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Pharmacological techniques for the in vitro study of airways.

Fedan JS; Van Scott MR; Johnston RA
J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods 2001 Mar; 45(2):159-174
The purpose of this review is to describe some of the more commonly used isolated preparations of airways for in vitro experimentation and to discuss some practical considerations associated with their use. The types of experiments and protocols for which these preparations have been used are large and diverse. We will not attempt to review all of these applications, but will restrict the discussion to the use of preparations to examine airway smooth muscle and respiratory epithelium. Space will not allow inclusion of all the work that has been done using these preparations, and we apologize for not including some reports that would serve as equally good examples; however, there is much similarity in the manner in which each type of perparation is used, and any given paper can be a point of entry into that method. For the sake of expedience, we will highlight the preparations used in our laboratory. Some of these are novel and may be of interest to a wider community. In vitro preparations of freshly isolated tissues allow investigation into effects and mechanisms under steady state experimental conditions with precise control of concentrations of substances and other experimental parameters. In the pulmonary research arena, investigators have utilized the information gained from isolated airway preparations to elucidate effects and processes that occur in vivo both in healthy mammals and in animal models of lung diseases. The preparations find usefulness both in defining fundamental cellular mechanisms as well as for screening the effects of agents of potential therapeutic benefit or that exert toxic effects. As such, the in vitro approaches for the study of airways have provided information that is critical to the interpretation of effects observed under in vivo conditions. On the other hand, it must be remembered that an isolated airway preparation, removed from its neuronal connections and contact with plasma-borne substances, both known and yet to be identified, may acquire new properties or lose some of the attributes if possessed in situ. Each of the preparations and techniques to be discussed has advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before adoption.
Pharmacology; In-vitro-study; Pulmonary-function-tests; In-vitro-studies; Humans; Animals; Animal-studies; Lung-disease; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Toxic-effects; Respiratory-function-tests; Airway-obstruction
Pathology and Physiology Research Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505-2888
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Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division