, Shigella induces atypical Ca2+ responses confined at entry sites allowing local cytoskeletal remodeling for bacteria engulfment. Global Ca2+ increase in the cell triggers the opening of connexin hemichannels at the plasma membrane that releases ATP in the extracellular milieu, favoring Shigella invasion and spreading through purinergic receptor signaling. During intracellular replication, Shigella regulates inflammatory and death pathways to disseminate within the epithelium. At later stages of infection, Shigella downregulates hemichannel opening and the release of extracellular ATP to dampen inflammatory signals. To avoid premature cell death, Shigella activates cell survival by upregulating the PI3K/Akt pathway and downregulating the levels of p53. Furthermore, Shigella interferes with pro-apoptotic caspases, and orients infected cells toward a slow necrotic cell death linked to mitochondrial Ca2+ overload. In this review, we will focus on the role of Ca2+ responses and their regulation by Shigella during the different stages of bacterial infection. PMID:26904514

  13. Evidence of specialized tissue in human interatrial septum: histological, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrofanova, Lubov B; Gorshkov, Andrey N; Lebedev, Dmitry S; Mikhaylov, Evgeny N

    2014-01-01

    There is a paucity of information on structural organization of muscular bundles in the interatrial septum (IAS). The aim was to investigate histologic and ultrastructural organization of muscular bundles in human IAS, including fossa ovalis (FO) and flap valve. Macroscopic and light microscopy evaluations of IAS were performed from postmortem studies of 40 patients. Twenty three IAS specimens underwent serial transverse sectioning, and 17--longitudinal sectioning. The transverse sections from 10 patients were immunolabeled for HCN4, Caveolin3 and Connexin43. IAS specimens from 6 other patients underwent electron microscopy. In all IAS specimens sections the FO, its rims and the flap valve had muscle fibers consisting of working cardiac myocytes. Besides the typical cardiomyocytes there were unusual cells: tortuous and horseshoe-shaped intertangled myocytes, small and large rounded myocytes with pale cytoplasm. The cells were aggregated in a definite structure in 38 (95%) cases, which was surrounded by fibro-fatty tissue. The height of the structure on transverse sections positively correlated with age (P = 0.03) and AF history (P = 0.045). Immunohistochemistry showed positive staining of the cells for HCN4 and Caveolin3. Electron microscopy identified cells with characteristics similar to electrical conduction cells. Specialized conduction cells in human IAS have been identified, specifically in the FO and its flap valve. The cells are aggregated in a structure, which is surrounded by fibrous and fatty tissue. Further investigations are warranted to explore electrophysiological characteristics of this structure.

  14. Evidence of specialized tissue in human interatrial septum: histological, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural findings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lubov B Mitrofanova

    Full Text Available There is a paucity of information on structural organization of muscular bundles in the interatrial septum (IAS. The aim was to investigate histologic and ultrastructural organization of muscular bundles in human IAS, including fossa ovalis (FO and flap valve.Macroscopic and light microscopy evaluations of IAS were performed from postmortem studies of 40 patients. Twenty three IAS specimens underwent serial transverse sectioning, and 17--longitudinal sectioning. The transverse sections from 10 patients were immunolabeled for HCN4, Caveolin3 and Connexin43. IAS specimens from 6 other patients underwent electron microscopy.In all IAS specimens sections the FO, its rims and the flap valve had muscle fibers consisting of working cardiac myocytes. Besides the typical cardiomyocytes there were unusual cells: tortuous and horseshoe-shaped intertangled myocytes, small and large rounded myocytes with pale cytoplasm. The cells were aggregated in a definite structure in 38 (95% cases, which was surrounded by fibro-fatty tissue. The height of the structure on transverse sections positively correlated with age (P = 0.03 and AF history (P = 0.045. Immunohistochemistry showed positive staining of the cells for HCN4 and Caveolin3. Electron microscopy identified cells with characteristics similar to electrical conduction cells.Specialized conduction cells in human IAS have been identified, specifically in the FO and its flap valve. The cells are aggregated in a structure, which is surrounded by fibrous and fatty tissue. Further investigations are warranted to explore electrophysiological characteristics of this structure.

