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Sunday 01 September 2002

Bronchial hyperresponsiveness induced by chronic treatment with albuterol: Role of sensory nerves.

By: Keir S, Page C, Spina D.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2002 Sep;110(3):388-94

BACKGROUND: It has recently been suggested that regular treatment with racemic beta(2)-adrenoceptor agonists might result in bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) to a range of spasmogens, and this might be due to adverse effects of the distomer. OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine whether BHR induced by means of continuous exposure to racemic and S-albuterol was mediated by sensory nerves. METHODS: Naive or ovalbumin-sensitized guinea pigs were treated for 10 days with RS-, R-, or S-albuterol (1 mg.kg(-1).d(-1)) through subcutaneously implanted minipumps. Lung function was then determined in response to a number of spasmogens and assessed on the basis of an increase in total airway resistance. A separate group of animals were chronically treated with capsaicin (80 mg/kg) before the albuterol treatment. RESULTS: Treatment with RS- or S-albuterol increased airway responsiveness to bradykinin, leukotriene C(4), and capsaicin in naive guinea pigs (P <.05) and to histamine and ovalbumin in immunized guinea pigs (P <.05). Chronic treatment with capsaicin prevented the development of RS- and S-albuterol-induced BHR in these models. The bronchodilator efficacy of acute intravenously administered RS-albuterol was unaffected in RS-, R-, or S-albuterol-treated guinea pigs compared with in vehicle-treated animals. CONCLUSION: We have provided evidence demonstrating that continuous exposure to RS- and S-albuterol increases bronchial responsiveness to a range of stimuli, an effect not attributed to beta-adrenoceptor occupancy or desensitization. Furthermore, capsaicin-sensitive sensory nerves mediate the development of BHR, at least in part.

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