Brain Structure and Function

, Volume 223, Issue 2, pp 1017–1024 | Cite as

Connexin 30 is expressed in a subtype of mouse brain pericytes

  • Noémie Mazaré
  • Alice Gilbert
  • Anne-Cécile Boulay
  • Nathalie Rouach
  • Martine Cohen-SalmonEmail author
Short Communication


Pericytes are mural cells of blood microvessels which play a crucial role at the neurovascular interface of the central nervous system. They are involved in the regulation of blood–brain barrier integrity, angiogenesis, clearance of toxic metabolites, capillary hemodynamic responses, and neuroinflammation, and they demonstrate stem cell activity. Morphological and molecular studies to characterize brain pericytes recently pointed out some heterogeneity in pericyte population. Nevertheless, a clear definition of pericyte subtypes is still lacking. Here, we demonstrate that a fraction of brain pericytes express Connexin 30 (Cx30), a gap junction protein, which, in the brain parenchyma, was thought to be exclusively found in astrocytes. Cx30 could thus be a candidate protein in the composition of the gap junction channels already described between endothelial cells and pericytes. It could also form hemichannels or acts in a channel-independent manner to regulate pericyte morphology, as already observed in astrocytes. Altogether, our results suggest that Cx30 defines a novel brain pericyte subtype.


Pericyte Brain vessel Neurovascular unit Connexin 30 Gap junction 



We are grateful to Annette Koulakoff for providing us with Cx30−/− mice. We thank Glenn Dallerac, Julien Moulard, Pascal Ezan, and Philippe Mailly for technical help.

Author contributions

NM, AG, ACB, and NR performed experiments; MCS designed the study and wrote the article.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Collège de France, Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology (CIRB)/Centre National de La Recherche Scientifique CNRS, Unité Mixte de Recherche 7241/Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale INSERM, U1050/Neuroglial Interactions in Cerebral PhysiopathologyParis Cedex 05France
  2. 2.University Pierre et Marie Curie, ED, N°158ParisFrance
  3. 3.MEMOLIFE Laboratory of Excellence and Paris Science Lettre Research UniversityParisFrance

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