We have studied the effects of HGF on BTB dynamics in adult rats. We demonstrate that, at stages VII-VIII of the epithelium wave when germ cells traverse the BTB, HGF reduces the levels of occludin and influences its distribution pattern and assembling. Moreover, we report that, at stages VII-VIII, HGF significantly increases the amount of active TGF-β and the amount of uPA present in the tubules. For the first time we report that, in the same stages, HGF reduces the amount of actin present in the BTB region, in which occludin levels are highest, and modifies the morphology of the actin cytoskeleton network. At the level of maximal intensity of occludin fluorescence, we report that HGF also modifies the colocalization of occludin and actin. Lastly, we demonstrate that HGF is maximally expressed at stages VII-VIII, whereas its levels fall in the subsequent stages. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
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