Endothelial Cell-Cell Junction

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Cell-cell junction are importance in cells for the transfer of important biological and biochemical substances between surrounding cells.  It enables cells to form attachment among each other and in the process aid cell-cell communication.  This communication in the form of intracelluar signalling controls the activities of cells such as apoptosis, cell growth and gene expression [1].  Cell-cell junction occurs in mosteukaryotic tissues such as in epithelial and endothelial cells.  Cell junction of the endothelial tissues functions in the regulation of the passage of cellular substances such as blood proteins into blood vessels

Types of Endothelial cell Junctions:

As with epithelial cell junction, endothelial cell junction are also classified based on their structure and role into four main types.  However, desmosomes present in epithelial cells are absent in endothelial cells except cells of the lymphatic systems; having desmosome-like structures [2]. Desmosomes are intracellular junctions which promote cell to cell adhesion and also anchor the plasma membrane to the intermediate filaments of the cytoskeleton [3]. According to Elisabetta et al., (1995) [4] endothelial cells are therefore, classified into[5][6][7][8][9][10][11]:

  1. Tight Junction (also known as Zonnula Occludens)
  2. Adherence Junction
  3. Gap Junctions
  4. Syndesmos


  1. Elisabetta, D. (2004)"Endothelial Cell–Cell Junctions: Happy Together". Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology. Vol 5, April, 261-270.
  2. Elisabetta, D. (2004)"Endothelial Cell–Cell Junctions: Happy Together". Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology. Vol 5, April, 261-270.
  3. Delva E, Tucker DK, Kowalczyk AP.. 2009. The Desmosome. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20066089. [Accessed 21 October 13].
  4. Elisabetta, D., Monica, C., and Maria, G.L., (1995) "Endothelial Cell-to-Cell Junctions". The FASEB Journal. Vol. 9, No. 10, July, 910-918.
  5. http://www.ascb.org/bioeducate/images/FawcettTheCellPDFs/FawcettTheCellChapter3.pdf
  6. http://www.ascb.org/bioeducate/images/FawcettTheCellPDFs/FawcettTheCellChapter3.pdf
  7. http://cronodon.com/files/Building_bodies_-_cell_junctions.pdf
  8. http://cronodon.com/files/Building_bodies_-_cell_junctions.pdf
  9. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982208012396
  10. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982208012396
  11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26857/

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