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Cereb Cortex. 1999 Mar;9(2):188-95.

Differential regulation of connexin 26 and 43 in murine neocortical precursors.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs 06268-4156, USA.


Proliferating cells of the developing murine neocortex couple together into clusters during neurogenesis. Previously, we have shown that these clusters contain neural precursors in all phases of the cell cycle except M phase, and that they extend a nestin-expressing process from the cluster to the pial surface. In addition, coupling within neocortical cell clusters is a dynamic process related to the cell cycle, with maximal coupling in S/G2 phase, uncoupling in M phase and then recoupling during G1 and S phases of the cell cycle. In the present study, we use immunohistochemistry to demonstrate that cycling neocortical cells as well as radial glial cells express the gap junction proteins connexin 26 and connexin 43. Furthermore, we demonstrate that biocytin labeled clusters extend processes to the pial surface that express the glial cell antigen RC2. Lastly, by combining bromodeoxyuridine and connexin immunohistochemistry on acutely dissociated neocortical cells, we show that the percentage of cycling cells immunoreactive to connexin 26 and connexin 43 changes through the cell cycle. These results indicate that radial glial cells as well as neural precursors couple into clusters, and suggest that through differential regulation of connexins, neocortical precursors may compartmentalize as they progress through the cell cycle.

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