Topical nitroprusside may reduce histamine-induced plasma exudation in human nasal airways

Lennart Greiff, Morgan Andersson, Christer Svensson, M Nilsson, I Erjefalt, Jonas Erjefält, Carl Persson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mucosal exudation of nonsieved bulk plasma is a key feature of airway defense and inflammation. We have previously observed in guinea pig tracheobronchial airways that endogenous nitric oxide (NO) of the mucosa may tonically suppress the permeability of the subepithelial microcirculation, and that topical administration of the NO donor nitroprusside may reduce plasma exudation responses. The present study examines whether nitroprusside affects histamine-induced mucosal exudation of plasma in the human nasal airway. In a dose-finding tolerability experiment, using changes in nasal patency as response, placebo and nitroprusside (1.2 and 3.6 mg per nasal cavity) were applied on the mucosal surface with a nasal-spray device. Nasal peak expiratory flow (PEF) rates were measured before the application and thereafter every third minute for 15 min. Nitroprusside produced a dose-dependent decrease in nasal PEF rates compared to placebo. Placebo or nitroprusside (7.2 mg) was then given to the right nasal cavity, followed 3 min later by challenge with saline or histamine (600 micrograms). The drug and the challenge were both applied with a nasal-spray device. With a nasal pool-device, the same large part of the nasal mucosal surface was lavaged before and after the treatment/challenge. The lavage fluid levels of alpha 2-macroglobulin were measured as an index of mucosal exudation of bulk plasma. The histamine-induced lavage fluid level of alpha 2-macroglobulin was significantly higher after treatment with placebo than with nitroprusside. The present data indicate that nitroprusside may have antiexudative effects in human airways. Hence, unlike other microvascular permeability active agents, this pharmacologic principle may be active in both guinea pig and human airways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-597
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1995

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy


  • inflammation
  • microcirculation
  • nitric oxide


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