Gap junctions in developing neocortex: a review

Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 2004 Dec;47(1-3):216-26. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2004.06.009.


Several independent lines of evidence indicate that gap junctional coupling is widespread and functionally important in early cortical development. The extensive expression of many connexins, the clusters of coupled neuroblasts or neurons revealed by tracer injections or the functional coactivation of neurons shown by calcium imaging can be seen as pieces of the same puzzle. At the same time, there is a lack of electrophysiological experiments at early developmental stages that directly demonstrate coupling between pairs of cells. The function of this gap junctional coupling is still mysterious, though it may be involved in controlling neurogenesis, differentiation or the formation of columnar microcircuits.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Connexins / metabolism
  • Gap Junctions / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neocortex / cytology
  • Neocortex / growth & development*
  • Neocortex / metabolism*
  • Neural Pathways / cytology
  • Neural Pathways / growth & development
  • Neural Pathways / metabolism
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism


  • Connexins