Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2012 Sep;47(3):315-23. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2012-0068OC. Epub 2012 Mar 29.

Neuroepithelial bodies as mechanotransducers in the intrapulmonary airway epithelium: involvement of TRPC5.

Author information

Laboratory of Cell Biology and Histology, Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, BE-2020 Antwerp, Belgium.


In rodent lungs, a major part of the myelinated vagal airway afferents selectively contacts pulmonary neuroepithelial bodies (NEBs). Because most myelinated vagal airway afferents concern physiologically characterized mechanoreceptors, the present study aimed at unraveling the potential involvement of NEB cells in transducing mechanosensory information from the airways to the central nervous system. Physiological studies were performed using confocal Ca(2+) imaging of airway epithelium in murine lung slices. Mechanical stimulation by short-term application of a mild hypoosmotic solution (230 mosmol) resulted in a selective, fast, reversible, and reproducible Ca(2+) rise in NEB cells. Other airway epithelial cells could only be activated using more severe hypoosmotic stimuli (< 200 mosmol). NEB cells selectively expressed the Ca(2+)-permeable osmo- and mechanosensitive transient receptor potential canonical channel 5 (TRPC5) in their apical membranes, whereas immunoreactivity for TRP vanilloid-4 and TRP melastatin-3 was abundant in virtually all other airway epithelial cells. Hypoosmotic activation of NEB cells was prevented by GsMTx-4, an inhibitor of mechanosensitive ion channels, and by SKF96365, an inhibitor of TRPC channels. Short application of gadolinium, reported to activate TRPC5 channels, evoked a transient Ca(2+) rise in NEB cells. Osmomechanical activation of NEB cells gave rise to a typical delayed activation of Clara-like cells due to the release of ATP from NEB cells. Because ATP may activate the NEB-associated P2X(2/3) ATP receptor expressing myelinated vagal afferents, the current observations strongly suggest that pulmonary NEB cells are fully equipped to initiate mechanosensory signal transduction to the central nervous system via a purinergic signaling pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center