Acute effects of aerosolized S-nitrosoglutathione in cystic fibrosis

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002 Apr 1;165(7):922-6. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.165.7.2105032.


S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), a naturally occurring constituent of airway lining fluid, enhances ciliary motility, relaxes airway smooth muscle, inhibits airway epithelial amiloride-sensitive sodium transport, and prevents pathogen replication. Remarkably, airway levels of GSNO are low in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). We hypothesized that replacement of airway GSNO would improve gas exchange in CF. In a double-blind, placebo controlled study, we administered 0.05 ml/kg of 10 mM GSNO or phosphate buffered saline by aerosol to patients with CF and followed oxygen saturation, spirometry, respiratory rate, blood pressure, heart rate, and expired nitric oxide (NO). Nine patients received GSNO and 11 placebo. GSNO inhalation was associated with a modest but sustained increase in oxygen saturation at all time points. Expired NO increased in the low ppb range with GSNO treatment, peaking at 5 minutes but remaining above baseline at 30 minutes. There were no adverse effects. We conclude that GSNO is well tolerated in patients with CF and improves oxygenation through a mechanism that may be independent of free NO. Further, GSNO breakdown increases expired NO. We suggest that therapy aimed at restoring endogenous GSNO levels in the CF airway may merit study.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aerosols
  • Breath Tests
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Nitric Oxide / analysis
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange / drug effects
  • S-Nitrosoglutathione / administration & dosage*
  • Vital Capacity


  • Aerosols
  • Nitric Oxide
  • S-Nitrosoglutathione
  • Oxygen