Adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate stimulates chloride (Cl-) secretion across airway epithelia. To determine whether cAMP also stimulates HCO3- secretion, we studied cultured canine and human airway epithelial cells bathed in a HCO3-/CO2-buffered, Cl(-)-free solution. Addition of forskolin stimulated an increase in short-circuit current that was likely a result of bicarbonate secretion because it was inhibited by a HCO3(-)-free solution, by addition of the carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, acetazolamide, or by mucosal addition of the anion channel blocker, diphenylamine 2-carboxylate. The current was dependent on Na+ because it was inhibited by removal of Na+ from the submucosal bathing solution, by addition of the Na+ pump inhibitor, ouabain, or by addition of amiloride (1 mM) to the submucosal solution. An increase in cytosolic Ca2+ produced by addition of a Ca2+ ionophore also stimulated short-circuit current. These data suggest that cAMP and Ca2+ stimulate HCO3- secretion across airway epithelium, and suggest that HCO3- leaves the cell across the apical membrane via conductive pathways. These results may explain previous observations that the short-circuit current across airway epithelia was not entirely accounted for by the sum of Na+ absorption and Cl- secretion. The cAMP-induced secretory response was absent in cystic fibrosis (CF) airway epithelial cells, although Ca(2+)-stimulated secretion was intact. This result suggests that HCO3- exist at the apical membrane is through the Cl- channel that is defectively regulated in CF epithelia. These results suggest the possibility that a defect in HCO3- secretion may contribute to the pathophysiology of CF pulmonary disease.
J J Smith, M J Welsh
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.