MICHAEL KALINER, M. D.; JAMES H. SHELHAMER, M.D.; PAMELA B. DAVIS, M.D., Ph.D.; LAURIE J. SMITH, M.D.; J. CRAIG VENTER, Ph.D.
Abnormal autonomic nervous system responsiveness may contribute to the pathogenesis of asthma and other allergic diseases. Therefore, we measured alpha- and beta-adrenergic and cholinergic responsiveness in allergic subjects. Allergic asthmatic subjects had an abnormal adrenergic (alpha = hyperresponsive; beta = hyporesponsive) and cholinergic (hyperresponsive) profile. However, subjects with allergic rhinitis and preallergic subjects (those with positive allergen skin tests without any disease manifestation) had equivalent beta-adrenergic and cholinergic abnormalities. Thus, all allergic subjects showed abnormal beta-adrenergic hyporeactivity and cholinergic hypersensitivity whereas allergic asthma was singularly associated with excessive alpha-adrenergic responsiveness. Autoantibodies against beta-receptors were found predominantly in subjects with beta-adrenergic hyporeactivity. The presence of these autoantibodies and the physiologic abnormalities associated with their presence suggests a causitive relationship.
KALINER M, SHELHAMER JH, DAVIS PB, et al. Autonomic Nervous System Abnormalities and Allergy. Ann Intern Med. 1982;96:349–357. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-96-3-349
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1982;96(3):349-357.
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