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Research Article

Sympathetic modulation of biochemical and physiological response to immune degranulation in canine bronchial airways in vivo.

E R Garrity, N P Stimler, N M Munoz, J Tallet, A C David and A R Leff

Published June 1985

The effect of sympathetic stimulation on bronchial smooth muscle contractile response after mast cell degranulation with Ascaris suum antigen was studied in 36 natively allergic dogs in situ. Bronchial smooth muscle response was measured isometrically in a single right middle lobe bronchus. A dose of antigen causing maximal release of mediator was administered to the bronchus through the bronchial arterial circulation. Serial plasma histamine concentrations were determined at 15-s intervals after intra-arterial (i.a.) administration of antigen. Samples of blood were obtained simultaneously from right heart and femoral artery, and arteriovenous difference (AVd) in histamine concentration across the bronchus was determined during mast cell degranulation. In nine dogs showing bronchial mast cell degranulation to antigen challenge, bronchial smooth muscle contraction was 22.3 +/- 2.95 g and the mean AVd in histamine concentration across the bronchus was 188 +/- 41.5 ng/ml. Six other dogs having muscarinic blockade with 0.75-1.0 mg/kg intravenous atropine were given i.a. antigen after 1 min of steady-state sympathetic stimulation with intravenous 1,1-dimethyl-4-phenylpiperazinium iodide (DMPP). Sympathetic stimulation during Ascaris suum antigen challenge caused complete inhibition of bronchial smooth muscle contractile response to i.a. antigen (P less than 0.001), and a significant AVd in histamine concentration across the bronchus (9.8 +/- 16.0 ng/ml; P less than 0.01 vs. control) was not detected. Peak plasma histamine concentration in control dogs was 1,138 +/- 237 ng/ml vs. 310 +/- 135 ng/ml in animals receiving sympathetic stimulation (P less than 0.01). In four dogs undergoing systemic anaphylaxis to i.v. antigen, subsequent sympathetic stimulation with i.v. DMPP reduced bronchomotor tone to approximately 70% of base-line control. Exogenously induced sympathetic stimulation can substantially inhibit systemic mast cell degranulation to Ascaris suum antigen in allergic dogs. Maximal stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system causes substantial inhibition of respiratory mast cell secretion of histamine and bronchial smooth muscle contraction to circulating mediator.

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