[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent epidemiologic studies have identified organophosphorus pesticides (OPs) as environmental factors potentially contributing to the increase in asthma prevalence over the last 25 years. In support of this hypothesis, we have demonstrated that environmentally relevant concentrations of OPs induce airway hyperreactivity in guinea pigs.
Sensitization to allergen is a significant contributing factor in asthma, and we have shown that sensitization changes virus-induced airway hyperreactivity from an eosinophil-independent mechanism to one mediated by eosinophils. Here, we determine whether sensitization similarly influences OP-induced airway hyperreactivity.
Nonsensitized and ovalbumin-sensitized guinea pigs were injected subcutaneously with the OP parathion (0.001-1.0 mg/kg). Twenty-four hours later, animals were anesthetized and ventilated, and bronchoconstriction was measured in response to either vagal stimulation or intravenous acetylcholine. Inflammatory cells and acetylcholinesterase activity were assessed in tissues collected immediately after physiologic measurements.
Ovalbumin sensitization decreased the threshold dose for parathion-induced airway hyperreactivity and exacerbated parathion effects on vagally induced bronchoconstriction. Pretreatment with antibody to interleukin (IL)-5 prevented parathion-induced hyperreactivity in sensitized but not in nonsensitized guinea pigs. Parathion did not increase the number of eosinophils in airways or the number of eosinophils associated with airway nerves nor did it alter eosinophil activation as assessed by major basic protein deposition.
Antigen sensitization increases vulnerability to parathion-induced airway hyperreactivity and changes the mechanism to one that is dependent on IL-5. Because sensitization to allergens is characteristic of 50% of the general population and 80% of asthmatics (including children), these findings have significant implications for OP risk assessment, intervention, and treatment strategies.
Environmental Health Perspectives 04/2008; 116(3):381-8. · 7.26 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Airway hyperreactivity in antigen-challenged animals is mediated by eosinophil major basic protein (MBP) that blocks inhibitory M(2) muscarinic receptors on parasympathetic nerves, increasing acetylcholine release onto M(3) muscarinic receptors on airway smooth muscle. Acutely, anticholinergics block hyperreactivity in antigen-challenged animals and reverse asthma exacerbations in the human, but are less effective in chronic asthma. We tested whether atropine, given before antigen challenge, affected hyperreactivity, M(2) receptor function, eosinophil accumulation, and activation. Sensitized guinea pigs received atropine (1 mg/kg ip) 1 h before challenge and 6 h later. Twenty-four hours after challenge, animals were anesthetized, vagotomized, paralyzed, and ventilated. Airway reactivity to electrical stimulation of the vagi and to intravenous acetylcholine was not altered by atropine pretreatment in nonsensitized animals, indicating that atropine was no longer blocking postjunctional muscarinic receptors. Antigen challenge induced airway hyperreactivity to vagal stimulation that was significantly potentiated by atropine pretreatment. Bronchoconstriction induced by acetylcholine was not changed by antigen challenge or by atropine pretreatment. M(2) receptor function was lost in challenged animals but protected by atropine pretreatment. Eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage and within airway tissues were significantly increased by challenge but significantly reduced by atropine pretreatment. However, extracellular MBP in challenged airways was significantly increased by atropine pretreatment, which may account for reduced eosinophils. Depleting eosinophils with antibody to IL-5 before challenge prevented hyperreactivity and significantly reduced MBP in airways of atropine-pretreated animals. Thus atropine pretreatment potentiated airway hyperreactivity by increasing eosinophil activation and degranulation. These data suggest that anticholinergics enhance eosinophil interactions with airway nerves.