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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Jul 15;192(2):182-90. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201412-2230OC.

The Relationship of Mucus Concentration (Hydration) to Mucus Osmotic Pressure and Transport in Chronic Bronchitis.

Author information

1
1 Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine.
2
2 Marsico Lung Institute/Cystic Fibrosis Research Center.
3
3 Marsico Lung Institute/Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma, and Lung Biology.
4
4 Department of Statistics, and.
5
5 Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Chronic bronchitis (CB) is characterized by persistent cough and sputum production. Studies were performed to test whether mucus hyperconcentration and increased partial osmotic pressure, in part caused by abnormal purine nucleotide regulation of ion transport, contribute to the pathogenesis of CB.

OBJECTIVES:

We tested the hypothesis that CB is characterized by mucus hyperconcentration, increased mucus partial osmotic pressures, and reduced mucus clearance.

METHODS:

We measured in subjects with CB as compared with normal and asymptomatic smoking control subjects indices of mucus concentration (hydration; i.e., percentage solids) and sputum adenine nucleotide/nucleoside concentrations. In addition, sputum partial osmotic pressures and mucus transport rates were measured in subjects with CB.

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS:

CB secretions were hyperconcentrated as indexed by an increase in percentage solids and total mucins, in part reflecting decreased extracellular nucleotide/nucleoside concentrations. CB mucus generated concentration-dependent increases in partial osmotic pressures into ranges predicted to reduce mucus transport. Mucociliary clearance (MCC) in subjects with CB was negatively correlated with mucus concentration (percentage solids). As a test of relationships between mucus concentration and disease, mucus concentrations and MCC were compared with FEV1, and both were significantly correlated.

CONCLUSIONS:

Abnormal regulation of airway surface hydration may slow MCC in CB and contribute to disease pathogenesis.

KEYWORDS:

COPD; mucociliary clearance; mucus hyperconcentration

PMID:
25909230
PMCID:
PMC4532825
DOI:
10.1164/rccm.201412-2230OC
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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