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1.  Effects of steroid treatment on lung CC chemokines, apoptosis and transepithelial cell clearance during development and resolution of allergic airway inflammation 
Summary
Background
Steroid treatment of allergic eosinophilic airway diseases is considered to attenuate cell recruitment by inhibiting several chemokines and to cause eosinophil clearance through inducement of apoptosis of these cells. However, roles of these mechanisms in the actions of steroids in vivo have not been fully established. Also, as regards clearance of tissue eosinophils other mechanisms than apoptosis may operate in vivo.
Objective
This study explores anti-inflammatory effects of steroids instituted during either development or resolution of airway allergic inflammation.
Methods
Immunized mice were subjected to week-long daily allergen challenges (ovalbumin). Steroid treatment was instituted either amidst the challenges or exclusively post-allergen challenge. CC chemokines, goblet cell hyperplasia, occurrence of eosinophil apoptosis, and airway tissue as well as lumen eosinophilia were examined at different time-points.
Results
Daily steroids instituted amid the allergen challenges non-selectively attenuated a range of chemokines, permitted egression of tissue eosinophils into airway lumen to increase, and reduced development of lung tissue eosinophilia. Steroid treatment instituted post-challenge selectively inhibited the CC-chemokine regulation upon activation, normal T cell expressed and secrted (RANTES), permitted continued egression of eosinophils into airway lumen, and resolved the tissue eosinophilia. Eosinophil apoptosis rarely occurred at development and resolution of the allergic eosinophilic inflammation whether the animals were steroid treated or not. However, anti-Fas monoclonal antibodies given to mice with established eosinophilia post-challenge produced apoptosis of the tissue eosinophils indicating that apoptotic eosinophils, if they occur, are well detectible in vivo.
Conclusion
Airway tissue eosinophils are likely eliminated through egression into airway lumen with little involvement of apoptosis and phagocytosis. Our data further suggest that therapeutic steroids may resolve airway inflammation by permitting clearance of tissue eosinophils through egression and inhibiting RANTES-dependent cell recruitment to lung tissues.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2222.2006.02396.x
PMCID: PMC3389735  PMID: 16393273
apoptosis; asthma; chemokines; glucocorticoids
2.  Effects of nicotine on the human nasal mucosa. 
Thorax  1993;48(6):651-655.
BACKGROUND--Topical application of nicotine and stimulation of tachykinin containing sensory nerves have been shown to produce mucosal exudation of plasma and derangement of the epithelial lining in guinea pig and rat airways. If this occurred in man these effects might contribute to the pathogenesis of airway disease. This study, performed in healthy volunteers without atopy, examined whether nicotine affects the plasma exudation response and the mucosal absorption permeability of the human nasal airway. METHODS--The acute effects of increasing topical doses of nicotine (0.08-2.0 mg) were examined (n = 8) on nasal symptoms (pain), mucosal exudation of plasma (albumin), mucosal secretion of mucin (fucose), and mucosal exudative responsiveness (histamine induced mucosal exudation of albumin). A separate placebo controlled study was carried out to determine whether frequent applications of the high dose of nicotine (2.0 mg given eight times daily for nine days) had any deleterious effects on the airway mucosa detectable as altered responses to histamine challenge. Both mucosal exudation of plasma (n = 12) and mucosal absorption of chromium-51 labelled EDTA (n = 8) were thus examined in nasal airways exposed to both nicotine and histamine. RESULTS--Nicotine caused nasal pain and produced dose dependent mucosal secretion of fucose but failed to produce any mucosal exudation of albumin. The exudative responsiveness to histamine was, indeed, decreased when the challenge was performed immediately after administration of acute doses of nicotine, whereas the responsiveness was unaffected when histamine challenges were carried out during prolonged treatment with nicotine. The nasal mucosal absorption of 51Cr-EDTA in the presence of histamine did not differ between subjects receiving either placebo or nicotine treatment for nine days. CONCLUSIONS--The results indicate that nicotine applied to the human airway mucosa produces pain and secretion of mucin, but inflammatory changes such as mucosal exudation of plasma and epithelial disruption may not be produced. Neurogenic inflammatory responses, which are so readily produced in guinea pig and rat airways, may not occur in human airways.
PMCID: PMC464599  PMID: 8346498
3.  Effects of inhaled histamine, methacholine and capsaicin on sputum levels of alpha 2-macroglobulin 
Thorax  1997;52(11):964-968.
