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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Beta-adrenergic agonists and bronchial hyperreactivity: role of beta2-adrenergic and tachykinin neurokinin-2 receptors.

BACKGROUND: beta(2)-Adrenergic agonists are the most widely used bronchodilators for the treatment of asthma. On the other hand, there is concern that excessive use of beta(2)-agonists may contribute to the exacerbation of asthma. However, the mechanism of such adverse effects of beta(2)-agonists is not completely clear. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the direct influence of beta(2)-agonists on airways by analyzing the effect of a beta(2)-agonist, fenoterol, on airway sensitivity in an animal model and on tachykinin neurokinin-2 receptor expression in bovine tracheal smooth muscle. METHODS: We performed an acetylcholine challenge test on ovalbumin sensitized guinea pigs that were exposed to daily inhalation of ovalbumin and fenoterol. We also investigated the effects of fenoterol on neurokinin-2 receptor messenger RNA and density with Northern blot analysis and receptor binding assay. RESULT: The increase of airway responsiveness and the decrease of beta(2)-adrenergic receptors were found in guinea pigs that were treated with fenoterol. There were time- and dose-dependent increases of neurokinin-2 receptor mRNA and of density in tracheal smooth muscle that was treated with fenoterol. CONCLUSION: This increased airway responsiveness, increased neurokinin-2 receptor expression, and decreased beta(2)-adrenergic receptor density may be relevant to asthma exacerbation.[1]


  1. Beta-adrenergic agonists and bronchial hyperreactivity: role of beta2-adrenergic and tachykinin neurokinin-2 receptors. Katsunuma, T., Fujita, K., Mak, J.C., Barnes, P.J., Ueno, K., Iikura, Y. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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