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Acid-Sensing Ion Channel 1a Contributes to Airway Hyperreactivity in Mice.

PLoS ONE. 2016;11(11):e0166089 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0166089


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Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML



Leah R Reznikov

David K Meyerholz

Ryan J Adam

Mahmoud Abou Alaiwa

Omar Jaffer

Andrew S Michalski

Linda S Powers

Margaret P Price

David A Stoltz

Michael J Welsh


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Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Neurons innervating the airways contribute to airway hyperreactivity (AHR), a hallmark feature of asthma. Several observations suggested that acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), neuronal cation channels activated by protons, might contribute to AHR. For example, ASICs are found in vagal sensory neurons that innervate airways, and asthmatic airways can become acidic. Moreover, airway acidification activates ASIC currents and depolarizes neurons innervating airways. We found ASIC1a protein in vagal ganglia neurons, but not airway epithelium or smooth muscle. We induced AHR by sensitizing mice to ovalbumin and found that ASIC1a-/- mice failed to exhibit AHR despite a robust inflammatory response. Loss of ASIC1a also decreased bronchoalveolar lavage fluid levels of substance P, a sensory neuropeptide secreted from vagal sensory neurons that contributes to AHR. These findings suggest that ASIC1a is an important mediator of AHR and raise the possibility that inhibiting ASIC channels might be beneficial in asthma.