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N Engl J Med. 1984 Nov 29;311(22):1398-402.

Leukocyte activation in allergen-induced late-phase asthmatic reactions.


Some patients with allergen-induced asthma have both an early and late reaction to allergen (dual asthmatic reactions). To investigate the role of leukocyte activation in dual asthmatic reactions, we measured neutrophil chemotactic activity, percentages of neutrophil and monocyte complement rosettes, and one-second forced expiratory volume (FEV1) in 11 patients with allergen-induced dual asthmatic reactions after a challenge with allergen. To control for the effects of bronchoconstriction, the same studies were done after a challenge with methacholine. In all subjects there was a biphasic increase in neutrophil chemotactic activity and the percentages of neutrophil and monocyte complement rosettes, accompanied by a reduction in the FEV1. After methacholine, there were no significant changes in neutrophil chemotactic activity or percentages of complement rosettes, despite bronchoconstriction. Six patients with single-phase allergen-induced asthma had similar responses, but they were monophasic. We conclude that allergen-induced early and late asthmatic reactions are accompanied by activation of leukocytes and that these alterations probably reflect the release of mediators from mast cells rather than an effect of bronchoconstriction.

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