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Glial Connexins and Pannexins in the Healthy and Diseased Brain.

Authors
  • Giaume, Christian1
  • Naus, Christian C1
  • Sáez, Juan C1
  • Leybaert, Luc1
  • 1 Collège de France, Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology (CIRB)/Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité Mixte de Recherche 7241/Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U1050, Paris, France; University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France; MEMOLIFE Laboratory of Excellence and Paris Science Lettre Research University, Paris, France; Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences, Life Sciences Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Departamento de Fisiología, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile; Instituo de Neurociencias, Centro Interdisciplinario de Neurociencias, Universidad de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile; Physiology Group, Department of Basic and Applied Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. , (Belgium)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Physiological Reviews
Publisher
American Physiological Society
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
Volume
101
Issue
1
Pages
93–145
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1152/physrev.00043.2018
PMID: 32326824
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Over the past several decades a large amount of data have established that glial cells, the main cell population in the brain, dynamically interact with neurons and thus impact their activity and survival. One typical feature of glia is their marked expression of several connexins, the membrane proteins forming intercellular gap junction channels and hemichannels. Pannexins, which have a tetraspan membrane topology as connexins, are also detected in glial cells. Here, we review the evidence that connexin and pannexin channels are actively involved in dynamic and metabolic neuroglial interactions in physiological as well as in pathological situations. These features of neuroglial interactions open the way to identify novel non-neuronal aspects that allow for a better understanding of behavior and information processing performed by neurons. This will also complement the "neurocentric" view by facilitating the development of glia-targeted therapeutic strategies in brain disease.

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