Expression of the gap junction protein connexin43 in the subependymal layer and the rostral migratory stream of the mouse: evidence for an inverse correlation between intensity of connexin43 expression and cell proliferation activity

Cell Tissue Res. 1997 Feb;287(2):243-53. doi: 10.1007/s004410050749.


Connexins constitute the channel-forming proteins of gap junctions. Gap junctions are considered to be involved in the regulation of cell proliferation. To verify this hypothesis for connexin43, the most abundant connexin in brain tissue, we have analyzed the expression of this gap junction protein in the subependymal layer and the rostral migratory stream of the murine telencephalon. These regions reveal high proliferative activity, even during postnatal stages and in adulthood. Proliferating cells were labeled in vivo by means of the bromodeoxyuridine method and were later processed for double immunocytochemistry by using an antibody to connexin43. The relationship between connexin43 expression and cell proliferation was also determined in primary cell cultures of olfactory bulbs from newborn mice. The intercellular coupling efficiency of cultured bulbar cells was also analyzed by dye-transfer experiments in combination with the bromodeoxyuridine technique. In the rostral migratory stream, connexin43 was upregulated during postnatal development, coinciding with a decrease of BrdU incorporation. Comparative quantification of the intensity of connexin43 immunoreactivity by confocal laser microscopy and of BrdU-labeled cells showed a clear reverse correlation between connexin43 expression and cell proliferation in the rostral migratory stream during postnatal development. A marked reverse correlation of both parameters was also observed in primary cell cultures from olfactory bulbs at day 6 after seeding.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Division / genetics
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Connexin 43 / biosynthesis*
  • Connexin 43 / genetics
  • DNA Replication
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Mice
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology
  • Olfactory Bulb / metabolism
  • Telencephalon / cytology
  • Telencephalon / growth & development
  • Telencephalon / metabolism*


  • Connexin 43
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins