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1.  A review of anti-IgE monoclonal antibody (omalizumab) as add on therapy for severe allergic (IgE-mediated) asthma 
Bronchial asthma is recognized as a highly prevalent health problem in the developed and developing world with significant social and economic consequences. Increased asthma severity is not only associated with enhanced recurrent hospitalization and mortality but also with higher social costs. The pathogenetic background of allergic-atopic bronchial asthma is characterized by airway inflammation with infiltration of several cells (mast cells, basophils, eosinophils, monocytes, and T-helper (Th)2 lymphocytes). However, in atopic asthma the trigger factors for acute attacks and chronic worsening of bronchial inflammation are aeroallergens released by pollens, dermatophagoides, and pets, which are able to induce an immune response by interaction with IgE antibodies. Currently anti-inflammatory treatments are effective for most asthma patients, but there are asthmatic subjects whose disease is not completely controlled by inhaled or systemic corticosteroids and who account for a significant portion of the healthcare costs of asthma. A novel therapeutic approach to asthma and other allergic respiratory diseases involves interference in the action of IgE, and this antibody has been viewed as a target for novel immunological drug development in asthma. Omalizumab is a humanized recombinant monoclonal anti-IgE antibody approved for treatment of moderate to severe IgE-mediated (allergic) asthma. This non-anaphylactogenic anti-IgE antibody inhibits IgE functions, blocking free serum IgE and inhibiting their binding to cellular receptors. By reducing serum IgE levels and IgE receptor expression on inflammatory cells in the context of allergic cascade, omalizumab represents a new class of mast cells stabilizing drugs; it is a novel approach to the treatment of atopic asthma. Omalizumab therapy is well tolerated and significantly improves symptoms and disease control, reducing asthma exacerbations and the need to use high dosage of inhaled corticosteroids. Moreover, omalizumab improves quality of life of patients with severe persistent allergic asthma which is inadequately controlled by currently available asthma medications. In conclusion omalizumab may fulfil an important need in patients with moderate to severe asthma.
PMCID: PMC2374942  PMID: 18472983
airway hyper-reactivity; asthma; allergic respiratory diseases; atopic respiratory diseases; anti-IgE therapy; hypersensitivity; monoclonal anti-IgE antibody; omalizumab
2.  Evaluation of Efficacy of Curcumin as an Add-on therapy in Patients of Bronchial Asthma 
Background: Bronchial asthma being a chronic inflammatory disease of airways has numerous treatment options none of which have disease modifying properties. Curcumin, a yellow dietary pigment has varied pharmacological activities, prominent among which is an anti-inflammatory activity which may be crucial in bronchial asthma as has been proved by various in vitro and in vivo animal studies.
Aims: To determine the efficacy and safety of curcumin as an ‘add-on’ therapy in patients of bronchial asthma.
Settings and Design: This study was conducted on 77 patients of mild to moderate Bronchial asthma who had a documented positive bronchodilator reversibility test with ≥15% improvement in forced expiratory volume one second (FEV1).
Materials and Methods: Seventy seven patients were recruited for the study and randomized into either of the two groups, but 17 patients were lost to follow up. Thus Group A – Receiving standard therapy for bronchial asthma for 30d (n=30) and Group B – Receiving standard therapy for bronchial asthma + Cap Curcumin 500mg BD daily for 30d (n=30). The predefined primary endpoints were clinical assessments of dyspnoea, wheezing, cough, chest tightness and nocturnal symptoms, change in the pre-bronchodilator FEV1 during the treatment and hematological improvement. The secondary end points were assessed by the change in the post-bronchodilator FEV1, C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration and incidence of adverse events.
Statistical Analysis used: The data was analysed by SPSS 17.0 software using one-way ANOVA or Paired t-test.
Results and Conclusion: The results showed that curcumin capsules help in improving the airway obstruction which was evident by significant improvement in the mean FEV1 values. There was also significant improvement in the hematological parameters and absence of any clinically significant adverse events indicates dependable safety profile of curcumin capsules, though there was no apparent clinical efficacy. Therefore, it is concluded that curcumin is effective and safe as an add-on therapy for the treatment of bronchial asthma.
PMCID: PMC4190737  PMID: 25302215
Add-on therapy;  Bronchial asthma; Curcumin; Efficacy
3.  Curcumin for maintenance of remission in ulcerative colitis 
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory condition of the colon characterized by episodes of disease activity and symptom-free remission. There is paucity of evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of complementary or alternative medicines for the management of UC. Curcumin, an anti-inflammatory agent, has been used in many chronic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, esophagitis and post-surgical inflammation. The efficacy of this agent for maintenance of remission in patients with UC has not been systematically evaluated.
The primary objective was to systematically review the efficacy and safety of curcumin for maintenance of remission in UC.
Search methods
A computer-assisted literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and the Cochrane Inflammatory Bowel Disease Specialized Trial Register was performed on July 11, 2012 to identify relevant publications. Proceedings from major gastroenterology meetings and references from published articles were also searched to identify additional studies.
Selection criteria
Randomized placebo-controlled trials (RCT) of curcumin for maintenance of remission in UC were included. Studies included patients (of any age) who were in remission at the time of recruitment. Co-interventions were allowed.
Data collection and analysis
Two authors independently extracted data and assessed the methodological quality of the included studies using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Data were analyzed using Review Manager (RevMan 5.1). We calculated the relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for each dichotomous outcome. For continuous outcomes we calculated the mean difference (MD) and 95% CI.
Main results
Only one trial (89 patients) fulfilled the inclusion criteria. This trial randomized 45 patients to curcumin and 44 patients to placebo. All patients received treatment with sulfasalazine or mesalamine. The study was rated as low risk of bias. Curcumin was administered orally in a dose of 2 g/day for six months. Fewer patients relapsed in the curcumin group than the placebo group at six months. Four per cent of patients in the curcumin group relapsed at six months compared to 18% of patients in the placebo group (RR 0.24, 95%CI 0.05 to 1.09; P = 0.06). There was no statistically significant difference in relapse rates at 12 months. Twenty-two per cent of curcumin patients relapsed at 12 months compared to 32% of placebo patients (RR 0.70, 95% CI 0.35 to 1.40; P = 0.31). A total of nine adverse events were reported in seven patients. These adverse events included sensation of abdominal bulging, nausea, transient hypertension, and transient increase in the number of stools. The authors did not report which treatment group the patients who experienced adverse events belonged to. The clinical activity index (CAI) at six months was significantly lower in the curcumin group compared to the placebo group (1.0 ± 2.0 versus 2.2 ± 2.3;MD −1.20, 95%CI −2.14 to −0.26). The endoscopic index (EI) at six months was significantly lower in the curcumin group than in the placebo group (0.8 ± 0.6 versus 1.6 ± 1.6; MD −0.80, 95% CI −1.33 to −0.27).
