Papers And Originals

Bronchial Hyperreactivity to Prostaglandin F2α and Histamine in Patients with Asthma

Br Med J 1973; 1 doi: (Published 27 January 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;1:193
  1. A. A. Mathé,
  2. P. Hedqvist,
  3. A. Holmgren,
  4. N. Svanborg


    The influence on airway conductance of inhaled aerosols of prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α), histamine, and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) was studied in 10 patients with spirometrically reversible bronchial asthma and in 10 healthy subjects with no history of lung disorder. Both groups responded with bronchoconstriction after inhalation of PGF2α but the asthmatic patients were about 8,000 times more sensitive to the compound than were the healthy controls. In the patients, but not in the controls, PGF2α often caused a long-standing decrease in airway conductance with symptoms resembling allergen-provoked asthmatic attacks. On the other hand, the patients showed less than a 10-fold increase in sensitivity to histamine, and the ratio of histamine: PGF2α doses causing a 50% decrease of airway conductance was 2·6:1 and 2,400:1 in controls and patients respectively. Inhalation of PGE2 while moderately but consistently increasing airway conductance in controls, had a variable—occasionally slight bronchoconstrictive—effect in patients. The decrease in airway conductance by a given dose of PGF2α was little modified by the simultaneous inhalation of a 100-times higher PGE2 dose. It is suggested that endogenous, locally formed PGF2α may play an important part in the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma.