Enhancement of alveolar epithelial sodium channel activity with decreased cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator expression in mouse lung

Academic Article


  • We sought to establish whether the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) regulates the activity of amiloride-sensitive sodium channels (ENaC) in alveolar epithelial cells of wild-type, heterozygous (Cftr +/-), knockout (Cftr -/-), and ΔF508-expressing mice in situ. RT-PCR studies confirmed the presence of CFTR message in freshly isolated alveolar type II (ATII) cells from wild-type mice. We patched alveolar type I (ATI) and ATII cells in freshly prepared lung slices from these mice and demonstrated the presence of 4-pS ENaC channels with the following basal open probabilities (P o): Wild-type = 0.21 ± 0.015: Cftr +/- = 0.4 ± 0.03; ΔF508 = 0.55 ± 0.01; and Cftr -/- = and 0.81 ± 0.016 (means ± SE; n ≥9). Forskolin (5 μM) or trypsin (2 μM), applied in the pipette solution, increased the P o and number of channels in ATII cells of wild-type, Cftr +/-, and ΔF508, but not in Cftr -/- mice, suggesting that the latter were maximally activated. Western blot analysis showed that lungs of all groups of mice had similar levels of α-ENaC; however, lungs of Cftr +/- and Cftr -/- mice had significantly higher levels of an α-ENaC proteolytic fragment (65 kDa) that is associated with active ENaC channels. Our results indicate that ENaC activity is inversely correlated to predicted CFTR levels and that CFTR heterozygous and homozygous mice have higher levels of proteolytically processed ENaC fragments in their lungs. This is the first demonstration of functional ENaC-CFTR interactions in alveolar epithelial cells in situ. © 2011 the American Physiological Society.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 9651251
  • Author List

  • Lazrak A; Jurkuvenaite A; Chen L; Keeling KM; Collawn JF; Bedwell DM; Matalon S
  • Volume

  • 301
  • Issue

  • 4