Expression of the tight junction protein ZO-1 in an animal model of intestinal inflammation and increased permeability

Walter Koltun, C. J. Lynch, S. Khin, A. F. Tilberg, M. J. Page, L. S. Poritz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ZO-1, a recently identified cytosolic, membrane-associated 225kDa protein, is one of the principle molecules of the epithelial tight junction complex. Tight junctions are part of the intestinal mucosal barrier and may play a role in regulating bowel permeability. We have previously studied a graft versus host disease(GVHD) animal model of intestinal inflammation in which bowel permeability as measured by the urinary clearance ratio of orally gavaged lactulose and rhamnose increases with severity of disease. Since lactulose is thought to traverse the intestinal epithelium via the intercellular tight junction, the present study was undertaken to assay the intestinal expression of ZO-1 in the mucosa of this inflammatory model. Intestinal mucosa was harvested from control and experimental animals and assayed for ZO-1 using Western blot techniques. Control animals showed a progressive increase of ZO-1 expression from proximal small bowel to distal colon. In animals with GVHD there was a significant decrease in ZO-1 expression in the colon relative to control animals. We conclude that the normal pattern of ZO-1 expression is adversely affected during intestinal inflammation and that this may relate to increased bowel permeability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A310
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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