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Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 70, Issue 4, pp 631–659 | Cite as

Regulation of intestinal epithelial permeability by tight junctions

  • Takuya Suzuki
Review

Abstract

The gastrointestinal epithelium forms the boundary between the body and external environment. It effectively provides a selective permeable barrier that limits the permeation of luminal noxious molecules, such as pathogens, toxins, and antigens, while allowing the appropriate absorption of nutrients and water. This selective permeable barrier is achieved by intercellular tight junction (TJ) structures, which regulate paracellular permeability. Disruption of the intestinal TJ barrier, followed by permeation of luminal noxious molecules, induces a perturbation of the mucosal immune system and inflammation, and can act as a trigger for the development of intestinal and systemic diseases. In this context, much effort has been taken to understand the roles of extracellular factors, including cytokines, pathogens, and food factors, for the regulation of the intestinal TJ barrier. Here, I discuss the regulation of the intestinal TJ barrier together with its implications for the pathogenesis of diseases.

Keywords

Tight junction Intestinal epithelium Cytokine Pathogen Nutrient 

Abbreviations

AJ

Adherens junction

ALD

Alcoholic liver disease

AMPK

AMP activated protein kinase

BBDP

Biobreeding diabetes-prone

BiCM

Conditioned medium of Bifidobacterium infantis

BT-IgSF

Brain- and testis-specific immunoglobulin superfamily

C10

Capric acid

C12

Lauric acid

CAR

Coxsacki and adenovirus receptor

CD

Crohn’s disease

CHO

Chinese hamster ovary

CPE

Clostridium perfringen enterotoxin

DHA

Docosahexaenoic acid

DSS

Dextran sodium sulfate

ECN

Escherichia coli Nissle1917

EGF

Epidermal growth factor

EHEC

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli

EPA

Eicosapentaenoic acid

EPEC

Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli

ERK

Extracellular signal-regulated kinase

ESAM

Endothelial selective adhesion molecule

EspF

Escherichia coli secreted protein F

GPCR

G-protein-coupled receptor

HA/P

Hemagglutinin/protease

HS/R

Hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation

IBD

Inflammatory bowel disease

IBS

Irritative bowel syndrome

IFN

Interferon

Ig

Immunoglobulin

IL

Interleukin

JAM

Junctional adhesion molecule

LA

Linolec acid

LCFA

Long chain fatty acid

LIGHT

Lymphotoxin-like inducible protein

L. plantarum

Lactobacillus plantarum

L. rhamnosus

Lactobacillus rhamnosus

MAGUK

Membrane-associated guanylate kinase homolog

MAP

Mitochondrial-associated protein

MCFA

Medium chain fatty acid

MEK

Mitogen-activated protein kinase

MLC

Myosin light chain

MLCK

Myosin light chain kinase

NFκB

Nuclear factor-κB

PAR

Proteinase activated receptor

PDZ

Post-synaptic density 95/Drosophila discs large/zona-occludens 1

PI3K

Phosphatidyl inositol-3 kinase

PK

Protein kinase

PKA

cAMP-dependent kinase

PP

Protein phosphatase

PPAR

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor

PTP

Protein tyrosine phosphatase

ROCK

Rho-associated kinase

SCFA

Short chain fatty acid

SH

Src homology

T1D

Type I diabetes

TER

Transepithelial electrical resistance

TGF

Transforming growth factor

TJ

Tight junction

TLR

Toll-like receptor

TNF

Tumor necrosis factor

TNFR

TNF-α receptor

TPN

Total parenteral nutrition

VDR

Vitamin D receptor

ZO

Zonula occludens

ZOT

Zonula occludens toxin

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, a Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) 23780135 to T. Suzuki.

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© Springer Basel AG 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biofunctional Science and Technology, Graduate School of Biosphere ScienceHiroshima UniversityHigashi-HiroshimaJapan

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