Changing patterns of gap junctional intercellular communication and connexin distribution in mouse epidermis and hair follicles during embryonic development.
ABSTRACT In the mouse embryo between embryonic days 12 (E12) and 16, regular arrays of epidermal placodes on the mystacial pad develop into whisker follicles. This system was chosen for analysis of gap junctional intercellular communication during differentiation. The patterns of communication were studied by microinjection of the tracers Lucifer yellow-CH (LY-CH) and neurobiotin (NB), while immunofluorescent staining was used to study distribution of connexins 26 and 43. Extensive communication was seen between keratinocytes in developing hair pegs or, in later-stage hair follicles, in the germinative matrix. Coupling between adjacent hair pegs via interfollicular epidermis was not observed. Coupling also became restricted as follicular cells differentiated to form outer root sheath, inner root sheath, and hair shaft. Extensive gap junctional coupling is characteristic of keratinocytes that are rapidly proliferating (as in hair pegs and germinative matrix). Follicular keratinocytes commence differentiation shortly before restriction of gap junctional coupling becomes evident. Dermal mesenchymal cells undergoing different modes of differentiation also exhibit differences in gap junctional coupling, as evidenced by poor transfer of LY-CH between cells in dermal condensations of hair follicles compared with extensive transfer elsewhere in the dermis. LY-CH and NB were not transferred between epidermal or follicular epithelium and mesenchyme, arguing against a direct role for gap junctions permeable to known second messenger molecules or nucleotides in epithelial-mesenchymal interactions in this system. The distribution of connexins 26 and 43 in epidermis and hair follicles changed during differentiation but there was no correlation with changing patterns of dye transfer, indicating an unexpected degree of complexity in the relationship between gap junctional intercellular communication and connexin protein distribution during development.
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ABSTRACT: The GJB2 gene is located on chromosome 13q12 and it encodes the connexin 26, a transmembrane protein involved in cell-cell attachment of almost all tissues. GJB2 mutations cause autosomal recessive (DFNB1) and sometimes dominant (DFNA3) non-syndromic sensorineural hearing loss. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that connexins are involved in regulation of growth and differentiation of epidermal tissues. Hence, mutations in GJB2 gene, which is responsible for non-syndromic deafness, may be associated with an abnormal skin and hair phenotype. We analyzed hair samples from 96 subjects: a study group of 42 patients with hearing impairments of genetic origin (38 with a non-syndromic form, 4 with a syndromic form), and a control group including 54 people, i.e. 43 patients with other, non-genetic hearing impairments and 11 healthy volunteers aged up to 10 years old. The surface structure of 49 hair samples was normal, whereas in 45 cases it was altered, with a damaged appearance. Two hair samples were considered unclassifiable: one from the patient heterozygotic for the pendrin mutation (Fig. 2C), the other from a patient from Ghana with a R134W mutation (Fig. 2D). Among the 43 altered hair samples, 31 belonged to patients with connexin mutations and the other 12 came from patients without connexin mutations.International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology 06/2013; · 0.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The recovery of an intact epithelium following injury is critical for restoration of lung homeostasis, a process that may be altered in cystic fibrosis (CF). In response to injury, progenitor cells in the undamaged areas migrate, proliferate and re-differentiate to regenerate an intact airway epithelium. The mechanisms regulating this regenerative response are, however, not well understood. In a model of circular wound injury of well-differentiated human airway epithelial cell (HAEC) cultures, we identified the gap junction protein Cx26 as an important regulator of cell proliferation. We report that induction of Cx26 in repairing HAECs is associated with cell proliferation. We also show that Cx26 is expressed in a population of CK14-positive basal-like cells. Cx26 silencing in immortalized cell lines using siRNA and in primary HAECs using lentiviral-transduced shRNA enhanced Ki67-labeling index and Ki67 mRNA, indicating that Cx26 acts a negative regulator of HAEC proliferation. Cx26 silencing also markedly decreased the transcription of KLF4 in immortalized HAECs. We further show that CF HAECs exhibited deregulated expression of KLF4, Ki67 and Cx26 as well enhanced rate of wound closure in the early response to injury. These results point to an altered repair process of CF HAECs characterized by rapid but desynchronized initiation of HAEC activation and proliferation.The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology 01/2014; · 4.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Based on immunohistochemistry, the study demonstrates the varying distribution and reaction intensity of connexins (Cx26 [chicken 31sim], 30 [chicken 31], 31, 32, 43, 45) in the developing feather follicle of the chicken (White Leghorn). The different embryonal stages were identified according to the normal table of Hamburger and Hamilton (1951). The development of the feather follicle complex is closely related to skin layer development, making use of the controlling function of connexins. This was evident during feather follicle differentiation, based on communication between ectomesodermal (fibroblasts) and ectodermal cells (developing epidermis), but also by the subsequent separation of the two cell line types related to their connexin-dependent differentiation degree. With the increase in mesenchymal cell numbers during feather placode development, the multiple connexins Cx26 [chicken 31sim] and 43, supported by Cx30 [chicken 31], 31 and 32, were increasingly activating the fibroblast concentrations as related to epidermal follicle buds, the specific follicle structure, the endothelial cells of capillaries and larger blood vessels, as well as the collagen fiber production and the growing feather musculature shortly before hatching; Cx45 could not be demonstrated. In conclusion, it seems that connexin expression is not only coupled to the origin of embryonic cells, but also connected with tissue formation before the follicle system can be formed.Acta histochemica 12/2013; · 1.61 Impact Factor