Discussion: Alterations in Cellular Processes

NURS 6501 Discussion: Alterations in Cellular Processes

Discussion: Alterations in Cellular Processes

Purpose Statement

This paper is being written to explain the pathology of cystic fibrosis. I personally have a friend who has this disease and have learned from her. The topics that will be covered are, how cystic fibrosis is created at a cellular level, genetics role in cystic fibrosis, the reasoning for the symptoms that the patient presented with, the description of the cells involved in cystic fibrosis, and how other characteristics would change the child’s response to cystic fibrosis. In short what I remember from nursing school is that cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder which is an autosomal recessive gene that is carried by both the mother and the father. The abnormality occurs in chromosome 7 which is where creates an inability to transport small molecules across the cell’s membrane, which in turn, dehydrates the cells of the epithelium and this then creates dry secretion. This is a broad overview of what this disease is, but I will go into further detail below.

Genetics play an important role in this disease, according to an article published in PubMed titled Cystic fibrosis genetics: from molecular understanding to clinical application states that due to a defective epithelial cell that is defective, this cell is inherited and is an autosomal recessive gene. The genetic information that is in the cell, which is the recipe for the cell to make proteins (Cutting, 2015).  According to Pathophysiology of disease: An introduction to clinical medicine, if a person receives a cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene (CFTCR), or a person can receive two copies of the CFTCR gene. This copy has a mutation of the cystic fibrosis gene, furthermore these two copies of the CFTR gene have stored a mutation which is the on chromosome seven. So, when the recipe is being presented to the cell to be made, the genetic information is then stored into the deoxyribonucleic acid which is known as DNA.  This is part of the twenty-three pairs of chromosomes, but on the seventh chromosome, the cystic fibrosis recipe is stored in that chromosome. In the DNA, where the CFTCR gene recipe lives, if there is one copy of the recipe than the gene will not show up in the person but will be a carrier but if there are two copies of the recipe being stored in the chromosome than the cystic fibrosis gene than the person will have cystic fibrosis (McCance at el., 2019).

 Why the Patient is Presenting with the Specific Symptoms Described

The symptoms that the baby presented with were salty skin, periodically patient gets a swollen stomach, and not gaining weight

Discussion Alterations in Cellular Processes

Discussion Alterations in Cellular Processes

normally. According to an article published Journal of Cystic Fibrosis, titled Inflammation in cystic fibrosis lung disease: Pathogenesis and therapy, the major organ systems that are made up of epithelia. The systems that are being affected in this patient are the sweat glands, liver’s bile duct, and intestines in the gastrointestinal tract. The article goes on to explain that the loss of pancreatic function leads to the patient suffering from malnutrition, and not growing normally. Therefore, the replacement of enzymes is important for this patient to be able to prevent the clogging of the cell because of the inability to breakdown an access amount key nutrient (Cutting, 2015).

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The physiologic response to the stimulus presented in the scenario and why you think this response occurred

After reading different sources, I was able to breakdown the pathology behind this patient’s symptoms. This disease starts with the CFTR gene protein being mutated in the chromosome seven, which there are two copies of the recipe, this mutation causes the decrease of chloride acceptance and ion being transported, then this makes the absorption of water to increase which throws off ciliary from completing the job and there is mucus that is dry, this is what causes the skin to be salty of the baby. The stomach inflammation and swelling that is being experienced, is due to the CFTR gene protein not having the right recipe present to the epithelial cell, this is causing malfunction by changing the reabsorption of the sodium, chloride and potassium in the cell, the recipe tells the cell to keep the sodium, chloride and potassium outside of the cell, this causes a back-up of outside of the cell structure and blocks the cell from absorbing the nutrients especially, proteins, fats and vitamins that are fat soluble.

The Cells that are Involved in this Process

The cells that are involved in this process start with the epithelial membranes which are present in the digestive tract, pancreas, airways, and reproductive area. According to an article in Apoptosis Journal, stated that cystic fibrosis is a caused by the dysfunction in the epithelial cell which leads to inflammation and an inability to create homeostasis because of the constant inflammation caused by the CFTR gene. Furthermore, the epithelial cells end up failing and create apoptosis in the epithelial cell because of the inflammation the is created in the endoplasmic reticulum (Soleti at el., 2013).

Discussion: Alterations in Cellular ProcessesHow another characteristic (e.g., gender, genetics) would change your response

For cystic fibrosis, it is important to understand that this would not be a disease if the parents did not carry the gene. The gene is the CFTR gene mutation, mentioned throughout this paper. According to a study done by Harvard Stem Cell Institute, where a lung cell was isolated to examine the function of the CFTR gene. It was shown in the study that if the ionocytes in the cell are not doing their job because it is expressing CFTR gene in increased levels, then the symptoms are created in the cell (Montoro at el., 2018). This occurs in the form of thick mucus and creates the response in the body that does not allow for the patient to regulate sodium, chloride, and potassium in a normal fashion.


