Rapid Evaluation of Intestinal Paracellular Permeability Using the Human Enterocytic-Like Caco-2/TC7 Cell Line

Methods Mol Biol. 2021;2367:13-26. doi: 10.1007/7651_2021_366.


Paracellular permeability of the intestinal epithelium is a feature of the intestinal barrier, which plays an important role in the physiology of gut and the whole organism. Intestinal paracellular permeability is controlled by complex processes and is involved in the passage of ions and fluids (called pore pathway) and macromolecules (called leak pathway) through tight junctions, which seal the intercellular space. Impairment of intestinal paracellular permeability is associated with several diseases. The identification of a defect in intestinal paracellular permeability may help to understand the implication of gut barrier as a cause or a consequence in human pathology. Here we describe two complementary methods to evaluate alteration of paracellular permeability in cell culture, using the human intestinal cell line Caco-2 and its clone Caco-2/TC7.

Keywords: Caco-2 cell line; Cell monolayer; Epithelium; FITC-dextran; Intestine; Paracellular permeability; Transepithelial electrical resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Cellulose, Oxidized
  • Enterocytes*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Permeability
  • Tight Junctions / metabolism


  • Cellulose, Oxidized