Authors’ conclusions
Curcumin may be a safe and effective therapy for maintenance of remission in quiescent UC when given as adjunctive therapy along with mesalamine or sulfasalazine. However, further research in the form of a large scale methodologically rigorous randomized controlled trial is needed to confirm any possible benefit of curcumin in quiescent UC.
PMCID: PMC4001731  PMID: 23076948
Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal [*therapeutic use]; Colitis, Ulcerative [*drug therapy]; Curcumin [*therapeutic use]; Drug Therapy, Combination [methods]; Maintenance Chemotherapy [*methods]; Mesalamine [therapeutic use]; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Recurrence; Sulfasalazine [therapeutic use]; Humans
4.  479 A 3 Year-old Child with Specific Antibody Deficiency and Allergic Rhinitis. A Case Report 
Specific antibody deficiency (SAD) is a humoral immunodeficiency characterized by normal levels of IgG, IgA, IgM and IgG subclasses but a failure to polysaccharide antigens, manifested with recurrent bacterial respiratory infections. To establish the SAD diagnosis an inadequate IgG antibody response to more than 50% of pneumococcal serotypes after unconjugated pneumococcal immunization are needed. An adequate response is defined as a post-immunization titre of ≥1.3 μg/mL or ≥4 times the preimmunization value.1,2
The record of 1 patient was review and relevant clinical data was collected. A review of the literature about SAD was made.
A 4-year old male with family history of atopic disease, esophageal reflux at 3-months, he began with recurrent upper respiratory tract infections at 1-year old, 1 to 2 events per month, fever (39–40° C), persistent cough and hyaline rhinorrhea, nasal itching and sneezing he was treated with multiple antibiotics, inhaled and oral corticosteroids with mild clinical recovery between episodes. A normal blood cell count and normal levels of IgG 1219 mg/dL, IgA 146 mg/dL, IgM 98 mg/dL and IgG subclasses were determined. Allergic rhinitis and asthma were diagnosed at 3-years old, percutaneous prick skin test was positive to Dermatophagoides farinae, Salsola pestifer, Phleum pratense, Heliantus sp. and specific immunotherapy was started. Despite of treatment he continued with recurrent infections so specific antibody response to polysaccharide pneumococcal antigens was evaluated, he responded less than 50% to 14 pneumococcal serotypes after 23-valent unconjugated pneumococcal vaccine, so SAD was diagnosed and treated with prophylactic antibiotic, pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugated vaccine (10-valent) and specific immunotherapy. He showed clinical improvement, with few mild infections, and controlled rhinitis and asthma.
There are several Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases related to allergic diseases as IgA deficiency and SAD. In the atopic patient that does not improve in spite of specific immunotherapy further investigations are needed to exclude them.
PMCID: PMC3512720
5.  Effect of cyclosporin A on the allergen-induced late asthmatic reaction 
Thorax  1997;52(5):447-452.
BACKGROUND: The allergen-induced late asthmatic reaction (LAR) is associated with mucosal inflammation involving several cell types including activated T lymphocytes and eosinophils. In contrast, the early asthmatic reaction (EAR) is considered to results from rapid allergen-induced release of bronchoconstrictor mediators from IgE sensitised mast cells. Cyclosporin A has efficacy in chronic severe corticosteroid-dependent asthma and is believed to act principally by inhibiting cytokine mRNA transcription in T lymphocytes. However, it has effects on other cell types in vitro, including the inhibition of exocytosis/degranulation events in mast cells. It was therefore hypothesised that cyclosporin A would attenuate both the EAR and LAR in subjects with mild asthma. METHODS: Twelve sensitised atopic asthmatic subjects with documented dual asthmatic responses were studied in a double blind, placebo controlled, crossover trial. On two separate study visits subjects received two oral doses of either cyclosporin A or matched placebo before inhaled allergen challenges. The forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) was measured half hourly for eight hours and blood eosinophil counts were analysed three, six, and 24 hours after the challenge. Treatment effects on blood eosinophil counts as well as the EAR and LAR, respectively defined as the areas under the curve (AUC) of FEV1 changes from baseline between 0-1 and 4-8 hours after challenge, were compared by non-parametric crossover analysis. RESULTS: Cyclosporin A reduced both the LAR (median AUC -41.9 1.h (interquartile range -82.7 to -12.4) for cyclosporin A and -84.5 1.h (-248.9 to -39.1) for placebo; p = 0.007) and the late increase in blood eosinophils (median 0.2 x 10(9)/1 (0.15 to 0.4) for cyclosporin A and 0.4 x 10(9)/1 (0.25 to 0.55) for placebo; p = 0.024) but had no effect on the EAR. The reduction of the LAR by cyclosporin A correlated significantly with prechallenge blood concentrations of cyclosporin A (r = 0.6, p = 0.028). CONCLUSIONS: These data are consistent with the concept that cyclosporin A has anti-inflammatory actions in asthma resulting from inhibition of mRNA transcription of eosinophil-active cytokines, predominantly in T lymphocytes. Cyclosporin A, possibly in its inhaled form, or other agents which prevent cytokine gene transcription may therefore have potential in ameliorating the inflammatory component of asthma. 

PMCID: PMC1758561  PMID: 9176537
6.  Asthma in adults 
Clinical Evidence  2010;2010:1501.
