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Am J Physiol. 1988 May;254(5 Pt 1):C719-24.

Rectum has abnormal ion transport but normal cAMP-binding proteins in cystic fibrosis.

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Department of Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago.


The luminal membranes of involved tissues in cystic fibrosis (CF) are relatively impermeable to Cl and the regulation of Cl transport by adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP)-mediated hormones is abnormal. We investigated the human rectum as a putative model for CF. We compared in vivo transrectal potential difference (PD) in CF and in normal subjects in response to sequential perfusions with various test solutions. The base-line PD was different in normal (-35.5 +/- 4.0 mV; lumen negative; mean +/- SE; n = 9) and CF subjects (-23.4 +/- 3.1 mV; n = 6; P less than 0.025) and was eliminated by amiloride (10(-4) M) perfusion in both groups by 3 min. However, in response to a Cl-free solution with amiloride, all six CF subjects exhibit less of a change in PD (PD, -2.2 +/- 1.2 mV vs. -11.7 +/- 1.5 mV in 6 controls; P less than 0.01). Furthermore, normal subjects (n = 7) respond to a 5 mM theophylline + amiloride perfusion with an increase in lumen-negative PD, whereas, CF subjects (n = 6) show no increase in lumen-negative PD. Rectal biopsy specimens from four normal and four CF subjects exhibit similar (2- to 3-fold) increases in theophylline-induced cAMP content and have similar cAMP-binding proteins (CF, n = 3; control, n = 3). We conclude that the rectum is an involved epithelium in CF in which the aberration may lie at a point beyond the binding of cAMP to its protein kinase.

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