Ependymal cells (ECs) are multiciliated neuroepithelial cells that line the ventricles of the brain and the central canal of the spinal cord (SC). How ependymal motile cilia are maintained remains largely unexplored. Here we show that zebrafish embryos deficient in Wnt signaling have defective motile cilia, yet harbor intact basal bodies. With respect to maintenance of ependymal motile cilia, plcδ3a is a target gene of Wnt signaling. Lack of Connexin43 (Cx43), especially its channel function, decreases motile cilia and intercellular Ca2+ wave (ICW) propagation. Genetic ablation of cx43 in zebrafish and mice diminished motile cilia. Finally, Cx43 is also expressed in ECs of the human SC. Taken together, our findings indicate that gap junction mediated ICWs play an important role in the maintenance of ependymal motile cilia, and suggest that the enhancement of functional gap junctions by pharmacological or genetic manipulations may be adopted to ameliorate motile ciliopathy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)