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J Histochem Cytochem. 1999 May;47(5):683-92.

Connexin make-up of endothelial gap junctions in the rat pulmonary artery as revealed by immunoconfocal microscopy and triple-label immunogold electron microscopy.

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  • 1National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College School of Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Integration of vascular endothelial function relies on multiple signaling mechanisms, including direct cell-cell communication through gap junctions. Gap junction proteins expressed in the endothelium include connexin37, connexin40, and connexin43. To investigate whether individual endothelial cells in vivo express all three connexin types and, if so, whether multiple connexins are assembled into the same gap junction plaque, we used affinity-purified connexin-specific antibodies raised in three different species to permit multiple-label immunoconfocal and immunoelectron microscopy in the rat main pulmonary artery. Immunoconfocal microscopy showed a high incidence of co-localization between connexin43 and connexin40, but lower incidences of co-localization between connexin37 and connexin40 or connexin43. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed that 83% of gap junction profiles contained all three connexins, with the proportion of connexin40 labeling being significantly higher than that of connexin37 or connexin43. The presence of three different connexin types of distinct properties in vitro provides potential for complex regulation and functional differentiation of endothelial intercellular communication properties in vivo.

PMID:
10219060
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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