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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 478713, 13 pages
Research Article

Epithelial Cell Culture from Human Adenoids: A Functional Study Model for Ciliated and Secretory Cells

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Marcoleta 350, 2°Piso, Santiago 8330033, Chile
2Department of Physiology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Alameda 340, Santiago 8331150, Chile

Received 9 August 2012; Revised 16 November 2012; Accepted 19 November 2012

Academic Editor: Anton M. Jetten

Copyright © 2012 Claudia González et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Mucociliary transport (MCT) is a defense mechanism of the airway. To study the underlying mechanisms of MCT, we have both developed an experimental model of cultures, from human adenoid tissue of ciliated and secretory cells, and characterized the response to local chemical signals that control ciliary activity and the secretion of respiratory mucins in vitro. Materials and Methods. In ciliated cell cultures, ciliary beat frequency (CBF) and intracellular Ca2+ levels were measured in response to ATP, UTP, and adenosine. In secretory cultures, mucin synthesis and secretion were identified by using immunodetection. Mucin content was taken from conditioned medium and analyzed in the presence or absence of UTP. Results. Enriched ciliated cell monolayers and secretory cells were obtained. Ciliated cells showed a basal CBF of 10.7 Hz that increased significantly after exposure to ATP, UTP, or adenosine. Mature secretory cells showed active secretion of granules containing different glycoproteins, including MUC5AC. Conclusion. Culture of ciliated and secretory cells grown from adenoid epithelium is a reproducible and feasible experimental model, in which it is possible to observe ciliary and secretory activities, with a potential use as a model to understand mucociliary transport control mechanisms.