Broad Th2 neutralization and anti‐inflammatory action of pentosan polysulfate sodium in experimental allergic rhinitis
Secretion of mucins and exudation of plasma are distinct processes of importance to innate immunity and inflammatory disease. Yet, little is known about their relation in human airways. The objective of the present study was to use the human nasal airway to determine mucinous secretion and plasma exudation in response to common challenge agents and mediators. Ten healthy volunteers were subjected to nasal challenge-lavage procedures. Thus, the nasal mucosa was exposed to increasing doses of histamine (40 and 400 microg ml(-1)), methacholine (12.5 and 25 mg) and capsaicin (30 and 300 ng ml(-1)). Fucose was selected as a global marker of mucinous secretion and alpha(2)-macroglobulin as an index of exudation of bulk plasma. All challenge agents increased the mucosal output of fucose to about the same level (P<0.01-0.05). Once significant secretion had been induced the subsequently increased dose of the challenge agent, in the case of histamine and methacholine, failed to further increase the response. Only histamine increased the mucosal output of alpha(2)-macroglobulin (P<0.01). We conclude that prompt but potentially rapidly depleted mucinous secretion is common to different kinds of airway challenges, whereas inflammatory histamine-type mediators are required to produce plasma exudation. Along with the acknowledged secretion of mucins, a practically non-depletable, pluripotent mucosal output of plasma emerges as an important component of the innate immunity of human airways.