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

Carbon tetrachloride induced proliferation of tight junctions in the rat liver as revealed by freeze-fracturing.

Application of carbon tetrachloride produced a progressive proliferation of tight junctions in the rat liver. This system proved to be rapid and highly reproducable and affords the opportunity for tracing the fate of tight junctions in freeze-fracture replicas, facilitating investigations on their formation and function. Beginning on day one carbon tetrachloride treatments resulted in the progressive loosening and fragmentation of the junctional meshwork. After three to four days the membrane outside the zonulae occludentes was extensively filled with proliferated discrete junctional elements often forming complex configurations. From the fifth day on the zonulae occludentes were restricted again predominantly around the bile canaliculus margins. But the junctional meshwork of the zonulae occludentes remained loosened in comparison to those in the control rats. It could be shown that tight junction proliferation on the lateral surface of the plasmalemma occurred both through de novo formation from discrete centers of growth by addition of intramembranous particles and through reorganization of preexistent junctional strands of the fragmented zonulae occludentes bodies. Whereas the large gap junctions close associated with the zonulae occludentes remained more or less unaffected during the experiments, small gap junctions increased in number after five days and were located at the margin or in the tight junction domain. It is assumed that the degeneration of the tight junctions served as a pool for intramembranous particles which form the gap junctions. The results of these observations are discussed in relation to those obtained in other systems.[1]


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