Connexin23 deletion does not affect lens transparency

Viviana M. Berthoud*, Peter J. Minogue, Joseph I. Snabb, Yulia Dzhashiashvili, Layne A. Novak, Rebecca K. Zoltoski, Brian Popko, Eric C. Beyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


While connexin46 (Cx46) and connexin50 (Cx50) are crucial for maintaining lens transparency and growth, the contributions of a more recently identified lens fiber connexin, Cx23, are poorly understood. Therefore, we studied the consequences of absence of Cx23 in mouse lenses. Cx23-null mice were generated by homologous Cre recombination. Cx23 mRNA was abundantly expressed in wild type lenses, but not in Cx23-null lenses. The transparency and refractive properties of Cx23-null lenses were similar to wild type lenses when examined by darkfield microscopy. Neither the focusing ability nor the light scattering was altered in the Cx23-null lenses. While both Cx46 and Cx50 localized to appositional fiber cell membranes (as in wild type lenses), their levels were consistently (but not significantly) decreased in homozygous Cx23-null lenses. These results suggest that although Cx23 expression can influence the abundance of the co-expressed lens fiber connexins, heterozygous or homozygous expression of a Cx23-null allele does not alter lens transparency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-288
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental eye research
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Cataract
  • Connexin
  • Gap junction
  • Knockout mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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