Tissue barriers

Build them up and break them down: Tight junctions of cell lines expressing typical hepatocyte polarity with a varied repertoire of claudins.

PMID 24665408


Tight junctions (TJs) of cells expressing simple epithelial polarity have been extensively studied, but less is known about TJs of cells expressing complex polarity. In this paper we analyzed, TJs of four different lines, that form bile canaliculi (BC) and express typical hepatocyte polarity; WIF-B9, 11-3, Can 3-1, Can 10. Striking differences were observed in claudin expression. None of the cell lines produced claudin-1. WIF-B9 and 11-3 expressed only claudin-2 while Can 3-1 and Can 10 expressed claudin-2,-3,-4,-5. TJs of these two classes of lines differed in their ultra-stucture, paracellular permeability, and robustness. Lines expressing a large claudin repertoire, especially Can 10, had complex and efficient TJs, that were maintained when cells were depleted in calcium. Inversely, TJs of WIF-B9 and 11-3 were leaky, permissive and dismantled by calcium depletion. Interestingly, we found that during the polarization process, TJ proteins expressed by all lines were sequentially settled in a specific order: first occludin, ZO-1 and cingulin, then JAM-A and ZO-2, finally claudin-2. Claudins expressed only in Can lines were also sequentially settled: claudin-3 was the first settled. Inhibition of claudin-3 expression delayed BC formation in Can10 and induced the expression of simple epithelial polarity. These results highlight the role of claudins in the settlement and the efficiency of TJs in lines expressing typical hepatocyte polarity. Can 10 seems to be the most promising of these lines because of its claudin repertoire near that of hepatocytes and its capacity to form extended tubular BC sealed by efficient TJs.

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