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J Membr Biol. 1978 Nov 8;43(4):351-65.

Distribution and characteristics of the occluding junctions in a monolayer of a cell line (MDCK) derived from canine kidney.


On solid substrates MDCK, a cell line derived from normal dog kidney, forms a confluent monolayer that is studded with "blisters". Previous studies with this cell line suggest that these hemicysts develop as a result of active fluid accumulation between cell sheet and substratum. One factor that may determine when and how hemicysts appear only in localized sites is the interruption of occluding junctions in nonhemicyst areas. To study this possibility, we compared the permeability characteristics of the occluding junctions in hemicysts and in an uninterrupted monolayer of MDCK grown on a permeable support of collagen-coated nucleopore filter. The spontaneous electrical potential differences were small, without statistical differences between them. Relative ionic permeability coefficients were evaluated from the voltage deflections to imposed salt gradients or to a single ion substitution across both structures. The results showed that the relative permeability ratios for Na+, K+, choline+, and Cl- were the same in hemicysts and the uninterrupted monolayer. These and other results indicate that the junctional complex encircling the apical surface of a sheet of MDCK cells can provide an effective permeability barrier constituting a true occluding junction with the same properties in hemicyst and nonhemicyst areas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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