Effects of experimental rhinovirus 16 infection on airway hyperresponsiveness to bradykinin in asthmatic subjects in vivo.Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1997; 155(3):833-8AJ
Disturbance of the balance between excitatory and inhibitory activity of the airway sensory nerves has been implicated in asthma pathogenesis, particularly during exacerbations of the disease. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of experimental rhinovirus 16 (RV16) infection on airway responsiveness to bradykinin, a potent sensory nerve stimulus, in asthma. Thirteen atopic, mildly asthmatic subjects participated in a parallel, placebo-controlled study. A total dose of 2.6 to 5.6 x 10(4) TCID50 RV16 (n = 7) or its diluent (n = 6) was inoculated on 2 consecutive days (Days 0 and 1). Histamine and bradykinin challenges were performed before (Days-7 and-6) and after (Days 3 and 4) inoculation. The response was measured by FEV1 and partial flow-volume curves, and it was expressed as PC20FEV1 and PC40V40p, respectively (changes expressed in doubling dose: DD). Before inoculation, PC20FEV1 and PC40V40p to histamine were not significantly different between the groups (p > or = 0.22), whereas PC20FEV1 and PC40V40p to bradykinin tended to be higher in the RV16 group (p = 0.11 and p = 0.06, respectively). PC20FEV1 and PC40V40p to histamine decreased significantly in the RV16 group (mean change +/- SEM: -0.65 +/- 0.20 DD, p = 0.02 and -0.98 +/- 0.28 DD, p = 0.01, respectively), but not in the placebo group (p > or = 0.26). PC40V40p to bradykinin increased significantly in the placebo group (+2.46 +/- 0.92 DD, p = 0.04), with a similar trend for PC20FEV1 (+1.50 +/- 0.62 DD, p = 0.06), whereas there were no significant changes in the RV16 group (p > or = 0.77). These changes in PC40V40p to histamine and bradykinin were significantly different between the groups (p = 0.02). We conclude that repeated bradykinin challenge over a 10-d interval induces tachyphylaxis in asthmatic subjects in vivo and that experimental RV16 infection abolishes such tachyphylaxis to bradykinin while it enhances airway responsiveness to histamine. These results do not favor a predominant role of airway sensory nerves in rhinovirus-induced exacerbations of asthma.