Send to

Choose Destination
Intest Res. 2015 Jan;13(1):11-8. doi: 10.5217/ir.2015.13.1.11. Epub 2015 Jan 29.

Intestinal permeability regulation by tight junction: implication on inflammatory bowel diseases.

Author information

Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Wonkwang University College of Pharmacy; BK21plus program & Department of Smart Life-Care Convergence, Wonkwang University Graduate School, Iksan, Korea.


Epithelial tight junctions (TJs) are the key structures regulating paracellular trafficking of macromolecules. The TJ is multi-protein complex that forms a selective permeable seal between adjacent epithelial cells and demarcates the boundary between apical and basolateral membrane domains. Disruption of the intestinal TJ barrier, followed by permeation of luminal noxious molecules, induces a perturbation of the mucosal immune system and inflammation, which can act as a trigger for the development of intestinal and systemic diseases. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients demonstrate increased intestinal paracellular permeability. Although it remains unclear whether barrier dysfunction precedes disease or results from active inflammation, increased intestinal TJ disruption is observed in IBD patients suggest that dysregulation of TJ barrier integrity may predispose or enhance IBD progression. Therefore, therapeutic target to restore the TJ barrier integrity may provide effective therapeutic and preventive approaches against IBD. This review discusses the molecular structure and regulation of intestinal TJs and the involvement of intestinal TJs in IBD pathogenesis.


Inflammatory bowel diseases; Intestinal barrier function; Intestinal permeability; Paracellular permeability; Tight junctions

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Publishing M2Community Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center