BACKGROUND: Plasma exudation-derived proteins and peptides contribute significantly to inflammation in the airway mucosa in vivo. In the guinea pig trachea both histamine and the neurogenic stimulant capsaicin produce acute mucosal tissue distribution and luminal entry of bulk plasma, whereas cholinergic agonists fail to produce this effect. Of these agents, only histamine induces mucosal exudation of plasma in human nasal airways. The exudative effect of the above agents on human bronchi remains unknown. METHODS: The bronchial exudative responses to inhalation of histamine, methacholine, and capsaicin were examined in two groups of healthy volunteers. Sputum was induced on three occasions in each study group by inhalation of hypertonic saline (4.5%) given as an aerosol for 40 minutes using an ultrasonic nebuliser. The second and third occasions were preceded by histamine and capsaicin challenges in the first study group, and by histamine and methacholine challenges in the second study group. Histamine and methacholine were given in cumulative doses (total doses 3160 micrograms, respectively) or until a 20% reduction in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) was achieved. Cumulative doses of capsaicin were inhaled until coughing prevented the subjects from drawing a full breath. Sputum levels of alpha 2-macroglobulin (729 kDa) were measured as an index of mucosal exudation of bulk plasma. RESULTS: Histamine increased mean (SE) sputum levels of alpha 2-macroglobulin from 2.72 (1.01) micrograms/ml (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.49 to 4.94) to 18.38 (8.03) micrograms/ml (95% CI 0.49 to 36.27) in the first group, and from 1.66 (0.84) micrograms/ml (95% CI -0.18 to 3.49) to 9.43 (3.63) micrograms/ml (95% CI 1.59 to 17.27) in the second group. In contrast, capsaicin evoked no exudation (sputum levels of alpha 2- macroglobulin 1.21 (0.28) micrograms/ml (95% CI 0.59 to 1.83)) and methacholine produced a minor increase in sputum levels of alpha 2- macroglobulin (2.90 (0.92) micrograms/ml (95% CI 0.90 to 4.89)). CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that histamine is a useful agent for studying bronchial exudative responsiveness in man and that exudative effects are only of marginal importance in the cough and bronchoconstriction produced by capsaicin and methacholine. 



PMCID: PMC1758451  PMID: 9487344
4.  Airway epithelial repair: breathtakingly quick and multipotentially pathogenic 
Thorax  1997;52(11):1010-1012.
Epithelial shedding, even to the point of airway denudation, had already been described as a common and unifying feature of asthma by the latter half of the 19th century. However, the repair processes that specifically follow the shedding-like loss of epithelial cells have only recently been examined in vivo. This paper discusses the exceedingly fast epithelial restitution and the potential pathogenic sequelae to epithelial shedding alone that have been unravelled. Epithelial cytoprotection emerges as an important property of future therapeutic drugs for the treatment of airways inflammatory conditions. 



PMCID: PMC1758444  PMID: 9487352
6.  Epithelial barrier formation by airway basal cells 
Thorax  1997;52(3):213-217.
BACKGROUND: Epithelial shedding processes in airway inflammation and defence may produce damaged areas where basal cells are the main remaining epithelial cell type. The present study examines the capacity of basal cells to form an epithelial barrier structure after loss of columnar epithelial cells. METHODS: A technique was developed which allows selective removal of columnar epithelial cells from isolated airways. A drop of tissue adhesive glue was applied on the mucosal surface shortly after excision of guinea pig trachea and human bronchus. Gentle removal of the glue, together with attached columnar cells, left a single layer of cobbled, solitary basal cells. The tissue was kept in culture media. Morphological changes of the basal cells were monitored by immuno-histochemistry and scanning and transmission electron microscopy at several time points. RESULTS: After 20 minutes the basal cells had undergone extensive flattening and established contact with each other. The basement membrane thus became covered by a poorly differentiated epithelium in both guinea pig and human airways. Abundant interdigitating cytoplasmic protrusions were observed at cell borders. CONCLUSIONS: Basal cells promptly flatten out to cover the basement membrane at loss of neighbouring columnar cells. These data may explain why the epithelial barrier function may be uncompromised in desquamative airway diseases. Furthermore, they suggest the possibility that sacrificial release of columnar epithelial cells and prompt creation of a barrier structure constitute important roles of basal cells in airway defence against severe insults. 



PMCID: PMC1758525  PMID: 9093334
7.  Role of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in allergic and endotoxin-induced airway inflammation in mice. 
Mediators of Inflammation  2000;9(1):15-23.
