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Nitric Oxide. 2001;5(5):465-74.

Nitric oxide is generated in smooth muscle layer by neurokinin A and counteracts constriction in guinea pig airway.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 228-8555, Japan.


It has been reported that several bronchoconstrictors generate nitric oxide (NO), counteracting bronchoconstriction, and removal of bronchial epithelia reduces NO production. However, it has not been elucidated whether neurokinin A (NKA), a potent bronchoconstrictor liberated from nerve terminals, generates NO. Specific questions in this study were (1) does NKA also generate NO, (2) does NO counteract NKA-induced bronchoconstriction, and (3) does the NO generation require bronchial epithelial cells? In an in vivo study exogenous as well as endogenous (capsaicin-induced) NKA increased airway opening pressure (P(ao)) and the exhaled NO level, and both were inhibited by an antagonist selective for NK(2) receptor (a receptor for NKA), SR48968. The exhaled NO level became negligible with an inhibitor of NO synthase (NOS) type 1-3 (N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester, L-NAME) with increased P(ao), but not with a NOS type 2 inhibitor. In an in vitro study, NKA increased the nitrite/nitrate level in superfused fluid of tracheal segments. Removing smooth muscle reduced nitrite/nitrate in the fluid to negligible levels, while the level was unchanged with removal of the epithelia. Pretreatment with l-NAME enhanced the tension of epithelia-removed tracheal segments. These findings indicate that (1) NKA generates NO, (2) NO counteracts NKA-induced bronchoconstriction, and (3) NKA activates NOS in the muscle layer, independently of bronchial epithelia.

Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

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