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Fatty acids and epithelial permeability: effect of conjugated linoleic acid in Caco-2 cells


Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a collective term referring to the positional and geometric isomers of linoleic acid. This novel fatty acid has been shown to have a number of beneficial actions, including immunomodulatory, anticarcinogenic, and antiatherogenic effects. Tight junctions of epithelial cells determine epithelial membrane integrity and selective paracellular permeability to ions and macromolecules. Occludin and ZO-1 are integral structural components of the tight junction, which are involved in the biogenesis and functional integrity of the epithelial monolayer. This study investigated the effects of two isomers of CLA (cis-9 andtrans-10 isomers) on Caco-2 cell transepithelial resistance (TER) development, paracellular epithelial permeability, and occludin and ZO-1 expression. Caco-2 cells were grown in media supplemented with 0.05 mM linoleic acid,cis-9 CLA, ortrans-10 CLA for 21 days. Thetrans-10 CLA isomer delayed Caco-2 cell TER development, which is an in vitro measure of epithelial cell integrity, and increased paracellular epithelial permeability. Immunofluorescent staining of Caco-2 cell epithelial monolayers grown in media supplemented trans-10 CLA showed that thetrans-10 CLA isomer altered distribution of occludin and ZO-1. The trans-10 CLA isomer delayed the acquisition of transepithelial resistance and altered the cellular distribution of occludin, which have important implications in relation to epithelial permeability.

  • conjugated linoleic acid
  • occludin
  • ZO-1
  • tight junction
  • epithelial permeability
  • Caco-2 cells
  • Abbreviations used in this paper

    conjugated linoleic acid
    linoleic acid
    gamma linolenic acid
    alpha linolenic acid
    eicosapentaenoic acid
    transepithelial electrical resistance
    phospholipase C
    phosphokinase C
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