George Gallos

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Airway smooth muscle (ASM) contraction is an important component of the pathophysiology of asthma. Taurine, an agonist of glycine receptor chloride (GlyR Cl(-)) channels, was found to relax contracted ASM, which led us to question whether functional GlyR Cl(-) channels are expressed in ASM. Messenger RNA for β (GLRB), α1 (GLRA1), α2 (GLRA2), and α4 (GLRA4)(More)
GABA(A) channels are ubiquitously expressed on neuronal cells and act via an inward chloride current to hyperpolarize the cell membrane of mature neurons. Expression and function of GABA(A) channels on airway smooth muscle cells has been demonstrated in vitro. Airway smooth muscle cell membrane hyperpolarization contributes to relaxation. We hypothesized(More)
The prevalence of asthma has taken on pandemic proportions. Since this disease predisposes patients to severe acute airway constriction, novel mechanisms capable of promoting airway smooth muscle relaxation would be clinically valuable. We have recently demonstrated that activation of endogenous airway smooth muscle GABA(A) receptors potentiates(More)
Bronchodilators are the first line therapy during acute asthmatic exacerbations to reverse airway obstruction primarily by relaxing airway smooth muscle. Only three categories of bronchodilators exist in clinical practice: β-adrenergic agonists, anticholinergics, and methylxanthines. Each of these categories have specific drugs dating back to the early 20th(More)
Neuropeptide tachykinins (substance P, neurokinin A, and neurokinin B) are present in peripheral terminals of sensory nerve fibers within the respiratory tract and cause airway contractile responses and hyperresponsiveness in humans and most mammalian species. Three subtypes of neurokinin receptors (NK1R, NK2R, and NK3R) classically couple to Gq(More)
The clinical need for novel bronchodilators for the treatment of bronchoconstrictive diseases remains a major medical issue. Modulation of airway smooth muscle (ASM) chloride via GABAA receptor activation to achieve relaxation of precontracted ASM represents a potentially beneficial therapeutic option. Since human ASM GABAA receptors express only the α4-(More)
BACKGROUND Emerging evidence indicates that an endogenous autocrine/paracrine system involving gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is present in airways. GABAA channels, GABAB receptors, and the enzyme that synthesizes GABA have been identified in airway epithelium and smooth muscle. However, the endogenous ligand itself, GABA, has not been measured in airway(More)
Enhanced airway smooth muscle (ASM) contraction is an important component in the pathophysiology of asthma. We have shown that ligand gated chloride channels modulate ASM contractile tone during the maintenance phase of an induced contraction, however the role of chloride flux in depolarization-induced contraction remains incompletely understood. To better(More)
This Perspectives accompanies an Editorial Focus that summarizes new developments concerning the role of chloride in airway smooth muscle physiology. We provide several observations and mechanistic insights to reconcile recent experimental evidence with existing paradigms concerning chloride channel-mediated effects on airway smooth muscle tone. In(More)
An updated model of the GABA(A) benzodiazepine receptor pharmacophore of the í µí»¼5-BzR/GABA(A) subtype has been constructed prompted by the synthesis of subtype selective ligands in light of the recent developments in both ligand synthesis, behavioral studies, and molecular modeling studies of the binding site itself. A number of BzR/GABA(A) í µí»¼5(More)