Epithelial Barrier Function in Gut-Bone Signaling

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017:1033:151-183. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-66653-2_8.


The intestinal epithelial barrier plays an essential role in maintaining host homeostasis. The barrier regulates nutrient absorption as well as prevents the invasion of pathogenic bacteria in the host. It is composed of epithelial cells, tight junctions, and a mucus layer. Several factors, such as cytokines, diet, and diseases, can affect this barrier. These factors have been shown to increase intestinal permeability, inflammation, and translocation of pathogenic bacteria. In addition, dysregulation of the epithelial barrier can result in inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. Our lab and others have also shown that barrier disruption can have systemic effects including bone loss. In this chapter, we will discuss the current literature to understand the link between intestinal barrier and bone. We will discuss how inflammation, aging, dysbiosis, and metabolic diseases can affect intestinal barrier-bone link. In addition, we will highlight the current suggested mechanism between intestinal barrier and bone.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / physiology*
  • Dysbiosis / physiopathology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Tight Junction Proteins / metabolism
  • Tight Junctions / metabolism
  • Tight Junctions / physiology*


  • Tight Junction Proteins