Elevated substance P content in induced sputum from patients with asthma and patients with chronic bronchitis

Masafumi Tomaki, Masakazu Ichinose, Motohiko Miura, Yoshitaka Hirayama, Hideyuki Yamauchi, Natsuko Nakajima, Kunio Shirato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

199 Citations (Scopus)


In experimental studies, tachykinins, especially substance P (SP), cause many of the pathophysiological features of neurogenic inflammation. It is unclear whether these peptides are involved in human airway inflammation in diseases such as asthma and chronic bronchitis. To elucidate the relation between neurogenic inflammation and airway inflammatory diseases, we examined the SP concentration in sputum after hypertonic saline inhalation challenge in patients with asthma, patients with chronic bronchitis, and normal volunteers. SP concentration was measured by radioimmunoassay. The sputum SP concentration was significantly higher in patients with asthma (mean ± SEM, 17.7 ± 2.4 fmol/ml; p < 0.01) and patients with chronic bronchitis (25.6 ± 5.5 fmol/ml; p < 0.01) than in normal volunteers (1.1 ± 0.4 fmol/ml). In patients with asthma, the SP concentration was significantly related to the eosinophil cell count in induced sputum. In all subjects, the SP concentration in induced sputum correlated with FEV1/FVC. These data suggest that neurogenic inflammation may be involved in the airway inflammatory process and subsequent airway narrowing not only in asthma but also in chronic bronchitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-617
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number3 I
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Mar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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