Reactive Species Mediate Inhibition of Alveolar Type II Sodium Transport during Mycoplasma Infection

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Mycoplasma pneumoniaeis a significant cause of pneumonia in humans.


To determine the impact of mycoplasma infection and the host inflammatory response on alveolar type II (ATII) cell ion transportin vivoandin vitro.


Mice were infected withM. pulmonisfor measurements of alveolar fluid clearance (AFC)in vivoand isolation of ATII cells. ATII cells were infectedin vivofor determination of epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) total and cell surface protein levels by biotinylation and Western blot andin vitrofor whole cell patch clamp recording and measurement of nitric oxide (NO) production by chemiluminescence.


Mycoplasma infection significantly inhibited AFC at 24 h and total and amiloride-sensitive AFC by 48 h postinfection (pi). In contrast, infected myeloperoxidase-deficient mice had similar basal and amiloride-sensitive AFC values to uninfected control mice at 48 h pi. Addition of forskolin restored total and amiloride-sensitive AFC to control values at 48 h pi. ATII cells isolated from infected mice demonstrated normal α, β, and γ ENaC total protein levels; however, infected whole-lung cell-surface levels of γ ENaC were significantly decreased. Patch-clamp recordings demonstrated a significant decrease in total and amiloride-sensitive Na+ currents at 24 h pi. ATII cells demonstrated a significant increase in the production of NO at 24 h pi and inhibition of NO by ATII cells before infection reversed the decrease in total Na+ currents.


These data indicate that mycoplasma infection results in decreased AFC and functional ENaC via the production of reactive oxygen nitrogen intermediates.

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