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J Cell Biol. 2005 Mar 14;168(6):869-74. Epub 2005 Mar 7.

TRPV4 channel is involved in the coupling of fluid viscosity changes to epithelial ciliary activity.

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  • 1Grup de Fisiologia Cellular i Molecular, Unitat de Senyalització Cellular, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona 08003, Spain.


Autoregulation of the ciliary beat frequency (CBF) has been proposed as the mechanism used by epithelial ciliated cells to maintain the CBF and prevent the collapse of mucociliary transport under conditions of varying mucus viscosity. Despite the relevance of this regulatory response to the pathophysiology of airways and reproductive tract, the underlying cellular and molecular aspects remain unknown. Hamster oviductal ciliated cells express the transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) channel, which is activated by increased viscous load involving a phospholipase A(2)-dependent pathway. TRPV4-transfected HeLa cells also increased their cationic currents in response to high viscous load. This mechanical activation is prevented in native ciliated cells loaded with a TRPV4 antibody. Application of the TRPV4 synthetic ligand 4alpha-phorbol 12,13-didecanoate increased cationic currents, intracellular Ca(2+), and the CBF in the absence of a viscous load. Therefore, TRPV4 emerges as a candidate to participate in the coupling of fluid viscosity changes to the generation of the Ca(2+) signal required for the autoregulation of CBF.

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