The gene causing cystic fibrosis (CF) encodes the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), a cAMP-regulated chloride channel. Mutations in this gene result in reduced transepithelial chloride permeability across tissues affected in CF. Consequently, restoring chloride permeability to these tissues may prove therapeutic. Here we report that a combination of forskolin, an adenylate cyclase activator, and milrinone, an inhibitor of class III phosphodiesterases, increases the magnitude of the potential difference across nasal epithelium of mice homozygous for the most common CF mutation, ΔF508, while neither drug alone has a significant effect on potential difference. Transgenic mice lacking CFTR do not respond to the milrinone/forskolin combination, indicating that the effect in ΔF508 mice requires CFTR. These results suggest that, by pharmacological means, at least partial CFTR-mediated electrolyte transport can be restored in vivo to CF tissues expressing ΔF508
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