Characterization of mouse alveolar epithelial cell monolayers.Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2009 Jun; 296(6):L1051-8.AJ
We investigated the influence of extracellular matrix on transport properties of mouse alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) monolayers (MAECM) and transdifferentiation of isolated mouse alveolar epithelial type II (AT2) cells into an alveolar epithelial type I (AT1) cell-like phenotype. Primary mouse AT2 cells plated on laminin 5-coated polycarbonate filters formed monolayers with transepithelial resistance (R(T)) and equivalent short-circuit current (I(EQ)) of 1.8 kOmega.cm(2) and 5.3 microA/cm(2), respectively, after 8 days in culture. Amiloride (10 microM), ouabain (0.1 mM), and pimozide (10 microM) decreased MAECM I(EQ) to 40%, 10%, and 65% of its initial value, respectively. Sequential addition of pimozide and amiloride, in either order, revealed that their inhibitory effects are additive, suggesting that cyclic nucleotide-gated channels contribute to amiloride-insensitive active ion transport across MAECM. Ussing chamber measurements of unidirectional ion fluxes across MAECM under short-circuit conditions indicated that net absorption of Na(+) in the apical-to-basolateral direction is comparable to net ion flux calculated from the observed short-circuit current: 0.38 and 0.33 microeq.cm(-2).h(-1), respectively. Between days 1 and 9 in culture, AEC demonstrated increased expression of aquaporin-5 protein, an AT1 cell marker, and decreased expression of pro-surfactant protein-C protein, an AT2 cell marker, consistent with transition to an AT1 cell-like phenotype. These results demonstrate that AT1 cell-like MAECM grown on laminin 5-coated polycarbonate filters exhibit active and passive transport properties that likely reflect the properties of intact mouse alveolar epithelium. This mouse in vitro model will enhance the study of AEC derived from mutant strains of mice and help define important structure-function correlations.