Journal Article

Altered gap junctional intercellular communication in neoplastic rat esophageal epithelial cells.

S A Garber, M J Fernstrom, G D Stoner and R J Ruch

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 18, issue 6, pages 1149-1153
Published in print June 1997 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online June 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Altered gap junctional intercellular communication in neoplastic rat esophageal epithelial cells.

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  • Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics


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Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is reduced in many neoplastic cells, but few data exist for esophageal neoplasms. GJIC was examined by fluorescent dye microinjection in two nontumorigenic and two highly tumorigenic rat esophageal epithelial cell lines. All lines expressed high levels of dye coupling in homologous cell culture. In cocultures of nontumorigenic and tumorigenic cells, however, only one of six cell combinations displayed significant heterologous GJIC. Northern, Western, and immunohistochemical analyses indicated that all four cell lines expressed comparable levels of connexin43 (Cx43), but not connexin32 or connexin26, and formed Cx43-containing gap junction plaques at cell-cell interfaces. Immunostaining of rat esophageal frozen sections demonstrated that esophageal epithelial cells expressed Cx43 in vivo. In normal epithelium, the highest expression was seen in the basal cells and little suprabasal staining was evident. In preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions of the esophageal epithelium which were induced by treating rats with N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine, Cx43 staining of the basal layer was also seen but appeared to be more diffuse compared to normal epithelium. In addition, suprabasal Cx43 staining was apparent in dysplastic and papillomatous lesions. These results indicate that Cx43 is expressed in normal and neoplastic rat esophageal cells and that the cells exhibit extensive homologous GJIC, but little heterologous GJIC. This lack of heterologous GJIC may be due to differences in cell adhesion proteins or other factors.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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