Assessment of Airway Epithelial Ion Transport Functions in Patients, in Excised Tissues and in Cultured Cells,
NORTH CAROLINA UNIV AT CHAPEL HILL
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A great deal of information about function of the epithelium that lines the respiratory tract has accrued in recent years. Because this tissue is so exposed and its functions are so important in the defense of the lung against infection, much of this research has centered on the role of pollutant induced damage to epithelial function in environmental lung disease. Such research is difficult to carry out in normal human subjects, so many kinds of in vivo and in vitro research techniques involving animals have been used. In the interpretation of such experiments the question is always raised as to what if any meaning can be drawn for potential human exposure. To answer this question this study will determine if the end point against which an agents toxicity is being assessed, in vitro, represents a similar function, in vivo. The purpose of the function chosen to measure will be determined so that any findings can be logically extrapolated to human health. Results which demonstrate how disease related differences in function detected in vivo have been elucidated by in vitro experiments and how these differences are manifest in cell culture are presented. Some animal data selected to illustrate the real difficulties of interpretation that can be encountered are given.