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Aerosolized surfactant inhibits acetylcholine-induced airway obstruction in rats



European Respiratory Journal 10 (1997), S.2198-2203
ISSN: 0903-1936
ISSN: 1399-3003
Fraunhofer ITA ( ITEM) ()
aerosol; Asthma; lung; obstructive disease; pulmonary surfactant

Exogenous surfactant treatment inhibits antigen-induced airway obstruction in sensitized guinea-pigs. Aerosolized surfactant also improves respiratory function in asthmatic patients. The aim of the present study was to determine whether aerosolized surfactant inhibits nonallergic airway obstruction induced by acetylcholine.
Anaesthetized Wistar rats were treated by aerosol with the ß2-adenoceptor agonist terbutaline, surfactant (Alveofact®), a surfactant-terbutaline combination, or vehicle (control). Animals were then challenged by aerosolized acetylcholine to elic-it receptor-mediated airway obstruction. A second group of animals was challenged with intravenous acetylcholine. Respiratory function variables were measured by body plethysmography before and after treatment and after the acetylcholine challenge.
Baseline lung function values before and after treatment were similar in all groups. Acetylcholine challenge by aerosols increased lung resistance by 64 % in control animals. Pretreatment with terbutaline and surfactant significantly limited the increase of the lung resistance to +36 and +34 %, respectively. Simultaneous aerosolization of surfactant and terbutaline also inhibited airway obstruction but their effects were not additive. By contrast, terbutaline treatment inhibited the effects of intravenous acetylcholine, but surfactant did not.
In conclusion we suggest that surfactant aerosol may prevent acetylcholine and other pharmacological agents from reaching the airway smooth muscle from the airway lumen via the bloodstream.