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  • Tight junctions  (2)
  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-0878
    Keywords: Uterine epithelium ; Preimplantation phase ; Tight junctions ; Gap junctions ; Freeze-fracture ; Rabbit
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Summary In the rabbit, the pseudopregnant uterus has been used as a model for studying alterations characteristic of the preimplantation phase. Alterations in intercellular junctions of the uterine epithelium were investigated during early pseudopregnancy (day 0 to day 6) by means of the freeze-fracture technique. In the uterine epithelium of oestrous females the zonula occludens belongs to the “tight” type of tight junctions. During pseudopregnancy an impressive proliferation of tight junctional belts can be observed. The basal strands proliferate, forming loops perpendicular to the luminal surface, whereas the more or less parallel arrangement of the luminal strands is maintained. At day 4 of pseudopregnancy macular tight junctions begin to develop on the lower portions of the lateral plasmalemma and are extensive by day 6 post hCG. Small gap junctions are infrequent between cells of the uterine epithelium and show no significant changes during the preimplantation phase. The physiological significance of the present morphological observations is discussed in the light of changes occurring during the preimplantation period.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-0878
    Keywords: Vagina ; Estrous cycle ; Tight junctions ; Tracer studies ; Freeze-fracture ; Guinea pig
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Summary In the present study the permeability barriers of the multilayered vaginal epithelium were examined using tracer perfusion techniques, freeze-fracture and thin sectioning. During diestrus and proestrus the upper layers of mucified epithelial cells exhibit tight-junctional belts, which restrict tracer molecules such as lanthanum and horseradish peroxidase. When the highly mucified cells begin to degenerate toward the end of proestrus the underlying epithelium is already keratinized as typical for estrus. The keratinized epithelial cells have a tight-junctional network that joins the basal plasma membranes with the apical membranes of subjacent cells and blocks paracellular diffusion of the tracer molecules. During conversion of the cornified epithelium to a mucified epithelium in metestrus the intercellular space of the epithelium is stained by tracer molecules even though tight-junctional belts can be observed. These results indicate that during cyclic changes of the vaginal epithelium tight junctions can, in general, be considered for the restriction of paracellular diffusion. In metestrus, however, junctions become functionally leaky although they remain morphologically intact. Intercellular lipids, which are normally common in cornified epithelia, are extremely rare and cannot constitute an effective barrier to diffusion in the vagina of the guinea pig. The significance of a strategy that bases the regulation of the permeability on tight junctions rather than on intercellular lipids is discussed.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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