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Author Notes:

E-mail Address: rbaliceg@mail.med.upenn.edu.

We thank Drs. M. Koval, B. Nicholson, D. Paul, and S. Scherer for connexin-specific antibodies, and Drs. M. Gonzalez, D. Kopp, K. Personius, and M. Rich for helpful discussions and comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.

Subjects:

Research Funding:

This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant NS34373, Spinal Cord Research Foundation of Paralyzed Veterans of America Grant 1472, and a McKnight Neuroscience Scholar award to R.B.-G.

Keywords:

  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Neurosciences
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • gap junction
  • motor neuron
  • skeletal muscle
  • nerve
  • connexin
  • axotomy
  • injury
  • DENERVATED RAT MUSCLE
  • SPINAL-CORD
  • CONNEXIN EXPRESSION
  • ELECTRICAL-PROPERTIES
  • PERIPHERAL AXOTOMY
  • MOLECULAR-CLONING
  • FACIAL NUCLEUS
  • SCIATIC-NERVE
  • UNIT TYPE
  • CAT

Nerve injury induces gap junctional coupling among axotomized adult motor neurons

Tools:

Journal Title:

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing

Volume:

Volume 20, Number 2

Publisher:

, Pages 674-684

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF

Abstract:

Neonatal spinal motor neurons are electrically and dye-coupled by gap junctions, but coupling is transient and disappears rapidly after birth. Here we report that adult motor neurons become recoupled by gap junctions after peripheral nerve injury. One and 4-6 weeks after nerve cut, clusters of dye- coupled motor neurons were observed among axotomized, but not control, lumbar spinal motor neurons in adult cats. Electrical coupling was not apparent, probably because of the electrotonic distance between dendrodendritic gap junctions and the somatic recording location. Analyses of gap junction protein expression in cat and rat showed that the repertoire of connexins expressed by normal adult motor neurons, Cx36, Cx37, Cx40, Cx43, and Cx45, was unchanged after axotomy. Our results suggest that the reestablishment of gap junctional coupling among axotomized adult motor neurons may occur by modulation of existing gap junction proteins that are constitutively expressed by motor neurons. After injury, interneuronal gap junctional coupling may mediate signaling that maintains the viability of axotomized motor neurons until synaptic connections are reestablished within their targets.

Copyright information:

© 2000 Society for Neuroscience

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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