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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 11 (2002), Issue 1, Pages 33-38

Epithelium-dependent effect of L-glutamate on airways: involvement of prostaglandins

Department of Physiology, Medical School, University of Thessaly, Papakiriazi 22, Larissa 412 22, Greece

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigated the effect of the excitatory amino acid (EAA) receptor agonists L-glutamate, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), (RS)-a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) and kainic acid on KCl-induced contractions of rabbit tracheal smooth muscle, as well as the role of epithelium and endogenously produced nitric oxide and prostaglandins on these responses. L-Glutamate decreased KCl-induced contractions up to 30%. This effect was attenuated by epithelium removal, tetrodotoxin, methylene blue and indomethacin but not by NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester. While NMDA, AMPA and kainic acid had no effect, the combination of NMDA + kainic acid decreased KCl-induced contractions. These results suggest that, in rabbit trachea, L-glutamate has, at least in part, an epithelium-dependent effect mediated via prostaglandin formation and that the EAA receptors involved are nonclassical.