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Atlanta, GA, United States

Mitchell L.A.,Allergy | Mitchell L.A.,Emory Alcohol and Lung Biology Center | Overgaard C.E.,Allergy | Overgaard C.E.,Emory Alcohol and Lung Biology Center | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology

Alveolar barrier function depends critically on the claudin family tight junctionproteins. Of the major claudins expressed by alveolar epithelial cells, claudin (Cldn)-3 and Cldn-4 are the most closely related by amino acid homology, yet they differ dramatically in the pattern of expression. Previously published reports have shown that Cldn-3 is predominantly expressed by type II alveolar epithelial cells; Cldn-4 is expressed throughout the alveolar epithelium and is specifically upregulated in response to acute lung injury. Using primary rat alveolar epithelial cells transduced with yellow fluorescent protein-tagged claudin constructs, we have identified roles for Cldn-3 and Cldn-4 in alveolar epithelial barrier function. Surprisingly, increasing expression of Cldn-3 decreased alveolar epithelial barrier function, as assessed by transepithelial resistance and dye flux measurements. Conversely, increasing Cldn-4 expression improved alveolar epithelial transepithelial resistance compared with control cells. Other alveolar epithelial tight junction proteins were largely unaffected by increased expression of Cldn-3 and Cldn-4. Taken together, these results demonstrate that, in the context of the alveolar epithelium, Cldn-3 and Cldn-4 have different effects on paracellular permeability, despite significant homology in their extracellular loop domains. © 2011 the American Physiological Society. Source

Downs C.A.,Emory Children Center for Developmental Lung Biology | Trac D.,Emory Children Center for Developmental Lung Biology | Brewer E.M.,Emory Children Center for Developmental Lung Biology | Brown L.A.,Emory Children Center for Developmental Lung Biology | And 3 more authors.
BioMed Research International

Similar to effects of alcohol on the heart, liver, and brain, the effects of ethanol (EtOH) on lung injury are preventable. Unlike other vital organ systems, however, the lethal effects of alcohol on the lung are underappreciated, perhaps because there are no signs of overt pulmonary disorder until a secondary insult, such as a bacterial infection or injury, occurs in the lung. This paper provides overview of the complex changes in the alveolar environment known to occur following both chronic and acute alcohol exposures. Contemporary animal and cell culture models for alcohol-induced lung dysfunction are discussed, with emphasis on the effect of alcohol on transepithelial transport processes, namely, epithelial sodium channel activity (ENaC). The cascading effect of tissue and phagocytic Nadph oxidase (Nox) may be triggered by ethanol exposure, and as such, alcohol ingestion and exposure lead to a prooxidative environment; thus impacting alveolar macrophage (AM) function and oxidative stress. A better understanding of how alcohol changes the landscape of the alveolar epithelium can lead to improvements in treating acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) for which hospitalized alcoholics are at an increased risk. © 2013 Charles A. Downs et al. Source

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