PubMed 19515987

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: ClvC2 , ClvC4

Title: Expression of ENaC subunits, chloride channels, and aquaporins in ovine fetal lung: ontogeny of expression and effects of altered fetal cortisol concentrations.

Authors: Nathan M Jesse, Jarret McCartney, Xiaodi Feng, Elaine M Richards, Charles E Wood, Maureen Keller-Wood

Journal, date & volume: Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol., 2009 Aug , 297, R453-61

PubMed link:

Transition of the epithelium of the fetal lung from fluid secretion to fluid reabsorption requires changes in the expression of ion channels. Corticosteroids regulate expression of several of these channels, including the epithelium sodium channel (ENaC) subunits and aquaporins (AQP). We investigated the ontogenetic changes in these ion channels in the ovine fetal lung during the last half of gestation, a time of increasing adrenal maturation. Expression of the mRNAs for the chloride channels, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), and chloride channel 2 (CLCN2) decreased with age. Expression of mRNAs for AQP1, AQP5, and for subunits of ENaC (alpha, beta, gamma) increased with age. In the fetal sheep the expression of ENaCbeta mRNA was dramatically higher than the expression of ENaCalpha or ENaCgamma, but expression of ENaCbeta protein decreased with maturation, although the ratio of the mature (112 kDa) to immature (102 kDa) ENaCbeta protein increased with age, particularly in the membrane fraction. In contrast, ENaCalpha mRNA and protein both increase with maturation, and the mature form of ENaCalpha (68 kDa) predominates at all ages. A modest increase in fetal cortisol, within the range expected to occur naturally in late gestation but prior to active labor, increased ENaCalpha mRNA but not ENaCbeta, ENaCgamma, or AQP mRNAs. We conclude that in the ovine fetal lung, appearance of functional sodium channels is associated with induction of ENACalpha and ENaCgamma, and that ENaCalpha expression may be induced by even small, preterm increases in fetal cortisol.