Temperature conditioning of nasal air: Effects of vasoactive agents and involvement of nitric oxide

William E. Holden, John P. Wilkins, Michelle Harris, Henry A. Milczuk, George D. Giraud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Nitric oxide (NO) is released into nasal air, but its function is unknown. We hypothesized that nasal vascular tone and/or flow influences temperature conditioning of nasal air and that NO participates in this process. We measured nasal air temperature (via a thermocouple) and exhaled nasal NO release (by chemiluminescence) in five humans and examined the effects of an aerosolized vasoconstrictor (oxymetazoline), a vasodilator (papaverine), N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester, an inhibitor of NO synthase, or saline (control). Compared with saline (which caused no changes in nasal air temperature or exhaled NO release), oxymetazoline (0.05%) reduced nasal air temperature and NO release (130.8 ± 15.1 to 81.3 ± 12.8 nl · min-1 · m-2; P < 0.01). Papaverine (0.01 M) increased nasal air temperature and NO release (131.8 ± 13.1 to 157.2 ± 17.4 nl · min-1 · m-2; P < 0.03). N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester reduced nasal air temperature and NO release (123.7 ± 14.2 to 44.2 ± 23.7 nl · min-1 · m-2; P < 0.01). The results suggest that vascular tone and/or flow modulates temperature conditioning and that NO may participate in that function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1260-1265
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1999



  • Nose
  • Temperature regulation
  • Vasoconstrictor
  • Vasodilator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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