Ionic transport in tall columnar epithelial (TCE) cells obtained by nasal brushing from non-cystic fibrosis (CF) individuals.

Ana C Maurício, D Penque, M D Amaral, K T Ferreira


Tall columnar epithelial (TCE) cells can be obtained by a non-invasive procedure through brushing the inferior turbinate and the adjacent lateral nasal wall. Here, we present results from the functional study of epithelial cells, thus obtained by using the patch-clamp technique. By patch-clamping the sub-apical region of TCE cells, we were able to identify at least three different groups of Cl- channels, namely: a) one with large conductance, rectifying, which was the most frequently found type of Cl- channel; b) a second type of small conductance, activated by cAMP and IBMX, in excised inside-out patches and voltage independent; c) a third type with a conductance around 25 pS, voltage independent, with a linear IV relationship, that could be observed in the excised inside-out configuration. The study of CFTR Cl- channel and its role in airway cell physiology has generally been conducted in cultured cells, most of which not polarized. This experimental work using freshly obtained TCE cells from the nasal epithelium, demonstrates that such cells may be one valid tool to study Cl- channels (most probably ORCC and CFTR Cl- channels) as a model for the lower respiratory epithelium.

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