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Influence of allergen inhalation on airway responsiveness, and lymphocyte beta-adrenergic receptor density in allergic asthma



Influence of allergen inhalation on airway responsiveness, and lymphocyte beta-adrenergic receptor density in allergic asthma



Dokkyo Journal of Medical Sciences 19(1): 45-56



Bronchial asthma is characterized by increased responsiveness of the airway and increased production of IgE antibody to environmental allergens, including house dust mites. The inhalation of aerosols of a specific antigen extract induces immediate and late-phase airway narrowing. To investigate how allergen-induced asthmatic attacks induce airway hyperresponsiveness and decrease lymphocyte beta-receptor density, and whether these two parameters are correlated, we carried out allergen inhalation tests in allergic asthmatic patients. We measured RT-Ach (respiratory threshold to acetylcholine) and lymphocyte beta-adrenergic receptor density before and 24 hr after the allergen inhalation. The airways of all subjects narrowed immediately after Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (DP) antigen inhalation. FEV-1.1 at 8 hr after the challenge was measured in 14 of 16 patients, and decreased more than 10% of the pre-challenge baseline value in 8, RT-Ach decreased in 4 out of 8 LAR-positive patients and the change was statistically significant (p lt 0.05), whereas in the LAR-negative group the change was variable and the difference was not significant. In the patients in whom the RT-Ach decreased after the antigen challenge, the lymphocyte beta-receptor number did not change significantly, whereas in the patients in whom the RT-Ach did not decrease, the number of lymphocyte beta-receptors increased significantly (p lt 0.05). From these results, it is concluded that antigen exposure enhances airway responsiveness together with LAR and relatively reduces beta-adrenergic receptors of peripheral blood lymphocytes, which might possibly contribute to worsening of asthma.

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