About 10% of adults have suffered an attack of asthma, and up to 5% of these have severe disease that responds poorly to treatment. Patients with severe disease have an increased risk of death, but patients with mild-to-moderate disease are also at risk of exacerbations. Most guidelines about the management of asthma follow stepwise protocols. This review does not endorse or follow any particular protocol, but presents the evidence about specific interventions.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of treatments for chronic asthma? What are the effects of treatments for acute asthma? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to June 2008 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
We found 99 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions. For acute asthma: beta2 agonists (plus ipratropium bromide, pressured metered-dose inhalers, short-acting continuous nebulised, short-acting intermittent nebulised, and short-acting intravenous); corticosteroids (inhaled); corticosteroids (single oral, combined inhaled, and short courses); education about acute asthma; generalist care; helium-oxygen mixture (heliox); magnesium sulphate (intravenous and adding isotonic nebulised magnesium to inhaled beta2 agonists); mechanical ventilation; oxygen supplementation (controlled 28% oxygen and controlled 100% oxygen); and specialist care. For chronic asthma: beta2 agonists (adding long-acting inhaled beta2 agonists when asthma is poorly controlled by inhaled corticosteroids, or short-acting inhaled beta2 agonists as needed for symptom relief); inhaled corticosteroids (low dose and increasing dose); leukotriene antagonists (with or without inhaled corticosteroids); and theophylline (when poorly controlled by inhaled corticosteroids).
Key Points
About 10% of adults have suffered an attack of asthma, and up to 5% of these have severe disease that responds poorly to treatment. These people have an increased risk of death.
Most guidelines about the management of asthma follow stepwise protocols. This review does not endorse or follow any particular protocol, but presents the evidence about specific interventions.
Taking short-acting beta2 agonists as needed is as likely to relieve symptoms and improve lung function as a regular dosing schedule in adults with chronic asthma.
Adding long-acting beta2 agonists to inhaled corticosteroids decreases the number of exacerbations and improves symptoms, lung function, and quality of life in people with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma that is poorly controlled with corticosteroids.
CAUTION: Long-acting beta2 agonists have been associated with increased asthma-related mortality, and should always be used with inhaled corticosteroids.
Low-dose inhaled corticosteroids improve symptoms and lung function in persistent asthma compared with placebo or regular inhaled beta2 agonists. Leukotriene antagonists are more effective than placebo at reducing symptoms, but we don't know if adding leukotriene antagonists to inhaled corticosteroids is of benefit in people with chronic asthma.CAUTION: Leukotriene antagonists have been associated with a possible increased risk of neuropsychiatric events.Adding theophylline to inhaled corticosteroids may improve lung function in people with mild or moderate chronic asthma that is poorly controlled with inhaled corticosteroids, but we don't know if they are of benefit compared with long-acting beta2 agonists or leukotriene antagonists.
In people with an acute attack of asthma, supplementation of beta2 agonists with 28% oxygen, systemic corticosteroids (short courses), additional beta2 agonists (various routes of administration), or ipratropium bromide improve symptoms. Inhaled corticosteroids seem to improve lung function in people with acute asthma. However, we don't know whether inhaled corticosteroids are as effective as systemic corticosteroids at improving symptom severity, lung function, and hospital admissions. Inhaled plus oral corticosteroids and oral corticosteroids alone may have similar effects in preventing relapse and improving lung function.Beta2 agonists delivered from a metered-dose inhaler using a spacer are as effective at improving lung function as those given by a nebuliser or given intravenously. Giving beta2 agonists intravenously is more invasive than giving beta2 agonists by nebuliser.In people with severe acute asthma, continuous nebulised short-acting beta2 agonists may also improve lung function more than intermittent nebulised short-acting beta2 agonists.We don't know if intravenous magnesium sulphate, nebulised magnesium alone, or adding nebulised magnesium to inhaled beta2 agonists improves lung function in people with acute asthma.We don't know whether helium-oxygen mixture (heliox) is more effective at improving lung function compared with usual care. Mechanical ventilation may be life saving in severe acute asthma, but it is associated with high levels of morbidity. Specialist care of acute asthma may lead to improved outcomes compared with generalist care.We don't know whether education to help self-manage asthma improves symptom severity, lung function, or quality of life, but it may reduce hospital admissions.
PMCID: PMC2907598  PMID: 21718577
7.  Enhanced bioavailability and efficiency of curcumin for the treatment of asthma by its formulation in solid lipid nanoparticles 
Curcumin has shown considerable pharmacological activity, including anti-inflammatory, but its poor bioavailability and rapid metabolization have limited its application. The purpose of the present study was to formulate curcumin-solid lipid nanoparticles (curcumin-SLNs) to improve its therapeutic efficacy in an ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic rat model of asthma. A solvent injection method was used to prepare the curcumin-SLNs. Physiochemical properties of curcumin-SLNs were characterized, and release experiments were performed in vitro. The pharmacokinetics in tissue distribution was studied in mice, and the therapeutic effect of the formulation was evaluated in the model. The prepared formulation showed an average size of 190 nm with a zeta potential value of −20.7 mV and 75% drug entrapment efficiency. X-ray diffraction analysis revealed the amorphous nature of the encapsulated curcumin. The release profile of curcumin-SLNs was an initial burst followed by sustained release. The curcumin concentrations in plasma suspension were significantly higher than those obtained with curcumin alone. Following administration of the curcumin-SLNs, all the tissue concentrations of curcumin increased, especially in lung and liver. In the animal model of asthma, curcumin-SLNs effectively suppressed airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammatory cell infiltration and also significantly inhibited the expression of T-helper-2-type cytokines, such as interleukin-4 and interleukin-13, in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid compared to the asthma group and curcumin-treated group. These observations implied that curcumin-SLNs could be a promising candidate for asthma therapy.
PMCID: PMC3414206  PMID: 22888226
airway hyperresponsiveness; pharmacokinetics; curcumin; solid lipid nanoparticles
8.  Effect of omeprazole and domperidone on adult asthmatics with gastroesophageal reflux 
AIM: To study the effect of combined omeprazole (Ome) and domperidone (Dom) therapy on asthma symptoms and pulmonary function in asthmatics with gastroesophageal reflux.
METHODS: We selected 198 asthmatics with gastroesophageal reflux diagnosed by 24-h esophageal pH monitoring to receive Ome 20 mg twice daily and Dom 10 mg three times daily or placebo for 16 wk (1:1 double-blind randomization). Spirometry was done at baseline and after 16 wk of treatment. The primary outcome measures were: mean daily daytime and nighttime asthma symptom scores. Mean daily reflux symptom scores, albuterol use as rescue medication (number of puffs), daytime and nighttime peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), postbronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and postbronchodilator forced vital capacity (FVC) were secondary outcome measures.