During this journey of studying disease in depth and truly understanding how they work will help in the future of my career. I believe that if screening done at the hospitals before they leave would be beneficial. When parents are informed about the possibility of something occurring and what it means, parents will be empowered and get treatment before or if cystic fibrosis symptoms could show up. Also, encouraging parents to come to their baby checkups, will also allow for the medical staff to ask the right questions and treat the baby early, if they see symptoms. Cystic fibrosis is a challenge some patients may struggle with and it is our job as practitioners to catch things before extreme measures need to be taken.


Cantin, A.M, Hartl, D, Konstan, M and Chmiel, J. (2015). Inflammation in Cystic Fibrosis Lung Disease and Therapy. Journal of                        Cystic Fibrosis. Retrieved from https://www.cysticfibrosisjournal.com/article/S1569-1993(15)00058-2/fulltext.

Cutting G. R. (2015). Cystic fibrosis genetics: from molecular understanding to clinical application. Nature reviews.                                        Genetics16(1), 45–56. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrg3849

McCance, K. L. & Huether, S. E. (2019). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children (8th ed.). St.                           Louis, MO: Mosby/Elsevier.

Montoro D.T., Haber A.L., Biton M. et at. (2018) A Revised Airway Epithlial Heiracrchy Inclues CFTR-Expressing                                             Inoncytes.Nature. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0393-7

Soleti, R., Porro, C., & Martínez, M. C. (2013). Apoptotic process in cystic fibrosis cells. Apoptosis : an                   international journal on programmed cell death18

, it is true that cells are the basic structural components of the body and are specialized to conduct different functions in the body. The central dogma also illustrates the pivotal role of genes in dictating the specialization of cells and subsequent events. Disease can alter the nature of cells thereby interfering with the normal cell functions. I find your case analysis quite intriguing, there are many patients who complain of sore throat that is related to allergic conditions and your analysis through genetic involvement is informative (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,2021).

Group A streptococcus pharyngitis among children and adolescents is common and the identification of the genes associated with the common occurrence provides an avenue for solving the menace. Hypersensitivity relation to genetic composition also provides a better understanding of the recurrence of such cases (McCance & Huether, 2019). I also think that the bod defense system is triggered by recognition of the pathogen and the process of acting against the identified antigen leads to the symptoms, which include inflammation that would be felt as sore throat.

I agree hat the physiological processes upon identification of the antigen includes a variety of cells mediators that take part in the inflammatory pathway. These processes cause heat, swelling and redness. The patient characteristics that define different responses include age as age relates to immunity. Children are more susceptible to some diseases as compared to adults. Elderly people are also prone to some diseases that are not so common among young adults. Allergy to drugs also links to age as the allergy increases with age (Soderholm et al., 2018). I concur with you that severe allergic reaction would definitely be a concern


Soderholm, A. T., Barnett, T. C., Sweet, M. J., & Walker, M. J. (2018). Group A streptococcal

pharyngitis: Immune responses involved in bacterial clearance and GAS‐associated immunopathology. Journal of leukocyte biology, 103(2), 193-213.

McCance, K. L. & Huether, S. E. (2019). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in

adults and children (8th ed.). Mosby/Elsevier.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, November 23). Pharyngitis (strep throat): Information for clinicians. Retrieved March 1, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/groupastrep/diseases-hcp/strep-throat.html


It is true that cell environment stressors cause alterations within the cell and different diseases cause alterations as cells respond to change. Ultimately, the processes of reacting to change would be expressed as symptoms as evident in the child in the case study. Pharyngitis, caused by bacteria and treatable by administering Amoxicillin 500 mg would involve different processes and responses. Consideration of genetic and age factors become critical in analyzing the symptomatic expressions and the outcome upon administration of the medication (Mccance & Huether, 2018).

I believe that association of streptococcus Group A (SGA) bacteria with genetic variations at the HLA region define the susceptibility of children to SGA (Medline Plus, 2021). This is expressed through symptoms like sore throat as a result of inflammatory reactions that links to the immune cell interaction with the perceived pathogen.  Patients who have an alteration of the gene are not capable of producing g sufficient antibodies in response to the pathogen (Mccance & Huether, 2018). This leads to a recurrence and the need for medication. Inflammatory mediators triggered upon detection of pathogens may lead to redness, heat, swelling and pain.

Type-1 hypersensitive reaction involving immune cells such as the Helper-T cell results to the symptoms evident by the patient. Additionally, I agree that research indicate that there is a relation between age and susceptibility to disease. Some diseases are common among the elderly while some are common among children. It is true that pharyngitis is most common among children between age 5 and 15 (Mccance & Huether, 2018). Adults may also present with sore throat regardless of attaining remarkable immunity. Treatment require consideration of age in order to administer the correct doses and to prevent cases of adverse reactions.


Mccance, K. L., & Huether, S. E. (2018). Pathophysiology – e-book: The biologic basis for

disease in adults and children (8th ed.). Mosby.

Medline Plus. (2021, February 22). What is a cell?: Medlineplus genetics. Retrieved March 1,

2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/understanding/basics/cell/