[Mediators and neuromediators in asthma]

Presse Med. 1992 Feb 15;21(6):259-65.
[Article in French]


The physiopathological mechanisms underlying the multifactorial syndrome that is asthma are very complex and protean. Most probably, they are genetically determined, but they are largely modulated by the environment and by the inflammation of bronchi in which allergy occupies a special place. Chemical mediators of cellular origin interact with each other and with the cells that live or are recruited in the airways. Among these mediators histamine and arachidonic acid metabolites seem to play a predominant role, but the clinical use of antagonists has not confirmed the data obtained in vitro and in vivo in animals and even man. Cytotoxic mediators (cationic proteins, free oxygen radicals) are though to exert their noxious effect directly on the bronchial epithelium. No single neuromediator of the adrenergic and cholinergic system can explain the dysfunctions observed in asthma. Mediators of the non-adrenergic non-cholinergic system seem to be more interesting owing to their potential interaction with cells and with chemical mediators which contribute to the development of a true neurogenic inflammation.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / metabolism
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / physiology
  • Cytokines / physiology
  • Histamine / physiology
  • Humans
  • Leukotrienes / physiology
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System / physiology*
  • Platelet Activating Factor / physiology
  • Prostaglandins / physiology
  • Substance P / physiology
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology*
  • Sympathomimetics / metabolism
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide / physiology


  • Cytokines
  • Leukotrienes
  • Platelet Activating Factor
  • Prostaglandins
  • Sympathomimetics
  • Substance P
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide
  • Histamine
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor