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Pediatr Res. 2004 Jan;55(1):69-75. Epub 2003 Nov 6.

Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR)-mediated residual chloride secretion does not protect against early chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in F508del homozygous cystic fibrosis patients.

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Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Department of Pediatrics, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, D-30623 Hannover, Germany.


Cystic fibrosis (CF) disease severity is characterized by a broad variability that has been attributed, in addition to the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) genotype, to modulating factors such as CFTR-mediated residual chloride (Cl-) secretion. Moreover, CFTR has been suggested to function as a receptor for Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA). In this study, we investigated whether or not the presence of residual Cl- secretion protects against early chronic PA colonization of patients' airways. Excluding influences on the phenotype caused by different CFTR mutations, we evaluated a cohort of F508del homozygous individuals with respect to the correlation between residual Cl- secretion and the age of onset of PA colonization as an important marker of clinical phenotype. A group with early chronic PA colonization before the age of 7 y (n = 14) was compared with a cohort that had no initial PA detection at least until the age of 13 y (n = 10). We determined the Cl- transport properties by using the intestinal current measurement in rectal suction biopsies. Residual Cl- secretion, most likely due to the CFTR Cl- channel, was observed in 63% of subjects, more frequently in early chronically PA colonized than among late or not colonized patients. These results demonstrate the presence of some active F508del-CFTR in the apical cell membrane and imply that factors other than the CFTR-mediated residual Cl- secretion determine the age of onset of PA colonization.

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