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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Development of intercellular communication during the epithelial reorganization of a renal cell line (LLC-PK1).

Junctional permeability determinations after microinjection of the fluorescent tracer, Lucifer Yellow CH, show that the cells in confluent monolayers of the renal epithelial cell lines LLC-PK1 and A6 are interconnected by intercellular junctions. This cell-to-cell communication network permits the fluorescent dye to diffuse from the microinjected cell into multiple adjacent neighboring cells. Cell-to-cell diffusion of the fluorescent dye was not observed at pH 6. 0. Full recovery occurred, however, when the pH of the extracellular medium was adjusted to 7. 4. To provide a sensitive index of the averaged efficacy of junctional communication, we measured the number of cells that survived ouabain treatment in a 50% mixture of wild and ouabain-resistant mutant LLC-PK1 cells. Electron probe microanalysis in uncoupled cells showed that ouabain treatment produced two populations of cells, with totally different intracellular Na+ and K+ content. Under this condition, only 50% of the population survived after 48 h of treatment. When ouabain treatment was initiated 24 h after plating, however, 100% survival was observed, and the cells contained uniform intracellular Na+ and K+ concentration. This finding is consistent with the theory that this protective effect is mediated through the presence of the functional communicating intercellular junctions. When ouabain was applied at different times after plating, full protection is reached by 2 h. The early development of cell-to-cell communication, which precedes the development of the occluding junctions and several transport systems by several hours, is consistent with the involvement of the intercellular junctions in the synchronization of the polarization process.[1]


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