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Immunocytochemical and RT-PCR analysis of connexin36 in cultures of mammalian glial cells.

R. Parenti, A. Campisi, A. Vanella, F. Cicirata


The expression of connexin36 (Cx36) was studied in primary cultures of rat brain glial cells: mature astrocytes, ameboid and ramified microglia and immature oligodendrocytes (at middle period of myelinogenesis). The data from these cells were compared with those obtained from cultures of neocortical and hypothalamic neurons. mRNA encoding Cx36 was investigated by RT-PCR, the Cx36 protein by immunocytochemistry using a polyclonal antibody against Cx36 in cells characterized by antibodies specific for the single cell types. The Cx36 was found in oligodendrocytes, both ameboid and ramified microglial cells and in neurons. Astrocytes showed no detectable expression of the Cx36. The expression of Cx36 in oligodendrocytes and microglial cells suggests an involvement of the direct cell-cell communication channels formed by Cx36 in myelin formation and in brain development, damage and repair processes.

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