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Respiratory physiology & neurobiology

Vitamin A deficiency increases airway resistance following C-fiber stimulation.


PMID 17321224

Abstract

Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) remains an important problem in the developing world where environmental air pollution is increasing. Because the coincidence of these factors could increase the prevalence of asthma in these regions, airway reactivity to methacholine (MCh), capsaicin, and sulfur dioxide was studied in VAD rats. The impedance to a small volume oscillation was analyzed to determine airway resistance (R(aw)) and lung elastance (H). VAD rats demonstrated larger increases in R(aw) and H after the administration of methacholine, and in R(aw) after administration of capsaicin or sulfur dioxide. The muscarinic receptor-2 (M2R) selective antagonist AFDX-116 enhanced the effect of capsaicin in vitamin A sufficient (VAS) but not VAD rats and retinoic acid-administration partially restored this enhancement. These data indicate that diminished auto-inhibitory muscarinic receptor-2 function contributed to this increased airway responsiveness to pulmonary C-fiber stimulation in VAD rats. If children with VAD also have diminished M2R function, they may be more prone to develop asthma, particularly in the presence of environmental co-factors such as sulfur dioxide.

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