BACKGROUND: Leukotriene receptor antagonists significantly blunt allergen-induced bronchoconstriction in asthmatic subjects. Inhibitors of leukotriene synthesis should theoretically provide similar protection, but conflicting results have been obtained when synthesis inhibitors have been tested in allergen challenge. BAYx 1005, a new inhibitor of leukotriene synthesis, was therefore evaluated in an allergen bronchoprovocation study. METHODS: Ten men with mild allergic asthma and bronchial hyperresponsiveness to histamine were recruited. On two different occasions each subject inhaled a single dose of allergen, previously determined to cause at least a 20% fall in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) four hours after ingestion of 750 mg BAYx 1005 or placebo in a double blind crossover design. Urinary excretion of leukotriene E4 was measured before and during the challenges. RESULTS: The mean (SE) maximal fall in FEV1 was 7.1 (1.7)% after BAYx 1005 and 21.0 (3.0)% after placebo (p < 0.001). The mean difference between treatments was 13.9 (95% CI 7.0 to 20.8) for the maximal fall in FEV1. All subjects were protected by BAYx 1005, the mean inhibition of the fall in FEV1 being 70.0 (7.0)%. The mean area under the curve (AUC) for urinary excretion of leukotriene E4 in the first two hours after the challenge was 1.7 (0.9) after placebo and 0.4 (0.6) after BAYx 1005 (difference = 1.3 (95% CI-0.1 to 2.7); p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that BAYx 1005 is a potent inhibitor of allergen-provoked leukotriene synthesis in asthmatic subjects and lend further support to the suggestion that leukotrienes are important mediators of allergen-induced bronchoconstriction.
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