Chloride secretion by cultures of pig tracheal gland cells

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

Abstract

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 Ca2+ 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.

  • airway mucous gland
  • cystic fibrosis
  • anion secretion
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