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Mucin concentration contributes to a sticky situation in cystic fibrosis

Patients with (CF) accumulate thick, in the lungs that clogs the airways and leads to life-threatening lung infections.

It has recently been proposed that differing of mucin with in mucus layers of the CF lung contribute to decreased mucus clearance; however, it has been challenging to accurately access mucin concentration.

In this issue of the , and colleagues at the University of North Carolina applied size exclusion chromatography/differential refractometry techniques to measure the mucin concentration in sputum from normal and CF airways.

Mucin concentrations and partial osmotic pressure were greater in CF secretions compared to normal secretions. Importantly, increased mucin concentration and partial osmotic pressure promoted mucus stasis, thereby contributing to and inflammation in CF.

TITLE: Cystic fibrosis airway secretions exhibit mucin hyperconcentration and increased osmotic pressure


Journal of Clinical Investigation