, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 1377-1386
Date: 27 Dec 2007

Myosin Light Chain Kinase Inhibition: Correction of Increased Intestinal Epithelial Permeability In Vitro

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To examine whether myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) inhibitors can reduce intestinal epithelial permeability increases in vitro.

Materials and Methods

Isolated rat, mouse and human colonic tissue mucosae and Caco-2 monolayers were exposed to cytochalasin D (cD) and sodium caprate (C10), in the absence and presence of the MLCK inhibitors, ML-9 and D PIK. Transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and Papp of [14C]-mannitol or FITC-dextran 4000 (FD-4) were measured. Western blots were used to measure MLC phosphorylation.


Increases in Papp of [14C]-mannitol and decreases in TEER were induced by tight junction openers. These changes were attenuated by ML-9. D-PIK offset the FD-4 Papp increase induced by C10 in Caco-2 only, while ML-9 and PIK inhibited MLC directly. cD induced constriction of peri-junctional actin in Caco-2 monolayers, but this was prevented by ML-9. Although mannitol fluxes across colonic mucosae from dextran-sulphate (DSS)-treated mice were higher than control, they were not ameliorated by either ML-9 or PIK in vitro.


ML-9 inhibits paracellular permeability increases in several intestinal epithelial models. D-PIK reduced stimulated paracellular fluxes in Caco-2 monolayers, but not in tissue. Pre-established increases were not modified by two MLCK inhibitors in a mouse model of IBD.