Hemichannels Formed by Connexin 43 Play an Important Role in the Release of Prostaglandin E2by Osteocytes in Response to Mechanical Strain

Jean X. Jiang, Priscilla P. Cherian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Osteocytes embedded in the matrix of bone are mechanosensory cells that translate strain into signals and regulate bone remodeling. Our previous studies using osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells have shown that fluid flow shear stress (FFSS) increases connexin (Cx) 43 protein expression, prostaglandin E2(PGE2) release, and intercellular coupling, and PGE2is an essential mediator between FFSS and gap junctions. However, the role of Cx43 in the release of PGE2in response to FFSS is unknown. Here, the FFSS-loaded MLO-Y4 cells with no or few intercellular channels released significantly more PGE2per cell than those cells at higher densities. Antisense Cx43 oligonucleotides and 18 β-glycyrrhetinic acid, a specific gap junction and hemichannel blocker, significantly reduced PGE2release by FFSS at all cell densities tested, especially cells at the lowest density without gap junctions. FFSS, fluid flow-conditioned medium, and PGE2increased the activity of dye uptake. Moreover, FFSS induced Cx43 to migrate to the surface of the cell; this surface expressed Cx43 developed resistance to Triton-X-100 solublization. Our results suggest that hemichannels formed by Cx43, instead of intercellular channels, are likely to play a predominant role in the release of intracellular PGE2in response to FFSS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-264
Number of pages6
JournalCell Communication and Adhesion
Issue number42100
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Connexin 43
  • PGE
  • fluid flow
  • hemichannel
  • osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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