Wnt-PLC-IP3-Connexin-Ca2+ axis maintains ependymal motile cilia in zebrafish spinal cord

Jun Zhang, Gopalakrishnan Chandrasekaran, Wenting Li, Dong Young Kim, In Young Jeong, So Hyun Lee, Ting Liang, Jin Young Bae, Isaac Choi, Hyuno Kang, Jin Soo Maeng, Myeong Kyu Kim, Taewon Lee, Seung Woo Park, Min Jung Kim, Hyung Seok Kim, Hyunju Ro, Yong Chul Bae, Hae Chul Park, Eun Young ChoiSeok Yong Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1860
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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