A novel method for pulmonary research: Assessment of bioenergetic function at the air-liquid interface.

Xu W, Janocha AJ, Leahy RA, Klatte R, Dudzinski D, Mavrakis LA, Comhair SA, Lauer ME, Cotton CU, Erzurum SC. (2014) A novel method for pulmonary research: Assessment of bioenergetic function at the air-liquid interface. Redox Biol. 2:513-9. PMID: 24624341; PMCID: PMC3949089


Air-liquid interface cell culture is an organotypic model for study of differentiated functional airway epithelium in vitro. Dysregulation of cellular energy metabolism and mitochondrial function have been suggested to contribute to airway diseases. However, there is currently no established method to determine oxygen consumption and glycolysis in airway epithelium in air-liquid interface. In order to study metabolism in differentiated airway epithelial cells, we engineered an insert for the Seahorse XF24 Analyzer that enabled the measure of respiration by oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and glycolysis by extracellular acidification rate (ECAR). Oxidative metabolism and glycolysis in airway epithelial cells cultured on the inserts were successfully measured. The inserts did not affect the measures of OCR or ECAR. Cells under media with apical and basolateral feeding had less oxidative metabolism as compared to cells on the inserts at air-interface with basolateral feeding. The design of inserts that can be used in the measure of bioenergetics in small numbers of cells in an organotypic state may be useful for evaluation of new drugs and metabolic mechanisms that underlie airway diseases.


Airway epithelial cells; Air–liquid interface culture; ECAR, extracellular acidification rate; Extracellular acidification rate (ECAR); MTEC, mouse tracheal epithelial cell; Metabolism; OCR, oxygen consumption rate; Oxygen consumption rate (OCR); TCA, tricarboxylic acid; iNOS, inducible nitric oxide synthase

Link to journal: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/redox-biology/