Dynamics of electrical transmission at club endings on the Mauthner cells

Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 2004 Dec;47(1-3):227-44. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2004.06.010.


Identifiable mixed electrical and chemical synapses on Mauthner cells, the club endings, have historically provided a window for the study of electrical transmission in vertebrates because of their accessibility for both physiological and ultrastructural characterization. Recent data show that electrical transmission at these terminals is mediated by connexin35 (Cx35), the fish ortholog of the mammalian neuronal gap junction protein, connexin36 (Cx36). While electrical synapses are still perceived by many as passive intercellular channels that lack modifiability, a wealth of experimental evidence shows that electrical synapses at club endings are very plastic and subject to dynamic regulatory control by several mechanisms. The widespread distribution of connexin35 and connexin36 and the ubiquity of some of the proposed regulatory elements suggest that other electrical synapses may be similarly regulated.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Connexins / metabolism
  • Eye Proteins / metabolism
  • Fishes / anatomy & histology
  • Fishes / physiology*
  • Gap Junctions / physiology*
  • Gap Junctions / ultrastructure
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Presynaptic Terminals / physiology*
  • Presynaptic Terminals / ultrastructure
  • Reticular Formation / cytology
  • Reticular Formation / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology


  • Connexins
  • Eye Proteins
  • connexin 35 protein, vertebrate