Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2009 Jul 24. [Epub ahead of print]
The tight junction in inflammatory disease: communication breakdown.
Edelblum KL, Turner JR. Department of Pathology, The University of Chicago, 5841 S. Maryland Avenue, MC 1089, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
The intestinal epithelium restricts free passage of toxic and infectious molecules from the gut lumen while allowing selective paracellular absorption across the tight junction. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients demonstrate a loss of tight junction barrier function, increased pro-inflammatory cytokine production, and immune dysregulation; however, the relationship between these events is incompletely understood. Although tight junction barrier defects are insufficient to cause experimental IBD, mucosal immune activation is altered in response to increased epithelial permeability. Thus, an evolving model suggests that barrier dysfunction may predispose or enhance disease progression and therapies targeted to specifically restore the barrier function may provide an alternative or supplement to immunology-based therapies.
PMID: 19632896 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]