Document Detail

Roles of gap junctions and hemichannels in bone cell functions and in signal transmission of mechanical stress.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17127393     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Gap junctions formed by connexins (Cx) play an important role in transmitting signals between bone cells such as osteoblasts and osteoclasts, cells responsible for bone formation and bone remodeling, respectively. Gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) has been demonstrated to mediate the process of osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. Furthermore, GJIC propagates Ca2+ signaling, conveys anabolic effects of hormones and growth factors, and regulates gene transcription of osteoblast differentiation markers. GJIC is also implicated to regulate osteoclast formation, survival and apoptosis. Compared with other bone cells, the most abundant type are osteocytes, which express large amounts of connexins. Mechanosensing osteocytes connect and form gap junctions with themselves and other cells only through the tips of their dendritic processes, a relatively small percent of the total cell surface area compared to other cells. Recent studies show that in addition to gap junctions, osteoblasts and osteocytes express functional hemichannels, the un-opposed halves of gap junction channels. Hemichannels are localized at the cell surface and function independently of gap junctions. Hemichannels in osteocytes mediate the immediate release of prostaglandins in response to mechanical stress. The major challenges remaining in the field are how the functions of these two types of channels are coordinated in bone cells and what the asserted, distinct effects of these channels are on bone formation and remodeling processes, and on conveying signals elicited by mechanical loading.
Jean Xin Jiang; Arlene Janel Siller-Jackson; Sirisha Burra
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review     Date:  2007-01-01
Journal Detail:
Title:  Frontiers in bioscience : a journal and virtual library     Volume:  12     ISSN:  1093-4715     ISO Abbreviation:  Front. Biosci.     Publication Date:  2007  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-11-27     Completed Date:  2007-08-23     Revised Date:  2013-06-07    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9709506     Medline TA:  Front Biosci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1450-62     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Health Science Center, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Calcium Signaling
Cell Differentiation
Connexins / physiology*
Gap Junctions / metabolism*
Mechanotransduction, Cellular*
Osteoblasts / cytology,  metabolism*
Osteoclasts / cytology,  metabolism
Osteocytes / metabolism*
Stress, Mechanical
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:

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