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) has recently been forwarded as a critical regulator of inflammatory conditions, and it has been hypothesized that MIF may have a role in the pathogenesis of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Hence, we examined effects of MIF immunoneutralization on the development of allergen-induced eosinophilic inflammation as well as on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neutrophilic inflammation in lungs of mice. Anti-MIF serum validated with respect to MIF neutralizing capacity or normal rabbit serum (NRS) was administered i.p. repeatedly during allergen aerosol exposure of ovalbumin (OVA)-immunized mice in an established model of allergic asthma, or once before instillation of a minimal dose of LPS into the airways of mice, a tentative model of COPD. Anti-MIF treatment did not affect the induced lung tissue eosinophilia or the cellular composition of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) in the asthma model. Likewise, anti-MIF treatment did not affect the LPS-induced neutrophilia in lung tissue, BALF, or blood, nor did it reduce BALF levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha (MIP-1alpha). The present data suggest that MIF is not critically important for allergen-induced eosinophilic, and LPS-induced neutrophilic responses in lungs of mice. These findings do not support a role of MIF inhibition in the treatment of inflammatory respiratory diseases.
PMCID: PMC1781742  PMID: 10877450
8.  In vivo veritas: the continuing importance of discoveries in complex biosystems. 
Thorax  1996;51(4):441-443.
The common belief that reductive biological sciences--for example, molecular biology and cellular chemistry--will write the book of revelation of all future anti-asthma drugs is at variance with the demonstrated importance of discoveries in complex in vivo systems.
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PMCID: PMC1090685  PMID: 8733502
9.  Effects of topical capsaicin in seasonal allergic rhinitis. 
Thorax  1995;50(3):225-229.
BACKGROUND--Mucosal exudation (luminal entry) of bulk plasma is a key feature of airway defence and inflammation. In guinea pig and rat airways this response is readily produced by neurogenic irritants, notably capsaicin. Thus "neurogenic airway inflammation" has become an established concept. The present study examines whether capsaicin also produces mucosal exudation of plasma in human nasal airways both in health and disease (seasonal allergic rhinitis). METHODS--Pain-producing concentrations of capsaicin (30-300 ng/ml) were applied to the nasal mucosal surface both before and late into the pollen season. Levels of albumin in nasal lavage fluid were measured as an index of mucosal exudation of plasma. In a separate group of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis nasal challenge with an exudative concentration of histamine was carried out before the birch pollen season and concentrations of albumin in lavage fluid were measured. RESULTS--Pollen counts and symptom scores revealed a mild pollen season. Capsaicin produced considerable nasal pain and this response was augmented late into the season when capsaicin also produced nasal blockage. However, capsaicin failed to produce any mucosal exudation of plasma either before or late into the pollen season. The exudative effect of histamine was confirmed. CONCLUSIONS--The augmented pain response to capsaicin suggests that a sensory nerve hyperresponsiveness may characterise allergic airways disease. In contrast to the effects on animal airways, capsaicin failed to produce mucosal exudation of plasma in the human nasal airway. The animal based neurogenic inflammation concept is therefore not valid for the human nasal airway, not even in inflamed airways when a neural hyperresponsiveness has developed.
PMCID: PMC1021182  PMID: 7660332
10.  Effect of seasonal allergic rhinitis on airway mucosal absorption of chromium-51 labelled EDTA. 
Thorax  1993;48(6):648-650.
BACKGROUND--Hyperpermeability of the airway mucosa is thought to be characteristic of allergic rhinitis and asthma. Nine subjects with seasonal rhinitis caused by birch pollen were studied and the nasal mucosal absorption of chromium-51 labelled EDTA was examined both in an asymptomatic period before the season and late into the season when significant allergic rhinitis symptoms were present. METHODS--A nasal pool device was used to keep a concentration of the absorption tracer in contact with a larger part of the mucosa of the ipsilateral nasal cavity. Absorption was allowed for 15 minutes and measured as the radioactivity appearing in the 24 hour urine sample. RESULTS--The nasal absorption of 51Cr-EDTA in subjects with seasonal allergic rhinitis was less during active disease than before the season. CONCLUSIONS--An airway epithelial barrier that is subject to prolonged eosinophilic inflammation may not be disrupted but may rather increase its functional tightness.
PMCID: PMC464598  PMID: 8346497
11.  Effect of different bronchodilators on airway smooth muscle responsiveness to contractile agents. 
Thorax  1991;46(5):360-365.
