Computational Model for the Regulation of Extracellular ATP and Adenosine in Airway Epithelia
Department of Pharmacology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA, .Sub-cellular biochemistry 01/2011; 55:51-74. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-1217-1_3
Extracellular nucleotides are key components of the signaling network regulating airway clearance. They are released by the epithelium into the airway surface liquid (ASL) to stimulate cilia beating activity, mucus secretion and airway hydration. Understanding the factors affecting their availability for purinoceptor activation is an important step toward the development of new therapies for obstructive lung diseases. This chapter presents a mathematical model developed to gain predictive insights into the regulation of ASL nucleotide concentrations on human airway epithelia. The parameters were estimated from experimental data collected on polarized primary cultures of human nasal and bronchial epithelial cells. This model reproduces major experimental observations: (1) the independence of steady-state nucleotide concentrations on ASL height, (2) the impact of selective ectonucleotidase inhibitors on their steady-state ASL concentrations, (3) the changes in ASL composition caused by mechanical stress mimicking normal breathing, (4) and the differences in steady-state concentrations existing between nasal and bronchial epithelia. In addition, this model launched the study of nucleotide release into uncharted territories, which led to the discovery that airway epithelia release, not only ATP, but also ADP and AMP. This study shows that computational modeling, coupled to experimental validation, provides a powerful approach for the identification of key therapeutic targets for the improvement of airway clearance in obstructive respiratory diseases.
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ABSTRACT: We develop a proof-of-principle model for auto-regulation of water volume in the lung airway surface layer (ASL) by coupling biochemical kinetics, transient ASL volume, and homeostatic mechanical stresses. The model is based on the hypothesis that ASL volume is sensed through soluble mediators and phasic stresses generated by beating cilia and air drag forces. Model parameters are fit based on the available data on human bronchial epithelial cell cultures. Simulations then demonstrate that homeostatic volume regulation is a natural consequence of the processes described. The model maintains ASL volume within a physiological range that modulates with phasic stress frequency and amplitude. Next, we show that the model successfully reproduces the responses of cell cultures to significant isotonic and hypotonic challenges, and to hypertonic saline, an effective therapy for mucus hydration in cystic fibrosis patients. These results compel an advanced airway hydration model with therapeutic value that will necessitate detailed kinetics of multiple molecular pathways, feedback to ASL viscoelasticity properties, and stress signaling from the ASL to the cilia and epithelial cells.
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ABSTRACT: Experimental techniques aimed at measuring the concentration of signaling molecules in the airway surface liquid (ASL) often require an unrealistically large ASL volume to facilitate sampling. This experimental limitation, prompted by the difficulty of pipetting liquid from a very shallow layer (∼15μm), leads to the under-prediction of physiologic concentrations of signaling molecules that are vital to the regulation of mucociliary clearance. Here, we use a computational model to describe the effect of liquid height on the kinetics of extracellular nucleotides in the airway surface liquid coating respiratory epithelia. The model consists of a reaction-diffusion equation with boundary conditions that represent the enzymatic reactions occurring on the epithelial surface. The simulations reproduce successfully the kinetics of extracellular ATP following hypotonic challenge for ASL volumes ranging from 25μl to 500μl in a 12-mm diameter cell culture. The model reveals that [ATP] and [ADO] reach 1200nM and 2200nM at the epithelial surface, respectively, while their volumetric averages remain less than 200nM at all times in experiments with a large ASL volume (500μl). These findings imply that activation of P2Y2 and A2B receptors is robust after hypotonic challenge, in contrast to what could be concluded based on experimental measurements of volumetric concentrations in large ASL volumes. Finally, given the central role that ATP and ADO play in regulating mucociliary clearance, we investigated which enzymes, when inhibited, provide the greatest increase in ATP and ADO concentrations. Our findings suggest that inhibition of NTPDase1/highTNAP would cause the greatest increase in [ATP] after hypotonic challenge, while inhibition of the transporter CNT3 would provide the greatest increase in [ADO].
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