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  • Author or Editor: Michal A. Olszewski x
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During acute bouts of recurrent airway obstruction (heaves) in horses, neutrophils that are capable of increased production of reactive oxygen species accumulate in the airways. In the study reported here, the effect of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2; 1 µM to 0.1M), one of these reactive oxygen species products, on the responses of isolated trachealis muscle of horses was determined. Before and after incubation with H2O2, contractile responses to acetylcholine, electrical field stimulation (efs), 127 mM KCl, and relaxation responses to isoproterenol and activation of the nonadrenergic noncholinergic inhibitory response (iNANC) were evaluated. Beginning at 1 mM, H2O2 contracted trachealis muscle in a concentration-dependent manner. This contraction was unaffected by atropine (1 µM), tetrodotoxin (1 µM), or 1 µM meclofenamate. Contraction of trachealis muscle in response to H2O2 is, therefore, not attributable to release of prostaglandins, acetylcholine, or other neurotransmitters. Above a concentration of 0.1 mM, H2O2 depressed the responses to efs, acetylcholine, and KCl in a concentration-dependent manner. At 0.1M, H2O2 decreased the maximal responses to efs, acetylcholine, and KCl by 62.7 ± 7.2, 60.58 ± 6.12, and 37.8 ± 9.54%, respectively. In the presence of meclofenamate (1 µM), partial but significant protection against 1 to 100 mM H2O2 was observed. In tracheal strips contracted with 0.3 µM methacholine, H2O2 had no effect on the isoproterenol concentration-response curve. Up to a concentration of 100 mM, H2O2 had no effect on iNANC response. However, in the presence of 100 mM H2O2, this response was abolished in 2 of 4 horses. We conclude that high concentrations of H2O2 affected the responses of airway smooth muscle by actions on neurotransmission, muscarinic receptors, and downstream from receptors; some of the H2O2 effects were in part mediated by cyclooxygenase products; and H2O2 had no effect on β-adrenergic or iNANC-induced relaxation.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To determine the dose of aerosolized albuterol sulfate required to cause bronchodilation in horses with recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) and duration of this effect.


19 horses with RAO (10 in experiment 1; 9 in experiment 2).


Horses were moved from pasture to stables, and airway obstruction was induced. Pulmonary function was measured in 10 horses before and 5, 10, and 30 minutes after administration of vehicle or 120, 240, 360, or 720 µg of the drug. Nine horses received vehicle or 360 or 720 µg of albuterol, and pulmonary function was measured at baseline and 5 minutes and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 hours later. Horses were evaluated for adverse drug effects.


360 µg of albuterol was required to cause significant bronchodilatation; 720 µg did not enhance bronchodilatation or increase duration of action. Depending on which pulmonary function parameter was evaluated, bronchodilatation achieved by use of albuterol lasted between 30 minutes and 1 hour. Because there was a significant vehicle effect, the combined effect of vehicle and drug lasted up to 3 hours. Adverse effects were not observed.


Aerosolized albuterol, 360 or 720 µg, is a safe and effective bronchodilator in horses with RAO. Onset of action is rapid (5 minutes), and effects last from 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Clinical Relevance

Aerosolized albuterol is useful for treatment of bronchospasm in horses with RAO. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:689–693)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research