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Regulation of Epithelial Cell Functions by the Osmolality and Hydrostatic Pressure Gradients: A Possible Role of the Tight Junction as a Sensor

1
Department of Respiratory Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan
2
Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(14), 3513; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20143513
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Tight Junction and Its Proteins: More Than Just a Barrier)
Epithelia act as a barrier to the external environment. The extracellular environment constantly changes, and the epithelia are required to regulate their function in accordance with the changes in the environment. It has been reported that a difference of the environment between the apical and basal sides of epithelia such as osmolality and hydrostatic pressure affects various epithelial functions including transepithelial transport, cytoskeleton, and cell proliferation. In this paper, we review the regulation of epithelial functions by the gradients of osmolality and hydrostatic pressure. We also examine the significance of this regulation in pathological conditions especially focusing on the role of the hydrostatic pressure gradient in the pathogenesis of carcinomas. Furthermore, we discuss the mechanism by which epithelia sense the osmotic and hydrostatic pressure gradients and the possible role of the tight junction as a sensor of the extracellular environment to regulate epithelial functions. View Full-Text
Keywords: tight junction; osmolality; hydrostatic pressure; cancer; sensor tight junction; osmolality; hydrostatic pressure; cancer; sensor
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Tokuda, S.; Yu, A.S.L. Regulation of Epithelial Cell Functions by the Osmolality and Hydrostatic Pressure Gradients: A Possible Role of the Tight Junction as a Sensor. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 3513.

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