07 Apr

Allergen-Induced Bronchoconstriction in Asthmatic Children (10)

Recently, PAF has been postulated to play a central role in the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma because PAF is unique, among allergic mediators, by having the capacity to induce protracted inflammation of the type that is evident in asthma, ie, infiltration of the airways by mononuclear cells, neutrophils, and eosinophils. This unique inflammatory process, which could be induced by PAF inhalation in both animals” and humans, may account for the induction of persisting bronchial hyperreactivity, the hallmark of bronchial asthma. Additional lines of evidence include the detection of PAF in the sputum of asthmatic subjects and the demonstration that PAF may be produced by alveolar macrophages obtained from asthmatics. The recent availability of specific PAF receptor antagonists has made it possible to clarify the exact role of PAF in asthma.

It has been shown that oral administration of BN52063, a ginkgolides mixture, was able to inhibit both the PAF- and antigen-induced acute and late-onset cutaneous responses in healthy and atopic subjects. More importantly, this same preparation could also suppress the immediate response to inhaled allergen challenge in asthmatics via oral route. These studies provide evidence that PAF may be involved in the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma and the specific PAF antagonists may have a therapeutic role in the prevention and treatment of this disease.

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