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

Bronchial hyperreactivity in patients with familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy and autonomic neuropathy.

To investigate the role of autonomic regulation on airway reactivity, we performed bronchial inhalation tests of methacholine (MCh) and histamine (Hist) in Japanese patients with familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (FAP) and autonomic neuropathy. First we examined the FEV1 and Raw in seven patients with FAP and in six normal subjects, then we administered aerosols of increasing concentrations of MCh (0.075 to 25 mg/ml) at about 5-min intervals via a nebulizer controlled by a dosimeter. We measured the FEV1 until either the concentration of MCh producing a 20% reduction from the basal value (PD20) or the maximal concentration was reached. Five of the seven patients with FAP showed bronchial hyperreactivity to MCh, and PD20 to MCh was significantly lower than that of the normal subjects (p < 0.01). Furthermore the PD20 tended to correlate inversely with the severity of autonomic neuropathy (p = 0.052). The bronchial hyperreactivity to MCh was completely blocked by pretreatment inhalation of ipratropium bromide, suggesting the muscarinic receptor-mediated mechanism. Of these five patients with hyperreactivity to MCh, three with low PD20 to MCh (< 50 units) did not respond to Hist, but two with high PD20 (> 50 units) to MCh did, suggesting different mechanisms of hyperreactivity to MCh and Hist in FAP. The PD20 to Hist significantly correlated inversely to the PD20 to MCh (p < 0.05). Histochemical examination revealed marked amyloid deposition in the vagus nerves and tracheal wall in an autopsied patient with FAP and severe autonomic symptoms. These data suggest that patients with FAP and advanced autonomic neuropathy have bronchial hyperreactivity to MCh and/or Hist, probably because of denervation supersensitivity resulting from amyloid deposition in the peripheral autonomic nerves of the airways.[1]


  1. Bronchial hyperreactivity in patients with familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy and autonomic neuropathy. Kawano, O., Kohrogi, H., Ando, Y., Iwagoe, H., Fujii, K., Hamamoto, J., Yamaguchi, T., Okabe, H., Ando, M. Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. (1997) [Pubmed]
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