Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biophys J. 1999 Jul;77(1):629-38.

Regulation of airway ciliary activity by Ca2+: simultaneous measurement of beat frequency and intracellular Ca2+.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pharmacy, King's College London, London SW3 6LX, England.


Airway ciliary activity is influenced by [Ca2+]i, but this mechanism is not fully understood. To investigate this relationship, ciliary activity and [Ca2+]i were measured simultaneously from airway epithelial ciliated cells. Ciliary beat frequency was determined, for each beat cycle, with phase-contrast optics and high-speed video imaging (at 240 images s-1) and correlated with [Ca2+]i determined, at the ciliary base, by fast imaging (30 images s-1) of fura-2 fluorescence. As a mechanically induced intercellular Ca2+ wave propagated through adjacent cells, [Ca2+]i was elevated from a baseline concentration of 45 to 100 nM, to a peak level of up to 650 nM. When the Ca2+ wave reached the ciliary base, the beat frequency rapidly increased, within a few beat cycles, from a basal rate of 6.4 to 11.6 Hz at 20-23 degrees C, and from 17.2 to 26.7 Hz at 37 degrees C. Changes in [Ca2+]i, above 350 nM, had no effect on the maximum beat frequency. We suggest that airway ciliary beat frequency is 1) controlled by a low range of [Ca2+]i acting directly at an axonemal site at the ciliary base and 2) that a maximum frequency is induced by a change in [Ca2+]i of approximately 250-300 nM.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk