Ion channels of the lung and their role in disease pathogenesis

Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2017 Nov 1;313(5):L859-L872. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00285.2017. Epub 2017 Oct 12.


Maintenance of normal epithelial ion and water transport in the lungs includes providing a thin layer of surface liquid that coats the conducting airways. This airway surface liquid is critical for normal lung function in a number of ways but, perhaps most importantly, is required for normal mucociliary clearance and bacterial removal. Preservation of the appropriate level of hydration, pH, and viscosity for the airway surface liquid requires the proper regulation and function of a battery of different types of ion channels and transporters. Here we discuss how alterations in ion channel/transporter function often lead to lung pathologies.

Keywords: chloride channels; oxidants; potasium channels; sodium channels.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • Humans
  • Ion Channels / metabolism*
  • Ion Transport / physiology*
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • Mucociliary Clearance / physiology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / metabolism*


  • Ion Channels