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Histochemistry and Cell Biology

, Volume 129, Issue 3, pp 289–299 | Cite as

Bile duct ligation in the rat causes upregulation of ZO-2 and decreased colocalization of claudins with ZO-1 and occludin

  • I. Piotr Maly
  • Lukas Landmann
Original Paper

Abstract

As the only barrier between blood and bile compartments hepatocellular tight junctions play a crucial role in cholestasis-induced increase of biliary permeability. The molecular basis of this reversible defect is not known. We, therefore, examined expression, phosphorylation, distribution and colocalization of the junctional proteins occludin, claudin-1-3, ZO-1 and ZO-2 in rats after bile duct ligation and release of ligation. In control rats, claudin-1 and ZO-2 displayed a lobular gradient with highest expression levels in periportal cells, whereas claudin-2 showed a reciprocal distribution. Other proteins were evenly expressed in the liver lobule. Ligation resulted in upregulation of ZO-2 (2.7-fold), ZO-1 (1.4-fold) and occludin (1.2-fold) but not of claudins. Only ZO-2 showed increased phosphorylation. Distribution patterns were unchanged except for a strong accumulation of ZO-2 in perivenous hepatocytes. Colocalization analysis demonstrated that perivenous ZO-2 was the only protein examined revealing strongly increased overlap with occludin and ZO-1, whereas claudins and other proteins displayed a decrease. All changes were partially reversed by release of ligation. We conclude that differential expression of claudin-1-2 and ZO-2 has functional implications for bile formation. The moderately increased ZO-1 and occludin levels account for the known elongation of tight junction strands. The highly increased expression and changed distribution of ZO-2 suggests that ZO-1 is partly substituted by ZO-2, an alteration possibly causing impaired barrier function.

Keywords

Bile secretion Cholestasis Tight junctions Hepatocytes Transepithelial permeability 

Abbreviations

TJ

Tight junctions

Cldn

Claudin

BDL

Bile duct ligation

BDL-R

Release of ligation

AP

Alkaline phosphatase

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Mireille Toranelli, Petra Banse and Jean Paul Boeglin for expert technical assistance.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnatomyUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  2. 2.Structural Cell Biology, DKBW Centre for BiomedicineUniversity of Basel Medical SchoolBaselSwitzerland

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