Role of connexin-based gap junction channels in testis

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Sep;16(7):300-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2005.07.001.


Spermatogenesis is a highly controlled process that allows proliferation and differentiation of male germ cells. This is under classical endocrine and paracrine controls. There is also evidence that gap junctions between Leydig cells, between Sertoli cells and between Sertoli and germ cells participate in the local regulation of spermatogenesis. Recent studies reveal that connexin 43 (Cx43), the predominant gap junction protein in the testis, is essential for the initiation and maintenance of spermatogenesis. In this review, we focus on the identification, distribution and control of connexins in the mammalian testis. The implication of connexin-based gap junctions in testicular physiology and in pathological disorders of spermatogenesis (spermatogenic arrest and testis cancer) is also discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Connexins / classification
  • Connexins / physiology*
  • Gap Junctions / chemistry
  • Gap Junctions / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Spermatogenesis / physiology
  • Testis / chemistry
  • Testis / physiology*


  • Connexins