Connexin45 colocalization patterns in the plexiform layers of the developing mouse retina

Gerrit Hilgen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Chemical and electrical synapses (gap junctions) are widely prevalent in the nervous system. Gap junctions emerge long before chemical synapses, allowing communication between developing cells, and are thought to be involved in establishing neural circuits. Mounting evidence indicates that these two modalities of synaptic transmission closely interact during retinal development and that such interactions play a critical role in synaptogenesis and circuit formation during the perinatal period. In vertebrates, gap junctions consist of two connexins which in turn are made up of six connexins (Cx). To what extent Cx45 and Cx36, the most abundant connexins in the retina, are involved in synaptogenesis and retinal circuit formation is not known. The here presented immunohistochemical study used stainings of Cx45, Cx36 and Synaptophysin in the outer and inner (IPL) plexiform layers of postnatal day 8–16 mice retinas to shed light on the role of connexins during critical neuronal developmental processes. Cx45 and Cx36 expressions in both plexiform layers of the mouse retina increased till eye opening and dropped afterwards. The percentage of heterotypic Cx45/Cx36 gap junctions is also higher before the critical event of eye opening. Finally, Cx45 is closely located and/or colocalized with Synaptophysin also shortly before eye opening in the IPL of the mouse retina. All findings point towards a pivotal role for Cx45 during postnatal synaptogenesis in the mouse retina. However, a more functional study is needed to determine the role of Cx45 during synaptogenesis and circuit formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-264
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Issue number2
Early online date21 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023


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