A novel method to assess airway function parameters in chronically instrumented, unrestrained guinea-pigs
ABSTRACT A new method has been developed to measure airway functions in unanaesthetized, unrestrained guinea-pigs. The technique utilizes a specially designed pneumotachograph that is placed inside the trachea, and a saline-filled balloon, placed inside the pleural cavity. The pneumotachograph consists of a stainless steel cylinder with coaxial and perpendicular tubes attached to it, measuring the total pressure and the lateral pressure in the trachea, respectively. Via air-filled silicon conducting tubes, subcutaneously driven and permanently attached to the neck of the animal, the pressures are fed into a differential pressure transducer, yielding a pressure difference proportional to the airflow in the trachea. Via a saline-filled tubing, the pleural balloon is similarly attached to the neck of the animal, and pleural pressure (Ppl) is measured using a second pressure transducer. These data permit calculation of airway functions in conscious, unstressed animals. Control values for airway resistance (RAW), Ppl, tidal volume and respiratory frequency are all in the range of results reported previously for this species. A very significant correlation between RAW and Ppl (P < 0.001) was observed, indicating that sole Ppl-measurement can be used as a relatively simple and sensitive method to assess bronchial obstructive reactions in unrestrained guinea-pigs. Using a specially designed provocation cage, which allowed the animals to remain in a stress-free, unrestrained condition, the method has been successfully applied for the assessment of the dose-dependent bronchoconstrictor sensitivity to histamine as well as to allergen-induced early and late phase airway reactions. Because chronically instrumented animals can be monitored repeatedly for extended time periods, intra-individual comparisons of airway responses to different pharmacological and immunological stimuli, and to drug treatment, are feasible, while this model may also be suitable for the study of chronic asthma.
Article: Inhalation of the Rho-kinase inhibitor Y-27632 reverses allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness after the early and late asthmatic reaction.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In guinea pigs, we have previously demonstrated that the contribution of Rho-kinase to airway responsiveness in vivo and ex vivo is enhanced after active sensitization with ovalbumin (OA). Using conscious, unrestrained OA-sensitized guina pigs, we now investigated the role of Rho-kinase in the development of airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) after the allergen-induced early (EAR) and late asthmatic reaction (LAR) in vivo. Histamine and PGF2alpha PC100-values (provocation concentrations causing 100% increase in pleural pressure) were assessed before OA-challenge (basal airway responsiveness) and after the OA-induced EAR (5 h after challenge) and LAR (23 h after challenge). Thirty minutes later, saline or the specific Rho-kinase inhibitor Y-27632 (5 mM, nebulizer concentration) were nebulized, after which PC100-values were reassessed. In contrast to saline, Y-27632 inhalation significantly decreased the basal responsiveness toward histamine and PGF2alpha before OA-challenge, as indicated by increased PC100 -values. Both after the allergen-induced EAR and LAR, AHR to histamine and PGF2alpha was present, which was reversed by Y-27632 inhalation. Moreover, there was an increased effectiveness of Y-27632 to reduce airway responsiveness to histamine and PGF2alpha after the EAR and LAR as compared to pre-challenge conditions. Saline inhalations did not affect histamine or PGF2alpha PC100-values at all. Interestingly, under all conditions Y-27632 was significantly more effective in reducing airway responsiveness to PGF2alpha as compared to histamine. Also, there was a clear tendency (P = 0.08) to a more pronounced degree of AHR after the EAR for PGF2alpha than for histamine. The results indicate that inhalation of the Rho-kinase inhibitor Y-27632 causes a considerable bronchoprotection to both histamine and PGF2alpha. Moreover, the results are indicative of a differential involvement of Rho-kinase in the agonist-induced airway obstruction in vivo. Increased Rho-kinase activity contributes to the allergen-induced AHR to histamine and PGF2alpha after both the EAR and the LAR, which is effectively reversed by inhalation of Y-27632. Therefore, Rho-kinase can be considered as a potential pharmacotherapeutical target in allergic asthma.Respiratory research 02/2006; 7:121. · 3.36 Impact Factor
