Intestinal epithelial barrier function and tight junction proteins with heat and exercise. Academic Article uri icon


  • A single layer of enterocytes and tight junctions (intercellular multiprotein complexes) form the intestinal epithelial barrier that controls transport of molecules through transcellular and paracellular pathways. Dysfunctional or "leaky" intestinal tight junction barrier allows augmented permeation of luminal antigens, endotoxins, and bacteria to the blood stream. Various substances and conditions have been shown to affect the maintenance of the intestinal epithelial tight junction barrier. The primary focus of the present review is to analyze the effects of the exertional or non-exertional (passive hyperthermia) heat stress on tight junction barrier function in in-vitro and in-vivo (animals and humans) models. Our secondary focus is to review changes in tight junction proteins in response to exercise or hyperthermic conditions. Finally, we discuss some pharmacological or nutritional interventions providing direct insights into the cellular mechanisms involved in maintaining homeostasis of the intestinal epithelial tight junction barrier during heat stress or exercise.Copyright © 2015, Journal of Applied Physiology.

publication date

  • September 2015