Gene expression alterations in connexin null mice extend beyond the gap junction

Dumitru A. Iacobas, Eliana Scemes, David C. Spray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Connexin43 (Cx43) is the principal gap junction protein between astrocytes in the neonatal brain and also interconnects neural precursor cells during CNS development. In an attempt to understand global effects of expression of the Cx43 gap junction gene on development and function of the nervous system, we have compared gene expression patterns in cultured astrocytes and brains from wildtype mice with those in which Cx43 is deleted as well as in spinal cords of experimental autoimmune encepahlomyelitis (EAE) mice. One surprising result obtained from high densitity mouse cDNA studies was the large number of genes that were statistically altered in mice with decreased expression of Cx43. These altered genes encode proteins with a wide range of functions within cells, and thus deletion of normal gap junction expression appears to result in globally altered glial functions in addition to disruption of intercellular communication. Here we discuss those results in the context of the strategies and data analysis paradigms that we are using in such studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-250
Number of pages8
JournalNeurochemistry International
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2004


  • DNA array
  • Gap junction
  • Glia
  • Intercellular communication
  • Knockout

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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