  15. Gap junctions in cells of the immune system: structure, regulation and possible functional roles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.C. Sáez

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available Gap junction channels are sites of cytoplasmic communication between contacting cells. In vertebrates, they consist of protein subunits denoted connexins (Cxs which are encoded by a gene family. According to their Cx composition, gap junction channels show different gating and permeability properties that define which ions and small molecules permeate them. Differences in Cx primary sequences suggest that channels composed of different Cxs are regulated differentially by intracellular pathways under specific physiological conditions. Functional roles of gap junction channels could be defined by the relative importance of permeant substances, resulting in coordination of electrical and/or metabolic cellular responses. Cells of the native and specific immune systems establish transient homo- and heterocellular contacts at various steps of the immune response. Morphological and functional studies reported during the last three decades have revealed that many intercellular contacts between cells in the immune response present gap junctions or "gap junction-like" structures. Partial characterization of the molecular composition of some of these plasma membrane structures and regulatory mechanisms that control them have been published recently. Studies designed to elucidate their physiological roles suggest that they might permit coordination of cellular events which favor the effective and timely response of the immune system.

  16. Ionizing radiation induces heritable disruption of epithelial cell interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Catherine C.; Henshall-Powell, Rhonda L.; Erickson, Anna C.; Talhouk, Rabih; Parvin, Bahram; Bissell, Mina J.; Barcellos-Hoff, Mary Helen; Chatterjee, A. (Principal Investigator)

    2003-01-01

    Ionizing radiation (IR) is a known human breast carcinogen. Although the mutagenic capacity of IR is widely acknowledged as the basis for its action as a carcinogen, we and others have shown that IR can also induce growth factors and extracellular matrix remodeling. As a consequence, we have proposed that an additional factor contributing to IR carcinogenesis is the potential disruption of critical constraints that are imposed by normal cell interactions. To test this hypothesis, we asked whether IR affected the ability of nonmalignant human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC) to undergo tissue-specific morphogenesis in culture by using confocal microscopy and imaging bioinformatics. We found that irradiated single HMEC gave rise to colonies exhibiting decreased localization of E-cadherin, beta-catenin, and connexin-43, proteins necessary for the establishment of polarity and communication. Severely compromised acinar organization was manifested by the majority of irradiated HMEC progeny as quantified by image analysis. Disrupted cell-cell communication, aberrant cell-extracellular matrix interactions, and loss of tissue-specific architecture observed in the daughters of irradiated HMEC are characteristic of neoplastic progression. These data point to a heritable, nonmutational mechanism whereby IR compromises cell polarity and multicellular organization.

  17. Hypothesis of K+-Recycling Defect Is Not a Primary Deafness Mechanism for Cx26 (GJB2 Deficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-Bo Zhao

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available K+-recycling defect is a long-standing hypothesis for deafness mechanism of Connexin26 (Cx26, GJB2 mutations, which cause the most common hereditary deafness and are responsible for >50% of nonsyndromic hearing loss. The hypothesis states that Cx26 deficiency may disrupt inner ear gap junctions and compromise sinking and recycling of expelled K+ ions after hair cell excitation, causing accumulation of K+-ions in the extracellular space around hair cells producing K+-toxicity, which eventually induces hair cell degeneration and hearing loss. However, this hypothesis has never been directly evidenced, even though it has been widely referred to. Recently, more and more experiments demonstrate that this hypothesis may not be a deafness mechanism underlying Cx26 deficiency. In this review article, we summarized recent advances on the K+-recycling and mechanisms underlying Cx26 deficiency induced hearing loss. The mechanisms underlying K+-sinking, which is the first step for K+-recycling in the cochlea, and Cx26 deficiency induced cochlear developmental disorders, which are responsible for Cx26 deficiency induced congenital deafness and associated with disruption of permeability of inner ear gap junctional channels to miRNAs, are also summarized and discussed.

