PMID: 36762May 1, 1979

Beta-agonists and secretory cell number and intracellular glycoproteins in airway epithelium. The effect of isoproterenol and salbutamol

The American Journal of Pathology
R Jones, L Reid


This study describes the effect of systemic administration of the beta-adrenergic agonists isoproterenol and salbutamol on the secretory cell populations in seven regions of rat airway epithelium (three extrapulmonary and four intrapulmonary) and on the size of salivary glands and heart. Isoproterenol (a nonselective beta-adrenergic agonist) significantly increases secretory cell number in all airway regions except the midtrachea; salbutamol (a selective beta 2 agonist) increases secretory cell number only in proximal and peripheral regions. The absolute number of secretory cells is greatest in the most peripheral region after isoproterenol administration and in the most proximal region after salbutamol, although both drugs produce the greatest relative increase at the periphery. In proximal and, particularly, peripheral regions, the increase by isoproterenol (less than 3- and 14-fold, respectively) is greater than by salbutamol (less than 2- and less than 3-fold, respectively). In all airway regions, both drugs modify intracellular glycoprotein in the secretory cell population; within a given region, modification is much the same. In the most proximal region, the population of cells synthesizing only granules of neutral glycop...Continue Reading

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Secretory Cell
Glycoprotein Biosynthetic Process
Adrenergic beta-Agonists
Adrenergic beta-Agonists [MoA]

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