Bradykinin has been implicated as a mediator of the acute pathophysiological and inflammatory consequences of respiratory tract infections and in exacerbations of chronic diseases such as asthma. Bradykinin may also be a trigger for the coughing associated with these and other conditions. We have thus set out to evaluate the pharmacology of bradykinin-evoked coughing in guinea pigs. When inhaled, bradykinin induced paroxysmal coughing that was abolished by the bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist HOE 140. These cough responses rapidly desensitized, consistent with reports of B2 receptor desensitization. Bradykinin-evoked cough was potentiated by inhibition of both neutral endopeptidase and angiotensin-converting enzyme (with thiorphan and captopril, respectively), but was largely unaffected by muscarinic or thromboxane receptor blockade (atropine and ICI 192605), cyclooxygenase, or nitric oxide synthase inhibition (meclofenamic acid and NG-nitro-L-arginine). Calcium influx studies in bronchopulmonary vagal afferent neurons dissociated from vagal sensory ganglia indicated that the tachykinin-containing C-fibers arising from the jugular ganglia mediate bradykinin-evoked coughing. Also implicating the jugular C-fibers was the observation that simultaneous blockade of neurokinin2 (NK2; SR48968) and NK3 (SR142801 or SB223412) receptors nearly abolished the bradykinin-evoked cough responses. The data suggest that bradykinin induces coughing in guinea pigs by activating B2 receptors on bronchopulmonary C-fibers. We speculate that therapeutics targeting the actions of bradykinin may prove useful in the treatment of cough.
- Received November 3, 2015.
- Accepted March 18, 2016.
↵1 Current affiliation: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
This work was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health [Grant HL083192]. S.B.M. is funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia fellowship [Grant APP1025589].
The authors declare no conflicts of interest relating to the conduct or summary of these studies.
- Copyright © 2016 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics