Effects of simulated weightlessness on tight junction protein occludin and Zonula Occluden-1 expression levels in the intestinal mucosa of rats

  • Chen Ying (陈 英)
  • Yang Chunmin (杨春敏)
  • Liu Qingsen (刘庆森)
  • Guo Mingzhou (郭明洲)
  • Yang Yunsheng (杨云生)
  • Mao Gaoping (毛高平)
  • Wang Ping (王 萍)


This study investigated the tight junction (TJ) protein expression of the intestinal mucosa in a rat tail-suspension model under simulated weightlessness. Twenty-four Wistar rats were randomly divided into three groups: CON group (n=8), control; SUS-14 d group (n=8), tail-suspension for 14 days; SUS-21 d group (n=8), tail-suspension for 21 days. Occludin and Zonula Occluden-1 (ZO-1) expression levels were determined by immunohistochemical analysis and mRNA fluorescent quantitative PCR. Plasma levels of diamine oxidase (DAO) and d-lactate were determined using enzymatic spectrophotometry. Immunohistochemical results for occludin and ZO-1 showed disruption of the TJs in the intestinal mucosa in SUS-14 d and SUS-21 d groups. The expression levels of occludin and ZO-1 in SUS-21 d group were lower than those in SUS-14 d group, and significantly lower than those in CON group (Occldin: 0.86±0.02 vs 1.01±0.03 vs 1.63±0.03 and ZO-1: 0.82±0.01 vs 1.00±0.02 vs 1.55±0.01, P<0.01). Moreover, the levels of plasma DAO and d-lactate in SUS-21 d group were higher than those in SUS-14 d group, and significantly higher than those in CON group (DAO: 27.58±0.49 vs 20.74±0.49 vs 12.94±0.21 and d-lactate: 37.86±0.74 vs 28.26±1.01 vs 17.76±0.91, P<0.01). There were significant negative correlations between occludin or ZO-1 expression levels and DAO (r 2=0.9014, r 2=0.9355, P<0.01) or d-lactate levels (r 2=0.8989, r 2=0.9331, P<0.01). Occludin and Zo-1 were reduced in intestinal mucosa both in mRNA and protein levels in the rat tail-suspension model. The significant negative correlations between expression levels of TJs and plasma levels of DAO or d-lactate support the hypothesis that intestinal permeability is increased due to a decrease in TJ protein expression during tail-suspension from 14 days to 21 days.

Key words

simulated weightlessness tail-suspension model tight junction(TJ) protein Wistar 


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Copyright information

© Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chen Ying (陈 英)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yang Chunmin (杨春敏)
    • 2
  • Liu Qingsen (刘庆森)
    • 3
  • Guo Mingzhou (郭明洲)
    • 3
  • Yang Yunsheng (杨云生)
    • 3
  • Mao Gaoping (毛高平)
    • 2
  • Wang Ping (王 萍)
    • 2
  1. 1.PLA Postgraduate Medical SchoolBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Gastroenterology and Research Center of Aeropathy, General Hospital of Air ForcePLABeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of GastroenterologyGeneral Hospital of PLABeijingChina

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