RESULTS: Comparison of mean change from baseline between antireflux therapy and placebo groups revealed significant reduction in daytime asthma symptom score (17.4% vs 8.9%), nighttime asthma symptom score (19.6% vs 5.4%), reflux symptom score (8.7% vs 1.6%) and rescue medication use (23.2% vs 3.1%) after antireflux therapy compared to mean change in placebo group (P < 0.001). There was significant improvement in morning PEFR (7.9% vs 0.2%), evening PEFR (9.8% vs 0.5%), FEV1 (11.1% vs 3.78%) and FVC (9.3% vs 1.52%) in the antireflux therapy group compared to placebo on comparing the mean change from baseline after 16 wk (P < 0.01).
CONCLUSION: Combined therapy with Ome and Dom in adult asthmatics with gastroesophageal reflux may be beneficial by reducing asthma symptoms, rescuing medication use, and improving pulmonary function.
PMCID: PMC4146950  PMID: 17461474
Asthma; Reflux; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Antireflux therapy; Prokinetic; Omeprazole
9.  Exhaled Nitric Oxide is Associated with Allergic Inflammation in Children 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2011;26(10):1265-1269.
Exhaled nitric oxide (eNO) has been proposed as a noninvasive marker of airway inflammation in asthma. In asthmatic patients, exhaled NO levels have been shown to relate with other markers of eosinophilic recruitment, which are detected in blood, sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and bronchial biopsy samples. The purpose of this study was to assess the possible relationship between eNO and allergic inflammation or sensitization in childhood asthma and allergic rhinitis. Subjects consisted of 118 asthmatic children, 79 patients with allergic rhinitis, and 74 controls. Their age ranged from 6 to 15 yr old. eNO level, peripheral blood eosinophil count, eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), serum total IgE level and specific IgE levels were measured. Methacholine challenge test and allergic skin prick test for common allergens were performed in all subjects. Atopic group (n = 206, 44.48 ± 30.45 ppb) had higher eNO values than non-atopic group (n = 65, 20.54 ± 16.57 ppb, P < 0.001). eNO level was significantly higher in patients with asthma (42.84 ± 31.92 ppb) and in those with allergic rhinitis (43.59 ± 29.84 ppb) than in healthy controls (27.01 ± 21.34 ppb, P < 0.001) but there was no difference between asthma and allergic rhinitis group. eNO also had significant positive correlations with Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus IgE level (r = 0.348, P < 0.001), Dermatophagoides farinae IgE level (r = 0.376, P < 0.001), and the number of positive allergens in skin prick test (r = 0.329, P = 0.001). eNO had significant positive correlations with peripheral blood eosinophil count (r = 0.356, P < 0.001), serum total IgE level (r = 0.221, P < 0.001), and ECP (r = 0.436, P < 0.001). This study reveals that eNO level is associated with allergic inflammation and the degree of allergic sensitization.
PMCID: PMC3192335  PMID: 22022176
Exhaled Nitric Oxide; Asthma; Allergic Rhinitis; Allergy; Sensitization
10.  Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis treated successfully for one year with omalizumab 
Current therapy for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) uses oral corticosteroids, exposing patients to the adverse effects of these agents. There are reports of the steroid-sparing effect of anti-IgE therapy with omalizumab for ABPA in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), but there is little information on its efficacy against ABPA in patients with bronchial asthma without CF.
To examine the effects of omalizumab, measured by asthma control, blood eosinophilia, total serum immunoglobulin E (IgE), oral corticosteroid requirements, and forced expiratory volume spirometry in patients with ABPA and bronchial asthma.
A retrospective review of charts from 2004–2006 of patients treated with omalizumab at an academic allergy and immunology practice in the Bronx, New York were examined for systemic steroid and rescue inhaler usage, serum immunoglobulin E levels, blood eosinophil counts, and asthma symptoms, as measured by the Asthma Control Test (ACT).
A total of 21 charts were screened for the diagnosis of ABPA and bronchial asthma. Four patients with ABPA were identified; two of these patients were male. The median monthly systemic corticosteroid use at 6 months and 12 months decreased from baseline usage. Total serum IgE decreased in all patients at 12 months of therapy. Pre-bronchodilator forced expiratory vital capacity at one second (FEV1) was variable at 1 year of treatment. There was an improvement in Asthma Control Test (ACT) symptom scores for both daytime and nighttime symptoms.
Treatment with omalizumab creates a steroid-sparing effect, reduces systemic inflammatory markers, and results in improvement in ACT scores in patients with ABPA.
PMCID: PMC3508546  PMID: 23204847
allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis; omalizumab; asthma
11.  Efficacy in asthma of once-daily treatment with fluticasone furoate: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial 
Respiratory Research  2011;12(1):132.
Fluticasone furoate (FF) is a novel long-acting inhaled corticosteroid (ICS). This double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized study evaluated the efficacy and safety of FF 200 mcg or 400 mcg once daily, either in the morning or in the evening, and FF 200 mcg twice daily (morning and evening), for 8 weeks in patients with persistent asthma.
Asthma patients maintained on ICS for ≥ 3 months with baseline morning forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 50-80% of predicted normal value and FEV1 reversibility of ≥ 12% and ≥ 200 ml were eligible. The primary endpoint was mean change from baseline FEV1 at week 8 in pre-dose (morning or evening [depending on regimen], pre-rescue bronchodilator) FEV1.
A total of 545 patients received one of five FF treatment groups and 101 patients received placebo (intent-to-treat population). Each of the five FF treatment groups produced a statistically significant improvement in pre-dose FEV1 compared with placebo (p < 0.05). FF 400 mcg once daily in the evening and FF 200 mcg twice daily produced similar placebo-adjusted improvements in evening pre-dose FEV1 at week 8 (240 ml vs. 235 ml). FF 400 mcg once daily in the morning, although effective, resulted in a smaller improvement in morning pre-dose FEV1 than FF 200 mcg twice daily at week 8 (315 ml vs. 202 ml). The incidence of oral candidiasis was low (0-4%) and UC excretion was comparable with placebo for all FF groups.
