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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7374197, 9 pages
Review Article

Crosstalk between Inflammation and ROCK/MLCK Signaling Pathways in Gastrointestinal Disorders with Intestinal Hyperpermeability

1Department of Gastroenterology, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China
2Division of Gastroenterology, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA
3Department of Gastroenterology, Affiliated Hospital of Shaoxing University, Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, China

Received 24 April 2016; Revised 12 July 2016; Accepted 19 July 2016

Academic Editor: Jean-Francois Beaulieu

Copyright © 2016 Lijun Du et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The barrier function of the intestine is essential for maintaining the normal homeostasis of the gut and mucosal immune system. Abnormalities in intestinal barrier function expressed by increased intestinal permeability have long been observed in various gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC), celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Imbalance of metabolizing junction proteins and mucosal inflammation contributes to intestinal hyperpermeability. Emerging studies exploring in vitro and in vivo model system demonstrate that Rho-associated coiled-coil containing protein kinase- (ROCK-) and myosin light chain kinase- (MLCK-) mediated pathways are involved in the regulation of intestinal permeability. With this perspective, we aim to summarize the current state of knowledge regarding the role of inflammation and ROCK-/MLCK-mediated pathways leading to intestinal hyperpermeability in gastrointestinal disorders. In the near future, it may be possible to specifically target these specific pathways to develop novel therapies for gastrointestinal disorders associated with increased gut permeability.