Scientific article
Open access

Connexin channel-dependent signaling pathways in inflammation

Published inJournal of vascular research, vol. 48, no. 2, p. 91-103
Publication date2011

Inflammation is a highly regulated process with common but also specific characteristics in each tissue affected. Recruitment of leukocytes from the blood to the injured tissue is an important early step in the inflammatory cascade. This review highlights the role of connexins (Cxs) in the regulation of both acute and chronic inflammatory processes. Cxs form gap junction channels that provide a cytoplasmic continuity between adjacent cells allowing the intercellular exchange of ions and metabolites. Their structural halves form connexons or hemichannels. Each of them consists of 6 Cx proteins and hemichannels not taking part in gap junction formation but facilitating the release of small molecules such as ATP. Based on the differential distribution of various Cxs in different tissues such as the brain, lung capillaries and large blood vessels, our aim was to analyze the specific roles of Cxs in the inflammatory process in these tissues. Three typical sites of inflammation were chosen to shed light on similarities and differences in several types of responses: (1) atherosclerosis as a model for chronic inflammation, (2) the lung as an example of acute inflammation and (3) the 'immune-privileged' environment of the brain to highlight specific reactions of the vasculature to ischemic damage and inflammation at this site.

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Astrocytes/metabolism
  • Atherosclerosis/metabolism
  • Brain/blood supply/immunology/metabolism
  • Capillaries/physiopathology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Connexins/metabolism
  • Gap Junctions/metabolism
  • Glutamic Acid/metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation/metabolism
  • Leukocytes/physiology
  • Lung/blood supply/immunology/metabolism
  • Mice
  • Signal Transduction
Citation (ISO format)
SCHECKENBACH, K E Ludwig et al. Connexin channel-dependent signaling pathways in inflammation. In: Journal of vascular research, 2011, vol. 48, n° 2, p. 91–103. doi: 10.1159/000316942
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1018-1172

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