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Translating Basic Research Into Clinical Practice |

Sodium Channels and Cystic Fibrosis*

Scott H. Donaldson, MD; Richard C. Boucher, MD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Cystic Fibrosis Research and Treatment Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.

Correspondence to: Scott H. Donaldson, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, 6007B Thurston Bowles Building, CB# 7248, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599; e-mail: scott_donaldson@med.unc.edu



Chest. 2007;132(5):1631-1636. doi:10.1378/chest.07-0288
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The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) represents the rate-limiting step of sodium absorption across airway epithelia and thereby constitutes the major pathway for volume absorption from the airway surface liquid compartment. ENaC dysregulation leads to dehydration of airway surfaces in patients with cystic fibrosis, which in turn disrupts the primary innate lung defense mechanism, mucus clearance. The development of treatment strategies that address this defect is a logical and promising means of preventing or delaying the onset of this lethal lung disease.

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