Cell Biology and Toxicology

, Volume 12, Issue 4–6, pp 245–249 | Cite as

Human bronchial smooth muscle responsiveness after in vitro exposure to oxidizing pollutants

  • R. Marthan
  • E. Roux
  • J.-P. Savineau
Plenary lectures In vitro bronchial models


The aims of this work were (1) to determine the dose-response relationship between ex vivo exposure to oxidizing pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), the aldehyde acrolein, and ozone (O3), and the reactivity to agonists in isolated human bronchial smooth muscle; and (2) to investigate the alterations in the cellular mechanisms of human airway smooth muscle contraction induced by such exposures. Experiments were performed in isolated human bronchi obtained at thoracotomy. Isometric contraction in response to a variety of agonists was compared between pollutant-exposed preparations and paired controls. Short exposures to NO2, acrolein, or O3 altered the subsequent airway smooth muscle responsiveness in a dose-dependent manner. The cellular mechanisms producing the airway hyperresponsiveness observed in vitro are shared by the three pollutants and include alterations in airway smooth muscle excitation-contraction coupling as well as indirect effects on neutral endopeptidase activity.


acrolein bronchial hyperresponsiveness calcium ozone excitation-contraction coupling 





cumulative concentration-response curve


Krebs-Henseleit solution


neutral endopeptidase


neurokinin A


substance P


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Marthan
    • 1
  • E. Roux
    • 1
  • J.-P. Savineau
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire RespiratoireUniversité Bordeaux 2BordeauxFrance

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