Our previous studies with C5a, a cleavage product of the fifth component of complement, have shown that the antihistamine diphenhydramine and the cyclo-oxygenae inhibitor aspirin do not inhibit the C5a-induced contraction of isolated guinea pig trachea (Regal, Eastman & Pickering, 1980; Regal & Pickering, 1981). We investigated the effect of cyclo-oxygenase inhibitors in the presence of diphenhydramine to determine if cyclo-oxygenase products were contributing to the contraction beyond any effect they might have on histamine release. A combination of a cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor and diphenhydramine caused a delay in onset and decrease in magnitude and duration of the C5a-induced contraction. Indomethacin itself also caused a slight inhibition. In contrast, a combination of aspirin and diphenhydramine did not inhibit the initial portion of antigen-induced tracheal contraction any more than diphenhydramine alone and enhanced the later portion just as aspirin alone. Cross tachyphylaxis experiments demonstrated that antigen pretreatment significantly inhibited a subsequent C5a-induced tracheal contraction, though C5a pretreatment did not affect a subsequent antigen-induced contraction. Thus, cyclo-oxygenase products do contribute to C5a-induced tracheal contraction, and histamine participation in the presence of cyclo-oxygenase inhibitors is suggested. Our studies demonstrate the dissimilarities of C5a and antigen-induced contraction as regards inhibition by aspirin plus diphenhydramine, yet suggest common pathways leading to the contractile response as evidenced by cross tachyphylaxis experiments.
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Acknowledgements -- We thank Ms. Dianne Fitzgerald for excellent technical assistance and Ms. Tina Charbonneau for conducting chemotaxis under agarose. This work was supported in part by grants from the American Lung Association and the Northeastern New York Chapter of the American Heart Association.