Influence of albuterol, cromolyn sodium and ipratropium bromide on the airway and circulating mediator responses to allergen bronchial provocation in asthma

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1985 Nov;132(5):986-92. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1985.132.5.986.


The effect of pharmacologic agents on mast cell mediator release was investigated in vivo. Eight atopic asthmatic subjects with airways relatively unreactive to nonspecific stimuli (geometric mean PC20 methacholine, 4.0 mg/ml) underwent single-concentration allergen challenge before (control) or after inhaling albuterol 200 micrograms, cromolyn sodium 20 mg, or 0.9% sodium chloride placebo. Six of the same subjects also underwent allergen challenge after pretreatment with ipratropium bromide, 1 mg. Airway responses to pharmacologic agents and bronchial challenge were measured by change in both specific airway conductance (SGaw) and FEV1. Mast cell mediator release was monitored by serial change in plasma histamine and, in addition, serum neutrophil chemotactic factor (NCF) on the placebo, albuterol, and cromolyn sodium challenge days. Control and placebo allergen challenges were associated with repeatable mean maximal falls in SGaw (48.5 versus 49.6%) and FEV1 (25.7 versus 25.5%). The mean increments in plasma histamine were not significantly different on the control (0.17 to 0.44 ng/ml) or placebo challenge days (0.18 to 0.64 ng/ml), with maximal levels occurring 5 min after challenge. A sustained increase in NCF was identified on the placebo challenge day (155.0% above baseline). Pretreatment with albuterol abolished any significant bronchoconstriction, with mean maximal falls in SGaw and FEV1 after challenge of 7.5 and 1.4%, respectively. These changes in airway caliber were not associated with any significant increment in mean plasma histamine (0.17 to 0.22 ng/ml) or serum NCF (4.1% increase). Cromolyn sodium pretreatment, while attenuating the airway response, was still associated with significant falls in SGaw (22.7%) and FEV1 (7.3%) and increases in plasma histamine (0.18 to 0.27 ng/ml).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Albuterol / pharmacology*
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Atropine Derivatives / pharmacology*
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests*
  • Chemotactic Factors / blood*
  • Cromolyn Sodium / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Histamine / blood*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-8
  • Ipratropium / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiratory System / drug effects*


  • Atropine Derivatives
  • Chemotactic Factors
  • Interleukin-8
  • Histamine
  • Ipratropium
  • Cromolyn Sodium
  • Albuterol