Recent studies suggest that the morphological and physiological properties of tight junctions (TJs) are determined by the combination and mixing ratios of claudin isoforms. In this study, we tried to characterize mouse cell lines by expression of claudin isoforms to use for studying epithelial TJs by overexpression or suppression of claudin(s) in the cells and found that claudin-2 was expressed in a few mouse rectum carcinoma cells, CMT93 cells. We have isolated CMT93-I and -II cells from CMT93 cells by immunohistochemical screening for the presence or absence of claudin-2 expression. Immunofluorescence and RT-PCR analyses showed that expression of claudin-4, -6, -7 and -12 was detected in both cell lines, but claudin-2 was only expressed in CMT93-II cells. There were no differences in paracellular permeability between CMT93-I and -II cells examined by 4 kDa FITC-dextran and fluorescein sodium, or in the number of TJ strands examined by freeze-fracture electron microscopy. However, the transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) of CMT93-I cells was approximately 6.5 times higher than that of CMT93-II cells, suggesting that expression of claudin-2 may be related to decreased TER. Comparative examinations of CMT93-I and -II cells provide a clue how the combination and mixing ratios of claudin isoforms regulate the paracellular permeability.
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