Epithelial pathways for luminal entry of bulk plasma

Jonas Erjefält, Ingrid Erjefalt, Frank Sundler, Carl Persson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inflammatory challenges of the airway mucosa cause luminal entry of bulk plasma. Extravasation of plasma is well described but the routes for epithelial passage of plasma are largely unknown. Using colloidal gold (5 nm) as tracer we have now examined the fate of extravasated plasma in the airways. The tracer was given intravenously to anaesthetized, ovalbumin-sensitized guinea-pigs 2min prior to airway mucosal challenge with 12pmol ovalbumin (the dose was selected from a separate dose-response study). Tissue specimens were collected 30s, 3 and 6 min after end of challenge (separate time course experiments suggested that the peak rate of entry of plasma occurred at about 5 min). The colloidal gold particles were visualized by autometallographic silver intensification. The gold produced no circulatory disturbance and had a uniform vascular distribution with negligible adherence to vascular endothelium. After challenge gold was first widely distributed in the lamina propria. At 3 and 6 min the tracer was also in the epithelium and airway lumen. It appeared that plasma was moved distinctly between and all around each epithelial cell. Bright field-, scanning-, and transmission electron-microscopy indicated that the luminal entry of plasma did not affect the integrity of the epithelial lining. This study demonstrates that the plasma exudate moves across an intact epithelial layer through ubiquitous paracellular pathways. Even at a pronounced acute plasma exudation response exceedingly small amounts of plasma may pass around a single cell explaining the non-injurious nature of mucosal exudation of bulk plasma in health and disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-195
JournalClinical and Experimental Allergy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Clinical Chemistry and Pharmacology (013250300), Neuroendocrine Cell Biology (013212008), Airway Inflammation and Immunology (013212038)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy


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