The effect of anticholinergic and beta-agonist pretreatment on bronchoconstriction induced by N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine

M. J. Peters*, A. B X Breslin, N. Berend

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


N-Formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (FMLP), an acylated tripeptide bacterial neutrophil chemotactic factor, has been shown to be a bronchoconstrictor by inhalation in man in vivo. It thus has a putative role in the generation of bronchoconstriction associated with bacterial bronchial infection. We have investigated the effect of pretreatment with the anticholinergic agent, ipratropium bromide (IB), and the beta2-agonist, fenoterol (F), on FMLP-induced bronchoconstriction. Ten non-asthmatic subjects aged 21-28 yrs performed dose-response curves to nebulized FMLP on 3 study days after pretreatment with saline, F or IB. Amongst the 8 subjects who bronchoconstricted by 20% to FMLP there was a significant increase in the provocative concentration causing a 20% fall in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) (PC20FMLP) after both IB and F. F was significantly better than IB. When comparison was made using absolute fall in FEV1 and including all 10 subjects the same results were found. Partial inhibition of FMLP-induced bronchoconstriction by IB suggests that part of the effect of FMLP is vagally mediated. We suggest that F is acting via modulation of FMLP-induced rises in intracellular free calcium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-949
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • bacteria
  • bronchoconstriction
  • fenoterol
  • ipratropium bromide


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