Nucleotide regulation of goblet cells in human airway epithelial explants: normal exocytosis in cystic fibrosis.

M. I. Lethem*, M. L. Dowell, M. Van Scott, J. R. Yankaskas, T. Egan, R. C. Boucher, C. W. Davis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


The regulation of mucin secretion by airway goblet cells is poorly understood and the receptor-based regulatory mechanisms have not been described in human airways. In the present study, we report that extracellular triphosphate nucleotides regulate the rate of granule release from goblet cells in both normal and cystic fibrosis (CF) airway epithelial explants. Explants isolated from nasal and tracheobronchial tissues were mounted in perfusion chambers and the secretory activity was assessed by videomicroscopic determination of degranulation in single goblet cells and by ELISA determination of mucins secreted into the mucosal perfusate. Baseline degranulation was measured at 0.05 degranulation events (DE)/min. In normal goblet cells, mucosal ATP (10(-4) M, n = 17) induced a biphasic secretory response comprising 29.1 +/- 4.9 DE during the first 5 min, with an initial rate of 118.2 +/- 10.2 DE/min. Mucosal UTP (10(-4) M, n = 9) induced a similar response to ATP (initial rate: 89.2 +/- 23.9 DE/min, 17.9 +/- 5.1 DE in 5 min), but mucosal 2-MeSATP was not an effective agonist (initial rate: 1.5 +/- 1.4 DE/min, 2.3 +/- 0.5 DE in 5 min). Determination of mucins by ELISA confirmed that both ATP and UTP induced similar secretory responses but that 2-MeSATP was not effective. In CF explants, mucosal UTP (10(-4) M, n = 6) induced similar responses to those observed in normal tissues (initial rate: 82.5 +/- 27.5 DE/min, 18.8 +/- 4.1 DE in 5 min). We conclude that human nasal and tracheobronchial goblet cells are stimulated by mucosal nucleotides, probably via a 5'-nucleotide receptor, and that this response is unaffected by CF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Nucleotide regulation of goblet cells in human airway epithelial explants: normal exocytosis in cystic fibrosis.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this