Unidirectional coupling of gap junctions between neuroglia

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Science  12 Nov 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5136, pp. 1072-1074
DOI: 10.1126/science.8093125


Gap junctions permit the passage of ions and small molecules between cells, thereby providing a basis for direct intercellular communication. In the rabbit retina, the low molecular weight dyes Lucifer yellow and biocytin passed readily from astrocytes into adjacent astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and Muller cells. However, the dyes rarely passed from either oligodendrocytes or Muller cells into astrocytes. Unidirectional passage of dye suggests the presence of an asymmetric barrier to the movement of molecules through heterologous gap junctions and indicates the potential for a hierarchy of command between interconnected cells.