Gap junctions, expressed in most tissues of the body, allow for the cytoplasmic coupling of adjacent cells and promote tissue cooperation. Gap junctions connect also the soma and the germline in many animals, and transmit somatic signals that are crucial for germline maturation and integrity. In this review, we examine the involvement of gap junctions in the relay of information between the soma and the germline, and ask whether such communication could have consequences for the progeny. While the influence of parental experiences on descendants is of great interest, the possibility that gap junctions participate in the transmission of information across generations is largely unexplored.
- Gap Junction channels
- Weismann barrier