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Airway Contractility 

The airways of the respiratory tract offer resistance to airflow during inhalation and expiration. Any alterations to their structure – caused by contraction, increased mucus, or inflammation – can affect negatively airflow and gas exchange.

We can determine the effects of your test articles on human airway tone using our organ bath or wire myograph systems. Respiratory assays are available at any level of the bronchial tree, from large conducting Tertiary or lower airways

Due to the small size of the lower airways, we use a myograph system to measure bronchoconstriction or bronchodilation in response to your test article.  We have three reference compounds available depending on your desired endpoint, including U46619 (thromboxane A2 mimetic), acetylcholine, and leukotriene D4 (LTD4). 

  • Secondary, tertiary, and lower airways can be obtained
  • Bronchoconstriction-dilation can be investigated in healthy or diseased airways 
  • Safety assessment can be conducted in accordance with GLP regulations
  • Cross-species comparison studies are possible

Image: An example of airway resections used in our contractility studies.

BT11206 airways

Secondary airways (healthy)

Due to the larger diameter of the secondary airways, we use our organ bath system to measure tonal changes in response to your test compounds. Airways used to measure bronchoconstriction are typically denuded of the epithelium, but we offer a completely flexible and customized protocol to meet your research needs. 

Adrenoceptor-isoprenaline model
Assess whether your test article causes bronchodilation in healthy secondary airways via adrenoceptors in comparison to isoprenaline (isoproterenol).

VIP-PACAP model
Assess whether your test article causes bronchodilation in healthy secondary airways with VIP as a reference compound.

Acetylcholine-carbachol model
Assess whether your test article causes bronchodilation in denuded secondary airways via acetylcholine receptors.

Histamine model
Assess whether your test article causes bronchodilation in denuded secondary airways via histamine receptors.

Secondary airways (diseased)

In addition to healthy secondary airways, we can source diseased tissues from donors with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD). Asthma is characterized by inflammation and acute bronchospasm, whereas COPD causes chronic narrowing of the airways.

Acetylcholine/carbachol model
Determine whether your test article causes bronchodilation in asthmatic secondary airways via acetylcholine receptors.

Adrenoceptor/salbutamol model
Determine whether your test article causes bronchodilation in asthmatic secondary airways via adrenoceptors.

Bronchodilation in secondary COPD human airways
Determine whether your test article causes bronchodilation in COPD secondary airways via adrenoceptors.

Tertiary or lower airways

Due to the small size of the lower airways, we use a myograph system to measure bronchoconstriction or bronchodilation in response to your test article.  We have three reference compounds available depending on your desired endpoint, including U46619 (thromboxane A2 mimetic), acetylcholine, and leukotriene D4 (LTD4).

Acetylcholine receptor assay
Assess whether your test article causes bronchoconstriction in tertiary or lower airways via Acetylcholine receptors.

Prostanoid receptor assay
Assess whether your test article causes bronchoconstriction in human tertiary or lower airways via U46619 receptors.

Lipoxin, eicosanoids and resolvin E1
Assess whether your test article causes bronchoconstriction in human tertiary or lower airways via LTD4 receptors.

Tertiary or lower airways (bronchodilation)

We can also measure bronchodilator in response to adrenoceptor agonism in tertiary or lower airways. Salbutamol, isoprenaline and formoterol are all available as reference compounds.

Adrenoceptor-isoprenaline model
Assess whether your test article causes bronchodilation in tertiary or lower airways with isoprenaline (isoproterenol) as a control.

Adrenoceptor-formoterol assay
Assess whether your test article causes bronchodilation in tertiary or lower airways with formoterol as a control

Adrenoceptor-salbutamol assay
Assess whether your test article causes bronchodilation in tertiary or lower airways, with salbutamol as a control.

Tertiary or lower airways (diseased)

In addition to healthy tertiary or lower airways, we can source these tissues from donors with asthma. Using our wire myograph model, we can measure the influence of your test articles on bronchodilation with salmeterol, salbutamol, and formoterol as reference compounds.

Adrenocetor-salmeterol model
Assess whether your test article causes bronchodilation in asthmatic tertiary or lower airways salmeterol as a control.

Adrenoceptor-salbutamol model
Assess whether your test article causes bronchodilation in asthmatic tertiary or lower airways salbutamol as a control.

Adrenoceptor-formoterol-model
Assess whether your test article causes bronchodilation in asthmatic tertiary or lower airways formoterol as a control.