Inhaled adenosine and guanosine on airway resistance in normal and asthmatic subjects

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1983 Feb;15(2):161-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.1983.tb01481.x.


1 The airway response to the inhaled nucleosides, adenosine (6.7 × 10-4-6.7 mg/ml) and guanosine (7.3 × 10-4-1.4 mg/ml) was studied in normal and asthmatic subjects. Airway response, measured in the body plethysmograph, was expressed as percentage change in specific airway conductance (sGaw) from baseline.

2 Inhaled adenosine caused no change in sGaw in normal subjects but produced a dose-dependent reduction in sGaw in both allergic and non-allergic asthmatic subjects (76 and 62% reduction respectively at 6.7 mg/ml).

3 Kinetics of adenosine induced bronchoconstriction were studied in 12 asthmatic subjects who inhaled a single concentration of adenosine. Bronchoconstriction was maximal within 5 min (42% reduction in sGaw) with partial recovery by 30 min.

4 The related nucleoside guanosine caused no change in sGaw in normal or asthmatic subjects.

5 Adenosine, but not guanosine, is a potent bronchoconstrictor in asthma suggesting that it may have a specific pharmacological effect.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / pharmacology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Airway Resistance / drug effects*
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Bronchi / drug effects
  • Constriction, Pathologic
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Guanosine / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Sodium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Theophylline / pharmacology


  • Guanosine
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Theophylline
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Adenosine