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Importantly, GJIC must be properly controlled as its misregulation might contribute to diseases.Morphological and functional studies have revealed ‘gap junction-like’ structures and cell-to-cell communication involving cells of the immune system.Based on the gap junction-like structures observed in the bone marrow, it was hypothesized that gap junctions help to coordinate functional networks of stromal cells that support blood cell formation [19–22] and subsequent studies have supported this idea as described below.In vitro studies of cultured bone marrow or thymic stromal cells revealed Cx43 as the principal gap junction protein expressed by these primary cell types [23–25].

Finally, diapedesis occurs and the leukocyte crawls across ECs.In fact, the controlled opening and closing of hemichannels formed by various connexins have been observed.Furthermore, some hemichannels have been shown to be permeable to a number of substances, including important signaling molecules [10–13].A multi-step adhesion cascade has been proposed for leukocyte recruitment consisting of four steps [1,2].In the first step, leukocytes tether then roll on the endothelial cells (ECs).

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