Connexin57 is expressed in dendro-dendritic and axo-axonal gap junctions of mouse horizontal cells and its distribution is modulated by light

Ulrike Janssen-Bienhold*, Jennifer Trümpler, Gerrit Hilgen, Konrad Schultz, Luis Pérez De Sevilla Muller, Stephan Sonntag, Karin Dedek, Petra Dirks, Klaus Willecke, Reto Weiler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mouse horizontal cells are coupled by gap junctions composed of connexin57. These gap junctions are regulated by ambient light via multiple neuromodulators including dopamine. In order to analyze the distribution and structure of horizontal cell gap junctions in the mouse retina, and examine the effects of light adaptation on gap junction density, we developed antibodies that detect mouse retinal connexin57. Using immunohistochemistry in retinal slice flat-mounted retinas, and dissociated retinal cells, we showed that connexin57 is expressed in the dendrites; and axon terminal processes of mouse horizontal cells. No staining was found in retinas of connexin57-deficient mice. Significantly more connexin57-positive puncta were found in the distal than in the proximal outer plexiform layer, indicating a higher level of expression in axon terminal processes than in the dendrites. We also examined the gap junctions using immunoelectron microscopy and showed that connelin57 does not form hemichannels in the horizontal cell dendritic tips. Light adaptation resulted in a significant increase in the number of connexin57-immunoreactive plaques in the outer plexiform layer, consistent with previously reported effects of light adaptation on connexin57 expression in the mouse retina. This study shows for the first time the detailed location of connexin57 expression within mouse horizontal cells, and provides the first ultrastructural data on mouse horizontal cell gap junctions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-374
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Volume513
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jan 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes

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