Pseudomonas aeruginosa induces changes in fluid transport across airway surface epithelia

D. J. Evans, P. S. Matsumoto, Jonathan Widdicombe, C. Li-Yun, A. A. Maminishkis, S. S. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Fluid transport across cultures of bovine tracheal epithelium was measured with a capacitance probe technique. Baseline fluid absorption (Jv) across bovine cells of 3.2 μl·cm(-2·h-1 was inhibited by ~78% after 1 h of exposure to suspensions of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, with a concomitant decrease in transepithelial potential (TEP) and increase in transepithelial resistance (Rt). Effects of P. aeruginosa were blocked by amiloride, which decreased J(v) by 112% from baseline of 2.35 ± 1.25 μl·cm-2·h-1, increased R(t) by 101% from baseline of 610 ± 257 Ω·cm2, and decreased TEP by 91% from baseline of -55 ± 18.5 mV. Microelectrode studies suggested that effects of P. aeruginosa on amiloride-sensitive Na absorption were due in part to a block of basolateral membrane K channels. In the presence of Cl transport inhibitors [5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino)-benzoic acid, H2- DIDS, and bumetanide], P. aeruginosa induced a fluid secretion of ~2.5 ± 0.4 μl·cm-2·h-1 and decreased (Rt) without changing TEP. However, these changes were abolished when the transport inhibitors were used in a medium in which Cl was replaced by an impermeant organic anion. Filtrates of P. aeruginosa suspensions had no effect on J(v) TEP, or R(t). Mutants lacking exotoxin A or rhamnolipids or with defective lipopolysaccharide still inhibited fluid absorption and altered bioelectrical properties. By contrast, mutations in the rpoN gene encoding a δ factor of RNA polymerase abolished actions of P. aeruginosa. In vivo, changes in transepithelial salt and water transport induced by P. aeruginosa may alter viscosity and ionic composition of airway secretions so as to foster further bacterial colonization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number5 44-5
StatePublished - 1998


  • Bacteria
  • RpoN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Pseudomonas aeruginosa induces changes in fluid transport across airway surface epithelia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this