Mucus glycoprotein secretion by tracheal explants: Effects of pollutants

Jerold A Last, T. Kaizu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Tracheal slices incubated with radioactive precursors in tissue culture medium secrete labeled mucus glycoproteins into the culture medium. The authors have used an in vitro approach, a combined method utilizing exposure to pneumotoxins in vivo coupled with quantitation of mucus secretion rates in vitro, to study the effects of inhaled pollutants on mucus biosynthesis by rat airways. In addition, the authors have purified the mucus glycoproteins secreted by rat tracheal explants in order to determine putative structural changes that might be the basis for the observed augmented secretion rates after exposure of rats to H2SO4 aerosols in combination with high ambient levels of ozone. After digestion with papain, mucus glycoproteins secreted by tracheal explants may be separated into five fractions by ion-exchange chromatography, with recovery in high yield, on columns of DEAE-cellulose. Each of these five fractions, one neutral and four acidic, migrates as a single unique spot upon cellulose acetate electrophoresis at pH values of 8.6 and 1.2. The neutral fraction, which is labeled with [3H] glucosamine, does not contain radioactivity when Na2 35SO4 as precursor. Acidic fraction II contains sialic acid as the terminal sugar on its oligosaccharide side chains, based upon its chromatographic behavior on columns of wheat-germ agglutinin-Agarose. Treatment of this fraction with neuraminidase shifts its elution position in the gradient to a lower salt concentration, coincident with acidic fraction I. After removal of terminal sialic acid residues with either neuraminidase or low pH treatment, the resultant terminal sugar on the oligosaccharide side chains is fucose. These results are identical with those observed with mucus glycoproteins secreted by cultured human tracheal explants and purified by these same techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-137
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
VolumeVOL. 35
StatePublished - 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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