Modification of histamine-and methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction by calcium antagonist gallopamil in asthmatics

T. Ahmed, I. Danta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We studied the comparative modification of histamine- and methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction by a calcium antagonist, gallopamil, in 8 subjects with bronchial asthma. Dose-response curves to aerosolized methacholine or histamine were performed, without and following pretreatment with inhaled gallopamil (10 mg), on 6 different experiment days to determine the cumulative provocative dose (PD50) of each agonist in breath units which caused a 50% decrease in specific airway conductance (SGaw). Baseline values of SGaw were similar on different experiment days and gallopamil had no significant effect on SGaw. PD50 values for histamine on control and placebo days were 6.8±2.8 and 5.2±2.8 breath units (mean±SE), respectively. Pretreatment with gallopamil increased histamine PD50 to 19.8±7.5 breath units, which was significantly greater than on control and placebo days (p < 0.01). PD50 values for methacholine on control and placebo days were 9.5±5.6 and 8.8±5.8 breath units, respectively. Gallopamil pretreatment had no significant effect on methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction; methacholine PD50 increased to 13.4±5.5 breath units (p=NS). The mean dose ratio (ratio of PD50 for the agonist in the presence and absence of gallopamil) for histamine was 6.9, which was 3.7-fold higher than the dose ratio of 1.9 methacholine in the same subjects. These data suggest that gallopamil causes greater inhibition of histamine- versus methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction. This suggests that calcium influx in airway smooth muscle through voltage-dependent channels primarily occurs in response to histamine and not to methacholine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-338
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


  • Bronchoconstriction
  • Calcium antagonists
  • Gallopamil
  • Histamine
  • Methacholine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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