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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Chloride channel function is linked to epithelium-dependent airway relaxation.

We previously reported that substance P (SP) and ATP evoke transient, epithelium-dependent relaxation of mouse tracheal smooth muscle. Since both SP and ATP are known to evoke transepithelial Cl- secretion across epithelial monolayers, we tested the hypothesis that epithelium-dependent relaxation of mouse trachea depends on Cl- channel function. In perfused mouse tracheas, the responses to SP and ATP were both inhibited by the Cl- channel inhibitors diphenylamine-2-carboxylate and 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino)benzoate. Relaxation to ATP or SP was unaffected by 4,4'-dinitrostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (DNDS), and relaxation to SP was unaffected by either DIDS or DNDS. Replacing Cl- in the buffer solutions with the impermeable anion gluconate on both sides of the trachea inhibited relaxation to SP or ATP. In contrast, increasing the gradient for Cl- secretion using Cl- free medium only in the tracheal lumen enhanced the relaxation to SP or ATP. We conclude that Cl- channel function is linked to receptor-mediated, epithelium-dependent relaxation. The finding that relaxation to SP was not blocked by DIDS suggested the involvement of a DIDS-insensitive Cl- channel, potentially the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) Cl- channel. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated tracheas from CFTR-deficient mice and found that the peak relaxation to SP or ATP was not significantly different from those responses in wild-type littermates. This suggests that a DIDS-insensitive Cl- channel other than CFTR is active in the SP response. This work introduces a possible role for Cl- pathways in the modulation of airway smooth muscle function and may have implications for fundamental studies of airway function as well as therapeutic approaches to pulmonary disease.[1]


  1. Chloride channel function is linked to epithelium-dependent airway relaxation. Fortner, C.N., Lorenz, J.N., Paul, R.J. Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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