FF at total daily doses of 200 mcg or 400 mcg was significantly more effective than placebo. FF 400 mcg once daily in the evening had similar efficacy to FF 200 mcg twice daily and all FF regimens had a safety tolerability profile generally similar to placebo. This indicates that inhaled FF is an effective and well tolerated once-daily treatment for mild-to-moderate asthma.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3217852  PMID: 21977941
once-daily; ICS; asthma
12.  Predictors of loss of asthma control induced by corticosteroid withdrawal 
Asthma guidelines recommend reducing the dose of inhaled corticosteroids after establishing control.
To identify predictors of loss of control and the kinetics of symptoms, and inflammatory and physiological measurements when inhaled corticosteroids are reduced in patients with stable asthma.
In a single-blind study, the daily dose of inhaled corticosteroid was reduced by one-half at intervals of 20±2 days in 17 adults with controlled asthma until loss of asthma control occurred or until the corticosteroid was replaced with placebo for 20 days. The patients recorded symptoms and peak expiratory flow each day, and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), the provocative concentration of methacholine causing a 20% fall in FEV1 (PC20), exhaled nitric oxide, and eosinophils in sputum and blood were measured every 10 days. A loss of asthma control was defined as a worsening of the symptoms score of at least 20%, and either a decrease in FEV1 of at least 15% or a decrease in PC20 of at least fourfold.
Two patients had a respiratory infection and were withdrawn from the study. In eight patients, asthma became uncontrolled after a mean of 33 days (range 13 to 48 days). This was accurately reflected by a worsening of all parameters. The first parameter to change was the sputum eosinophil percentage (20 days before the loss of asthma control). Significant changes in exhaled nitric oxide, FEV1 and methacholine PC20 were observed only when the symptoms became uncontrolled. A high blood eosinophil count at baseline (risk ratio of 2.5, 95% CI 1.0 to 6.5) and an increase in sputum eosinophil count after the reduction of corticosteroids were predictors of loss of asthma control.
In patients whose asthma is controlled on inhaled corticosteroid, it is prudent not to reduce the dose further if the blood eosinophils are increased or if the sputum eosinophils increase by as little as 1% after the reduction of corticosteroids.
PMCID: PMC2539017  PMID: 16642226
Asthma exacerbation; Eosinophils; Induced sputum; Inhaled corticosteroid
13.  Reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness by a novel curcumin delivery system (Meriva®): a randomised, placebo-controlled trial 
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) due to eccentric muscle activity is associated with inflammatory responses and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that sustain both inflammation and oxidative stress. Curcumin, a powerful promoter of anti-oxidant response, is one of the best-investigated natural products, and is now commercially available as a lecithin delivery system (Meriva®, Indena SpA, Milan) with improved bio-availability. The aim of this study was to test whether curcumin could attenuate damage from oxidative stress and inflammation related to acute muscle injury induced by eccentric continuous exercise
This was a randomised, placebo-controlled, single-blind pilot trial. Twenty male healthy, moderately active volunteers were randomised to curcumin given as the Phytosome® delivery system 1 g twice daily (200 mg curcumin b.i.d.) or matching placebo. Supplementation was initiated 48 hours prior to a downhill running test and was continued for 24 hours after the test (4 days in total). Muscle damage was quantified by magnetic resonance imaging, laboratory tests and histological analyses on muscle samples obtained 48 hours after the test. Patient-reported pain intensity was also recorded.
Subjects in the curcumin group reported less pain in the lower limb as compared with subjects in the placebo group, although significant differences were observed only for the right and left anterior thighs. Significantly fewer subjects in the curcumin group had MRI evidence of muscle injury in the posterior or medial compartment of both thighs. Increases in markers of muscle damage and inflammation tended to be lower in the curcumin group, but significant differences were only observed for interleukin-8 at 2 h after exercise. No differences in markers of oxidative stress and muscle histology were observed
Curcumin has the potential for preventing DOMS, as suggested by its effects on pain intensity and muscle injury. Larger studies are needed to confirm these results and further clarify the mechanism of action of curcumin.
PMCID: PMC4074833  PMID: 24982601
Meriva®; Curcumin; DOMS; Sport nutrition
14.  Predicting Response to Inhaled Corticosteroid Efficacy (PRICE Trial) 
Although guidelines recommend anti-inflammatory therapy for persistent asthma, recent studies suggest that 25-35% of asthmatics may not improve lung function with inhaled corticosteroids.
To evaluate potential biomarkers of predicting short term (6-week) response to inhaled corticosteroid with subsequent evaluation of responders and non-responders to asthma control over a longer interval (16 additional weeks).
Eighty-three asthmatic subjects off steroid were enrolled in this multi-center study. Biomarkers and asthma characteristics were evaluated as predictors of inhaled corticosteroid response over a six week trial for changes in FEV1 and methacholine PC20. Following this, an additional four month trial evaluated asthma control.
Although multiple baseline predictors had significant correlations with improvements for short term inhaled steroid success, the only strong correlations (r ≥ ± 0.6) were albuterol reversibility (r=0.83, p<0.001); FEV1/FVC (r=−0.75, p<0.001); and FEV1 % predicted (r=−0.71, p<0.001). Dividing the subjects in the short term inhaled steroid trial into responders (> 5% FEV1 improvement), and non-responders (≤ 5%) determined the longer term need for steroids. For the non-responders, asthma control remained unchanged whether inhaled corticosteroids were continued or were substituted with a placebo, p=0.99. The good short term responders maintained asthma control longer term only if maintained on inhaled steroids (p=0.007).
The short term response to inhaled corticosteroids with regard to FEV1 improvement predicts long term asthma control.
Capsule Summary
A six week trial of ICS, in patients not currently on steroids, producing a ≥ 5% improvement in FEV1 can predict long term asthma control and the need for continued steroid use.
PMCID: PMC2872157  PMID: 17208587
inhaled corticosteroids; predicting response; therapy; characteristics; biomarkers
15.  Food allergy enhances allergic asthma in mice 
Respiratory Research  2014;15(1):142.
Atopic march refers to the typical transition from a food allergy in early childhood to allergic asthma in older children and adults. However the precise interplay of events involving gut, skin and pulmonary inflammation in this process is not completely understood.
