Several studies have demonstrated that neuropeptides are present in peptidergic fibres of bronchial tissue. The aim of the present study was to evaluate in vivo the effect of nedocromil sodium (2 x 2 mg) on bronchospasm induced by inhalation of substance P. Six moderate asthmatic patients, mean age 25.17 years, were studied. Airway response was measured as FEV1 and the dose of substance P (using a dose range of 23-736 nmol) producing a 20% decrease in FEV1 (PD20) was calculated from the individual semilogarithmic dose-response curves. Patients were studied on 3 separate days in a randomized, double-blind manner. On the first day a baseline PD20 value was determined. On subsequent days substance P challenge was performed after pretreatment (20 min before challenge) with either placebo or nedocromil sodium. Student's paired t-test and Wilcoxon's test were used for statistical analysis. The results of this study demonstrated that inhalation of substance P causes a dose-dependent bronchoconstriction and that the bronchoconstriction induced by substance P can be prevented by pre-treatment with nedocromil sodium.