Effect of terbutaline on hyperpnoea-induced bronchoconstriction and urinary club cell protein 16 in athletes.J Appl Physiol (1985). 2013 Nov; 115(10):1450-6.JA
Repeated injury of the airway epithelium caused by hyperpnoea of poorly conditioned air has been proposed as a key factor in the pathogenesis of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) in athletes. In animals, the short-acting β2-agonist terbutaline has been shown to reduce dry airflow-induced bronchoconstriction and the associated shedding of airway epithelial cells. Our aim was to test the efficacy of inhaled terbutaline in attenuating hyperpnoea-induced bronchoconstriction and airway epithelial injury in athletes. Twenty-seven athletes with EIB participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Athletes completed an 8-min eucapnic voluntary hyperpnoea (EVH) test with dry air on two separate days 15 min after inhaling 0.5 mg terbutaline or a matching placebo. Forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and urinary concentration of the club cell (Clara cell) protein 16 (CC16, a marker of airway epithelial perturbation) were measured before and up to 60 min after EVH. The maximum fall in FEV1 of 17 ± 8% (SD) on placebo was reduced to 8 ± 5% following terbutaline (P < 0.001). Terbutaline gave bronchoprotection (i.e., post-EVH FEV1 fall <10%) to 22 (81%) athletes. EVH caused an increase in urinary excretion of CC16 in both conditions (P < 0.001), and terbutaline significantly reduced this rise (pre- to postchallenge CC16 increase 416 ± 495 pg/μmol creatinine after placebo vs. 315 ± 523 pg/μmol creatinine after terbutaline, P = 0.016). These results suggest that the inhalation of a single therapeutic dose of terbutaline offers significant protection against hyperpnoea-induced bronchoconstriction and attenuates acute airway epithelial perturbation in athletes.