Assessing the integrity of epithelial barriers and their responses to various substances holds paramount importance in understanding physiological processes and disease mechanisms. The Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)–dextran trans-epithelial permeability assay serves as a pivotal method for quantitatively analyzing the impact of chemicals on the permeability of epithelial cell monolayers. This assay allows for a precise measurement of the passage of FITC-labeled dextrans across these monolayers, providing a quantitative assessment of barrier integrity.

Utilizing this assay with both cellular and tissue-based models offers a versatile approach to comprehensively study the effects of different substances on epithelial barrier function. This methodology not only enables the investigation of immediate alterations in barrier permeability but also facilitates the exploration of chronic responses and the identification of underlying molecular mechanisms.

Understanding changes in barrier integrity is fundamental in numerous domains, including pharmacology, toxicology, and the study of gastrointestinal and pulmonary diseases. It serves as a cornerstone for evaluating the potential impacts of pharmaceuticals, environmental agents, and disease-related factors on epithelial barriers, aiding in the development of targeted interventions and therapeutics.

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