Leukotrienes mediate neurogenic inflammation in lungs of young rats infected with respiratory syncytial virus

Katrin Wedde-Beer, Chengping Hu, Maria M. Rodriguez, Giovanni Piedimonte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection potentiates neurogenic inflammation in rat airways. Because some vascular effects of sensory nerves are mediated by cysteinyl leukotrienes (cysLTs), we studied whether the receptor antagonist montelukast inhibits neurogenic plasma extravasation in RSV-infected rats. Pathogenfree rats were inoculated at 2 wk (weanlings) or 12 wk (adults) of age with RSV or virus-free medium and treated with montelukast or its vehicle starting 1 day before inoculation. Five days postinoculation, we measured the extravasation of Evans blue-labeled albumin in the respiratory tract after stimulation of sensory nerves with capsaicin. Montelukast had no effect in the extrapulmonary airways but abolished albumin extravasation in the intrapulmonary airways of RSV-infected rats, with a larger effect in weanlings than in adults. Increased concentrations of 5-lipoxigenase-encoding mRNA and cysLTs, as well as numerous mast cells, were detected in the lung tissues of RSV-infected weanling rats. These observations suggest that the release of neuropeptides from capsaicin-sensitive sensory nerves and non-neuronal cells in the lungs of RSV-infected young rats increases vascular permeability by promoting the release of leukotrienes from mast cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L1143-L1150
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number5 26-5
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway inflammation
  • Asthma
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Mast cells
  • Montelukast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology


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