  18. The alpha2-adrenoreceptor agonist dexmedetomidine protects against lipopolysaccharide-induced apoptosis via inhibition of gap junctions in lung fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuan; Tan, Xiaoming; Xue, Lianfang

    2018-01-01

    The α2-adrenoceptor inducer dexmedetomidine protects against acute lung injury (ALI), but the mechanism of this effect is largely unknown. The present study investigated the effect of dexmedetomidine on apoptosis induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and the relationship between this effect and gap junction intercellular communication in human lung fibroblast cell line. Flow cytometry was used to detect apoptosis induced by LPS. Parachute dye coupling assay was used to measure gap junction function, and western blot analysis was used to determine the expression levels of connexin43 (Cx43). The results revealed that exposure of human lung fibroblast cell line to LPS for 24 h increased the apoptosis, and pretreatment of dexmedetomidine and 18α-GA significantly reduced LPS-induced apoptosis. Dexmedetomidine exposure for 1 h inhibited gap junction function mainly via a decrease in Cx43 protein levels in human lung fibroblast cell line. These results demonstrated that the inhibition of gap junction intercellular communication by dexmedetomidine affected the LPS-induced apoptosis through inhibition of gap junction function by reducing Cx43 protein levels. The present study provides evidence of a novel mechanism underlying the effects of analgesics in counteracting ALI. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Ouabain Increases Gap Junctional Communication in Epithelial Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arturo Ponce

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: The finding that endogenous ouabain acts as a hormone prompted efforts to elucidate its physiological function. In previous studies, we have shown that 10 nM ouabain (i.e., a concentration within the physiological range modulates cell-cell contacts such as tight junctions and apical/basolateral polarity. In this study, we examined whether 10 nM ouabain affects another important cell-cell feature: gap junction communication (GJC. Methods: We employed two different approaches: 1 analysis of the cell-to-cell diffusion of neurobiotin injected into a particular MDCK cell (epithelial cells from dog kidneys in a confluent monolayer by counting the number of neighboring cells reached by the probe and 2 measurement of the electrical capacitance. Results: We found that 10 nM ouabain increase GJC by 475% within 1 hour. The Na+-K+-ATPase acts as a receptor of ouabain. In previous works we have shown that ouabain activates c-Src and ERK1/2 in 1 hour; in the present study we show that the inhibition of these proteins block the effect of ouabain on GJC. This increase in GJC does not require synthesis of new protein components, because the inhibitors cycloheximide and actinomycin D did not affect this phenomenon. Using silencing assays we also demonstrate that this ouabain-induced enhancement of GJC involves connexins 32 and 43. Conclusion: Ouabain 10 nM increases GJC in MDCK cells.

  20. Cardiac Autoantibodies from Patients Affected by a New Variant of Endemic Pemphigus Foliaceus in Colombia, South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Michael S.; Jiao, Zhe; Gao, Weiqing; Yi, Hong; Grossniklaus, Hans E.; Duque-Ramírez, Mauricio; Dudley, Samuel C.

    2012-01-01

    Several patients affected by a new variant of endemic pemphigus foliaceus in El Bagre, Colombia (El Bagre-EPF) have experienced a sudden death syndrome, including persons below the age of 50. El Bagre-EPF patients share several autoantigens with paraneoplastic pemphigus patients, such as reactivity to plakins. Further, paraneoplastic pemphigus patients have autoantibodies to the heart. Therefore, we tested 15 El Bagre-EPF patients and 15 controls from the endemic area for autoreactivity to heart tissue using direct and indirect immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy, immunohistochemistry, immunoblotting, and immunoelectron microscopy utilizing heart extracts as antigens. We found that 7 of 15 El Bagre patients exhibited a polyclonal immune response to several cell junctions of the heart, often colocalizing with known markers. These colocalizing markers included those for the area composita of the heart, such as anti-desmoplakins I and II; markers for gap junctions, such as connexin 43; markers for tight junctions, such as ezrin and junctional adhesion molecule A; and adherens junctions, such pan-cadherin. We also detected colocalization of the patient antibodies within blood vessels, Purkinje fibers, and cardiac sarcomeres. We conclude that El Bagre-EPF patients display autoreactivity to multiple cardiac epitopes, that this disease may resemble what is found in patients with rheumatic carditis, and further, that the cardiac pathophysiology of this disorder warrants further evaluation. PMID:21796504

