Effect of furosemide on hyperpnea-induced airway obstruction, injury, and microvascular leakage

Arthur N. Freed, Varsha Taskar, Brian Schofield, Chiharu Omori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Furosemide attenuates hyperpnea-induced airway obstruction (HIAO) in asthmatic subjects via unknown mechanism(s). We studied the effect of furosemide on dry air-induced bronchoconstriction, mucosal injury, and bronchovascular hyperpermeability in a canine model of exercise-induced asthma. Peripheral airway resistance (Rp) was recorded before and after a 2- min dry-air challenge (DAC) at 2,000 ml/min. After pretreatment with aerosolized saline containing 0.75% dimethyl sulfoxide, DAC increased Rp 72 ± 11% (SE, n = 7) above baseline; aerosolized furosemide (10-3 M) reduced this response by ~50 ± 6% (P < 0.01). To assess bronchovascular permeability, colloidal carbon was injected (1 ml/kg iv) 1 min before DAC, and after 1 h, the vehicle- and furosemide-treated airways were prepared for morphometric analysis. Light microscopy confirmed previous studies showing that DAC damaged the airway epithelium and enhanced bronchovascular permeability. Furosemide did not inhibit dry air-induced mucosal injury or bronchovascular hyperpermeability and in fact tended to increase airway damage and vascular leakage. This positive trend toward enhanced bronchovascular permeability in DAC canine peripheral airways is consistent with the hypothesis that furosemide inhibits HIAO in part by enhancing microvascular leakage and thus counterbalancing the evaporative water loss that occurs during hyperpnea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2461-2467
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • asthma
  • bronchovascular permeability
  • goblet cells
  • hyperpnea-induced bronchoconstriction
  • mast cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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