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J Cell Biol. 1971 Aug;50(2):277-87.

Localization of permeability barriers in the frog skin epithelium.


Ruthenium red and colloidal lanthanum were used to determine the site of the structural barriers to diffusion within the intercellular spaces of frog skin epithelium. Electron micrographs show that occluding zonules located at the outer border of the stratum corneum and at the outer layer of the stratum granulosum are true tight junctions since they are impermeable to these tracers. Measurement of (140)La uptake by the living skin shows that lanthanum moves across the external surface of the skin readily, into and out of a compartment that has a limited capacity and is bounded on its internal side by a barrier impermeable to lanthanum. Examination of these skins with the electron microscope suggests that the compartment is localized between the external membrane of the cells at the outer layer of the s. granulosum and at the outermost surface of the skin. These observations and other findings described in the literature indicate that the site of the external high resistance barrier of the frog skin is localized at the outer border of the s. granulosum.

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