Connexin 30.3 is expressed in the kidney but not regulated by dietary salt or high blood pressure

Fiona Hanner, Marc Schnichels, Qingyi Zheng-Fischhöfer, Li E Yang, Ildikó Toma, Klaus Willecke, Alicia A McDonough, János Peti-Peterdi
Cell Communication & Adhesion 2008, 15 (1): 219-30
Several isoforms of connexin (Cx) proteins have been identified in a variety of tissues where they play a role in intercellular communication, either as the components of gap junctions or as large, nonselective pores known as hemichannels. This investigation seeks to identify the localization and regulation of Cx30.3 in mouse, rat, and rabbit kidney using a Cx30.3(+/lacZ) transgenic approach and immunofluorescence. Cx30.3 was detected in all three species and predominantly in the renal medulla. Both the nuclear lacZ staining indicative of Cx30.3 expression and indirect immunohistochemistry provided the same results. Cx30.3 immunolabeling was mainly punctate in the mouse, typical for gap junctions. In contrast, it showed continuous apical plasma membrane localization in certain tubule segments in the rat and rabbit kidney, suggesting that it may also function as hemichannels. In the cortex, Cx30.3 was localized in the intercalated cells of the cortical collecting duct, because the immunoreactive cells did not label for AQP2, a marker for principal cells. In the medulla, dense Cx30.3 staining was confined to the ascending thin limbs of the loop of Henle, because the immunoreactive cells did not label for AQP1, a marker of the descending thin limbs. Immunoblotting studies indicated that Cx30.3 expression was unchanged in response to either high or low salt intake or in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Cx30.3 appears to be constitutively expressed in certain renal tubular segments and cells and its role in overall kidney function remains to be investigated.

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