Primary cultures of structurally polarized sheets of avian salt gland secretory cells were mounted in Lucite chambers for transmural electrophysiological analysis. Transmural resistance values increased during the first 3 days of culture to 293 ± 35 Ω·cm2 and then decreased slowly thereafter. There was little short-circuit current (I(sc)) in the absence of secretagogues. Serosal addition of either carbachol or epinephrine resulted in a I(sc) consistent with positive charge flow from mucosa to serosa, thus demonstrating that these cell layers were capable of active ion transport in response to either cholinergic or adrenergic neurohormonal stimulation. Serosal ouabain or furosemide abolished the response to either agonist, while theophylline enhanced the response. Receptor specificity for the electrical responses was shown by selective inhibition of carbachol- and epinephrine-induced I(sc) by atropine and propranolol, respectively. The results demonstrate that these primary epithelial cell cultures are capable of active ion transport and are sensitive to known inhibitors of secretory transport, and suggest that intracellular coupling mechanisms for hormonal control are retained in culture. These cultures should be useful for studying mechanisms of ion secretory transport and their regulatory control.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology