Tight junctions between epithelial cells are believed to control the paracellular diffusion of substances across epithelia. Epithelia in which tight junctions are poorly developed display a higher paracellular electrical conductance, while those with extensive tight junctions show lower conductance values. We described here a particular epithelium, that of the proximal tubules of the Necturus kidney, in which the development of the tight junctions varies in parallel with a change of paracellular electrical conductance. In control conditions, tight junctions between epithelial cells of the proximal tubules are more developed than in tubules undergoing saline diuresis, a situation which increases the conductance across the paracellular shunt pathway.

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