Ascorbic acid stimulates barrier function of cultured endothelial cell monolayer

J Cell Physiol. 1995 May;163(2):393-9. doi: 10.1002/jcp.1041630219.


The macromolecular permeability of cultured bovine aortic, bovine venous, and human umbilical vein endothelial cell monolayers was decreased significantly in culture medium containing L-ascorbic acid (Asc Acid; 0.01-0.1 mM) and L-ascorbic acid 2-phosphate (Asc 2-P). Dithiothreitol, which shows reducing activity equivalent to that of Asc Acid, did not affect endothelial permeability. Asc Acid induced a sixfold increase in collagen synthesis by the endothelial cells. The coexistence of L-azetidine 2-carboxylic acid, an inhibitor of collagen synthesis, attenuated the effect of Asc 2-P in a dose-dependent manner. Another collagen synthesis inhibitor, ethyl-3,4-dihydroxybenzoate, also inhibited collagen synthesis and increased endothelial permeability. The decrease in permeability of the endothelial monolayer was dependent on a reduction of the permeability coefficient of the endothelial monolayer. These findings indicate that endothelial barrier function is stimulated by Asc Acid via an increase in collagen synthesis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Capillary Permeability / drug effects*
  • Cattle
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen / biosynthesis
  • Cytological Techniques
  • Dithiothreitol / pharmacology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology
  • Humans
  • Time Factors


  • Collagen
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Dithiothreitol