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. How Shigella utilizes Ca2+ jagged edge signals during invasion of epithelial cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariette eBonnet

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Shigella, the causative agent of bacillary dysentery invades intestinal epithelial cells using a type III secretion system (T3SS. Through the injection of type III effectors, Shigella manipulates the actin cytoskeleton to induce its internalization in epithelial cells. At early invasion stages, Shigella induces atypical Ca2+ responses confined at entry sites allowing local cytoskeletal remodeling for bacteria engulfment. Global Ca2+ increase in the cell triggers the opening of connexin hemichannels at the plasma membrane that releases ATP in the extracellular milieu, favoring Shigella invasion and spreading through purinergic receptor signaling. During intracellular replication, Shigella regulates inflammatory and death pathways to disseminate within the epithelium. At later stages of infection, Shigella downregulates hemichannel opening and the release of extracellular ATP to dampen inflammatory signals. To avoid premature cell death, Shigella activates cell survival by upregulating the PI3K/Akt pathway and downregulating the levels of p53. Furthermore, Shigella interferes with pro-apoptotic caspases, and orients infected cells towards a slow necrotic cell death linked to mitochondrial Ca2+ overload. In this review, we will focus on the role of Ca2+ responses and their regulation by Shigella during the different stages of bacterial infection.

  3. Mammalian enabled (Mena) is a critical regulator of cardiac function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Frédérick; Belmonte, Stephen L; Ram, Rashmi; Noujaim, Sami F; Dunaevsky, Olga; Protack, Tricia L; Jalife, Jose; Todd Massey, H; Gertler, Frank B; Blaxall, Burns C

    2011-05-01

    Mammalian enabled (Mena) of the Drosophila enabled/vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein gene family is a cytoskeletal protein implicated in actin regulation and cell motility. Cardiac Mena expression is enriched in intercalated discs (ICD), the critical intercellular communication nexus between adjacent muscle cells. We previously identified Mena gene expression to be a key predictor of human and murine heart failure (HF). To determine the in vivo function of Mena in the heart, we assessed Mena protein expression in multiple HF models and characterized the effects of genetic Mena deletion on cardiac structure and function. Immunoblot analysis revealed significant upregulation of Mena protein expression in left ventricle tissue from patients with end-stage HF, calsequestrin-overexpressing mice, and isoproterenol-infused mice. Characterization of the baseline cardiac function of adult Mena knockout mice (Mena(-/-)) via echocardiography demonstrated persistent cardiac dysfunction, including a significant reduction in percent fractional shortening compared with wild-type littermates. Electrocardiogram PR and QRS intervals were significantly prolonged in Mena(-/-) mice, manifested by slowed conduction on optical mapping studies. Ultrastructural analysis of Mena(-/-) hearts revealed disrupted organization and widening of ICD structures, mislocalization of the gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43) to the lateral borders of cardiomyoycytes, and increased Cx43 expression. Furthermore, the expression of vinculin (an adherens junction protein) was significantly reduced in Mena(-/-) mice. We report for the first time that genetic ablation of Mena results in cardiac dysfunction, highlighted by diminished contractile performance, disrupted ICD structure, and slowed electrical conduction.

