A standard, single dose of inhaled terbutaline attenuates hyperpnoea- induced bronchoconstriction and mast cell activation in athletes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Authors:
  • Andrew Simpson


Release of bronchoactive mediators from mast cells during exercise hyperpnea is a key factor in the pathophysiology of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). Our aim was to investigate the effect of a standard, single dose of an inhaled β2-adrenoceptor agonist on mast cell activation in response to dry air hyperpnea in athletes with EIB. Twenty-seven athletes with EIB completed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Terbutaline (0.5 mg) or placebo was inhaled 15 min prior to 8 min of eucapnic voluntary hyperpnea (EVH) with dry air. Pre- and postbronchial challenge, urine samples were analyzed by enzyme immunoassay for 11β-prostaglandin F2α (11β-PGF2α). The maximum fall in forced expiratory volume in 1 s of 14 (12–20)% (median and interquartile range) following placebo was attenuated to 7 (5–9)% with the administration of terbutaline (P < 0.001). EVH caused a significant increase in 11β-PGF2α from 41 (27–57) ng/mmol creatinine at baseline to 58 (43–72) ng/mmol creatinine at its peak post-EVH following placebo (P = 0.002). The rise in 11β-PGF2α was inhibited with administration of terbutaline: 39 (28–44) ng/mmol creatinine at baseline vs. 40 (33–58) ng/mmol creatinine at its peak post-EVH (P = 0.118). These data provide novel in vivo evidence of mast cell stabilization following inhalation of a standard dose of terbutaline prior to bronchial provocation with EVH in athletes with EIB.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 1011-1017
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016