JOURNAL ARTICLE

Expression of connexins in normal and neoplastic canine bone tissue

D S Sanches, C G Pires, H Fukumasu, B Cogliati, P Matsuzaki, L M Chaible, L N Torres, C R A Ferrigno, M L Z Dagli
Veterinary Pathology 2009, 46 (5): 846-59
19429987
Previous studies showed that intercellular communication by gap junctions has a role in bone formation. The main connexin involved in the development, differentiation, and regulation of bone tissue is connexin (Cx) 43. In addition, Cx46 is also expressed, mostly localized within the trans-Golgi region. Alterations in the expression pattern and aberrant location of these connexins are associated with oncogenesis, demonstrating a deficient gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) capacity in neoplastic tissues. In this study, we evaluated normal and neoplastic bone tissues regarding the expression of Cx43 and Cx46 by immunofluorescence, gene expression of these connexins by real-time PCR, and their correlation with cell proliferation index and deposition of collagen. Fourteen neoplastic bone lesions, including 13 osteosarcomas and 1 multilobular tumor of bone, were studied. The mRNA levels of Cx43 were similar between normal and neoplastic bone tissue. In normal bone tissue, the Cx43 protein was found mainly in the intercellular membranes. However, in all bone tumors studied here, the Cx43 was present in both cell membranes and also aberrantly in the cytoplasm. Regarding only tumor samples, we determined a possible inverse correlation between Cx43 expression and cellular proliferation, although a positive correlation between Cx43 expression and collagen deposition was also noted. In contrast, Cx46 had lower levels of expression in neoplastic bone tissues when compared with normal bone and was found retained in the perinuclear region. Even though there are differences between these two connexins regarding expression in neoplastic versus normal tissues, we concluded that there are differences regarding the subcellular location of these connexins in normal and neoplastic dog bone tissues and suggest a possible correlation between these findings and some aspects of cellular proliferation and possibly differentiation.

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