Altered contractile sensitivity of isolated bronchial artery to phenylephrine in ovalbumin-sensitized rabbits

A. O.A. Zschauer, M. W. Sielczak, A. Wanner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We tested the hypothesis that atopy and/or allergic lung inflammation enhances α1-adrenoceptor-mediated contractions of the bronchial artery. Bronchial arterial resistance vessels were isolated from rabbits that had undergone either systemic ovalbumin (OVA) sensitization followed by saline aerosol challenge (OVA/saline rabbits), or OVA sensitization followed by OVA aerosol challenge (OVA/OVA rabbits), or no sensitization followed by saline aerosol challenge (control rabbits). In OVA/OVA rabbits, bronchoalveolar lavage and lung histology revealed lymphocytic and eosinophilic inflammation. Arterial rings were contracted with phenylephrine (PE). In endothelium- intact arteries isolated from OVA/saline and OVA/OVA rabbits, PE responsiveness was enhanced compared with that of arteries isolated from controls. The nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester increased the contractile response to PE in all three experimental groups to a similar degree, suggesting that depressed NOS activity was not involved in the enhanced PE responsiveness in OVA/saline and OVA/OVA rabbits. After endothelium removal, arteries from OVA/saline and control rabbits showed similar PE responsiveness, indicating that the enhancement of PE responsiveness was endothelium dependent, possibly due to an endothelial constricting factor. In OVA/OVA rabbits, endothelium-denuded arteries showed decreased PE responsiveness compared with the other two groups; this difference was abolished by N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester. We conclude that systemic sensitization with OVA per se enhances PE-induced contractions of isolated bronchial arteries in rabbits by an endothelium- dependent mechanism and that allergic lung inflammation attenuates this effect by increased nonendothelial NOS activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1721-1727
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1999


  • Allergy
  • Bronchoalveolar lavage
  • Endothelium
  • Nitric oxide
  • Vasoconstriction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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