Chemoreception pp 155-161 | Cite as

Ionotropic Receptors in Pulmonary Neuroepithelial Bodies (NEB) and their Possible Role in Modulation of Hypoxia Signalling

  • Ernest Cutz
  • X. W. FU
  • C. A. Nurse
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 536)


The neuroepithelial bodies (NEB) are specialized pulmonary structures composed of clusters of innervated amine-and peptide-containing cells, widely distributed within airway mucosa of human and animal lung (Lauweryns et al., 1972). NEB cells are preferentially located at or near airway bifurcations, a site ideally suited for sensing changes in airway gas concentration. NEB cells express a membrane-bound 02 sensor protein, NADPH oxidase, which appears to function in association with sensitive K+ channels (Wang et al., 1996; Fu et al., 1999, 2002). In these specialized receptor cells, hypoxia inhibits Ca2+-lependent and Ca2+-independent K+ channels, leading to an increase in cell firing or a facilitation of membrane depolarization (Youngson et al., 1993). These events are proposed to stimulate neurotransmitter release, which in turn activates second order vagal chemoafferent neurons (Fu et al., 2001). The candidate neurotransmitters involved in chemotransduction of hypoxia stimulus in NEB cells are similar to those proposed for the carotid body glomus cells i.e., serotonin (5-HT), acetycholine (ACh) and ATP (Zhang and Nurse, 2000). Earlier studies reported hypoxia-induced 5-HT release from NEB cells in vivo in neonatal rabbits, and in cultures of NEB cells isolated from


Nerve Ending Ionotropic Receptor Mild Hypoxia Neuroepithelial Body Neonatal Rabbit 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernest Cutz
    • 1
  • X. W. FU
    • 1
  • C. A. Nurse
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Pathology, Department of Paediatric Laboratory medicineThe Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children and University of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Biology, McMaster UniversityHamiltonOntarioCanada

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