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Respir Physiol. 2001 Jan;124(2):141-50.

Inhaled mannitol shifts exhaled nitric oxide in opposite directions in asthmatics and healthy subjects.

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Department of Medical Sciences, Clinical Physiology, Uppsala University, S-751 85, Uppsala, Sweden.


We investigated if healthy subjects could release NO upon hyperosmolar challenge as a defence mechanism, and whether asthmatics with atopy showed an altered response. A plot of NO output versus flow rate was used to calculate the alveolar level and the NO-flux from the airways. The asthmatics had a higher NO output and this was due to an increased NO-flux from the airways, 86+/-30 nl min(-1) compared with control 21+/-2 nl min(-1) (P<0.05). The alveolar NO levels showed no difference. In response to a dry powder of mannitol the exhaled NO concentration decreased in asthmatics by 37+/-7%, but increased in the control by 9+/-4% (P<0.001). The FEV(1.0) decreased 13+/-2% and airway conductance 42+/-7% in asthmatics and in the controls 2+/-1% and 0+/-7%, respectively (P<0.001). We conclude that asthmatics have an altered response to mannitol challenge in regards to exhaled NO. This may result from down regulation of constitutive NO production as a result of high levels of NO flux from the airways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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