Calcium-dependent regulation of airway epithelial chloride channels.

To determine how cell calcium ([Ca2+]c) regulates apical Cl- channels, we measured the rate of 125-Iodide (125I-) efflux to assay Cl- channel activity in intact cells and examined cell-free membrane patches from cultured canine tracheal epithelial cells. The Ca2+ elevating agonist bradykinin and the calcium ionophore A23187 increased 125I- efflux. This response did not require prostaglandin production. Under several conditions, changes in [Ca2+]c were temporally dissociated from changes in channel activation: a transient increase in [Ca2+]c caused a prolonged stimulation of 125I- efflux. Neither Cl- channel activation nor open-channel probability was affected by varying internal [Ca2+] in excised membrane patches. Adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP)- and Ca2(+)-dependent channel activation may be independent: cAMP-stimulated 125I- efflux did not require an increase in [Ca2+]c, Ca2(+)-stimulated efflux did not require an increase in cAMP, and simultaneous addition of A23187 and isoproterenol produced additive effects on 125I- efflux. The data suggest that an increase in [Ca2+]c activates Cl- channels, however, the effect of Ca2+ appears to be indirect, not involving a ligand-type interaction with the channel.