Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 51, Issue 12, pp 2326–2336 | Cite as

Transepithelial Leak in Barrett’s Esophagus

  • J. M. Mullin
  • M. C. Valenzano
  • S. Trembeth
  • P. D. Allegretti
  • J. J. Verrecchio
  • J. D. Schmidt
  • V. Jain
  • J. B. Meddings
  • G. Mercogliano
  • J. J. Thornton
Original Paper


Using orally administered sucrose as a probe of gastrointestinal permeability, this study focused on determining whether Barrett’s metaplasia exhibits a paracellular transepithelial leak to small nonelectrolytes. Subjects in five separate classes (nonendoscoped, asymptomatic controls; endoscoped, asymptomatic controls; gastroesophageal reflux disease without mucosal complications; grossly visible esophagitis; and Barrett’s esophagus) consumed a sucrose solution at bedtime and collected all overnight urine. Urine volume was measured and sucrose concentration was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. Patients with Barrett’s were observed to exhibit a transepithelial leak to sucrose whose mean value was threefold greater than that seen in healthy control subjects or patients with reflux but without any mucosal defect. A parallel study of claudin tight junction proteins in endoscopy biopsy samples showed that whereas Barrett’s metaplasia contains dramatically more claudin-2 and claudin-3 than is found in normal esophageal mucosa, it is markedly lower in claudins 1 and 5, indicating very different tight junction barriers.


Barrett’s esophagus Sucrose Tight junction Paracellular Esophagus GERD Esophagitis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Mullin
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. C. Valenzano
    • 1
  • S. Trembeth
    • 2
  • P. D. Allegretti
    • 2
  • J. J. Verrecchio
    • 2
  • J. D. Schmidt
    • 2
  • V. Jain
    • 3
  • J. B. Meddings
    • 4
  • G. Mercogliano
    • 2
  • J. J. Thornton
    • 2
  1. 1.Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, Director of Research, Division of GastroenterologyLankenau HospitalWynnewoodUSA
  2. 2.Division of GastroenterologyLankenau HospitalWynnewoodUSA
  3. 3.Department of MedicineLankenau HospitalWynnewoodUSA
  4. 4.Department of MedicineUniversity of Alberta School of MedicineEdmontonCanada

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