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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1989 Sep;67(3):1256-64.

Effects of antigen on tracheal circulation and smooth muscle in sheep of different ages.

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Department of Physiology, St. George's Hospital Medical School, London, United Kingdom.


The effects of Ascaris suum antigen on tracheal circulation and tracheal smooth muscle tone were compared in two groups of sheep: the first group was 1 yr old (14 sheep) and the second 5 yr old (8 sheep). Cranial tracheal arteries of anesthetized and paralyzed sheep were perfused at constant flow with monitoring of perfusion pressure. Tracheal smooth muscle tone was assessed by measuring changes in the external diameter of the cranial trachea. Close-arterial injection of antigen (1-20 micrograms) in young sheep produced dose-dependent vasodilation (6.1-15.5% fall in perfusion pressure) and smooth muscle contraction (0.06-0.28 mm reduction in tracheal diam). In old sheep, antigen (1-20 micrograms) produced vasoconstriction (4.1-16.8%) but no smooth muscle response. The smooth muscle contraction in young sheep was blocked by mepyramine (2 mg/kg iv) suggesting mediation by release of histamine. The vasodilation in young sheep and the vasoconstriction in old sheep were reduced by indomethacin (5 mg/kg iv), and the residual response was further reduced by FPL 55712 (2 mg/kg iv), suggesting mediation by both cyclooxygenase products and leukotrienes. Thus antigen given in the tracheal vasculature releases a mixture of inflammatory mediators. This mixture of mediators or their actions on the tracheal vasculature and smooth muscle may depend on the age of the sheep.

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