Connexin 30 (Cx30), which forms gap junctions between astrocytes, regulates cell adhesion and migration, and modulates glutamate transport. Cx30 is upregulated on activated astroglia in central nervous system inflammatory lesions, including spinal cord lesions in mutant superoxide dismutase 1 (mSOD1) transgenic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) model mice. Here, we investigated the role of Cx30 in mSOD1 mice. Cx30 was highly expressed in the pre-onset stage in mSOD1 mice. mSOD1 mice with knockout (KO) of the Cx30 gene (Cx30KO-mSOD1 mice) showed delayed disease onset and tended to have an extended survival period (log-rank, p = 0.09). At the progressive and end stages of the disease, anterior horn cells were significantly preserved in Cx30KO-mSOD1 mice. In lesions of these mice, glial fibrillary acidic protein/C3-positive inflammatory astroglia were decreased. Additionally, the activation of astrocytes in Cx30KO-mSOD1 mice was reduced compared with mSOD1 mice by gene expression microarray. Furthermore, expression of connexin 43 at the pre-onset stage was downregulated in Cx30KO-mSOD1 mice. These findings suggest that reduced expression of astroglial Cx30 at the early disease stage in ALS model mice protects neurons by attenuating astroglial inflammation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry