Navigation Links
Airway cells use 'tasting' mechanism to detect and clear harmful substances
Date:7/24/2009

The same mechanism that helps you detect bad-tasting and potentially poisonous foods may also play a role in protecting your airway from harmful substances, according to a study by scientists at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. The findings could help explain why injured lungs are susceptible to further damage.

The study, published online July 23 in Science Express, shows that receptors for bitter compounds that are found in taste buds on the tongue also are found in hair-like protrusions on airway cells. In addition, the scientists showed that, unlike taste cells on the tongue, these airway cells do not need help from the nervous system to translate detection of bitter taste into an action that expels the harmful substance.

The hair-like protrusions, called motile cilia, were already known to beat in a wave-like motion to sweep away mucus, bacteria and other foreign particles from the lungs.

The study is the first to show that motile cilia on airway cells not only have this "clearing" function, but also use the receptors to play a sensory role. The researchers also found that when the receptors detect bitter compounds, the cilia beat faster, suggesting that the sensing and the motion capabilities of these cellular structures are linked.

"On the tongue, bitter substances trigger taste cells to stimulate neurons, which then evoke a response -- the perception of a bitter taste. In contrast, the airway cells appear to use a different mechanism that does not require nerves," said Alok Shah, a UI graduate student and co-first author of the study. "In the airways, bitter substances both activate the receptors and elicit a response -- the increased beating of the cilia -- designed to eliminate the offending material."

Shah and co-first author Yehuda Ben-Shahar, Ph.D., an assistant professor of biology at Washington University who was a postdoctoral fellow at the UI when the study was conducted, worked in the lab of senior study author Michael Welsh, M.D., UI professor of internal medicine and molecular physiology and biophysics, who holds the Roy J. Carver Chair of Internal Medicine and Physiology and Biophysics. Welsh also is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

"These findings suggest that we have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to guard ourselves from harmful environmental stimuli," Ben-Shahar said. "Our work also suggests that losing cilia in the lungs, due to smoking or disease, would result in a reduced general ability to detect harmful inhaled chemicals, increasing the likelihood of further damaging an injured lung."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Brown
jennifer-l-brown@uiowa.edu
319-356-7124
University of Iowa
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Positive results for airway bypass
2. Researchers at Sarasota Memorial Health Care System to study airway bypass treatment for emphysema
3. Franklin Square to study airway bypass procedure for severe emphysema
4. Lung airway cells activate vitamin D and increase immune response
5. ESF EURYI award winner aims to stop cancer cells reading their own DNA
6. Newly created cancer stem cells could aid breast cancer research
7. AIDS interferes with stem cells in the brain
8. Clemson scientists shed light on molecules in living cells
9. Social habits of cells may hold key to fighting diseases
10. UF scientists reveal how dietary restriction cleans cells
11. Human derived stem cells can repair rat hearts damaged by heart attack
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Airway cells use 'tasting' mechanism to detect and clear harmful substances
(Date:2/11/2016)...  According to new research from Acuity Market ... 200 fingerprint, iris, and eye-vein biometric smartphones have ... names. This includes market leaders Apple, Samsung, Huawei, ... that 600 million biometric smartphones are currently in ... Maxine Most , Acuity Market Intelligence ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Calif. , Feb. 11, 2016  Vigilant Solutions announces ... LPR data are being used by Lee,s Summit ... including the recent location and arrest of a homicide suspect. ... Summit covers around 65 square miles and is ... Police Department has a single mobile license plate reader ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... PUNE, India , February 10, 2016 ... --> According to 2016 iris ... fingerprint identification iris recognition is more widely ... are available with both fingerprint and iris ... allows the user to avoid purchasing two ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... 2016 Non-profit Consortium Aims to Generate ... Support Research and Discovery --> ... ambitious plan to sequence 100,000 individuals. It is intended to ... least 7 of North and East Asian countries. ... the project will focus on creating phased reference genomes for ...
(Date:2/11/2016)...  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: NBIX ) today announced its ... --> --> For the ... $29.3 million, or $0.34 loss per share, compared to a net ... same period in 2014. For the year ended December 31, 2015, ... loss per share, as compared to a net loss of $60.5 ...
(Date:2/11/2016)...  Vermillion, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRML ), a bio-analytical ... formation of the Steering Committee for its Pelvic Mass ... Pelvic masses can present physicians and healthcare professionals ... is ruled out, pelvic masses may include cancers of ... ovarian tumors and gastrointestinal and urinary tract masses. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Germany and ... QGEN ; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today ... Targeted RNA Panels for gene expression profiling, expanding QIAGEN,s ... (NGS). The panels enable researchers to select from over ... changes and discover interactions between genes, cellular phenotypes and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: