Physiology and Pathophysiology of the Epithelial Barrier of the Female Reproductive Tract

Role of Ion Channels
  • Hsiao Chang Chan
  • Hui Chen
  • Yechun Ruan
  • Tingting Sun
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB)

Abstract

The epithelium lining the female reproductive tract forms a selectively permeable barrier that is responsible for creating an optimal luminal fluid microenvironment essential to the success of various reproductive events. The selective permeability of the epithelial barrier to various ions is provided by the gating of epithelial ion channels, which work together with an array of other ion transporters to drive fluid movement across the epithelium. Thus, the luminal fluid is fine-tuned by the selective barrier with tight regulation of the epithelial ion channels. This chapter discusses the role of epithelial ion channels in regulating the epithelial barrier function and thus the fluid volume and ionic composition of the female reproductive tract; physiological factors regulating the ion channels and the importance of the regulation in various reproductive events such as sperm transport and capacitation, embryo development and implantation. Disturbance of the fluid microenvironment due to defects or abnormal regulation of these ion channels and dysregulated epithelial barrier function in a number of pathological conditions, such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, hydrosalpinx and infertility, are also discussed.

Keywords

Permeability Adenosine Angiotensin Bicarbonate Estradiol 

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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hsiao Chang Chan
    • 1
  • Hui Chen
    • 1
  • Yechun Ruan
    • 1
  • Tingting Sun
    • 1
  1. 1.Epithelial Cell Biology Research Center, School of Biomedical SciencesThe Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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