• Journal Article

Increased tight junction permeability: A possible mechanism of oestrogen cholestasis

Citation

Elias, E., Iqbal, S., Knutton, S., Hickey, A., & Coleman, R. (1983). Increased tight junction permeability: A possible mechanism of oestrogen cholestasis. European Journal of Clinical Investigation, 13(5), 383-390.

Abstract

Ethinyl oestradiol increased rat biliary permeability for 3H-inulin and 14C-sucrose, and significantly raised serum concentrations of bile acids after 3 and 7 days' treatment (P less than 0.0005) and bilirubin after 7 days (P less than 0.005) but not after 3 days. Following intravenous infusion of bromsulphthalein or phenolphthalein, ethinyl oestradiol-treated rats had elevated plasma concentrations of the three bile constituents, bromsulphthalein (P less than 0.0005 after 3 and 7 days), bromsulphthalein-glutathione conjugate (P less than 0.005 after 3 days; P less than 0.0005 after 7 days) and phenolphthalein glucuronide (P less than 0.005 after 3 days; P less than 0.0005 after 7 days), but the plasma concentration of unconjugated phenolphthalein, which was undetectable in bile, was unchanged. Similar changes followed partial biliary obstruction produced by bile cannula elevation. This pattern suggests that biliary constituents are refluxing from bile to plasma via the paracellular pathway, a concept further supported by structural changes in tight junction morphology in the oestrogen-treated rats. 'Leakiness' of canalicular tight junctions may explain the pathophysiology of oestrogen-induced cholestasis