Chloride secretion by cultures of pig tracheal gland cells

Jonathan Widdicombe, Rachel M. Borthwell, Mohammad Hajighasemi-Ossareh, Marrah E. Lachowicz-Scroggins, W. E. Finkbeiner, Jeremy E. Stevens, Sara Modlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Malfunction of airway submucosal glands contributes to the pathology of cystic fibrosis (CF), and cell cultures of CF human airway glands show defects in Cl - and water transport. Recently, a transgenic pig model of CF (the CF pig) has been developed. Accordingly, we have developed cell cultures of pig airway gland epithelium for use in investigating alterations in gland function in CF. Our cultures form tight junctions (as evidenced by high transepithelial electrical resistance) and show high levels of active anion secretion (measured as amiloride-insensitive short-circuit current). In agreement with recent results on human airway glands, neurohumoral agents that elevate intracellular Ca 2+ potently stimulated anion secretion, while elevation of cAMP was comparatively ineffective. Our cultures express lactoferrin and lysozyme (serous gland cell markers) and MUC5B (the main mucin of airway glands). They are, therefore, potentially useful in determining if CF-related alterations in anion transport result in altered secretion of serous cell antimicrobial agents or mucus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2012


  • Airway mucous gland
  • Anion secretion
  • Cystic fibrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology


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