  4. Importance of gradients in membrane properties and electrical coupling in sinoatrial node pacing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shin Inada

    Full Text Available The sinoatrial node (SAN is heterogeneous in terms of cell size, ion channels, current densities, connexins and electrical coupling. For example, Nav1.5 (responsible for INa and Cx43 (responsible for electrical coupling are absent from the centre of the SAN (normally the leading pacemaker site, but present in the periphery (at SAN-atrial muscle junction. To test whether the heterogeneity is important for the functioning of the SAN, one- and two-dimensional models of the SAN and surrounding atrial muscle were created. Normal functioning of the SAN (in terms of cycle length, position of leading pacemaker site, conduction times, activation and repolarization sequences and space constants was observed when, from the centre to the periphery, (i cell characteristics (cell size and ionic current densities were changed in a gradient fashion from a central-type (lacking INa to a peripheral-type (possessing INa and (ii coupling conductance was increased in a gradient fashion. We conclude that the heterogeneous nature of the node is important for its normal functioning. The presence of Nav1.5 and Cx43 in the periphery may be essential for the node to be able to drive the atrial muscle: Nav1.5 provides the necessary depolarizing current and Cx43 delivers it to the atrial muscle.

  5. Intra-amniotic Ureaplasma parvum-Induced Maternal and Fetal Inflammation and Immune Responses in Rhesus Macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senthamaraikannan, Paranthaman; Presicce, Pietro; Rueda, Cesar M; Maneenil, Gunlawadee; Schmidt, Augusto F; Miller, Lisa A; Waites, Ken B; Jobe, Alan H; Kallapur, Suhas G; Chougnet, Claire A

    2016-11-15

     Although Ureaplasma species are the most common organisms associated with prematurity, their effects on the maternal and fetal immune system remain poorly characterized.  Rhesus macaque dams at approximately 80% gestation were injected intra-amniotically with 10 7 colony-forming units of Ureaplasma parvum or saline (control). Fetuses were delivered surgically 3 or 7 days later. We performed comprehensive assessments of inflammation and immune effects in multiple fetal and maternal tissues.  Although U. parvum grew well in amniotic fluid, there was minimal chorioamnionitis. U. parvum colonized the fetal lung, but fetal systemic microbial invasion was limited. Fetal lung inflammation was mild, with elevations in CXCL8, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α, and CCL2 levels in alveolar washes at day 7. Inflammation was not detected in the fetal brain. Significantly, U. parvum decreased regulatory T cells (Tregs) and activated interferon γ production in these Tregs in the fetus. It was detected in uterine tissue by day 7 and induced mild inflammation and increased expression of connexin 43, a gap junction protein involved with labor.  U. parvum colonized the amniotic fluid and caused uterine inflammation, but without overt chorioamnionitis. It caused mild fetal lung inflammation but had a more profound effect on the fetal immune system, decreasing Tregs and polarizing them toward a T-helper 1 phenotype. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. The Neuroglial Dialog Between Cannabinoids and Hemichannels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeria C. Labra

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The formation of gap junctions was initially thought to be the central role of connexins, however, recent evidence had brought to light the high relevance of unopposed hemichannels as an independent mechanism for the selective release of biomolecules during physiological and pathological conditions. In the healthy brain, the physiological opening of astrocyte hemichannels modulates basal excitatory synaptic transmission. At the other end, the release of potentially neurotoxic compounds through astroglial hemichannels and pannexons has been insinuated as one of the functional alterations that negatively affect the progression of multiple brain diseases. Recent insights in this matter have suggested encannabinoids (eCBs as molecules that could regulate the opening of these channels during diverse conditions. In this review, we discuss and hypothesize the possible interplay between the eCB system and the hemichannel/pannexon-mediated signaling in the inflamed brain and during event of synaptic plasticity. Most findings indicate that eCBs seem to counteract the activation of major neuroinflammatory pathways that lead to glia-mediated production of TNF-α and IL-1β, both well-known triggers of astroglial hemichannel opening. In contrast to the latter, in the normal brain, eCBs apparently elicit the Ca2+-activation of astrocyte hemichannels, which could have significant consequences on eCB-dependent synaptic plasticity.

