pH-regulated chloride secretion in fetal lung epithelia

Carol J. Blaisdell, Rebecca D. Edmonds, Xi Tao Wang, Sandra Guggino, Pamela L. Zeitlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fetal lung actively transports chloride across the airway epithelium. ClC-2, a pH-activated chloride channel, is highly expressed in the fetal lung and is located on the apical surface of the developing respiratory epithelium. Our goal was to determine whether acidic pH could stimulate chloride secretion in fetal rat distal lung epithelial cells mounted in Ussing chambers. A series of acidic solutions stimulated equivalent short-circuit current (I(eq)) from a baseline of 28 ± 4.8 (pH 7.4) to 70 ± 5 (pH 6.2), 114 ± 12.8 (pH 5.0), and 164 ± 19.2 (pH 3.8) μA/cm2. These changes in I(eq) were inhibited by 1 mM cadmium chloride and did not result in large changes in [3H]mannitol paracellular flux. Immunofluorescent detection by confocal microscopy revealed that ClC-2 is expressed along the luminal surface of polarized fetal distal lung epithelial cells. These data suggest that the acidic environment of the fetal lung fluid could activate chloride channels contributing to fetal lung fluid production and that the changes in I(eq) seen in these Ussing studies may be due to stimulation of ClC-2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L1248-L1255
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number6 22-6
StatePublished - Jun 2000


  • Chloride channels
  • ClC-2
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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