"Functional antagonism" is often used to describe the general relaxant effect of beta 2 agonists and xanthines and their ability to protect the airways against bronchoconstrictor stimuli. This study in guinea pig isolated trachea addresses the question of whether the capacity of these drugs to protect against constrictor stimuli is related to smooth muscle relaxation. Three antimuscarinic drugs were also examined to determine whether antagonism of mediators other than muscarinic agonists might contribute to bronchodilatation by these antimuscarinic drugs. Terbutaline (1.1 x 10(-7), 2.2 x 10(-7) M), theophylline (2.2 x 10(-4), 4.4 x 10(-4) M), and enprofylline (5.2 x 10(-5), 1.0 x 10(-4) M) relaxed the tracheal tension that remained after indomethacin treatment. They did not, however, alter the carbachol concentration-response curve significantly. In addition, neither theophylline (2.2 x 10(-4) M) nor terbutaline (1.1 x 10(-7) M) altered histamine induced contraction. Atropine sulphate, glycopyrrolate, and ipratropium bromide had EC50 values of 10(-9) - 10(-8) M for relaxation of carbachol induced contractions, whereas concentrations of 10(-6) - 10(-3) M or greater were required to relax contractions induced by allergen and nine other non-muscarinic mediators. It is suggested that bronchodilatation by antimuscarinic drugs in vivo is due to inhibition of acetylcholine induced bronchoconstriction alone and that beta 2 agonists and xanthines have poor ability to protect airway smooth muscle against constrictor stimuli. Hence mechanisms other than bronchodilatation and "functional antagonism" should be considered to explain the protection against constrictor stimuli in asthma seen with beta 2 agonists and xanthines.
PMCID: PMC1020967  PMID: 2068693
12.  Effect of three weeks' treatment with budesonide on in vitro contractile and relaxant airway effects in the rat. 
Thorax  1989;44(1):24-27.
An investigation was carried out to determine whether the sensitivity of rat tracheal smooth muscle to contractile and relaxant drugs was affected by three weeks' treatment with subcutaneous budesonide before death. Budesonide treatment was associated with a lower thymus weight and a smaller gain in body weight than in control animals. There was, however, no difference in the carbachol concentration-response curves or maximum responses to carbachol of tracheal smooth muscle from control and budesonide treated rats. Isometric and isotonic recordings agreed in these respects. Glucocorticoid treatment did not increase the sensitivity of tracheal smooth muscle to the relaxant drugs terbutaline and enprofylline; if anything there was a tendency for terbutaline and enprofylline to be less potent after budesonide treatment. The data suggest that in vivo effects of glucocorticoids on airway responsiveness to bronchodilating and bronchoconstricting drugs are unlikely to be due to a direct effect on bronchial smooth muscle.
PMCID: PMC461659  PMID: 2928986
13.  Effects of topical budesonide on epithelial restitution in vivo in guinea pig trachea. 
Thorax  1995;50(7):785-792.
BACKGROUND--Continuous epithelial shedding and restitution processes may characterise the airways in diseases such as asthma. Epithelial restitution involves several humoral and cellular mechanisms that may potentially be affected by inhaled anti-asthma drugs. The present study examines the effect of a topical steroid on epithelial restitution in vivo in the guinea pig. METHODS--The airway epithelium was mechanically removed from well defined areas of guinea pig trachea without surgery and without damage to the basement membrane or bleeding. An anti-inflammatory dose of budesonide (1 mg) was administered repeatedly to the tracheal surface by local superfusion 24 hours before, at (0 hours), and 24 hours after the denudation. Migration of epithelial cells, formation of a plasma exudation-derived gel, and appearance of luminal leucocytes were recorded by scanning electron microscopy. Cell proliferation was visualised by bromodeoxyuridine immunohistochemistry and tissue neutrophils and eosinophils by enzyme histochemistry. RESULTS--Immediately after creation of the denuded zone ciliated and secretory cells on its border dedifferentiated, flattened out, and migrated speedily (mean (SE) 2.3 (0.3) micron/min) over the basement membrane. After 48 hours the entire denuded zone (800 microns wide) was covered by a tightly sealed epithelium; at this time increased proliferation was observed in new and old epithelium and subepithelial cells. Budesonide had no detectable effect on epithelial dedifferentiation, migration, sealing, or proliferation. Immediately after denudation and continuously during the migration phase plasma was extravasated creating a fibrinous gel rich in leucocytes, particularly neutrophils, over the denuded area. Budesonide had no effect on either the gel or the leucocyte density. CONCLUSIONS--These observations suggest that topical glucocorticoids may not interfere with a fast and efficient restitution of the epithelium in the airways.
