Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin

In vitro evaluation of the ciliary beat frequency of the rat nasal epithelium using a high-speed digital imaging system.

PMID 23727918


Mucociliary clearance (MC) is an important factor in determining nasal drug absorption and the ciliary beat of ciliated epithelial cells of the nasal mucosa is the driving force of MC. However, the relationship between MC and ciliary beat frequency (CBF) is still ambiguous. The purpose of this study was to establish an evaluation method of CBF as an index of mucociliary function and examine the relationship between MC and CBF. A sequence of images of ciliary beating of an excised rat nasal septum was captured using a high-speed digital video camera. CBF (beats per second, Hz) was determined from periodic changes in the contrast value of a specific location in a sequence of images. CBF under control conditions was 8.49±0.38 Hz, which is similar to values reported for cultured human nasal epithelial cells and rat tracheal cells. β-Adrenergic and cholinergic antagonists decreased CBF, while β-adrenergic agonists and acetylcholine increased CBF. These results were similar with those observed for MC in our previous study. It was found that CBFs were significantly and linearly correlated with MC, indicating that MC is directly regulated by CBF and that this evaluation system allows the quantitative determination of nasal mucociliary function.