Nevin Manimala Statistics

Metachrony drives effective mucociliary transport via a calcium-dependent mechanism

Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2024 Jun 11. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00392.2023. Online ahead of print.


The mucociliary transport apparatus is critical for maintaining lung health via the coordinated movement of cilia to clear mucus and particulates. A metachronal wave propagates across the epithelium when cilia on adjacent multiciliated cells beat slightly out of phase along the proximal-distal axis of the airways in alignment with anatomically directed mucociliary clearance. We hypothesized that metachrony optimizes mucociliary transport (MCT) and that disruptions of calcium signaling would abolish metachrony and decrease MCT. We imaged bronchi from human explants and ferret tracheae using micro-Optical Coherence Tomography (µOCT) to evaluate airway surface liquid depth (ASL), periciliary liquid depth (PCL), cilia beat frequency (CBF), MCT, and metachrony in situ. We developed statistical models that included covariates of MCT. Ferret tracheae were treated with BAPTA-AM (chelator of intracellular Ca2+), lanthanum chloride (nonpermeable Ca2+channel competitive antagonist), and repaglinide (inhibitor of calaxin) to test calcium-dependence of metachrony. We demonstrated metachrony contributes to mucociliary transport of human and ferret airways. MCT was augmented in regions of metachrony compared to non-metachronous regions by 48.1%, P=0.0009 or 47.5%, P<0.0020 in humans and ferrets, respectively. PCL and metachrony were independent contributors to MCT rate in humans; ASL, CBF, and metachrony contribute to ferret MCT rates. Metachrony can be disrupted by interference with calcium signaling including intracellular, mechanosensitive channels, and calaxin. Our results support that the presence of metachrony augments MCT in a calcium-dependent mechanism.

PMID:38860289 | DOI:10.1152/ajplung.00392.2023

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