At birth the mammalian airway switches from liquid secretion to absorption, an important mechanism in lung liquid clearance. Airway ion transport was examined on the first postnatal day in 38 moderately preterm infants (29–36 weeks gestation). The absorptive airway ion transport capacity was well developed regardless of respiratory condition and there was little capacity for Cl− secretion.
- ENaC, epithelial sodium channel
- PD, potential difference
- airway epithelium
- chloride transport
- epithelial sodium channel
- respiratory distress
- sodium transport
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Funding: EAG was supported by the Liverpool Women’s Hospital “Newborn Appeal”. HLW was supported by the Medical Research Council, UK.
Competing interests: none declared