Regulation of tight junction permeability by sodium caprate in human keratinocytes and reconstructed epidermis.Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Apr 03; 381(2):171-5.BB
Tight junctions (TJs) restrict paracellular flux of water and solutes in epithelia and endothelia. In epidermis, the physiological role of TJs is not fully understood. In this study, sodium caprate (C10), which dilates intestinal TJs, was applied to cultured human epidermal keratinocytes and reconstructed human epidermis to investigate the effects of C10 on epidermal TJs. C10 treatment decreased transepithelial electrical resistance and increased paracellular permeability, although Western blots showed that the expression of TJ-related transmembrane proteins was not decreased. The effects of C10 were reversible. Immunofluorescence microscopy and immuno-replica electron microscopy showed that the localization of TJ strands were disintegrated, concomitant with the dispersion and/or disappearance of TJ-related molecules from the cell surface. These findings suggest that C10 impairs barrier function by physically disrupting TJ conformation in the epidermis. Furthermore, these results also show that proper localization of the molecules on the cellular membrane is important for TJ barrier function.