Cystic fibrosis (CF) transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) Cl− channel function is required for activating amiloride-sensitive epithelial Na+ channels (ENaC) in salt-absorbing human sweat duct. It is unclear whether ENaC channel function is also required for CFTR activation. The dysfunctional ENaC mutations in type-1 pseudohypoaldosteronism (PHA-1) provided a good opportunity to study this phenomenon of ion channel interaction between CFTR and ENaC. The PHA-1 ducts completely lacked spontaneous ENaC conductance (gENaC). In contrast, the normal ducts showed large spontaneous gENaC (46 ± 10 ms, mean ± SE). After permeabilization of the basolateral membrane with α-toxin, cAMP + ATP activation of CFTR Cl− conductance (gCFTR) or alkalinization of cytosolic pH (6.8 to 8.5) stimulated gENaC of normal but not PHA-1 ducts. In contrast, both spontaneous gCFTR in intact ducts and (cAMP + ATP)-activated gCFTR of permeabilized ducts appeared to be similar in normal and PHA-1 subjects. Lack of gENaC completely blocked salt absorption and caused dramatic reversal of skin potentials associated with pilocarpine-induced sweat secretion from significantly negative in normal subjects (−13 ± 7.0 mV) to significantly positive (+22 ± 11.0 mV) in PHA-1 patients. We conclude that virtual lack of ENaC in PHA-1 ducts had little effect on CFTR activity and that the positive skin potentials could potentially serve as a diagnostic tool to identify type-1 pseudohypoaldosteronism.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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