Evaluation of zinc as anti-asthma agent: a preclinical study on guinea pigs


  • Sharanabasayyaswamy B. Hiremath Department of Pharmacology, Kodagu Institute of Medical Sciences, Madikeri, Karnataka, India
  • Priya G. Department of Pharmacology, SDM Medical College, Dharwad, Karnataka, India




Bronchial asthma, Magnesium sulfate, Zinc sulfate


Background: The role of intravenous magnesium sulfate in acute asthma is restricted to severe and resistant cases while that of zinc as prophylactic agent. What is quite interesting is to know the benefits of zinc in acute attack of asthma and that of magnesium as prophylactic agent. The objective of the study was to analyze the bronchodilatory effects of zinc sulfate and prophylactic role of magnesium sulfate using a preclinical model of histamine and acetylcholine induced acute bronchial asthma in conscious guinea pigs.

Methods: Animals were exposed to histamine diphosphate (1%) and acetylcholine chloride (10%) aerosols before and after administration of the respective test drugs after acute and sub-acute treatment regimens. Time for onset of preconvulsive dyspnea (PCD) was noted and compared within and between the treatment groups interms of percentage of protection.

Results: Magnesium significantly prolonged time for convulsion compared to control group. But this difference was insignificant when compared with antihistaminic and anticholinergic drugs. Zinc was superior to control and magnesium treatment group in sub-acute treatment study.

Conclusions: Magensium sulfate has bronchodilatory effects but no prophylactic effects while it is vice versa with zinc sulfate.


Koul PA, Patel D. Indian guidelines for asthma: Adherence is the key. Lung India. 2015;32(S1):1-2. Available at: http://www.lungindia.com/article.asp?issn=0970-2113;year=2015;volume=32;issue=7;spage=1;epage=2;aulast=Koul.

Rai CSP, Patil CAP, Lt Vardhan CV, Marwah MV, Pethe M, Pandey MIM. Best Treatment Guidelines For Bronchial Asthma. MJAFI. 2007;63:264-8. Available at: http://scialert.net/qredirect.php?doi=jms.2015.122.129&linkid=pdf.

Khanbabaee G, Omidian A, Imanzadeh F, Adibeshgh F, Ashayeripanah M, Rezaei N. Serum level of zinc in asthmatic patients: a case-control study. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2014;42(1):19-21. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23312452.

Truong-Tran AQ, Grosser D, Ruffin RE, Murgia C, Zalewski PD. Apoptosis in the normal and inflamed airway epithelium: role of zinc in epithelial protection and procaspase-3 regulation. Biochem Pharmacol. 2003;66(8):1459-68. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14555222.

Lu H, Xin Y, Tang Y, Shao G. Zinc suppressed the airway inflammation in asthmatic rats: effects of zinc on generation of eotaxin, MCP-1, IL-8, IL-4, and IFN-γ. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2012;150(1-3):314-21. Available at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12011-012-9493-7.

Ghaffari J, Khalilian A, Salehifar E, Khorasani E, Rezaii MS. Effect of zinc supplementation in children with asthma: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial in northern Islamic Republic of Iran. East Mediterr Health J. 2014;20(6):391-6.

Powell CV. The role of magnesium sulfate in acute asthma: does route of administration make a difference?. Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2014;20(1):103-8. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24960516.

Sein HH, Whye LC, Juan LK, Sl Ng J, Rahardjai A, Sultan MA. Relationship between Intracellular Magnesium Level, Lung Function, and Level of Asthma Control in Children with Chronic Bronchial Asthma. Malays J Med Sci. 2014;21(5):30-6. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25977631.

Lu JF, Nightingale CH. Magnesium sulfate in eclampsia and pre-eclampsia: pharmacokinetic principles. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2000;38(4):305-14. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10803454.

Patil SD, Ahale SV, Surana SJ. Evaluation of antiasthmatic and antianaphylactic activity of balanites aegyptiaca (delile), (balanitaceae). Asian journal of pharmaceutical and clinical research. 2011;4(1):52-5. Available at: http://www.ajpcr.com/Vol4Issue1/146.pdf.

Rowe BH, Bretzlaff JA, Bourdon C, Bota GW, Camargo CA. Intravenous magnesium sulfate treatment for acute asthma in the emergency department: a systematic review of the literature. Ann Emerg Med. 2000;36:181-90. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10969218.

Hiremath SB, Kamdod MA. Evaluation of Anticonvulsant Activity of Zinc in Albino Rats. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science. 2012;2(9):119-21. Available at: http://www.japsonline.com/admin/php/uploads/644_pdf.pdf.

Bartlomiej P, Sowa-Kucma M, Katarzyna K, Paulina M, Gabriel N, Bernadeta S. Antidepressant-like activity of magnesium in the olfactory bulbectomy model is associated with the AMPA/BDNF pathway. Psychopharmacology. 2015;232:355-67. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25027582.

Franco JL, Posser T, Brocardo PS, Trevisan R, Uliano-Silva M, Gabilan NH, et al. Involvement of glutathione, ERK1/2 phosphorylation and BDNF expression in the antidepressant-like effect of zinc in rats. Behav Brain Res. 2008;188(2):316-23. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18191237.

Kelly W. Magnesium Sulfate for Severe Acute Asthma in Children. J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2003;8:40-5. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23300395

Fawcett WJ, Haxby EJ, Male DA. Magnesium: physiology and pharmacology. Br J Anaesth. 1999;83(2):302-20. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10618948.

Paoletti P, Ascher P, Neyton J. High-Affinity Zinc Inhibition of NMDA NR1–NR2A Receptors. The Journal of Neuroscience. 1997;17(15):5711-25. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9221770.

Anaparti V, Ilarraza R, Orihara K, Stelmack GL, Ojo OO, Mahood TH, et al. NMDA receptors mediate contractile responses in human airway smooth muscle cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2015;308(12):L1253-64. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25888577.

Horning MS, Trombley PQ. Zinc and copper influence excitability of rat olfactory bulb neurons by multiple mechanisms. J Neurophysiol. 2001;86(4):1652-60. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11600628.

Powell S, Saltman P, Uretzky G, Chevion M. The effect of zinc on reperfusion arrhythmias in the isolated perfused rat heart. Free Radic Biol Med. 1990;8(1):33-46. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2323582.




How to Cite

Hiremath, S. B., & G., P. (2017). Evaluation of zinc as anti-asthma agent: a preclinical study on guinea pigs. International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 6(8), 1943–1947. https://doi.org/10.18203/2319-2003.ijbcp20173275



Original Research Articles