To develop a mouse model of mixed food and respiratory allergy mimicking the atopic march and better understand the impact of food allergies on asthma.
Food allergy to ovalbumin (OVA) was induced through intra-peritoneal sensitization and intra-gastric challenge, and/or a respiratory allergy to house dust mite (HDM) was obtained through percutaneous sensitization and intra-nasal challenges with dermatophagoides farinae (Der f) extract. Digestive, respiratory and systemic parameters were analyzed.
OVA-mediated gut allergy was associated with an increase in jejunum permeability, and a worsening of Der f-induced asthma with stronger airway hyperresponsiveness and pulmonary cell infiltration, notably eosinophils. There was overproduction of the pro-eosinophil chemokine RANTES in broncho-alveolar lavages associated with an enhanced Th2 cytokine secretion and increased total and Der f-specific IgE when the two allergies were present. Both AHR and lung inflammation increased after a second pulmonary challenge.
Gut sensitization to OVA amplifies Der f-induced asthma in mice.
PMCID: PMC4255648  PMID: 25433406
Asthma; Allergy; Th2 cytokines; Gut; House dust mite; Immunity; Mouse; Ovalbumin
16.  Effect of Vitamin D3 on Asthma Treatment Failures in Adults With Symptomatic Asthma and Lower Vitamin D Levels 
JAMA  2014;311(20):2083-2091.
In asthma and other diseases, vitamin D insufficiency is associated with adverse outcomes. It is not known if supplementing inhaled corticosteroids with oral vitamin D3 improves outcomes in patients with asthma and vitamin D insufficiency.
To evaluate if vitamin D supplementation would improve the clinical efficacy of inhaled corticosteroids in patients with symptomatic asthma and lower vitamin D levels.
The VIDA (Vitamin D Add-on Therapy Enhances Corticosteroid Responsiveness in Asthma) randomized, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled trial studying adult patients with symptomatic asthma and a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of less than 30 ng/mL was conducted across 9 academic US medical centers in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s AsthmaNet network, with enrollment starting in April 2011 and follow-up complete by January 2014. After a run-in period that included treatment with an inhaled corticosteroid, 408 patients were randomized.
Oral vitamin D3 (100 000 IU once, then 4000 IU/d for 28 weeks; n = 201) or placebo (n = 207) was added to inhaled ciclesonide (320 µg/d). If asthma control was achieved after 12 weeks, ciclesonide was tapered to 160 µg/d for 8 weeks, then to 80 µg/d for 8 weeks if asthma control was maintained.
The primary outcome was time to first asthma treatment failure (a composite outcome of decline in lung function and increases in use of β-agonists, systemic corticosteroids, and health care).
Treatment with vitamin D3 did not alter the rate of first treatment failure during 28 weeks (28%[95% CI, 21%-34%] with vitamin D3 vs 29% [95% CI, 23%–35%] with placebo; adjusted hazard ratio, 0.9 [95% CI, 0.6–1.3]). Of 14 prespecified secondary outcomes, 9 were analyzed, including asthma exacerbation; of those 9, the only statistically significant outcome was a small difference in the overall dose of ciclesonide required to maintain asthma control (111.3 µg/d [95% CI, 102.2–120.4 µg/d] in the vitamin D3 group vs 126.2 µg/d [95% CI, 117.2–135.3 µg/d] in the placebo group; difference of 14.9 µg/d [95% CI, 2.1–27.7 µg/d]).
Vitamin D3 did not reduce the rate of first treatment failure or exacerbation in adults with persistent asthma and vitamin D insufficiency. These findings do not support a strategy of therapeutic vitamin D3 supplementation in patients with symptomatic asthma.
TRIAL REGISTRATION Identifier: NCT01248065
PMCID: PMC4217655  PMID: 24838406
17.  Oral curcumin for Alzheimer's disease: tolerability and efficacy in a 24-week randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study 
Curcumin is a polyphenolic compound derived from the plant Curcuma Long Lin that has been demonstrated to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects as well as effects on reducing beta-amyloid aggregation. It reduces pathology in transgenic models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and is a promising candidate for treating human AD. The purpose of the current study is to generate tolerability and preliminary clinical and biomarker efficacy data on curcumin in persons with AD.
We performed a 24-week randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study of Curcumin C3 Complex® with an open-label extension to 48 weeks. Thirty-six persons with mild-to-moderate AD were randomized to receive placebo, 2 grams/day, or 4 grams/day of oral curcumin for 24 weeks. For weeks 24 through 48, subjects that were receiving curcumin continued with the same dose, while subjects previously receiving placebo were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to 2 grams/day or 4 grams/day. The primary outcome measures were incidence of adverse events, changes in clinical laboratory tests and the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale - Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog) at 24 weeks in those completing the study. Secondary outcome measures included the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study - Activities of Daily Living (ADCS-ADL) scale, levels of Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 in plasma and levels of Aβ1-42, t-tau, p-tau181 and F2-isoprostanes in cerebrospinal fluid. Plasma levels of curcumin and its metabolites up to four hours after drug administration were also measured.
Mean age of completers (n = 30) was 73.5 years and mean Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) score was 22.5. One subject withdrew in the placebo (8%, worsened memory) and 5/24 subjects withdrew in the curcumin group (21%, 3 due to gastrointestinal symptoms). Curcumin C3 Complex® was associated with lowered hematocrit and increased glucose levels that were clinically insignificant. There were no differences between treatment groups in clinical or biomarker efficacy measures. The levels of native curcumin measured in plasma were low (7.32 ng/mL).
Curcumin was generally well-tolerated although three subjects on curcumin withdrew due to gastrointestinal symptoms. We were unable to demonstrate clinical or biochemical evidence of efficacy of Curcumin C3 Complex® in AD in this 24-week placebo-controlled trial although preliminary data suggest limited bioavailability of this compound.
Trial registration Identifier: NCT00099710.
PMCID: PMC3580400  PMID: 23107780
18.  Escherichia coli Heat-Labile Detoxified Enterotoxin Modulates Dendritic Cell Function and Attenuates Allergic Airway Inflammation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90293.
