Cyclical elongation regulates contractile responses of isolated airways

S.R. Khangure, Peter Noble, Anil Sharma, Paul Chia, Peter Mcfawn, Howard Mitchell

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Bronchoconstrictor responses are quantitatively different when they are evoked under static conditions and during or after periods of deep inspiration. In vivo, deep inspirations produce bronchodilation and protect the lung from subsequent bronchoconstriction (termed bronchoprotection). These effects may be due in part to dynamic stretch on airways produced by cyclical expansion of airway diameter. However, airways also lengthen cyclically during breathing. The effects of cyclical airway elongation on evoked bronchoconstriction have not been examined. This study recorded evoked contractions of pig bronchial segments 1) at different airway lengths, 2) after a period of cyclical lengthening in relaxed airways, and 3) during cyclical lengthening in pretoned airways. Airway segments were mounted in organ baths and bathed in Krebs solution luminally and on the adventitia. Airways were cyclically lengthened by 5-30% of their deflated length at 0.5-2 Hz for 5 min. Contractions were evoked by electrical field stimulation or carbachol and were recorded under isovolumic conditions. Under static conditions, there was a blunt relationship between length and response to electrical field stimulation. After a period of airway length cycling, electrical field stimulation-induced contractions were increased. In airways pretoned with carbachol, cyclical lengthening produced a transient bronchodilation and a sustained increase in contraction. Contractile responses were not blocked by indomethacin. The results show that isolated airways respond actively to dynamic changes in length. Our results indicate that cyclical lengthening of airways could contribute to lung function in vivo but does not appear to account for the phenomenon of bronchoprotection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-919
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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