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J Membr Biol. 1998 Feb 1;161(3):263-74.

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha increases sodium and chloride conductance across the tight junction of CACO-2 BBE, a human intestinal epithelial cell line.

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  • 1Lankenau Medical Research Center, Wynnewood, PA 19096, USA.


CACO-2 BBE was used to determine the response of a gastrointestinal epithelium to tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF). Incubation of CACO-2 BBE with TNF did not produce any effect on transepithelial resistance (TER) within the first 6 hr but resulted in a 40-50% reduction in TER and a 30% decrease in 1SC (short circuit current) relative to time-matched control at 24 hr. The decrease in TER was sustained up to 1 week following treatment with TNF and was not associated with a significant increase in the transepithelial flux of [14C]-D-mannitol or the penetration of ruthenium red into the lateral intercellular space. Dilution potential and transepithelial 22Na+ flux studies demonstrated that TNF-treatment of CACO-2 BBE cell sheets increased the paracellular permeability of the epithelium to Na+ and Cl-. The increased transepithelial permeability did not associate with an increase in the incidence of apoptosis. However, there was a TNF-dependent increase in [3H]-thymidine labeling that was not accompanied by a change in DNA content of the cell sheet. The increase in transepithelial permeability was concluded to be across the tight junction because: (i) 1 mM apical amiloride reduced the basolateral to apical flux of 22Na+, and (ii) dilution potential studies revealed a bidirectionally increased permeability to both Na+ and Cl-. These data suggest that the increase in transepithelial permeability across TNF-treated CACO-2 BBE cell sheets arises from an alteration in the charge selectivity of the paracellular conductive pathway that is not accompanied by a change in its size selectivity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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