The effect of deep inspiration (DI) on airway responsiveness differs in asthmatic and normal human subjects. The mechanism for the effects of DI on airway responsiveness in vivo has not been identified. To elucidate potential mechanisms, we compared the effects of DI imposed before or during induced broncho-constriction on the airway response to methacholine (MCh) in rabbits. The changes in airway resistance in response to intravenous MCh were continuously monitored. DI depressed the maximum response to MCh when imposed before or during the MCh challenge; however, the inhibitory effect of DI was greater when imposed during bronchoconstriction. Because immature rabbits have greater airway reactivity than mature rabbits, we compared the effects of DI on their airway responses. No differences were observed. Our results suggest that the mechanisms by which DI inhibits airway responsiveness do not depend on prior activation of airway smooth muscle (ASM). These results are consistent with the possibility that reorganization of the contractile apparatus caused by stretch of ASM during DI contributes to depression of the airway response.
- Airway reactivity
- Smooth muscle plasticity
- Volume history
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation