Physiology and pathophysiology of the epithelial barrier of the female reproductive tract role of ion channels

Hsiao Chang Chan, Hui Chen, Yechun Ruan, Tingting Sun

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The epithelium lining the female reproductive tract forms a selectively permeable barrier that is responsible for creating an optimal luminal fluid microenvironment essential to the success of various reproductive events. The selective permeability of the epithelial barrier to various ions is provided by the gating of epithelial ion channels, which work together with an array of other ion transporters to drive fluid movement across the epithelium. Thus, the luminal fluid is fine-tuned by the selective barrier with tight regulation of the epithelial ion channels. This chapter discusses the role of epithelial ion channels in regulating the epithelial barrier function and thus the fluid volume and ionic composition of the female reproductive tract; physiological factors regulating the ion channels and the importance of the regulation in various reproductive events such as sperm transport and capacitation, embryo development and implantation. Disturbance of the fluid microenvironment due to defects or abnormal regulation of these ion channels and dysregulated epithelial barrier function in a number of pathological conditions, such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, hydrosalpinx and infertility, are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiology and Regulation of Blood-Tissue Barriers
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9781461447108
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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