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PMCID: PMC474655  PMID: 7570417
14.  Microvascular exudative hyperresponsiveness in human coronavirus-induced common cold. 
Thorax  1994;49(2):121-127.
BACKGROUND--The inflammatory response of the airway microcirculation in rhinitis and asthma may be recorded as luminal entry of plasma macromolecules (mucosal exudation). This study examines the exudative responsiveness of the subepithelial microvessels in subjects with and without common cold after inoculation with coronavirus. METHODS--The airway mucosa was exposed to exudative concentrations of histamine (40 and 400 micrograms/ml) before and six days after inoculation. To assess whether mucosal penetration of a topically applied agent was altered, nasal absorption of chromium-51 labelled ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (51Cr-EDTA, MW 372) was also examined. A nasal pool technique kept the challenge and tracer solutes in contact with the same ipsilateral mucosal surface. Concentrations of albumin in lavage fluids were measured as an index of mucosal exudation of plasma. Nasal absorption of 51Cr-EDTA was determined by the cumulated 24 hour urinary excretion of radioactivity. RESULTS--Nine subjects developed common cold after coronavirus inoculation and 10 remained healthy. Histamine produced concentration dependent mucosal exudation of plasma in all subjects before and after coronavirus inoculation. In subjects with common cold, however, the histamine-induced mucosal exudation was significantly augmented compared with the group without common cold. This exudative hyperresponsiveness is not explained by an increased baseline exudation because the lavage regimen used produced comparably low baseline exudation in both groups of subjects, nor is it explained by an increased penetration of topical histamine because the ability of the nasal mucosa to absorb 51Cr-EDTA was not significantly increased in the subjects with common cold. CONCLUSIONS--An increased proclivity of the airway subepithelial microcirculation to respond with plasma exudation develops during coronavirus-induced common cold. This specific exudative hyperresponsiveness may be a feature of inflammatory airway diseases.
PMCID: PMC474322  PMID: 8128400
16.  Effects of histamine, ethanol, and a detergent on exudation and absorption across guinea pig airway mucosa in vivo. 
Thorax  1991;46(10):700-705.
This study examined effects of three substances that cause mucosal provocation (histamine, ethanol, and the detergent dioctylsodium sulphosuccinate (DOSS] on the flux of solutes across airway vascular mucosal barriers in anaesthetised guinea pigs. The inward flux was assessed as absorption of iodine-131 labelled albumin (MW 69,000) from the tracheobronchial surface into the circulation and the outward flux as the exudation of two intravenously administered plasma tracers--125I albumin (MW 69,000) and fluorescein isothiocyanate conjugated (FITC) dextran (MW 70,000)--into the airway. The absorption of technetium-99m labelled DTPA (MW 492) from the tracheobronchial airways was determined in separate experiments. Histamine (5.0 nmol) dissolved in 40 microliters saline and superfused on the tracheobronchial mucosal surface caused significant and similar entry of 125I albumin and FITC dextran into the airway lumen. This dose of histamine did not, however, alter the absorption of small (99mTc DTPA) or large (131I albumin) solutes across the airway mucosa. Ethanol (0.17 mumol), superfused in the same way, also caused significant exudation of the plasma tracers into the airway lumen. In addition, ethanol increased the absorption of 131I albumin without causing change in the disappearance rate of 99mTc DTPA. The detergent, DOSS (0.28 nmol), dissolved in ethanol (0.17 mumol), caused a pronounced increase in exudation and much increased absorption of small and large tracer solutes. Thus three patterns of change in airway mucosal barriers were found. The agents that are toxic to membranes, ethanol and DOSS, caused a bidirectional increase in permeability across the mucosa, whereas histamine caused only an outward exudative flux. The results obtained with histamine are similar to those seen previously with bradykinin, capsaicin, and allergen, suggesting that endogenous inflammatory mediators have a role in mucosal defence, producing entry of plasma exudates into the airway lumen without increasing the mucosal absorption of luminal material.
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PMCID: PMC463386  PMID: 1721244
17.  Absorption of 51Cr EDTA across the human nasal airway barriers in the presence of topical histamine. 
Thorax  1991;46(9):630-632.
