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Studies on the Intercellular Junctions of Mesothelium and Endothelium

  • R. S. Cotran
  • G. Majno

Abstract

The passage of substances across the endothelial barrier may occur—theoretically at least [1]—by two main pathways: a) Through the cells. Particles of colloidal gold [2] or molecules of ferritin [3] injected into the plasma are taken up by the pinocytic vesicles of the endothelial cells, and thereafter appear in the extravascular spaces. This and other forms of trans-cellular passage will not be dealt within this paper, b) Between the cells. Interest in the intercellular junction as a potential pathway is stimulated by physiologic studies, which indicate that traus-endothelial passage of ions and small molecules is a passive process. Dyes injected intra-arterially escape at discrete points along venules and capillaries [4], in a manner which could not be adequately explained by pinocytic transfer [1]. It has been stated that the endothelial cells are connected by “tight junctions” or zonulae occludentes [5, 6]. It has not, however, been shown that these junctions form a continuous band around each cell, and that they do indeed represent a tight seal. The zone of membrane “fusion” could represent, rather than a seal, a very fine filter permeable to water and to very small molecules [7, 8]. By electron microscopy, the passage of tracer particles along junctions which appeared to be still “closed” has been observed [9] : these studies were done in vitro, on rat hearts perfused with a saline solution containing particles of saccharated iron oxide (S.I.O.).

Keywords

Tight Junction Mesothelial Cell Prussian Blue Tracer Particle Intercellular Junction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. S. Cotran
    • 1
  • G. Majno
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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