Efficient mucociliary transport relies on efficient regulation of ciliary beating

Alex Braiman, Zvi Priel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The respiratory mucociliary epithelium is a synchronized and highly effective waste-disposal system. It uses mucus as a vehicle, driven by beating cilia, to transport unwanted particles, trapped in the mucus, away from the respiratory system. The ciliary machinery can function in at least two different modes: a low rate of beating that requires only ATP, and a high rate of beating regulated by second messengers. The mucus propelling velocity is linearly dependent on ciliary beat frequency (CBF). The linear dependence implies that a substantial increase in transport efficiency requires an equally substantial rise in CBF. The ability to enhance beating in response to various physiological cues is a hallmark of mucociliary cells. An intricate signaling network controls ciliary activity, which relies on interplay between calcium and cyclic nucleotide pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-207
Number of pages6
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 30 Nov 2008


  • Airway ciliary epithelium
  • Calcium
  • Calmodulin
  • Cilia
  • Ciliary beating
  • Metachronism
  • Signal transduction
  • cAMP
  • cGMP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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