Regulation of airway surface liquid volume and mucus transport by active ion transport

Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2004;1(1):42-6. doi: 10.1513/pats.2306014.


Mucus clearance is an important component of the lung's innate defense against disease, and the ability of the airways to clear mucus is strongly dependent on the volume of liquid on airway surfaces. Whether airway surface liquid (ASL) volume is maintained by passive surface forces or by active ion transport is controversial yet crucial to the understanding of how this system operates in both health and disease. In support of active ion transport being the major determinant of ASL volume, we have demonstrated that normal airway epithelia sense and autoregulate ASL height (volume) by adjusting the rates of Na+ absorption and Cl- secretion to maintain mucus transport.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cystic Fibrosis / metabolism*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / pathology
  • Humans
  • Ion Transport / physiology
  • Mucus / metabolism*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / ultrastructure