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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2010 Jan 15;314(1):75-83. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2009.08.016. Epub 2009 Aug 28.

Administration of connexin43 siRNA abolishes secretory pulse synchronization in GnRH clonal cell populations.

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Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Medical University of South Carolina, 173 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.


GnRH is released from hypothalamic neurons in coordinated pulses, but the cellular basis for this process is poorly understood. Previously, we found that secretory pulses from GT1-7 cells became synchronized with time in culture. Using this culture model, we investigated whether the gap junction proteins connexin43 (Cx43) and/or connexin26 (Cx26) are involved in this synchronization. Our results reveal that cytoplasmic densities immunoreactive for Cx43, and mRNA or protein for Cx43 increase with time in culture. Also, microinjection of day-3 cultures with siRNA for Cx43 abolished synchronized activity at day 7. Interestingly, cytoplasmic plaques, mRNA, or protein for Cx26 remained stable with culture time and Cx26 siRNA administration did not alter secretory activity. Our findings demonstrate that Cx43, but not Cx26 is necessary for synchronized secretory activity in these GT1-7 cultures and raise the possibility that Cx43-related gap junctions may be important in GnRH neuronal coordination in the hypothalamus.

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