Andrew T Cowan

Temple University, Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (2)6.85 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Our purpose was to evaluate the effect of the mechanical force of a sneeze on sinonasal cilia function and determine the molecular mechanism responsible for eliciting the ciliary response to a sneeze. A novel model was developed to deliver a stimulation simulating a sneeze (55 mmHg for 50 ms) at 26°C to the apical surface of mouse and human nasal epithelial cells. Ciliary beating was visualized, and changes in ciliary beat frequency (CBF) were determined. To interrogate the molecular cascades driving sneeze-induced changes of CBF, pharmacologic manipulation of intra- and extracellular calcium, purinergic, PKA, and nitric oxide (NO) signaling were performed. CBF rapidly increases by ≥150% in response to a sneeze, which is dependent on the release of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), calcium influx, and PKA activation. Furthermore, apical release of ATP is independent of calcium influx, but calcium influx and subsequent increase in CBF are dependent on the ATP release. Lastly, we observed a blunted ciliary response in surgical specimens derived from patients with chronic rhinosinusitis compared to control patients. Apical ATP release with subsequent calcium mobilization and PKA activation are involved in sinonasal ciliary response to sneezing, which is blunted in patients with upper-airway disease.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · The FASEB Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Sinonasal mucosal biofilms are recognized as contributors to the pathogenesis of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). Attachment of bacteria to the sinonasal surface is an initial step in biofilm formation. A critical defense against this occurrence is mucociliary clearance (MCC). To ascertain whether the ciliary component of MCC is uniform throughout the airway we compared ciliary beat frequency (CBF) in the murine nasal septum and trachea at baseline and after challenge with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common pathogen of CRS. Murine septal and tracheal air-liquid interface cultures were evaluated for basal and stimulated CBF after exposure to control or conditioned media from Pseudomonas. Additionally, the attachment of Pseudomonas to nasal and tracheal cultures was assessed after pretreatment with control or conditioned media. Basal CBF is significantly slower in primary nasal airway cultures compared with tracheal airway cultures. Tracheal airway cultures show resistance to Pseudomonas secreted ciliotoxins not evident in nasal septal cultures. Furthermore, after challenge with viable Pseudomonas, significantly more bacteria attach to the nasal cultures compared with the tracheal cultures. Using primary murine nasal and tracheal airway cultures we show inherent differences in cilia function and increased susceptibility of the upper airway to attachment by Pseudomonas. Understanding the differences between upper and subglottic airway mucociliary clearance should lead to novel approaches in the management of upper airway infection.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2011 · American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy