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J Membr Biol. 1989 Jan;107(1):43-56.

Establishment of tight junctions between cells from different animal species and different sealing capacities.

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Center of Research and Advanced Studies, Mexico, D.F.


Epithelial cells establish tight junctions (TJs) that offer an ample range of transepithelial electrical resistances (TER), in adjustment to physiological requirements. In the present work, we demonstrate that cells from different animal origins, co-cultured in monolayers, can make sealed TJs, suggesting that this structure has a basic universal structure. TJs cannot be established, however, if one of the partners does not normally express TJs, indicating that each neighbor has to contribute its moiety. Furthermore, we observe that clones of the same cell line, with widely different values of TER, do not differ in the number and length of their junctional strands, suggesting that the difference is due to their ability to express ionic channels traversing their strands. The value of TER achieved in mixed monolayers of cells of the same or different lines is the one that may be expected by taking into account the proportion of each type in the mixture and adding in parallel the electrical resistance that they exhibit in pure monolayers. Therefore, epithelial TJs appear to behave as parallel resistances.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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