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Roles of connexins and pannexins in (neuro)endocrine physiology

Abstract : To ensure appropriate secretion in response to organismal demand, (neuro)endocrine tissues liberate massive quantities of hormone, which act to coordinate and synchronize biological signals in distant secretory and non-secretory cell populations. Intercellular communication plays a central role in this control. With regard to molecular identity, junctional cell-cell communication is supported by connexin (Cx)-based gap junctions. In addition, connexin hemichannels, the structural precursors of gap junctions, as well as pannexin (Panx) channels have recently emerged as possible modulators of the secretory process. This review focuses on the expression of connexins and pannexins in various (neuro)endocrine tissues, including the adrenal cortex and medulla, the anterior pituitary, the endocrine hypothalamus and the pineal, thyroid and parathyroid glands. In response to a physiological or pathological situation, junctional intercellular coupling can be acutely modulated or persistently remodelled, thus offering multiple regulatory possibilities. The functional role(s) of gap junction-mediated intercellular communication in endocrine physiology, as well as the involvement of connexin/pannexin-related hemichannels are also discussed.
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Submitted on : Monday, July 20, 2015 - 4:21:26 PM
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David J Hodson, Christian Legros, Michel G Desarménien, Nathalie C. Guérineau. Roles of connexins and pannexins in (neuro)endocrine physiology. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, Springer Verlag, 2015, 72 (15), pp.2911-2928. ⟨10.1007/s00018-015-1967-2⟩. ⟨inserm-01178672⟩



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