Various mutant forms of Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin (LT) have been used as a mucosal adjuvant for vaccines, as it enhances immune responses to specific antigens including antigen-specific IgA antibodies when administrated intranasally or orally. We hypothesized that a detoxified mutant form of LT, LTS61K, could modulate dendritic cell (DC) function and alleviate allergen-induced airway inflammation. Two protocols, preventative and therapeutic, were used to evaluate the effects of LTS61K in a Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p)-sensitized and challenged murine model of asthma. LTS61K or Der p-primed bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) were also adoptively transferred into Der p-sensitized and challenged mice. Intranasal inoculations with LTS61K or LTS61K/Der p decreased allergen-induced airway inflammation and alleviated systemic TH2-type immune responses. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and sera from LTS61K/Der p-treated mice also had higher concentrations of Der p-specific immunoglobulin (Ig) A than those of other groups. In vitro, BMDCs stimulated with Der p underwent cellular maturation and secreted proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α In contrast, Der p-stimulated BMDCs that were pretreated with LTS61K showed decreased IL-6 and TNFα production and were less mature. Intratracheal adoptive transfer of LTS61K- or LTS61K/Der p-primed BMDCs into Der p-sensitized mice reduced inflammatory cell infiltration and TH2-type chemokines in BALF and alleviated airway inflammation in treated mice. LTS61K influenced DC maturation and decreased inflammatory cytokine production. Moreover, LTS61K/Der p induced increased Der p-specific IgA production to decrease allergic TH2 cytokine responses and alleviated airway inflammation in Der p-sensitized mice. These results suggest that the immunomodulatory effects of LTS61K may have clinical applications for allergy and asthma treatment.
PMCID: PMC3956462  PMID: 24637787
19.  Addition of long-acting beta2-agonists to inhaled steroids versus higher dose inhaled steroids in adults and children with persistent asthma 
In asthmatic patients inadequately controlled on inhaled corticosteroids and/or those with moderate persistent asthma, two main options are recommended: the combination of a long-acting inhaled ß2 agonist (LABA) with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) or use of a higher dose of inhaled corticosteroids.
To determine the effect of the combination of long-acting ß2 agonists and inhaled corticosteroids compared to a higher dose of inhaled corticosteroids on the risk of asthma exacerbations, pulmonary function and on other measures of asthma control, and to look for characteristics associated with greater benefit for either treatment option.
Search methods
We identified randomised controlled trials (RCTs) through electronic database searches (MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL), bibliographies of RCTs, clinical trial registries and correspondence with manufacturers until May 2008.
Selection criteria
RCTs that compared the combination of inhaled LABA and ICS to a higher dose of inhaled corticosteroids, in children and adults with asthma.
Data collection and analysis
Two authors independently assessed methodological quality and extracted data. We obtained confirmation from the trialists when possible. The primary endpoint was the number of patients experiencing one or more asthma exacerbations requiring oral corticosteroids.
Main results
This review included 48 studies (15,155 participants including 1155 children and 14,000 adults). Participants were inadequately controlled on their current ICS regimen, experiencing ongoing symptoms and with generally moderate (FEV1 60% to 79% of predicted) airway obstruction. The studies tested the combination of salmeterol or formoterol with a median dose of 400 mcg/day of beclomethasone or equivalent (BDP-eq) compared to a median of 1000 mcg/day of BDP-eq, usually for 24 weeks or less. There was a statistically significantly lower risk of exacerbations requiring systemic corticosteroids in patients treated with LABA and ICS (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.78 to 0.98, 27 studies, N = 10,578) from 11.45% to 10%, with a number needed to treat of 73 (median study duration: 12 weeks). The study results were dominated by adult studies; trial data from three paediatric studies showed a trend towards increased risk of rescue oral steroids (RR 1.24, 95% CI 0.58 to 2.66) and hospital admission (RR 2.21, 95% CI 0.74 to 6.64) associated with combination therapy. Overall, there was no statistically significant difference in the risk ratios for either hospital admission (RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.67 to 1.56) or serious adverse events (RR 1.12, 95% CI 0.91 to 1.37). The combination of LABA and ICS resulted in significantly greater but modest improvement from baseline in lung function, symptoms and rescue medication use than with higher ICS dose. Despite no significant group difference in the risk of overall adverse events (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.03), there was an increase in the risk of tremor (RR 1.84, 95% CI 1.20 to 2.82) and a lower risk of oral thrush (RR 0.58, 95% CI 0.40 to 0.86)) in the LABA and ICS compared to the higher ICS group. There was no significant difference in hoarseness or headache between the treatment groups. The rate of withdrawals due to poor asthma control favoured the combination of LABA and ICS (RR 0.65, 95% CI 0.51 to 0.83).
Authors’ conclusions
In adolescents and adults with sub-optimal control on low dose ICS monotherapy, the combination of LABA and ICS is modestly more effective in reducing the risk of exacerbations requiring oral corticosteroids than a higher dose of ICS. Combination therapy also led to modestly greater improvement in lung function, symptoms and use of rescue ß2 agonists and to fewer withdrawals due to poor asthma control than with a higher dose of inhaled corticosteroids. Apart from an increased rate of tremor and less oral candidiasis with combination therapy, the two options appear relatively safe in adults although adverse effects associated with long-term ICS treatment were seldom monitored. In children, combination therapy did not lead to a significant reduction, but rather a trend towards an increased risk, of oral steroid-treated exacerbations and hospital admissions. These trends raised concern about the safety of combination therapy in view of modest improvement in children under the age of 12 years.
PMCID: PMC4169793  PMID: 20393943
Administration, Inhalation; Adrenal Cortex Hormones [*administration & dosage]; Adrenergic beta-Agonists [*administration & dosage]; Anti-Asthmatic Agents [*administration & dosage]; Asthma [*drug therapy]; Drug Therapy, Combination [methods]; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Adolescent; Adult; Child; Child, Preschool; Humans
20.  Effect of Cyclodextrin Complexation of Curcumin on its Solubility and Antiangiogenic and Anti-inflammatory Activity in Rat Colitis Model 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2009;10(3):752-762.
