The Role of K+ Channels in Cell Proliferation and Cell Volume Regulation in Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells
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K+ channels are expressed in a wide variety of cell types, including airway epithelial cells. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of various Kv and KCa channels in cell proliferation and cell volume regulation in HBE and CFBE cell lines. Methods included mRNA and protein detection, cell counting and cytotoxicity assays, and cell volume experiments. HBE and CFBE cells expressed many K+ channel mRNA and protein, including Kv7.1, Kv7.5, Kv4.1, Kv4.2, Kv10.1, Kv11.1, KCa1.1 and KCa3.1. Various Kv and KCa channels played a role in HBE and CFBE basal cell proliferation, as well as in mediating the regulatory volume decrease (RVD) response in HBE cells. CFBE cells did not elicit an RVD response and neither cell line underwent a regulatory volume increase (RVI) response. Therefore, K+ channels play an important role in cell proliferation and the regulation of cell volume in bronchial epithelial physiology.