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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 12 (2005), Issue 3, Pages 143-146
Original Article

Increased Expression of the Calcium-Activated Chloride Channel in Hclca1 in Airways of Patients with Obstructive Chronic Bronchitis

Hans-Peter Hauber,1 Celine Bergeron,1 Anne Tsicopoulos,2 Benoit Wallaert,2 Ron Olivenstein,1 Kenneth J Holroyd,3 Roy C Levitt,3 and Qutayba Hamid1

1Meakins-Christie Laboratories, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
2Institut Pasteur, Lille, France
3Genaera Corporation, Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, USA

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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: Interleukin (IL)-9 and its effect on enhancing the human calcium-activated chloride channel 1 (hCLCA1) expression have been shown to induce mucin production. Increased expression of hCLCA1 may, in turn, contribute to mucus overproduction in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with a chronic bronchitis (CB) phenotype.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the expression of IL-9, IL-9 receptor (IL-9R), hCLCA1 and mucoglycoconjugates in COPD.

METHODS: Bronchial biopsies were obtained from six patients with obstructive CB and six healthy control subjects. IL-9, IL-9R and hCLCA1 expression were detected using immunohistochemistry. Additionally, in situ hybridization was performed to determine the expression of hCLCA1 messenger RNA. Mucin production was assessed using periodic acid-Schiff staining.

RESULTS: There was a significantly higher number of IL-9 immunoreactive cells in the submucosa of patients with COPD than that of healthy control subjects (P<0.05). Also, a significant increase in the expression of IL-9R, hCLCA1 (protein and messenger RNA) and mucin (periodic acid-Schiff-positive cells) was noted in the bronchial epithelium of patients with COPD compared the control subjects (P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Increased expression of IL-9, IL-9R and hCLCA1 in the bronchial mucosa of patients with obstructive CB suggests that mucus overproduction in this disease may be, at least in part, due to hCLCA1.