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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2003 Aug;29(2):245-51. Epub 2003 Mar 6.

Effects of endothelin-1 on epithelial ion transport in human airways.

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Laboratoire de Biologie et Pharmacologie des Epithéliums Respiratoires, Boulogne, France.


Endothelin-1 (ET-1) exerts many biological effects in airways, including bronchoconstriction, airway mucus secretion, cell proliferation, and inflammation. We investigated the effect of ET-1 on Na absorption and Cl secretion in human bronchial epithelial cells. Addition of 10(-7) M ET-1 had no effect on the inhibition of the short circuit current (Isc) induced by amiloride, a Na channel blocker. Addition of 10(-7) M ET-1 to the apical bath in the presence of amiloride increased Isc in cultured human bronchial epithelial cells studied in Ussing chambers. No effect was observed when ET-1 was added to basolateral bath, indicating that the involved ET-1 receptors are likely present only in the apical membrane of the cells. Use of Cl-free solutions and bumetanide reduced the ET-1-induced increases in Isc, indicating that ET-1 stimulates Cl secretion. The ET-1-induced increase in Isc was prevented by exposure to the ETB receptor antagonist BQ-788 but not to the ETA receptor antagonist BQ-123. ET-1 did not raise intracellular Ca levels, but increased the intracellular concentration of cAMP. These findings indicate that ET-1 is a Cl secretagogue in human airways and acts presumably through apically located ETB receptors and activation of the cAMP pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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