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Eur J Pharmacol. 1995 May 4;278(1):79-82.

Alteration in Ca2+ availability involved in antigen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness in rats.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Hoshi University, Tokyo, Japan.


The origin of Ca2+ contributing to the enhancement of acetylcholine-induced bronchial smooth muscle constriction in airway hyperresponsiveness induced by antigen challenge was investigated. Under Ca(2+)-free (concomitant with 10(-6) M nicardipine) conditions, the contractile responses of bronchial rings to 1 mM acetylcholine were significantly greater in rings from rats with hyperresponsive airways (0.15 +/- 0.04 g) than those of rings from normal rats (0.02 +/- 0.004 g; P < 0.05). The cumulatively administered Ca2+ induced a markedly greater bronchoconstriction in rings from rats with hyperresponsive airways in Ca(2+)-free solution when muscles were pretreated with 1 mM acetylcholine (in the presence of 10(-6) M nicardipine) than in rings from normal rats, whereas no significant difference in Ca(2+)-induced bronchoconstriction was observed between the two groups when muscles were pretreated with 60 mM K+ (in the presence of 10(-6) M atropine). These findings suggest that enhancement of the availability of Ca2+ released from intracellular stores and/or influxed through receptor-operated Ca2+ channels in airway smooth muscles might be involved in the airway hyperresponsiveness to acetylcholine in rats.

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