Connexin Expression (Gap Junctions and Hemichannels) in Astrocytes

  • Eliana Scemes
  • David C. Spray

5.1 Gap Junction Structure

5.1.1 Structure of the Plaque: Thin Section and Freeze-Fracture Electron Microscopy

Until relatively recently, it was believed that many tissues were truly syncytial, without discrete cellular borders, a view supported by electophysiological measurements of long-distance passive spread of currents. However, this view was radically changed by electron microscope studies (Robertson, 1953; Sjostrand et al., 1958), demonstrating specialized junctional complexes at cell appositions in crayfish axon and mammalian heart. Dewey and Barr (1962) described the region of close contact, which they still believed to be an actual membrane fusion, as the “Nexus.” Revel and Karnovsky (1967), using lanthanum as an electron opaque marker of extracellular space, showed that the membranes in these domains were actually separated by a gap of about 2 nm; moreover cross-sections of such regions indicated the presence of bridging structures that appeared to be hexagonal arrays of...


Cx43 Expression Junctional Conductance Carboxyl Terminus Domain Mueller Cell Astrocytic Syncytium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid


Adenosine 5′-triphosphate


Cyclic adenosine monophosphate


Blood–brain barrier


Intracellular loop


Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease


Carboxyl terminus




Endoplasmic reticulum


Flufenamic acid


Hereditary nonsyndromic deafness




Intercellular Ca2+ wave




Inositol trisphosphate


Inward rectifying K+ channel


Long-term increase in coupling


Nuclear magnetic resonance


Amino terminus


Membrane segments


Toll-like receptor


Tumor necrosis factor-α




Zonula occludens


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eliana Scemes
  • David C. Spray

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