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Am J Physiol. 1984 Sep;247(3 Pt 1):C260-7.

Epithelial properties of human colonic carcinoma cell line Caco-2: electrical parameters.


Human colonic carcinoma Caco-2 cells grown in vitro undergo epithelial differentiation. Electrical measurements showed that they form resistant monolayers of polarized cells. On millipore filters, transepithelial electrical resistance (154 +/- 6.5 omega X cm2) was accompanied by a small potential difference (0.29 +/- 0.02 mV, serosal side positive) and by short-circuit current (1.9 +/- 0.14 microA X cm-2), both of which were ouabain sensitive. Micropuncture of domes formed on plastic supports under standard culture conditions revealed electrical polarity similar to that of filter-grown cells (0.8 +/- 0.2 mV, serosal side positive) combined with a highly negative cytoplasm (-57 +/- 1 mV) and very marked cell asymmetry (76% of total electrical cell resistance was located in the mucosal membrane). These parameters were not affected by the diuretic amiloride nor the hormone aldosterone, suggesting that sodium conductance is very limited in the mucosal membrane. Addition to the mucosal side of the ionophore nystatin or amphotericin B unmasked the possibility of high electrical transport activity. Electrical measurements made it possible to define the epithelial properties of Caco-2 cells, which may resemble those of colonic crypt or fetal cells. These measurements also confirmed that functional differentiation is homogeneous in Caco-2 cells. It is suggested that dome cell micropuncture may be useful in investigating the functional properties of other dome-forming cell lines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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