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Toxicol Mech Methods. 2014 Mar;24(3):191-5. doi: 10.3109/15376516.2013.876136. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

Effects of hydrogen peroxide on mucociliary transport in human airway epithelial cells.

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  • 1Environmental Health Division, Department of Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University , C Cluster, Kyoto , Japan and.


The effects of environmental pollutants on airway clearance have not been well elucidated. This study examined mucociliary transport using different sized-fluorescent particles on polarized human airway epithelial cells which were maintained in an air-liquid interface (ALI) culture system. The effects of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) exposure on mucociliary transport were also investigated. The movement of fluorescent particles with diameters of 10-14 and 2.5-4.5 ┬Ám was observed by fluorescent microscopy as an index of the mucociliary transport. The mixture of the particles with two different sizes was propelled concentrically on the apical surface by the interaction of ciliary activity and mucus in the control condition, whereas H2O2 exposure for 24 h significantly inhibited the movement of the particles. The particle sizes did not affect their movement after the control or H2O2 exposure. These results suggest that particle tracking on polarized human airway epithelial cells is a useful experimental tool for the evaluation of the effect of environmental pollutants on mucociliary transport. In addition, reactive oxygen species may impair mucociliary transport, leading to the airway damage and exacerbation of respiratory diseases.

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