Lipids

, Volume 31, Issue 8, pp 817–828 | Cite as

Alterations in cell cholesterol content modulate Ca2+-induced tight junction assembly by MDCK cells

  • Michael C. Stankewich
  • Stacy A. Francis
  • Quynh U. Vu
  • Eveline E. Schneeberger
  • Robert D. Lynch
Articles

Abstract

Transepithelial electrical resistance (TER), a measure of tight junction (TJ) barrier function, develops more rapidly and reaches higher values after preincubation of MDCK cells for 24 h with 2 μM Lovastatin (lova), an inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase. While this effect was attributed to a 30% fall in cholesterol (CH), possible effects of lova on the supply of prenyl group precursors could not be excluded. In the current study, strategies were devised to examine effects on TER of agents that simultaneously lower CH and increase the flux of intermediates through the CH biosynthetic pathway. Zaragozic acid, 20 μM, an inhibitor of squalene synthase known to increase the synthesis of isoprenoids and levels of prenylated proteins, lowered cell CH by 30% after 24 h, while accelerating development of TER in the same manner as lova. TER was also enhanced, despite a 23% increase in the rate of [3H]acetate incorporation into CH, when total CH was reduced by 45% during a 2-h incubation with 2 mM methyl β-cyclodextrin (MBCD), an agent that stimulates CH efflux from cells. The fact that the rate of TER development was diminished when cell CH content was elevated by incubation with a complex of CH and MBCD is further evidence that this sterol modulates development of the epithelial barrier. Cell associated CH derived from the complex was similar to endogenous CH with respect to its accessibility to cholesterol oxidase. Lova's effect on TER was diminished when 5 μg/mL of CH was added to the medium during the last 11 h of incubation with lova.

Keywords

Tight Junction Lovastatin MDCK Cell Transepithelial Electrical Resis Bovine Calf Serum 

Abbreviations

BCS

bovine calf serum

CH

cholesterol

CH-MBCD

cholesterol-methyl β-cyclodextrin

DMEM

Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium

EBSS

Earle's balanced salt solution

HMG

3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl

lova

Lovastatin

MBCD

methyl β-cyclodextrin

PBS

phosphate-buffered saline

P/S

penicillin/streptomycin

S.A.

specific activity

TCA

trichloroacetic acid

TER

transepithelial electrical resistance

TJ

tight junction

TLC

thin-layer chromatography

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Copyright information

© AOCS Press 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael C. Stankewich
    • 1
  • Stacy A. Francis
    • 1
  • Quynh U. Vu
    • 1
  • Eveline E. Schneeberger
    • 2
  • Robert D. Lynch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Massachusetts at LowellLowell
  2. 2.Department of PathologyMassachusetts General HospitalBoston

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