Article: Role of the L-citrulline/L-arginine cycle in iNANC nerve-mediated nitric oxide production and airway smooth muscle relaxation in allergic asthma.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) converts L-arginine into nitric oxide (NO) and L-citrulline. In NO-producing cells, L-citrulline can be recycled to L-arginine in a two-step reaction involving argininosuccinate synthase (ASS) and -lyase (ASL). In guinea pig trachea, L-arginine is a limiting factor in neuronal nNOS-mediated airway smooth muscle relaxation upon inhibitory nonadrenergic noncholinergic (iNANC) nerve stimulation. Moreover, in a guinea pig model of asthma iNANC nerve-induced NO production and airway smooth muscle relaxation are impaired after the allergen-induced early asthmatic reaction, due to limitation of L-arginine. Using guinea pig tracheal preparations, we now investigated whether (i) the L-citrulline/L-arginine cycle is active in airway iNANC nerves and (ii) the NO deficiency after the early asthmatic reaction involves impaired L-citrulline recycling. Electrical field stimulation-induced relaxation was measured in tracheal open-rings precontracted with histamine. L-citrulline as well as the ASL inhibitor succinate did not affect electrical field stimulation-induced relaxation under basal conditions. However, reduced relaxation induced by a submaximal concentration of the NOS inhibitor N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine was restored by L-citrulline, which was prevented by the additional presence of succinate or the ASS inhibitor alpha-methyl-D,L-aspartate. Remarkably, the impaired iNANC relaxation after the early asthmatic reaction was restored by L-citrulline. In conclusion, the L-citrulline/L-arginine cycle is operative in guinea pig iNANC nerves in the airways and may be effective under conditions of low L-arginine utilization by nNOS (caused by NOS inhibitors), and during reduced L-arginine availability after allergen challenge. Enzymatic dysfunction in the L-citrulline/L-arginine cycle appears not to be involved in the L-arginine limitation and reduced iNANC activity after the early asthmatic reaction.European Journal of Pharmacology 10/2006; 546(1-3):171-6. · 2.52 Impact Factor
Article: Arginase strongly impairs neuronal nitric oxide-mediated airway smooth muscle relaxation in allergic asthma.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Using guinea pig tracheal preparations, we have recently shown that endogenous arginase activity attenuates inhibitory nonadrenergic noncholinergic (iNANC) nerve-mediated airway smooth muscle relaxation by reducing nitric oxide (NO) production--due to competition with neuronal NO-synthase (nNOS) for the common substrate, L-arginine. Furthermore, in a guinea pig model of allergic asthma, airway arginase activity is markedly increased after the early asthmatic reaction (EAR), leading to deficiency of agonist-induced, epithelium-derived NO and subsequent airway hyperreactivity. In this study, we investigated whether increased arginase activity after the EAR affects iNANC nerve-derived NO production and airway smooth muscle relaxation. Electrical field stimulation (EFS; 150 mA, 4 ms, 4 s, 0.5-16 Hz)-induced relaxation was measured in tracheal open-ring preparations precontracted to 30% with histamine in the presence of 1 microM atropine and 3 microM indomethacin. The contribution of NO to EFS-induced relaxation was assessed by the nonselective NOS inhibitor Nomega-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA, 100 microM), while the involvement of arginase activity in the regulation of EFS-induced NO production and relaxation was investigated by the effect of the specific arginase inhibitor Nomega-hydroxy-nor-L-arginine (nor-NOHA, 10 microM). Furthermore, the role of substrate availability to nNOS was measured in the presence of exogenous L-arginine (5.0 mM). At 6 h after ovalbumin-challenge (after the EAR), EFS-induced relaxation (ranging from 3.2 +/- 1.1% at 0.5 Hz to 58.5 +/- 2.2% at 16 Hz) was significantly decreased compared to unchallenged controls (7.1 +/- 0.8% to 75.8 +/- 0.7%; P < 0.05 all). In contrast to unchallenged controls, the NOS inhibitor L-NNA did not affect EFS-induced relaxation after allergen challenge, indicating that NO deficiency underlies the impaired relaxation. Remarkably, the specific arginase inhibitor nor-NOHA normalized the impaired relaxation to unchallenged control (P < 0.05 all), which effect was inhibited by L-NNA (P < 0.01 all). Moreover, the effect of nor-NOHA was mimicked by exogenous L-arginine. The results clearly demonstrate that increased arginase activity after the allergen-induced EAR contributes to a deficiency of iNANC nerve-derived NO and decreased airway smooth muscle relaxation, presumably via increased substrate competition with nNOS.Respiratory research 02/2006; 7:6. · 3.36 Impact Factor