Inflammatory and mechanical factors of allergen-induced bronchoconstriction in mild asthma and rhinitis

Emanuele Crimi, Manlio Milanese, Susanna Oddera, Carlo Mereu, Giovanni A. Rossi, Annamaria Riccio, G. Walter Canonica, Vito Brusasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We studied whether different bronchial responses to allergen in asthma and rhinitis are associated with different bronchial inflammation and remodeling or airway mechanics. Nine subjects with mild asthma and eight with rhinitis alone underwent methacholine and allergen inhalation challenges. The latter was preceded and followed by bronchoalveolar lavage and bronchial biopsy. The response to methacholine was positive in all asthmatic but in only two rhinitic subjects. The response to allergen was positive in all asthmatic and most, i.e., five, rhinitic subjects. No significant differences between groups were found in airway inflammatory cells or basement membrane thickness either at baseline or after allergen. The ability of deep inhalation to dilate methacholine-constricted airways was greater in rhinitis than in asthma, but it was progressively reduced in rhinitis during allergen challenge. We conclude that 1) rhinitic subjects may develop similar airway inflammation and remodeling as the asthmatic subjects do and 2) the difference in bronchial response to allergen between asthma and rhinitis is associated with different airway mechanics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029-1034
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Airway hyperresponsiveness
  • Basement membrane
  • Bronchial biopsy
  • Bronchoalveolar lavage
  • Deep inhalation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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