Project: Research project

Project Details


The overall objective of this proposal is an increased
understanding of respiratory sensitivity to environmental tobacco
smoke (ETS). These proposed studies represent the logical
outgrowth of our preliminary studies which showed that: 1) In a
survey of healthy nonsmokers, a history of rhinitis symptoms after
exposure to environmental tobacco smoke was reported by 40% of
subjects. 2) Controlled challenge with sidestream tobacco smoke
(STS) in an environmental chamber results in increased rhinitis
symptoms and an increase in posterior nasal resistance in
historically ETS sensitive subjects as compared to historically
ETS-nonsensitive objects. 3) ETS sensitive subjects are more
likely to be atopic by skin prick tests. 4) There is no increase
in nasal lavage histamine following STS exposure; this suggests
that mast cell activation is not the basis for ETS sensitivity.
Studies in this proposal are aimed at testing the hypothesis that
ETS sensitivity in humans represents a neurally mediated increased
inflammatory response to the vapor phase component of STS. Other
investigators have shown that a response to cigarette smoke in
animals is mediated by C-fiber afferent neuron stimulation by the
vapor phase component of smoke. We will first characterize the
symptomatic, physiologic and inflammatory response to STS over a
dose range found in indoor environments. Next, we will determine
whether ETS-sensitive subjects are hyper-responsive to the organic
vapor component of STS. We will explore the mechanism of ETS
sensitivity by attempting to block the response to STS
pharmacologically. We will then explore lower respiratory
sensitivity to ETS, by determining whether STS causes decrements
in lung function or increased reactivity under conditions of
moderate exercise in ETS sensitive subjects. Finally, we will
investigate the interaction between allergic illness and ETS. We
will test the hypothesis that antigen challenge will increase the
responsiveness to subsequent STS exposure. This latter hypothesis
is based on clinical, anecdotal evidence and on animal causes
prolonged depolarization of neurons. It is our opinion that an
increased understanding of sensitivity to environmental tobacco
smoke will result in a better understanding of non-allergic
rhinitis and aid in the development of rational control and
therapeutic measures for this prevalent condition.
Effective start/end date4/1/903/31/95


  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.