Journal of Molecular Medicine-JMM
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Pannexins (Panxs), large-pore channel forming glycoproteins, are expressed in a wide variety of tissues including the skin, bone, and cochlea. To date, the use of single knock-out mouse models of both Panx1 and Panx3 have demonstrated their roles in skin development, bone formation, and auditory phenotypes. Due to sequence homology between Panx1 and Panx3, when one Panx is ablated from germline, the other may be upregulated in a compensatory mechanism to maintain tissue homeostasis and function. To evaluate the roles of Panx1 and Panx3 in the skin, bone, and cochlea, we created the first Panx1/Panx3 double knock-out mouse model (dKO). These mice had smaller litters and reduced body weight compared to wildtype controls. The dKO dorsal skin had decreased epidermal and dermal area as well as decreased hypodermal area in neonatal but not in older mice. In addition, mouse skull shape and size were altered, and long bone length was decreased in neonatal dKO mice. Finally, auditory tests revealed that dKO mice did not exhibit hearing loss and were even slightly protected against noise-induced hearing damage at mid-frequency regions. Taken together, our findings suggest that Panx1 and Panx3 are important at early stages of development in the skin and bone but may be redundant in the auditory system. Key messages Panx double KO mice had smaller litters and reduced body weight. dKO skin had decreased epidermal and dermal area in neonatal mice. Skull shape and size changed plus long bone length decreased in neonatal dKO mice. dKO had no hearing loss and were slightly protected against noise-induced damage.