Challenge-induced plasma exudation and mucinous secretion in human airways

Lennart Greiff, Morgan Andersson, William B Coman, Henrik Lindberg, György Marko-Varga, Ben Wallwork, Carl Persson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Secretion of mucins and exudation of plasma are distinct processes of importance to innate immunity and inflammatory disease. Yet, little is known about their relation in human airways. The objective of the present study was to use the human nasal airway to determine mucinous secretion and plasma exudation in response to common challenge agents and mediators. Ten healthy volunteers were subjected to nasal challenge-lavage procedures. Thus, the nasal mucosa was exposed to increasing doses of histamine (40 and 400 microg ml(-1)), methacholine (12.5 and 25 mg) and capsaicin (30 and 300 ng ml(-1)). Fucose was selected as a global marker of mucinous secretion and alpha(2)-macroglobulin as an index of exudation of bulk plasma. All challenge agents increased the mucosal output of fucose to about the same level (P<0.01-0.05). Once significant secretion had been induced the subsequently increased dose of the challenge agent, in the case of histamine and methacholine, failed to further increase the response. Only histamine increased the mucosal output of alpha(2)-macroglobulin (P<0.01). We conclude that prompt but potentially rapidly depleted mucinous secretion is common to different kinds of airway challenges, whereas inflammatory histamine-type mediators are required to produce plasma exudation. Along with the acknowledged secretion of mucins, a practically non-depletable, pluripotent mucosal output of plasma emerges as an important component of the innate immunity of human airways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-245
JournalClinical Physiology and Functional Imaging
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Clinical Chemistry and Pharmacology (013250300), Analytical Chemistry (S/LTH) (011001004), Division IV (013230800), Otorhinolaryngology (Lund) (013044000)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Physiology


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