CAMP-dependent absorption of chloride across airway epithelium

S. N. Uyekubo, H. Fischer, A. Maminishkis, B. Illek, S. S. Miller, Jonathan Widdicombe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Elevated levels of Na and Cl in airway surface liquid may play a major role in the airway pathology of cystic fibrosis (CF) (J. J. Smith, S. M. Travis, E. P. Greenberg, and M. J. Welsh. Cell 85: 229-236, 1996) and could be caused by block of transcellular Cl absorption due to lack of a functional CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). To test for transcellular absorption of Cl across non-CF epithelium, we studied how fluid absorption was affected by the opening and closing of Cl channels. Forskolin (an activator of CFTR) tripled fluid absorption across primary cultures of bovine tracheal epithelium but had no effect on human cells. However, in both species, fluid absorption was markedly inhibited by 5-nitro-2-(3- phenylpropylamino)benzoate, a blocker of CFTR. Microelectrode studies suggested that the magnitude of the absorptive response to forskolin in bovine cells depended on the size of an inwardly directed electrochemical driving force for Cl movement across the apical membrane. Patch-clamp measurements of bovine cells revealed CFTR in the apical membrane and a cAMP- activated, inwardly rectifying Cl channel in the basolateral membrane. We conclude that a significant fraction of absorbed Cl passes transcellularly in bovine tracheal epithelial cultures, with CFTR as the path of entry in the apical membrane and a novel cAMP-activated Cl channel as the exit route in the basolateral membrane. Our data further indicate that a similar pathway may exist in non-CF human tracheal epithelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number6 19-6
StatePublished - 1998


  • Adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate
  • Airway surface liquid
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Epithelial ion transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology


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