Incubation with IgE increases cholinergic neurotransmission in human airways in vitro

Masakazu Ichinose, Motohiko Miura, Masafumi Tomaki, Tatsuya Oyake, Natsuko Kageyama, Yasushi Ikarashi, Yuji Maruyama, Kunio Shirato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Airway cholinergic hyperresponsiveness is frequently observed in asthmatic patients. Recent reports suggest the possible involvement of IgE in hyperresponsiveness, although the exact mechanism is still uncertain. In this study, we examined whether incubation with IgE could facilitate the cholinergic function in human airways. Bronchi were obtained from 20 patients undergoing lung resection. Cholinergic contractile responses were induced by electrical field stimulation (EFS) or exogenous acetylcholine (ACh), and they were assessed by isometric tension measurement. EF5-induced ACh release from cholinergic nerves was also measured by high performance liquid chromatography. Incubation with IgE significantly enhanced EFS-induced bronchial contraction and ACh release as compared with the values of the bronchi incubated with heat inactivated IgE (control) (p < 0.05, respectively), but it did not alter the contractile responses induced by exogenous ACh. Pretreatment with the muscarinic M2-receptor agonist pilocarpine reduced the EFS-induced ACh release in the control tissues (p < 0.05), but not in the tissues incubated with IgE. The M2-receptor antagonist methoctramine significantly enhanced the EFS-induced contraction in control bronchi (p < 0.05), but this augmentation was not observed in the tissues incubated with IgE. These results suggest that IgE itself can enhance cholinergic bronchial contraction via facilitation of ACh release from cholinergic nerves and that this augmentation is related to autoreceptor M2 dysfunction at nerve endings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1272-1276
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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