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J Neurocytol. 1997 Jan;26(1):17-22.

Coexpression of connexin45 and -32 in oligodendrocytes of rat brain.

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Abt. Molekulargenetik, Universit├Ąt Bonn, Germany.


Connexin proteins are the subunits of gap junction channels, and are encoded by a gene family. Although several connexin mRNAs were detected in brain, only a few connexin-proteins have been localized to specific cell types in this tissue. Here we describe expression of connexin45 protein in oligodendrocytes in rat hippocampus. Double immunofluorescent staining using specific antibodies to connexin45 and connexin32 paired with cell-type specific marker proteins revealed that connexin45 and connexin32 were co-expressed and colocalized in oligodendrocytes. Each of the connexin antibodies gave rise to the same pattern of punctate fluorescence in the plasma membrane of cell bodies and proximal processes of oligodendrocytes. Connexins in the plasma membrane of oligodendrocytes may form gap junctions between oligodendrocytes, or between oligodendrocytes and astrocytes. Expression of connexin45 in oligodendrocytes may prevent dysmyelinating effects of connexin32 mutations in the central nervous system of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (X-type) patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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