Because alveolar hypoxia has been shown to cause an increase of leukotrienes in lung lavage fluid, we tested the hypothesis that enhancement of nonspecific bronchial reactivity during alveolar hypoxia may be mediated by leukotrienes. In nine conscious sheep we determined specific lung resistance (sRL) before and after exposure to either air or a hypoxic gas mixture (13% O2) for 30 min. The sheep then inhaled 50 breaths of aerosolized 5% histamin solution (n=6) or 10 breaths of 2.5% carbachol solution (n = 6) on different days, and the measurements of sRL were repeated. On subsequent days the above protocols were repeated after pretreatment with aerosolized FPL 57231 (3 ml, 1% solution), a leukotriene receptor antagonist. Inhalation of histamine and carbachol after exposure to air caused an increase in mean sRL to 337 and 342% of base line, respectively (P < 0.05). Exposure to the hypoxic gas mixture had no effect on sRL but enhanced the histamine- and carbachol-induced increase in mean sRL to 621 and 646% of base line, respectively (P < 0.05); these increases were significantly higher than those observed after air exposure (P < 0.05). FPL 57231 prevented the hypoxia-induced enhancement of bronchial reactivity to histamine and carbachol without affecting the airway responsiveness to these agents after air. In another group of eight sheep, aerosolized leukotriene C4, at a dose (50 μg) that per se had no effect on sRL, enhanced the bronchial reactivity to carbachol. These data suggest that in sheep during alveolar hypoxia airway hyperresponsiveness may be due to the priming of airway smooth muscle by leukotrienes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)