Tight junction (TJ) is one of the cell-cell junctions and known to have the barrier and fence functions between adjacent cells in both simple and stratified epithelia. We examined the distribution pattern, constitutive proteins, and permeability of TJ in the stratified squamous epithelium of the palatal mucosa of mice. Ultrastructural observations based on the ultrathin section and freeze-fracture methods revealed that poorly developed TJs are located at the upper layer of the stratum granulosum. The positive immunofluorescence of occludin (OCD), claudin (CLD)-1 and -4 were localized among the upper layer of the stratum granulosum showing a dot-like distribution pattern. And CLD-1 and -4 were localized among the stratum spinosum and the lower part of stratum granulosum additionally showed a positive reaction along the cell profiles. Western blotting of TJ constitutive proteins showed OCD, CLD-1, -2, -4, and -5 bands. The permeability test using biotin as a tracer revealed both the areas where biotin passed through beyond OCD positive points and the areas where biotin stopped at OCD positive points. These results show that poor TJs localize at the upper layer of the stratum granulosum of the palatal epithelium, and the TJs are leaky and include at least CLD-1 and -4.
In mammals, the müllerian duct (MD) is an embryonic tubular structure that gives rise to the female reproductive tract (FRT). The MD originates from the coelomic epithelium (CoE) and takes on a rostral to caudal shape to establish the primary structure of the FRT under the regulation of morphogenetic signals. During these developmental processes, the MD and its derivatives require proper regulation of the Wnt-signaling-pathway. Here, to investigate the developmental contribution of FRT primordia under the influence of the Wnt-signaling, genetic lineage tracing was carried out using TopCreER/Rosa-LacZ mice to follow the fate of Wnt-signal-responsive cells during reproductive tract formation. TopCreER-marked-LacZ+ cells, arising from the Wnt-signal-responsive progenitors in CoE, give rise to spatially restricted MD and the uterine luminal epithelium. Similarly, the progeny from LacZ+ mesenchymal cells surrounding the MD contribute to both the uterine smooth muscle and stroma. Furthermore, in males, the Wnt-signal-responsive MD mesenchyme develops into the epididymis. These results show, for the first time, evidence of the sequential involvement of reproductive tract progenitors under the influence of Wnt-signal throughout the developmental term. This study provides a precise outline for assessing the lineage relation between the reproductive tract and the cell fate of its primordia in a temporally regulated manner.