Skip to main content

Non-invasive Real-time Measurement of Nasal Mucociliary Clearance in Mice by Pinhole Gamma Scintigraphy

Mucociliary clearance (MCC) is especially important in the upper airways, as the nose depends on the MCC to remove secreted mucus, cell debris and inhaled environmental factors. Impaired nasal MCC is also believed to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of several diseases in the nose and sinuses. However, the regulatory mechanisms of nasal MCC have been elusive. Recently, mice deficient in genes encoding the components of MCC apparatus have been generated, thus providing a powerful tool to carry out more in-depth studies on nasal MCC.

We have developed an assay for measuring nasal mucociliary clearance in mice using gamma scintigraphy methods (link to Hua et al reference) that we have previously used in humans and large animal models. These are the first such measures of this kind to be made in the mouse nose and should prove to be a valuable tool for assessing nasal function in mouse models of nasal disease. The advantages of this method include: 1) the ability to measure nasal MCC in live mice in a real time manner in vivo in a non-invasive fashion; 2) measurement of nasal MCC under physiological conditions; and 3) the ability to administer drugs during real-time measurements which permits observation of their immediate effects.