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Microcirculation. 2001 Jun;8(3):143-52.

Pores in the sieve and channels in the wall: control of paracellular permeability by junctional proteins in endothelial cells.

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Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milano, Italy.


Exchange of solutes and ions between the luminal and abluminal compartments of the circulation is critically dependent on the barrier properties of the vascular endothelium. Transport of solutes and fluids occurs along the transcellular and paracellular pathways that are mediated by intracellular vesicles and intercellular junctions, respectively. Although the ability of endothelial cells to dynamically regulate permeability has long been recognized, the precise mechanism and the signaling pathways involved have not been fully elucidated. Finally, current definition of the complex molecular composition of intercellular junctions is expected to explain the difference in permeability between diverse segments of the circulation and possibly to highlight the existence of specific junctional channels. The properties of junctional adhesion molecule-1 (JAM-1) and vascular endothelial cadherin (VE-cadherin), two transmembrane components of interendothelial junctions, are described in detail.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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