Inhaled mannitol shifts exhaled nitric oxide in opposite directions in asthmatics and healthy subjects

Marieann Högman, Dóra Lúdvíksdóttir, Sandra D. Anderson, Steven George, Lena Håkansson, H. K. Chan, Pekka Meriläinen, Hans Hedenström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We investigated if healthy subjects could release NO upon hyperosmolar challenge as a defence mechanism, and whether asthmatics with atopy showed an altered response. A plot of NO output versus flow rate was used to calculate the alveolar level and the NO-flux from the airways. The asthmatics had a higher NO output and this was due to an increased NO-flux from the airways, 86±30 nl min-1 compared with control 21±2 nl min-1 (P<0.05). The alveolar NO levels showed no difference. In response to a dry powder of mannitol the exhaled NO concentration decreased in asthmatics by 37±7%, but increased in the control by 9±4% (P<0.001). The FEV1.0 decreased 13±2% and airway conductance 42±7% in asthmatics and in the controls 2±1% and 0±7%, respectively (P<0.001). We conclude that asthmatics have an altered response to mannitol challenge in regards to exhaled NO. This may result from down regulation of constitutive NO production as a result of high levels of NO flux from the airways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-150
Number of pages10
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 20 2001


  • Disease, asthma
  • Mammals, humans
  • Mediator, NO
  • Pharmacological agents, mannitol
  • Upper airways, inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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