Background: Cysteinyl leukotrienes are potent contractile agonists for airway smooth muscle. To examine the relative role of cysteinyl leukotrienes in immediate airway obstruction in human subjects with asthma after allergen challenge, we investigated the effect of ONO-1078, a potent receptor antagonist of cysteinyl leukotrienes, on the response.
Methods: ONO-1078 and an inactive placebo, in 150-mg capsule form, were administered every 12 hours for 1 week, in a double-blind, cross-over fashion. To examine the effect on the early part of the response, total respiratory resistance (Rrs) was continuously evaluated for 10 minutes after the start of a 1-minute exposure to an appropriate concentration of allergen. Rrs and FEV1.0 were estimated every 10 minutes for 60 minutes after the exposure.
Results: ONO-1078 significantly reduced percent changes in Rrs and FEV1.0 from 20 to 60 minutes after the exposure, as well as percent maximum changes in these indices, although the treatment did not alter the time from the start of allergen exposure to the beginning of elevation of Rrs, the time from the start to the point at which total respiratory conductance decreased by 35% from its baseline value, or percent changes in Rrs or FEV1.0 10 minutes after the exposure.
Conclusions: Therefore, we conclude that cysteinyl leukotrienes primarily mediate a later part of immediate airway obstruction after allergen exposure.