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. 1994 Oct;232(10):608-13.
doi: 10.1007/BF00193121.

Tight Junctions and Paracellular Permeability in Cultured Bovine Corneal Endothelial Cells

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Tight Junctions and Paracellular Permeability in Cultured Bovine Corneal Endothelial Cells

W Noske et al. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. .

Abstract

Intramembrane specializations of cultured bovine corneal endothelial cells were studied with thin section and freeze-fracture electron microscopy and related to the paracellular permeability and the transendothelial resistance (Rt) of the monolayers. The following intercellular junctions were found: single and discontinuous networks of tight junctions (TJ) which girdle the apico-lateral cell perimeter incompletely, gap junctions, and membrane undulations suggesting intermediate junctions. The macromolecular tracer ruthenium red penetrated into the lateral intercellular space beyond the level of the incomplete belt of TJ. Rt of these monolayers was 20.9 +/- 1.0 omega.cm2. Protamine induced a reversible increase of Rt to 118 +/- 5% of its control value. We conclude that incomplete belts of TJ may be the morphological counterpart of the high paracellular permeability of this monolayer and functionally and morphologically resemble those of their native endothelium. Cultured corneal endothelial cells are an excellent model for studying the influence of incomplete belts of TJ on paracellular permeability of cells.

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