Bronchoconstrictor effects of leukotriene E4 in normal and asthmatic subjects

A. B. Davidson, T. H. Lee, P. D. Scanlon, J. Solway, E. R. McFadden, R. H. Ingram, E. J. Corey, K. F. Austen, J. M. Drazen

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115 Scopus citations


The bronchoconstrictor activity of an aerosol of leukotriene E4 (LTE4) was compared with that of histamine in 5 normal and in 6 asthmatic subjects to define the relative potency of LTE4 between the groups using 3 indices of airway response. The FEV1 and the flow rate measured at 30% of vital capacity from partial and maximal expiratory maneuvers (V̇30-P and V̇30-M) were measured. The geometric mean (GSEM) concentration of LTE4 required to reduce the V̇30-P by 30% was 0.30 (1.46) mM in the normal subjects, and 0.058 (1.63) in the asthmatic subjects; LTE4 was 39-fold more potent than histamine in the former and 14-fold in the latter group. Further, we observed that when normal and asthmatic subjects were compared at a degree of bronchoconstriction resulting in a 30% decrement in the V̇30-P after inhaling LTE4, there was a greater response in the asthmatic group than in the normal group of the accompanying change in the FEV1. The decrements in the FEV1 were not significantly different between the 2 groups after inhaling histamine. This study demonstrates that LTE4 is a potent bronchoconstrictor agonist in humans and suggests that airway responsiveness to this agonist differs substantially with the index of bronchoconstriction used for assessment of airway response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-337
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Review of Respiratory Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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