  7. A novel mutation in the nerve-specific 5'UTR of the GJB1 gene causes X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Murphy, Sinéad M

    2011-03-01

    X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT1X) is the second most common cause of CMT, and is usually caused by mutations in the gap junction protein beta 1 (GJB1) gene which codes for connexin 32 (CX32). CX32 has three tissue-specific promoters, P1 which is specific for liver and pancreas, P1a specific for liver, oocytes and embryonic stem cells, and P2 which is nerve-specific. Over 300 mutations have been described in GJB1, spread throughout the coding region. We describe two families with X-linked inheritance and a phenotype consistent with CMT1X who did not have mutations in the GJB1 coding region. The non-coding region of GJB1 was sequenced and an upstream exon-splicing variant found at approximately - 373G>A which segregated with the disease in both families and was not present in controls. This substitution is located at the last base of the nerve-specific 5\\'UTR and thus may disrupt splicing of the nerve-specific transcript. Online consensus splice-site programs predict a reduced score for the mutant sequence vs. the normal sequence. It is likely that other mutations within the GJB1 non-coding regions account for the CMT1X families who do not have coding region mutations.

  8. The intercellular synchronization of Ca2+ oscillations evaluates Cx36-dependent coupling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Bavamian

    Full Text Available Connexin36 (Cx36 plays an important role in insulin secretion by controlling the intercellular synchronization of Ca(2+ transients induced during stimulation. The lack of drugs acting on Cx36 channels is a major limitation in further unraveling the molecular mechanism underlying this effect. To screen for such drugs, we have developed an assay allowing for a semi-automatic, fluorimetric quantification of Ca(2+ transients in large populations of MIN6 cells. Here, we show that (1 compared to control cells, MIN6 cells with reduced Cx36 expression or function showed decreased synchrony of glucose-induced Ca(2+ oscillations; (2 glibenclamide, a sulphonylurea which promotes Cx36 junctions and coupling, increased the number of synchronous MIN6 cells, whereas quinine, an antimalarial drug which inhibits Cx36-dependent coupling, decreased this proportion; (3 several drugs were identified that altered the intercellular Ca(2+ synchronization, cell coupling and distribution of Cx36; (4 some of them also affected insulin content. The data indicate that the intercellular synchronization of Ca(2+ oscillations provides a reliable and non-invasive measurement of Cx36-dependent coupling, which is useful to identify novel drugs affecting the function of β-cells, neurons, and neuron-related cells that express Cx36.

  9. In vitro reestablishment of cell-cell contacts in adult rat cardiomyocytes. Functional role of transmembrane components in the formation of new intercalated disk-like cell contacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eppenberger, H M; Zuppinger, C

    1999-01-01

    Primary adult rat cardiomyocytes (ARC)in culture are shown to be a model system for cardiac cell hypertrophy in vitro. ARC undergo a process of morphological transformation and grow only by increase in cell size, however, without loss of the cardiac phenotype. The isolated cells spread and establish new cell-cell contacts, eventually forming a two-dimensional heart tissue-like synchronously beating cell sheet. The reformation of specific cell contacts (intercalated disks) is shown also between ventricular and atrial cardiomyocytes by using antibodies against the gap junction protein connexin-43 and after microinjection into ARC of N-cadherin cDNA fused to reporter green fluorescent protein (GFP) cDNA. The expressed fusion protein allowed the study of live cell cultures and of the dynamics of the adherens junction protein N-cadherin during the formation of new cell-cell contacts. The possible use of the formed ARC cell-sheet cells under microgravity conditions as a test system for the reformation of the cytoskeleton of heart muscle cells is proposed.

  10. Spiral ligament and stria vascularis changes in cochlear otosclerosis: effect on hearing level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, Joni K; Linthicum, Fred H

    2004-07-01

    To investigate the effect of changes within the spiral ligament and stria vascularis on hearing in cochlear otosclerosis, we examined spiral ligament hyalinization, stria vascularis atrophy, and sensory hearing loss in cochlear otosclerosis and described changes in ion transport molecule expression. Retrospective. Tertiary referral center. Thirty-two cochleae from 24 temporal bone donors with histologic evidence of cochlear otosclerosis, including spiral ligament hyalinization. Audiography. Measurements of spiral ligament width, stria vascularis, and bone-conduction thresholds were compared by the amount of hyalinization. Expression of the ion transport molecules Na,K-ATPase, connexin 26, and carbonic anhydrase II were assessed by immunohistochemical techniques. Hyalinization most often involved the posterior basal turn (88%) and the posterior middle turn (27%). Spiral ligament hyalinization correlated significantly with stria vascularis atrophy in the posterior middle turn of the cochlea (rho = -0.63, p Bone-conduction thresholds at 2,000 and 4,000 Hz were significantly associated with the amount of stria vascularis atrophy (rho = -0.44, -0.40, p recycling, resulting in loss of endocochlear potential and sensory hearing loss.

