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.
|Name||Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology|
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)