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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Coupled cell networks are target cells of inflammation, which can spread between different body organs and develop into systemic chronic inflammation

Hansson, Elisabeth; Skiöldebrand, Eva


Several organs in the body comprise cells coupled into networks. These cells have in common that they are excitable but do not express action potentials. Furthermore, they are equipped with Ca2+ signaling systems, which can be intercellular and/or extracellular. The transport of small molecules between the cells occurs through gap junctions comprising connexin 43. Examples of cells coupled into networks include astrocytes, keratinocytes, chondrocytes, synovial fibroblasts, osteoblasts, connective tissue cells, cardiac and corneal fibroblasts, myofibroblasts, hepatocytes, and different types of glandular cells. These cells are targets for inflammation, which can be initiated after injury or in disease. If the inflammation reaches the CNS, it develops into neuroinflammation and can be of importance in the development of systemic chronic inflammation, which can manifest as pain and result in changes in the expression and structure of cellular components. Biochemical parameters of importance for cellular functions are described in this review.


Coupled cell networks; Inflammation; Pain spreading; Ca2+ signaling; Connexin 43; Gap junctions

Published in

Journal of Inflammation
2015, volume: 12, article number: 44

Authors' information

Hansson, Elisabeth
University of Gothenburg

UKÄ Subject classification

Medicinal Chemistry

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)