  11. Heart valve cardiomyocytes of mouse embryos express the serotonin transporter SERT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pavone, Luigi Michele; Spina, Anna; Lo Muto, Roberta; Santoro, Dionea; Mastellone, Vincenzo; Avallone, Luigi

    2008-01-01

    Multiple evidence demonstrate a role for serotonin and its transporter SERT in heart valve development and disease. By utilizing a Cre/loxP system driven by SERT gene expression, we recently demonstrated a regionally restricted distribution of SERT-expressing cells in developing mouse heart. In order to characterize the cell types exhibiting SERT expression within the mouse heart valves at early developmental stages, in this study we performed immunohistochemistry for Islet1 (Isl1) and connexin-43 (Cx-43) on heart sections from SERT Cre/+ ;ROSA26R embryos previously stained with X-gal. We observed the co-localization of LacZ staining with Isl1 labelling in the outflow tract, the right ventricle and the conal region of E11.5 mouse heart. Cx-43 labelled cells co-localized with LacZ stained cells in the forming atrioventricular valves. These results demonstrate the cardiomyocyte phenotype of SERT-expressing cells in heart valves of the developing mouse heart, thus suggesting an active role of SERT in early heart valve development.

  12. Gonadotropin suppression in men leads to a reduction in claudin-11 at the Sertoli cell tight junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCabe, M J; Tarulli, G A; Laven-Law, G; Matthiesson, K L; Meachem, S J; McLachlan, R I; Dinger, M E; Stanton, P G

    2016-04-01

    Are Sertoli cell tight junctions (TJs) disrupted in men undergoing hormonal contraception? Localization of the key Sertoli cell TJ protein, claudin-11, was markedly disrupted by 8 weeks of gonadotropin suppression, the degree of which was related to the extent of adluminal germ cell suppression. Sertoli cell TJs are vital components of the blood-testis barrier (BTB) that sequester developing adluminal meiotic germ cells and spermatids from the vascular compartment. Claudin-11 knockout mice are infertile; additionally claudin-11 is spatially disrupted in chronically gonadotropin-suppressed rats coincident with a loss of BTB function, and claudin-11 is disorganized in various human testicular disorders. These data support the Sertoli cell TJ as a potential site of hormonal contraceptive action. BTB proteins were assessed by immunohistochemistry (n = 16 samples) and mRNA (n = 18 samples) expression levels in available archived testis tissue from a previous study of 22 men who had undergone 8 weeks of gonadotropin suppression and for whom meiotic and post-meiotic germ cell numbers were available. The gonadotropin suppression regimens were (i) testosterone enanthate (TE) plus the GnRH antagonist, acyline (A); (ii) TE + the progestin, levonorgestrel, (LNG); (iii) TE + LNG + A or (iv) TE + LNG + the 5α-reductase inhibitor, dutasteride (D). A control group consisted of seven additional men, with three archived samples available for this study. Immunohistochemical localization of claudin-11 (TJ) and other junctional type markers [ZO-1 (cytoplasmic plaque), β-catenin (adherens junction), connexin-43 (gap junction), vinculin (ectoplasmic specialization) and β-actin (cytoskeleton)] and quantitative PCR was conducted using matched frozen testis tissue. Claudin-11 formed a continuous staining pattern at the BTB in control men. Regardless of gonadotropin suppression treatment, claudin-11 localization was markedly disrupted and was broadly associated with the extent of meiotic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Sondip K; Lee, Jai Eun; Brako, Lawrence; Jiang, Jean X; Lo, Woo-Kuen

