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Absence of connexin43 and connexin45 does not disturb pre- and peri-implantation development

  • Kiyomasa Nishii (a1), Yasushi Kobayashi (a2) and Yosaburo Shibata (a3)


Gap junctional intercellular communication is assumed to play an important role during pre- and peri-implantation development. In this study, we eliminated connexin43 (Cx43) and connexin45 (Cx45), major gap junctional proteins in the pre- and peri-implantation embryo. We generated Cx43 −/− Cx45 −/− embryos by Cx43 +/− Cx45 +/− intercrossing, because mice deficient in Cx43 (Cx43 −/−) exhibit perinatal lethality and those deficient in Cx45 (Cx45 −/−) exhibit early embryonic lethality. Wild-type, Cx43 −/−, Cx45 −/−, and Cx43 −/− Cx45 −/− blastocysts all showed similar outgrowths in in vitro culture. Moreover, Cx43 −/− Cx45 −/− embryos were obtained at the expected Mendelian ratio up to embryonic day 9.5, when the Cx45 −/− mutation proved lethal. The Cx43 −/− Cx45 −/− embryos seemed to have no additional developmental abnormalities in comparison with the single knockout strains. Thus, pre- and peri-implantation development does not require Cx43 and Cx45. Other gap junctional proteins are expressed around these stages and these may compensate for the lack of Cx43 and Cx45.


Corresponding author

All correspondence to: Kiyomasa Nishii. Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, National Defense Medical College, 3–2 Namiki, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359–8513, Japan. e-mail:


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