Modulation of intestinal permeability: an innovative method of oral drug delivery for the treatment of inherited and acquired human diseases

Mol Genet Metab. 1998 May;64(1):12-8. doi: 10.1006/mgme.1998.2667.


Conventional forms of administrations of nonabsorbable drugs and peptides rely on their parenteral injection. The intestinal epithelium represents the major barrier to the oral absorption of these therapeutical agents into the systemic circulation. Recently, a number of innovative drug delivery approaches have been developed, including the drug entrapment within small vesicles or their passage through the intestinal paracellular pathway. Zonula occludens toxin, a recently discovered protein elaborated by Vibrio cholerae, provided tools for gaining more insights on the pathophysiology of the regulation of intestinal permeability and to developing alternative approaches for the oral delivery of drugs and macromolecules normally not absorbed through the intestine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Cholera Toxin / administration & dosage*
  • Cholera Toxin / pharmacology
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Endotoxins
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / administration & dosage
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Intestinal Absorption / drug effects*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / physiology*
  • Tight Junctions / chemistry
  • Tight Junctions / drug effects
  • Tight Junctions / physiology*


  • Endotoxins
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Insulin
  • zonula occludens toxin, Vibrio cholerae
  • Cholera Toxin