    2010-11-09

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

  14. The effect of space microgravity on the physiological activity of mammalian resident cardiac stem cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belostotskaya, Galina; Zakharov, Eugeny

    Prolonged exposure to weightlessness during space flights is known to cause depression of heart function in mammals. The decrease in heart weight and its remodeling under the influence of prolonged weightlessness (or space microgravity) is assumed to be due to both morphological changes of working cardiomyocytes and their progressive loss, as well as to possible depletion of resident cardiac stem cells (CSCs) population, or their inability to self-renewal and regeneration of muscle tissue under conditions of weightlessness. We have previously shown that the presence of different maturity clones formed by resident CSCs not only in culture but also in the mammalian myocardium can be used as an indicator of the regenerative activity of myocardial cells [Belostotskaya, et al., 2013: 2014]. In this study, we were interested to investigate whether the 30-day near-Earth space flight on the spacecraft BION-M1 affects the regenerative potential of resident CSCs. Immediately after landing of the spacecraft, we had examined the presence of resident c-kit+, Sca-1+ and Isl1+ CSCs and their development in suspension of freshly isolated myocardial cells of C57BL mice in comparison to controls. Cardiac cell suspension was obtained by enzymatic digestion of the heart [Belostotskaya and Golovanova, 2014]. Immunocytochemically stained preparations of fixed cells were analyzed with confocal microscope Leica TCS SP5 (Germany) in the Resource Center of St-Petersburg State University. CSCs were labeled with appropriate antibodies. CSCs differentiation into mature cardiomyocytes was verified using antibodies to Sarcomeric α-Actinin and Cardiac Troponin T. Antibodies to Connexin43 were used to detect cell-cell contacts. All antibodies were conjugated with Alexa fluorochromes (488, 532, 546, 568, 594 and/or 647 nm), according to Zenon-technology (Invitrogen). It has been shown that, under identical conditions of cell isolation, more complete digestion of heart muscle was observed in

  15. The potential of a heavy particle radiotherapy as the definitive noninvasive treatment for the life threatening ventricular tachy-arrhythmias

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amino, Mari; Yoshioka, Kouichiro; Tanabe, Teruhisa

    2006-01-01

    Ionizing radiation has been shown to increase intercellular communication in skin and lungs through an increase of expression of connexin43 (Cx43). If analogous upregulation of Cx43 is induced in the heart, it would provide a new perspective for radiation therapy of arrhythmias. Non-transmural MI was created by microsphere injection into coronary arteries. Targeted heavy ion radiation (THIR, 15 Gy) was carried out 2w after MI by using an accelerator (HIMAC, Chiba, Japan). The hearts excised 2w later were employed for immunohistochemistry and high-resolution optical mapping. In MI hearts, a reduction of immunoreactive Cx43 and its displacement from the intercalated disc (ID) region were recognized in the peri-infarct zone. Application of THIR to MI resulted in a significant increase of Cx43 expression (by 61±25%). Optical signals in LV free wall of MI (n=6) were characterized by a marked increase of APD dispersion (APDD: 23±9.1 ms in MI vs. 13±3.8 ms in Control, p<0.05). In MI+THIR (n=4), APDD was reduced to 15±5.0 ms (p<0.05 vs. MI). VTs ere induced by premature stimuli in 5/6 MI, whereas 2/4 MI+THIR. VTs in MI showed disorganized rotors which were easily deteriorated in VF. VTs in MI+THIR showed more organized excitation and did not transformed into VF. THIR increases Cx43 expression, and improves the electrical stability of rabbit ventricles after MI. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brook T Chernet

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In addition to the immediate microenvironment, long-range signaling may be an important component of cancer. Molecular-genetic analyses have implicated gap junctions – key mediators of cell-cell communication – in carcinogenesis. We recently showed that the resting voltage potential of distant cell groups is a key determinant of metastatic transformation and tumor induction. Here, we show in the Xenopus laevis model th