Micropipette measurement of airway submucosal gland secretion. Autonomic effects

I. Ueki, V. F. German, J. A. Nadel

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49 Scopus citations


We describe a micropipette method for obtaining secretions from single submucosal gland ducts in vivo in cat tracheas. The secretory rate of 65 glands sampled under basal conditions in 16 animals varied from 3 to 30 nl/min (mean ± SE, 9.05 ± 0.60 nl/min) and varied 2- to 3-fold among glands sampled within an animal. Sequential samples collected from individual ducts during a 10-min period were highly repeatable (correlation coefficient, 0.96) and were remarkably constant for as long as 4 h. Vagal cooling decreased the secretory rate by a mean of 39% (n = 11, p < 0.05). Stimulation of the cervical vagus nerves increased flow from 8.3 ± 0.7 to 16.4 ± 0.8 nl/min (n = 15, p < 0.01), an effect that was abolished by intravenous injection of 0.5 mg of atropine sulfate/kg of body weight or by cooling of the vagus nerves, but not by 0.08 mg of phentolamine/kg given intravenously. Intravenous injection of 0.3 mg of phenylephrine/kg of body weight increased flow from 8.6 ± 0.6 to 18.9 ± 1.1 nl/min (n = 20, p < 0.001), an effect that was prevented by phentolamine, but not by atropine. We conclude that cholinergic and α-adrenergic stimulation increases fluid secretion from feline submucosal glands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-357
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Review of Respiratory Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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