, Volume 43, Issue 7, pp 1547-1552

Reversible Increase in Tight Junction Permeability to Macromolecules in Rat Ileal Mucosa In Vitro by Sodium Caprate, a Constituent of Milk Fat

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Intestinal tight junction function is thought tobe of importance in the pathogenesis of variousdiseases. The regulation of uptake of macromolecules viathe tight junctions is largely unknown. Effects of luminal sodium caprate (10 mM), a dairyproduct constituent, and cytochalasin B (30 μM), werestudied in rat ileum in vitro in Ussing chambers. Bothagents caused a reversible fall in potential difference and increased [51Cr]EDTApermeability. In addition, sodium caprate inducedincreased permeability to polysucrose (15,000 daltons)and opening of the tight junctions as visualized bytransmission electron microscopy. Doseresponse patterns suggestedmainly dose-dependent differences between the agents.Confocal laser scanning microscopy suggestedparacellular permeation of polysucrose. Luminal sodiumcaprate, a food constituent, can increase tight junctionpermeability, allowing passage of macromolecules,without affecting epithelial viability. Increasedpermeability to mediumsized molecules does notnecessarily coincide with increased paracellular uptake ofproteinsized molecules.