Electrical coupling and neuronal synchronization in the Mammalian brain

Neuron. 2004 Feb 19;41(4):495-511. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(04)00043-1.


Certain neurons in the mammalian brain have long been known to be joined by gap junctions, which are the most common type of electrical synapse. More recently, cloning of neuron-specific connexins, increased capability of visualizing cells within brain tissue, labeling of cell types by transgenic methods, and generation of connexin knockouts have spurred a rapid increase in our knowledge of the role of gap junctions in neural activity. This article reviews the many subtleties of transmission mediated by gap junctions and the mechanisms whereby these junctions contribute to synchronous firing.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cell Communication / physiology*
  • Connexins / metabolism
  • Cortical Synchronization*
  • Gap Junctions / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology


  • Connexins