Claudin and occludin expression and function in the seminiferous epithelium

Carla M.K. Morrow, Dolores Mruk, C. Yan Cheng, Rex A. Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Integral membrane proteins that contribute to function of the blood-testes barrier (BTB) in mice include claudins 3, 5 and 11 and occludin. Although claudin 11 is expressed throughout all stages of the seminiferous epithelial cycle, claudins 3 and 5 have specific expression at stage VIII. These differences in protein expression suggest that the interactions among, and functions of, these integral membrane proteins may shift over the course of the seminiferous epithelial cycle. Also, differences in expression among rodent species and men may make interpretation of studies across species challenging. This review will discuss the characteristics of claudins and occludin; the expression, regulation and function of these integral membrane proteins in the seminiferous epithelium; and how these properties relate to the unique features of BTB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1679-1696
Number of pages18
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1546
StatePublished - May 27 2010


  • Blood-testis barrier
  • Seminiferous epithelial cycle
  • Spermatocyte migration
  • Tight junction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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