Measurement of Ion Transport Function in Rectal Biopsies

  • Martin J. HugEmail author
  • Nico Derichs
  • Inez Bronsveld
  • Jean Paul Clancy
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 741)


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the gene encoding for the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). CFTR functions as an anion channel and is known to interact with a number of other cellular proteins involved in ion transport. To date more than 1,800 mutations are known, most of which result in various degrees of impaired transport function of the gene product. Due to the high inter-individual variability of disease onset and progression, CF still is a diagnostic challenge. Implemented almost 20 years ago, the measurement of electrolyte transport function of rectal biopsies is a useful ex vivo tool to diagnose CF. In this chapter we will review the different approaches to perform ion transport measurements and try to highlight the advantages and limitations of these techniques.

Key words

Epithelial cells cystic fibrosis CFTR Ussing chamber electrolyte transport 



MJH acknowledges the generous support from Mukoviszidose e.V. (N03/07), Innovative Medizinische Förderung Münster (HU 1 1 01 03), and EuroCare CF (LSHM-CT-2005-018932). The expert technical help of Tatjana v. Massenbach is highly appreciated.

ND acknowledges the financial support from Christiane Herzog Stiftung and Mukoviszidose e.V. ND and IB acknowledge the cooperation within the ECFS Diagnostic Network Working Group and IB acknowledges R.A. de Nooijer for technical assistance with NPD.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin J. Hug
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nico Derichs
    • 2
    • 3
  • Inez Bronsveld
    • 4
  • Jean Paul Clancy
    • 5
  1. 1.Pharmacy, University Medical Center FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Cystic Fibrosis Center, Pediatric Pulmonology and Neonatology, Medizinische Hochschule HannoverHannoverGermany
  3. 3.CFTR Biomarker Center, Christiane-Herzog-Zentrum für Mukoviszidose, Charité Universitätsmedizin BerlinBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Department of Pulmonology and TuberculosisUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Department of PediatricsUniversity of AlabamaBirminghamUSA

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