Image_4_Functional Profiling of CFTR-Directed Therapeutics Using Pediatric Patient-Derived Nasal Epithelial Cell Models.jpg
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Functional profiling of CFTR-directed therapeutics offers the potential to provide significant benefits to young people with cystic fibrosis (CF). However, the development of 2D airway epithelial cell models for individual response tests in CF children remains a central task. The objective of this study was to determine the utility of EpiXTM technology for expansion of nasal epithelial cells for use in electrophysiological CFTR function measurements. An initial harvest of as few as 20,000 cells was sufficient to expand up to 50 million cells that were used to generate air-liquid interface (ALI) cultures for ion transport studies with the Ussing assay. CFTR function was assessed by measuring responses to forskolin and the CFTR potentiator VX-770 (ivacaftor) in ALI cultures generated from passage 3 and 4 cells. Short-circuit current (Isc) measurements of blocked CFTR currents (ΔICFTRinh) discriminated CFTR function between healthy control (wild type, WT) and patients with intermediate (F508del/R117H-7T: 56% WT) and severe (F508del/F508del: 12% WT) CF disease. For the mixed genotypes, CFTR activity for F508del/c.850dupA was 12% WT, R334W/406-1G>A was 24% WT, and CFTRdele2,3(21 kb)/CFTRdele2,3(21 kb) was 9% WT. The CFTR correctors VX-809 (lumacaftor) and VX-661 (tezacaftor) significantly increased CFTR currents for F508del/R117H to 73 and 67% WT, respectively. Cultures with the large deletion mutation CFTRdele2,3(21 kb) unexpectedly responded to VX-661 treatment (20% WT). Amiloride-sensitive sodium currents were robust and ranged between 20–80 μA/cm2 depending on the subject. In addition to characterizing the electrophysiological profile of mutant CFTR activity in cultures for five genotypes, our study exemplifies the promising paradigm of bed-to-bench side cooperation and personalized medicine.
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