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Divergent expression of claudin -1, -3, -4, -5 and -7 in developing human lung

Author(s): Kaarteenaho Riitta | Merikallio Heta | Lehtonen Siri | Harju Terttu | Soini Ylermi

Journal: Respiratory Research
ISSN 1465-9921

Volume: 11;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 59;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Background Claudins are the main components of tight junctions, structures which are associated with cell polarity and permeability. The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of claudins 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7 in developing human lung tissues from 12 to 40 weeks of gestation. Methods 47 cases were analyzed by immunohistochemisty for claudins 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7. 23 cases were also investigated by quantitative RT-PCR for claudin-1, -3 and -4. Results Claudin-1 was expressed in epithelium of bronchi and large bronchioles from week 12 onwards but it was not detected in epithelium of developing alveoli. Claudin-3, -4 and -7 were strongly expressed in bronchial epithelium from week 12 to week 40, and they were also expressed in alveoli from week 16 to week 40. Claudin-5 was expressed strongly during all periods in endothelial cells. It was expressed also in epithelium of bronchi from week 12 to week 40, and in alveoli during the canalicular period. RT-PCR analyses revealed detectable amounts of RNAs for claudins 1, 3 and 4 in all cases studied. Conclusion Claudin-1, -3, -4, -5, and -7 are expressed in developing human lung from week 12 to week 40 with distinct locations and in divergent quantities. The expression of claudin-1 was restricted to the bronchial epithelium, whereas claudin-3, -4 and -7 were positive also in alveolar epithelium as well as in the bronchial epithelium. All claudins studied are linked to the development of airways, whereas claudin-3, -4, -5 and -7, but not claudin-1, are involved in the development of acinus and the differentiation of alveolar epithelial cells.
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