Relevance of classification by size to topographical differences in bronchial smooth muscle response.
To investigate heterogeneity of airway smooth muscle response, we studied strips of large and small branches from third- to sixth-generation bronchi obtained from ragweed antigen-sensitized and control dogs. The response to electrical field stimulation and carbamylcholine chloride was greater in strips from larger branches of the same generation when expressed as "tissue stress" (force per unit cross-sectional area of the whole tissue), whereas no difference emerged with use of the more appropriate "smooth muscle stress" (force per unit cross-sectional area of the muscle tissue). The response to histamine was significantly higher in small branches than in large ones, and histamine sensitivity [mean effective concentration (EC50)] was 7.79 x 10(-6) [geometric standard error of the mean (GSEM) 1.20] and 1.49 x 10(-5) M (GSEM 1.14), respectively (P < 0.01). Strips from control and sensitized animals at each site and strips from different generations did not show any significant difference. When we clustered our preparations according to dimensions, the response to histamine was significantly higher in small bronchi than in large ones and histamine EC50 was 8.95 x 10(-6) (GSEM 1.17) and 1.57 x 10(-5) M (GSEM 1.18), respectively (P < 0.05). We conclude that evaluation of muscle response in different tissues requires appropriate normalization. Furthermore, classification into generations is inadequate to study bronchial responsiveness, inasmuch as major differences originate from airway size.
Chitano, P; Sigurdsson, SB; Halayko, AJ; Stephens, NL
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