Whether histamine, a mediator that causes exudation, affects the airway absorption of luminal solutes has been examined in a study of eight healthy volunteers. Fluid containing the absorption tracer chromium-51 labelled EDTA was instilled into one nasal cavity for 15 minutes, with a nasal pool-device (total volume 14 ml). The airway absorption of 51Cr EDTA determined by urinary recovery of radioactivity corresponded to 0.095 (SE 0.023) ml of the instillate in the absence of histamine. When histamine was added to the nasal instillate at a concentration of 2.0 mg/ml, which is known to produce substantial exudation of plasma into the airway lumen, the absorption of 51Cr EDTA was unchanged (0.093 (0.025) ml of the instillate). Separate experiments excluded the possibility that any swallowed portion of 51Cr EDTA could have contributed significantly to the amount absorbed. The present data agree with previous observations in guinea pig tracheobronchial airways, where histamine and other exudative agents did not increase the mucosal absorption of solutes from the airway lumen. These data suggest that the potent protein systems of blood plasma can transverse the endothelial-epithelial linings and operate on the surface of the airway mucosa without compromising its integrity as a barrier to luminal material.
PMCID: PMC463346  PMID: 1948790
18.  Ipecacuanha asthma: more lessons. 
Thorax  1991;46(6):467-468.
PMCID: PMC463206  PMID: 1677501
19.  Clearance of 99mTc DTPA from guinea pig nasal, tracheobronchial, and bronchoalveolar airways. 
Thorax  1990;45(11):841-845.
Technetium-99m labelled diethylenetriamine penta-acetate (99mTc-DTPA) was used to compare small solute absorption (clearance) from nasal, tracheobronchial, and bronchoalveolar airways in anaesthetised guinea pigs. 99mTc DTPA dissolved in saline was superfused through nasal and orolaryngeal catheters on to nasal and tracheobronchial airways; a small particle aerosol of nebulised 99mTc DTPA was delivered to the bronchoalveolar airways through a tracheostomy. Radioactivity over the appropriate region was then determined with a gamma camera. Mucociliary transport of 99mTc DTPA appeared not to contribute to the disappearance of 99mTc DTPA. Time-activity curves were obtained and half life values calculated by fitting a monoexponential equation to the experimental data. A progressive reduction in 99mTc DTPA was recorded from the nasal and tracheobronchial airways and from the bronchoalveolar airway, suggesting that absorption was occurring. The disappearance of 99mTc DTPA was fastest from the bronchoalveolar region, which also had the largest mucosal surface. The similar shape of the retention curves for the nasal and tracheobronchial regions suggests that the characteristics of nasal absorption of 99mTc DTPA could prove applicable to the tracheobronchial region. It is proposed that the present methods are suited for comparing the pharmacology of small solute absorption across nasal, tracheobronchial, and bronchoalveolar airway mucosa.
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PMCID: PMC462780  PMID: 2256011
20.  Reversibility and reproducibility of histamine induced plasma leakage in nasal airways. 
Thorax  1989;44(1):13-18.
Plasma exudation is one cardinal factor in airways defence and inflammation. In inflammatory airway diseases such as rhinitis and asthma, however, plasma leakage may also have a pathogenetic role. Experimental data from animals indicate that highly sensitive, active, and reversible processes regulate the vascular and mucosal permeability to macromolecules. With the use of a nasal lavage model for the recovery of liquids on the mucosal surface the effect of histamine on the macromolecular permeability of the airway endothelial-epithelial barriers was studied in normal subjects. The concentrations of albumin, kinins, and N-alpha-beta-tosyl-L-arginine-methyl esterase (TAME) in nasal lavage fluid were measured and nasal symptoms assessed by a scoring technique. The reproducibility of three repeated challenges with 30 minute intervals on the same day was studied in 12 subjects and compared with the same procedure (three challenges) on a different day. Sneezing decreased significantly (p less than 0.05) after the first histamine challenge but was maintained thereafter. Otherwise, the mean values for symptoms and for markers of vascular leakage were very similar both for the three challenges in the same session and for the two challenge sessions on a different day. Sneezing, blockage, and secretions were associated with increased concentrations of TAME esterase (maximum 9000 cpm/ml), kinins (1.4 ng/ml), and albumin (0.3 g/l) in lavage fluid. Both the symptoms and the measures of plasma exudation were reversible and reproducible in the three repeat histamine challenges and at two challenge sessions on different days. These findings support the view that non-injurious, active processes regulate the inflammatory flow of macromolecules across airways endothelial-epithelial barriers. The present experimental approach would be suitable for studies of the modulatory effects of inflammatory stimulus induced plasma leakage and symptoms in human airways.
PMCID: PMC461657  PMID: 2648641

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