Gap junctions in liver, as in other organs, play a critical role in tissue homeostasis. Inherently, these cellular constituents are major targets for systemic toxicity and diseases, including cancer. This review provides an overview of chemicals that compromise liver gap junctions, in particular biological toxins, organic solvents, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, peroxides, metals and phthalates. The focus in this review is placed upon the mechanistic scenarios that underlie these adverse effects. Further, the potential use of gap junctional activity as an in vitro biomarker to identify non-genotoxic hepatocarcinogenic chemicals is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-275
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Part B, Critical Reviews
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2020


  • Connexin
  • Gap junction intercellular communication
  • Hepatocarcinogenicity
  • non-genotoxic carcinogenic compounds
  • Risk assessment
  • hemichannel
  • in vivo
  • in vitro


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