Basolateral Cl channels in primary airway epithelial cultures

Horst Fischer, Beate Illek, Walter E. Finkbeiner, Jonathan Widdicombe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Salt and water absorption and secretion across the airway epithelium are important for maintaining the thin film of liquid lining the surface of the airway epithelium. Movement of Cl across the apical membrane involves the CFTR Cl channel; however, conductive pathways for Cl movement across the basolateral membrane have been little studied. Here, we determined the regulation and single-channel properties of the Cl conductance (GCl) in airway surface epithelia using epithelial cultures from human or bovine trachea and freshly isolated ciliated cells from the human nasal epithelium. In Ussing chamber studies, a swellingactivated basolateral GCl was found, which was further stimulated by forskolin and blocked by N-phenylanthranilic acid (DPC) = sucrose > flufenamic acid = niflumic acid = glibenclamide > CdCl2 = 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino)benzoic acid (NPPB) = DIDS = ZnCl2 > tamoxifen > 4,4′-dinitro-2,2′-stilbene- disulfonate disodium salt (DNDS). In whole cell patch-clamp experiments, three types of GCl were identified: 1) a voltage-activated, DIDS- (but not Cd-) blockable and osmosensitive GCl; 2) an inwardly rectifying, hyperpolarization-activated and Cd-sensitive GCl; and 3) a forskolin-activated, linear GCl, which was insensitive to Cd and DIDS. In cell-attached patch-clamp recordings, the basolateral pole of isolated ciliated cells expressed three types of Cl channels: 1) an outwardly rectifying, swelling-activated Cl channel; 2) a strongly inwardly rectifying Cl channel; and 3) a forskolin-activated, low-conductance channel. We propose that, depending on the driving force for Cl across the apical membrane, basolateral Cl channels confine Cl- secretion or support transcellular Cl- absorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Absorption
  • Airway epithelium
  • Basolateral membrane
  • Chloride channels
  • Ion transport
  • Secretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology


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