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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2002 Apr;13(4):875-86.

Differential expression patterns of claudins, tight junction membrane proteins, in mouse nephron segments.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine, Yonoe-Koshida, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606, Japan.


As the first step in understanding the physiologic functions of claudins (tight junction integral membrane proteins) in nephrons, the expression of claudin-1 to -16 in mouse kidneys was examined by Northern blotting. Among these claudins, only claudin-6, -9, -13, and -14 were not detectable. Claudin-5 and -15 were detected only in endothelial cells. Polyclonal antibodies specific for claudin-7 and -12 were not available. Therefore, the distributions of claudin-1, -2, -3, -4, -8, -10, -11, and -16 in nephron segments were examined with immunofluorescence microscopy. For identification of individual segments, antibodies specific for segment markers were used. Immunofluorescence microscopic analyses of serial frozen sections of mouse kidneys with polyclonal antibodies for claudins and segment markers revealed that claudins demonstrated very complicated, segment-specific, expression patterns in nephrons, i.e., claudin-1 and -2 in Bowman's capsule, claudin-2, -10, and -11 in the proximal tubule, claudin-2 in the thin descending limb of Henle, claudin-3, -4, and -8 in the thin ascending limb of Henle, claudin-3, -10, -11, and -16 in the thick ascending limb of Henle, claudin-3 and -8 in the distal tubule, and claudin-3, -4, and -8 in the collecting duct. These segment-specific expression patterns of claudins are discussed, with special reference to the physiologic functions of tight junctions in nephrons.

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