Dynamics of electrical transmission at club endings on the Mauthner cells. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Identifiable mixed electrical and chemical synapses on Mauthner cells, the club endings, have historically provided a window for the study of electrical transmission in vertebrates because of their accessibility for both physiological and ultrastructural characterization. Recent data show that electrical transmission at these terminals is mediated by connexin35 (Cx35), the fish ortholog of the mammalian neuronal gap junction protein, connexin36 (Cx36). While electrical synapses are still perceived by many as passive intercellular channels that lack modifiability, a wealth of experimental evidence shows that electrical synapses at club endings are very plastic and subject to dynamic regulatory control by several mechanisms. The widespread distribution of connexin35 and connexin36 and the ubiquity of some of the proposed regulatory elements suggest that other electrical synapses may be similarly regulated.

publication date

  • December 2004