Role of nitric oxide during hyperventilation-induced bronchoconstriction in the guinea pig

Oscar E. Suman, Kenneth C. Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Airway function is largely preserved during exercise or isocapnic hyperventilation in humans and guinea pigs despite likely changes in airway milieu during hyperpnea. It is only on cessation of a hyperpneic challenge that airway function deteriorates significantly. We tested the hypothesis that nitric oxide, a known bronchodilator that is produced in the lungs and bronchi, might be responsible for the relative bronchodilation observed during hyperventilation (HV) in guinea pigs. Three groups of anesthetized guinea pigs were given saline and three groups given 50 mg/kg NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA), a potent nitric oxide synthase inhibitor. Three isocapnic ventilation groups included normal ventilation [40 breaths/min, 6 ml/kg tidal volume (VT)], increased respiratory rate only (150 breaths/min, 6 ml/kg VT), and increased respiratory rate and increased volume (100 breaths/min, 8 ml/kg VT). L-NMMA reduced expired nitric oxide in all groups. Expired nitric oxide was slightly but significantly increased by HV in the saline groups. However, inhibition of nitric oxide production had no significant effect on rate of rise of respiratory system resistance (Rrs) during HV or on the larger rise in Rrs seen 6 min after HV. We conclude that nitric oxide synthase inhibition has no effect on changes in Rrs, either during or after HV in guinea pigs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1474-1480
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Asthma
  • Exercise-induced asthma
  • Respiratory system resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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