Epithelial cells from dog trachea, when grown in tissue culture, formed confluent monolayers 5-6 days after plating. After 8-10 days, domes [mean diam 356 +/- (SE) 53 micron] appeared in monolayers grown in collagen-coated flasks. When grown on polycarbonate filters coated with collagen, a detectable resistance (greater than 5 omega X cm2) and transepithelial potential difference (PD) (greater than 0.1 mV) developed 6 days after plating and increased to approximately 15 omega X cm2 and 15 mV at 10 days. Serosal ouabain (10(-4) M) abolished PD and short-circuit current (Isc). Luminal ouabain had no effect. Luminal amiloride (10(-4) M) and serosal bumetanide (10(-4) M) each decreased PD and Isc. However, a combination of both of these drugs did not abolish Isc. Isoproterenol (10(-5) M), dibutyryl adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (10(-3) M), vasoactive intestinal peptide (10(-7) M), prostaglandin (PG) E2 (10(-5) M), PGF2 alpha (10(-5) M), and bradykinin (10(-5) M) each increased PD and Isc. Thus these monolayer cultures maintain electrical properties resembling those of the original tissue. This preparation may prove useful for the study of water and ion transport by airway epithelia.
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