Physical characteristics and gas composition of nasal air affect nasal nitric oxide release

George D. Giraud, Bijan Nejadnik, Brent Kimberly, William E. Holden

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Scopus citations


    We studied modulation of release of nitric oxide (NO) into nasal passages by physical characteristics (airflow, temperature, humidity) or gases (oxygen, carbon dioxide) in nasal air of humans. Each characteristic or gas in nasal air was changed during voluntary soft palate elevation (to isolate nasal passages). Increasing airflow through the nose caused incremental increases in NO release from 211±23 nl/(min m-2) at 1 L/min to 312±40 nl/(min m-2) at 22 L/min (P<0.001, n=6). Decreased humidity (dry airflow, 1-22 L/min) reduced NO release only at the highest airflow rate. Changing temperature (range 46 to 0°C) had no effect on NO release. Hypoxia (below 4% O2) rapidly and reversibly decreased NO release (200±40 nl/(min m-2) at 21% O2 versus 99±17 nl/(min m-2) at 0% O2 for 3 min, (P<0.001, n=5). Carbon dioxide (5%) reduced NO release slightly. We conclude that airflow, reduced humidity, carbon dioxide concentration, and oxygen concentration modulate NO release into nasal passages. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)285-296
    Number of pages12
    JournalRespiration Physiology
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Dec 1998


    • Mammals, humans
    • Mediators, NO
    • NO, release, modulation by physical factors and gases
    • Upper airways, modulation of NO release

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physiology
    • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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