Connexin31-deficiency in mice causes transient placental dysmorphogenesis but does not impair hearing and skin differentiation

A Plum, E Winterhager, J Pesch, J Lautermann, G Hallas, B Rosentreter, O Traub, C Herberhold, K Willecke
Developmental Biology 2001 March 15, 231 (2): 334-47
Mutations in the human GJB3 gene that codes for Connexin31 (Cx31), a protein subunit of gap junction channels, have recently been reported to cause deafness and the skin disorder erythrokeratodermia variabilis. To study the function of this gene in mice, we generated animals with targeted replacement of the Cx31 gene (Gjb3) by a lacZ reporter gene. Although homozygous Cx31-deficient adult mice (Gjb3(-/-)) were found among the offspring of heterozygous Cx31-deficient parents (Gjb3(+/-)), 60% of the animals expected according to Mendelian inheritance were lost between ED 10.5 and 13.5. Placentas of Gjb3(-/-) embryos at ED 9.5 were smaller than controls as a result of severely reduced labyrinth and spongiotrophoblast size. From ED 10.5 onward, placentas of surviving Gjb3(-/-) embryos recovered progressively and reached normal size and morphology by ED 18.5. This corresponds to a time period in which another connexin isoform, Connexin43, is upregulated in spongiotrophoblast cells of Cx31-deficient and control placentas. No morphological or functional defects of skin or inner ear were observed in surviving adult Gjb3(-/-) mice. We conclude that Cx31 is essential for early placentation but can be compensated for by other connexins in the embryo proper and adult mouse.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"