cAMP-mediated regulation of cholesterol accumulation in cystic fibrosis and Niemann-Pick type C cells

Mary E. Manson, Deborah A. Corey, Nicole M. White, Thomas J. Kelley

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22 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to identify a mechanism regulating cholesterol accumulation in cystic fibrosis (CF) cells. Both CFTR activation and expression are regulated by the cAMP pathway, and it is hypothesized that a feedback response involving this pathway may be involved in the phenotype of cholesterol accumulation. To examine the role of the cAMP pathway in cholesterol accumulation, we treated two CF model cell lines with the Rp diastereomer of adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphorothioate (Rp-cAMPS) and visualized by filipin staining. Rp-cAMPS treatment eliminated cholesterol accumulation in CF cells, whereas 8-bromo-cAMP treatment led to cholesterol accumulation in wild-type cells. To confirm these findings in an independent model system, we also examined the role of cAMP in modulating cholesterol accumulation in Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) fibroblasts. Expression of the protein related to NPC, NPC1, is also directly regulated by cAMP; therefore, it is postulated that NPC cells exhibit the same cAMP-mediated control of cholesterol accumulation. Cholesterol accumulation in NPC cells also was reduced by the presence of Rp-cAMPS. Expression of β-arrestin-2 (βarr2), a marker of cellular response to cAMP signaling, was significantly elevated in CF model cells, Cftr-/- MNE, primary tissue obtained by nasal scrapes from CF subjects, and in NPC fibroblasts compared with respective controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L809-L819
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Rp diastereomer of adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphothioate


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