Comparison of the permeability of vaginal mucosa and the wall of an experimental cyst developed from it

Thompson I.O.C. ; Van der Bijl P. ; Van Wyk C.W. ; Van Eyk A.D. (2000)


We used human vaginal mucosa to establish an experimental non-keratinized cyst in immunodeficient mice and demonstrated that it could be used as a biotest model. Because the histology of vaginal and buccal mucosa is broadly similar and the permeability of vaginal epithelium to water and 17β-estradiol is comparable to that of buccal mucosa, we concluded that these features indicate that the cyst could also be used for investigating the pathogenesis of various oral mucosal pathoses. The aim of the present study, therefore, was to compare the permeability of the epithelium lining the experimental cyst with that of fresh vaginal epithelium. Fresh vaginal mucosa was obtained from six postmenopausal women who had undergone reconstructive vaginal surgery. Seven tissue disks were prepared from each of the vaginal specimens, mounted in flow-through diffusion cells and their permeability to tritiated water determined as previously described. Six artificial cysts were constructed from an additional six specimens, implanted in nude mice and harvested after nine weeks. Seven tissue disks were immediately prepared from each of the cysts, mounted in flow-through diffusion cells and their permeability to tritiated water determined. No statistical differences (P > 0.05) (Kruskal-Wallis test) could be demonstrated between the flux values of the vaginal and experimental cyst epithelium. The similar permeability characteristics of the vaginal and cyst epithelium to water lend support to the hypothesis that the experimental cyst developed from vaginal mucosa can be considered as a substitute model for studies on the buccal mucosa.

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