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Neurosci Lett. 2007 Nov 27;428(2-3):88-92. Epub 2007 Oct 2.

The tight junction component protein, claudin-4, is expressed by enteric neurons in the rat distal colon.

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1
Laboratory of Physiology, Institute for Environmental Sciences, and Graduate School of Nutritional and Environmental Sciences, University of Shizuoka, 52-1 Yada, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka 422-8526, Japan.

Abstract

The expression of a tight junction (TJ) component protein, claudin-4, in the enteric neurons was investigated in the rat distal colon by immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. Claudin-4 immunoreactivity was detected in almost all neurofilament-positive enteric neurons both of the submucosal and the myenteric plexuses, and both of the cell bodies and the neurofibers. The immunoreactivity of enteric neurons for claudin-4 was divided into two types: strongly and weakly positive neurons. Especially in the myenteric plexus, the stained neurons were classified by Dogiel's morphological classification of enteric neurons. The strongly stained claudin-4 positive neurons show Dogiel type II morphology, while the weakly stained claudin-4 positive neurons show Dogiel type I morphology. These immunohistochemical data were supported by mRNA expression in the muscle plus submucosa preparation containing the submucosal and myenteric plexuses, as well as mucosa preparation. The physiological function of claudin-4 expressed on enteric neurons is unclear up to now. It is however suggested that claudin-4 expressed on enteric neurons might play roles for the neural activity, for example as insulation between neurofibers. In conclusion, the present study clearly shows that claudin-4 is expressed by enteric neurons. This is the first evidence that the neuron itself expresses the TJ component protein, claudin-4, in the nervous system.

PMID:
17964719
DOI:
10.1016/j.neulet.2007.09.059
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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