Abstract Intratracheal instillation of Sephadex beads induced a long-lasting inflammation in the rat lung as seen by an increase in lung weights. Repeated instillation enhanced this reaction and increased lung endothelin-1 content 3.5 times. Budesonide given s.c. abolished these effects and even reduced basal endothelin-1 content by 72%. The tissue content of the sensory neuropeptide neurokinin A were unaffected by both treatments. Endothelin has been proposed to play a part in the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma. If it is so, the ability of budesonide to reduce endothelin-1 content could thus be added to the list of beneficial effects of glucocorticosteroids in these conditions.