Urinary leukotriene E4 levels during early and late asthmatic responses†
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The sulphidopeptide leukotrienes C4 and D4 (LTC4, LTD4) are potent bronchoconstrictor mediators, released from human lung fragments after challenge with specific allergens in vitro. The purpose of this study was to measure urinary LTE4 (metabolite of LTC4 and LTD4) in subjects undergoing inhalation challenges with allergens or occupational sensitizing agents in the laboratory. Eighteen subjects with previously documented isolated early asthmatic responses (EARs), isolated late asthmatic responses (LARs), or dual (both early and late) asthmatic responses were studied. Urinary LTE4 levels increased in subjects who developed either isolated EARs (mean fall in FEV1, 27.98%) or early responses preceding LARs (mean fall in FEV1, 15.01%). The baseline levels of LTE4 were 150.26 (SEM, 49.5) pg/mg of creatinine in the isolated responders and 66.60 (SEM, 13.5) pg/mg of creatinine in the dual responders. These levels increased to 1816 (SEM, 606.1) pg/mg of creatinine (p = 0.041) and 174.80 (SEM, 40.1) pg/mg of creatinine (p = 0.025), respectively, after the EAR. The degree of maximal bronchoconstriction during the EAR correlated with the levels of LTE4 (r = 0.68; p = 0.001). No significant increase in urinary LTE4 levels occurred during the LAR. These results suggest that the LTE4 precursors, LTC4 and LTD4, are important bronchoconstrictor mediators causing EARs after allergen inhalation.
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