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Exp Cell Res. 1996 Feb 1;222(2):269-74.

Localization of 7H6 tight junction-associated antigen along the cell border of vascular endothelial cells correlates with paracellular barrier function against ions, large molecules, and cancer cells.

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Department of Pathology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Japan.


To study the regulation of the endothelial barrier, we examined the relationship between the paracellular barrier function and the expression of 7H6 antigen localized at tight junctions of endothelial cells by using transendothelial electrical resistance (TER), fluxes of albumin and dextran, transmigration of rat mammary cancer (SST-2) cells across rat lung endothelial (RLE) cells, and immunocytochemical expression of 7H6 antigen as parameters. RLE cells cultured at a confluent cell density did not express immunohistochemically demonstrable 7H6 antigen and had low paracellular barrier functions. However, treatment of the endothelial cells with 0.5 mM dibutyryl-cAMP or 10(-6) M all-trans-retinoic acid for 4 days induced 7H6 antigen preferentially at the cell border and simultaneously enhanced the barrier function twofold, in terms of TER and fluxes of albumin and dextran. Furthermore, RA-treated RLE cell monolayers with the enhanced barrier function significantly inhibited the transmigration of SST-2 cells. These results together with those of our previous study indicate that 7H6 antigen has a crucial role in the regulation of paracellular barrier function not only in epithelial cells but also in vascular endothelial cells. The present study also suggests that tight junctions of vascular endothelium in vivo function as a barrier between blood and tissues against metastatic cancer cells.

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