Gap junctions and motor behavior

Trends Neurosci. 2002 Feb;25(2):108-15. doi: 10.1016/s0166-2236(02)02038-6.


The production of any motor behavior requires coordinated activity in motor neurons and premotor networks. In vertebrates, this coordination is often assumed to take place through chemical synapses. Here we review recent data suggesting that electrical gap-junction coupling plays an important role in coordinating and generating motor outputs in embryonic and early postnatal life. Considering the recent demonstration of a prevalent expression of gap-junction proteins and gap-junction structures in the adult mammalian spinal cord, we suggest that neuronal gap-junction coupling might also contribute to the production of motor behavior in adult mammals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gap Junctions / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interneurons / physiology
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Spinal Cord / physiology
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology