Impaired response to deep inspiration in obesity

Gwen Skloot, Clyde Schechter, Alpa Desai, Alkis Togias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Deep inspirations modulate airway caliber and airway closure and their effects are impaired in asthma. The association between asthma and obesity raises the question whether the deep inspiration (DI) effect is also impaired in the latter condition. We assessed the DI effects in obese and nonobese nonasthmatics. Thirty-six subjects (17 obese, 19 nonobese) underwent routine methacholine (Mch) challenge and 30 of them also had a modified bronchoprovocation in the absence of DIs. Lung function was monitored with spirometry and forced oscillation (FO) [resistance (R) at 5 Hz (R5), at 20 Hz (R20), R5-R20 and the integrated area of low-frequency reactance (AX)]. The response to Mch, assessed with area under the dose-response curves (AUC), was consistently greater in the routine challenge in the obese (mean- SE, obese vs. nonobese AUC: R5: 15.7 ± 2.3 vs. 2.4 ± 2.0, P < 0.0005; R20: 5.6 ± 1.4 vs. 1.4 ± 1.2, P < 0.027; R5-R20: 10.2 ± 1.6 vs. 0.9 ± 0.1.4, P < 0.0005; AX: 115.6 ± 22.0 vs. 1.5 ± 18.9, P < 0.0005), but differences between groups in the modified challenge were smaller, indicating reduced DI effects in obesity. Given that DI has bronchodilatory and bronchoprotective effects, we further assessed these components separately. In the obese subjects, DI prior to Mch enhanced Mch-induced bronchoconstriction, but DI after Mch resulted in bronchodilation that was of similar magnitude as in the nonobese. We conclude that obesity is characterized by increased ch responsiveness, predominantly of the small airways, due to a DI effect that renders the airways more sensitive to the stimulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)726-734
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Airway responsiveness
  • Bronchodilation
  • Bronchoprotection
  • Lung inflation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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