This study was designed to determine the effect of active sensitization with ovalbumin (Ova) on cough responses to inhaled irritant gases in mice. Conscious mice moved freely in a recording chamber while the pressure change in the chamber, audio and video signals of the mouse movements were recorded simultaneously to measure the frequencies of cough reflex (CR) and expiration reflex (ER). To further verify the accuracy of cough analysis, the intra-pleural pressure was also recorded by a telemetry sensor surgically implanted in the intra-pleural space in a subgroup of mice. During the irritant gas inhalation challenge, sulfur dioxide (SO2; 200 & 400 ppm) or ammonia (NH3; 0.1% & 0.2%) was drawn into the chamber at a constant flowrate for 8 minutes. Ova sensitization and sham sensitization with vehicle (Veh) were performed over a 25-day period in separate groups of mice. Our results showed: 1) Both SO2 and NH3 inhalation challenges increased CR and ER frequencies in a concentration-dependent manner before Ova sensitization. 2) The baseline CR frequency was significantly elevated after Ova sensitization, accompanied by pronounced airway inflammation. 3) Ova sensitization also markedly augmented the responses of CR and ER to both SO2 and NH3 inhalation challenges; in sharp contrast, the cough responses did not change after sham sensitization in the Veh group. In conclusion, Ova sensitization caused distinct and lingering increases in baseline cough frequency, and also intensified both CR and ER responses to inhaled irritant gases, which probably resulted from an allergic inflammation-induced hypersensitivity of airway sensory nerves.
- inhaled irritants
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology