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Airway smooth muscle (ASM) is continuously strained during breathing at tidal volume. Whether this tidal strain influences the magnitude of the bronchodilator response to a deep inspiration (DI) is not clearly defined. The present in vitro study examines the effect of tidal strain on the bronchodilator effect of DIs. ASM strips from sheep tracheas were mounted in organ baths and then subjected to stretches (30% strain), simulating DIs at varying time intervals. In between simulated DIs, the strips were either held at a fixed length (isometric) or oscillated continuously by 6% (length oscillations) to simulate tidal strain. The contractile state of the strips was also controlled by adding either methacholine or isoproterenol to activate or relax ASM, respectively. Although the time-dependent gain in force caused by methacholine was attenuated by length oscillations, part of the acquired force in the oscillating condition was preserved postsimulated DIs, which was not the case in the isometric condition. Consequently, the bronchodilator effect of simulated DIs (i.e., the decline in force postsimulated versus presimulated DIs) was attenuated in oscillating versus isometric conditions. These findings suggest that an ASM operating in a dynamic environment acquired adaptations that make it refractory to the decline in contractility inflicted by a larger strain simulating a DI.


Morgan Gazzola, Fatemeh Khadangi, Marine Clisson, Jonathan Beaudoin, Marie-Annick Clavel, Ynuk Bossé. Airway smooth muscle adapting in dynamic conditions is refractory to the bronchodilator effect of a deep inspiration. American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology. 2020 Feb 01;318(2):L452-L458

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PMID: 31913645

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