Aerosolized doses of the ionophore A23187, and arachidonic acid individually resulted in no airway response in rhesus monkeys. When these two agents were given simultaneously, by aerosol, an airway response occurred. The pulmonary function abnormalities that occurred qualitatively simulated those of an antigen-induced airway response. This is the first demonstration in our laboratory of two agents which singly will not produce a response but which are reactive when delivered in combination. Other fatty acids did not produce a similar response. The response to A23187 and arachidonic acid occurred only in rhesus monkeys from our colony which had been demonstrated to have airway responses to aerosolized antigen challenge, a response shown previously to be associated with hyperreactive airways to pharmacologic stimuli. The A23187 and arachidonic acid response was inhibited by aerosolized 5,8,11,14-eicosatetraynoic acid, an inhibitor of the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways of arachidonic acid metabolism. Further, indomethacin, a prostaglandin synthetase inhibitor of the cyclooxygenase pathway, inhibited the response, although previous studies showed that this drug will potentiate an antigen-induced response in this animal model of asthma. The slow-reacting substance of anaphylaxis antagonist, FPL 55712, did not inhibit the A23187-arachidonic acid response under the conditions of these experiments. The mechanism of the A23187-arachidonic acid airway response in rhesus monkeys may or may not be the same as the antigen-induced response.
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