The purpose of the study was to prepare and evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of cyclodextrin (CD) complex of curcumin for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in colitis-induced rat model. Inclusion complexes of curcumin were prepared by common solvent and kneading methods. These complexes were further evaluated for increase in solubility of poorly soluble curcumin. The inclusion complexes were characterized for enhancement in solubility, in vitro dissolution, surface morphology, infrared, differential scanning calorimetry, and X-ray studies. Solubility, phase solubility, and in vitro dissolution studies showed that curcumin has higher affinity for hydroxypropyl-β-CD (HPβCD) than other CDs. HPβCD complex of curcumin was further investigated for its antiangiogenic and anti-inflammatory activity using chick embryo and rat colitis model. HPβCD complex of curcumin proved to be a potent angioinhibitory compound, as demonstrated by inhibition of angiogenesis in chorioallantoic membrane assay. Curcumin- and HPβCD-treated rats showed a faster weight gain compared to dextran sulfate solution (DSS) controls. Whole colon length appeared to be significantly longer in HPβCD-treated rats than pure curcumin and DSS controls. An additional finding in the DSS-treated rats was the predominance of eosinophils in the chronic cell infiltrate. Decreased mast cell numbers in the mucosa of the colon of CD of curcumin- and pure-curcumin-treated rats was observed. This study concluded that the degree of colitis caused by administration of DSS was significantly attenuated by CD of curcumin. Being a nontoxic natural dietary product, curcumin could be useful in the therapeutic strategy for IBD patients.
PMCID: PMC2802154  PMID: 19495987
antiangiogenesis; curcumin; cyclodextrin; inflammatory bowel disease; solubility
21.  Omalizumab: the evidence for its place in the treatment of allergic asthma 
Core Evidence  2008;3(1):55-66.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airways disease associated with reversible airflow obstruction and bronchial hyperresponsiveness. Asthma is prevalent worldwide and results in significant morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs, the majority of which arise from those with severe disease. Omalizumab is a monoclonal antibody to immunoglobulin E (IgE) that has been developed for the treatment of severe persistent allergic (IgE mediated) asthma.
The aim of this review is to evaluate the available clinical evidence on omalizumab to determine the role it has to play in the treatment of persistent allergic asthma.
Evidence review:
There is clear evidence to show that omalizumab is effective in reducing the rate of asthma exacerbations, inhaled corticosteroid dose, and the need for rescue medication in patients with allergic asthma. Clinical data indicate beneficial effects on patient-reported symptoms and perceived quality of life, as well as a reduction in unscheduled healthcare visits. There is little evidence to suggest omalizumab may enhance lung function or reduce the requirement for oral corticosteroids. Omalizumab has a favorable safety profile, although anaphylaxis has occurred. A study in children showed similar results to those achieved in adults and adolescents, with fewer asthma exacerbations and school days missed. Omalizumab may be cost effective in patients when used as add-on therapy to inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta2 agonists (LABA).
Place in therapy:
Omalizumab is an effective add-on therapy to inhaled corticosteroids and LABAs in adults and adolescents with severe persistent allergic asthma. Currently there is insufficient evidence to support the use of omalizumab in children.
PMCID: PMC2899803  PMID: 20694084
allergic asthma; omalizumab; immunoglobulin E; evidence
22.  Adding salmeterol to an inhaled corticosteroid: long term effects on bronchial inflammation in asthma 
Thorax  2006;61(4):306-312.
Addition of the long acting β2 agonist salmeterol to inhaled corticosteroids leads to better symptomatic asthma control than increasing the dose of inhaled corticosteroids. However, little is known about the long term effects of adding salmeterol on the asthmatic inflammatory process, control of which is considered important for the long term outcome of asthma.
After a 4 week fluticasone run‐in period, 54 patients with allergic asthma were randomised to receive twice daily treatment with fluticasone 250 μg with or without salmeterol 50 μg for 1 year in a double blind, parallel group design (total daily dose of fluticasone 500 μg in both treatment groups). Primary outcomes were sputum eosinophil numbers and eosinophil cationic protein concentrations. Secondary outcomes were neutrophil associated sputum parameters and a respiratory membrane permeability marker. The effects on allergen induced changes were determined before and at the end of the treatment period.
Adding salmeterol to fluticasone resulted in improved peak expiratory flow, symptom scores, rescue medication usage, and bronchial hyperresponsiveness (p<0.05 for all). There was no sustained effect on sputum cell differential counts and cytokine concentrations during the treatment period or on changes induced by allergen challenge at the end of treatment (p>0.05). However, adding salmeterol significantly reduced sputum ratios of α2‐macroglobulin and albumin during the treatment period (p = 0.001).
The addition of salmeterol to fluticasone produces no sustained effect on allergen induced cellular bronchial inflammation but leads to a significant improvement in size selectivity of plasma protein permeation across the respiratory membrane. This may contribute to the improved clinical outcome seen in patients with allergic asthma when a long acting β2 agonist is combined with inhaled corticosteroids.
PMCID: PMC2104614  PMID: 16449264
asthma; inflammation; sputum; bronchodilator agents; anti‐inflammatory agents
23.  Effect of different monotherapies on serum nitric oxide and pulmonary functions in children with mild persistent asthma 
Common medications used to treat mild persistent asthma are glucocorticoids, leukotriene receptor antagonists and theophylline. The aim of the study was to evaluate monotherapy with either inhaled steroids, oral leukotriene receptor antagonist or theophylline in Egyptian children with mild persistent asthma by determining their clinical, laboratory and spirometric responses to treatment.
Material and methods
Thirty-nine mild asthmatic children between 8 and 13 years of age were included in the study. Patients were classified according to therapy received into four groups: oral leukotriene receptor antagonist (montelukast), inhaled corticosteroid (fluticasone propionate), sustained-release (SR) theophylline, and no treatment. Pulmonary function testing was performed at the start of therapy and 8 weeks later using spirometry. Eosinophil count and serum nitric oxide were estimated in the blood. Minitab statistical package was used for analysis of data.
Follow-up after 8 weeks revealed significant improvement in FEV1% in groups 1 (p < 0.01) and 3 (p < 0.05), significant improvement in PEFR in groups 1 (p < 0.05) and 2 (p < 0.01), significant decline in serum NO levels in groups 1 (p < 0.05) and 2 (p < 0.05), as well as significant improvement in eosinophil count in groups 1, 2 and 3 (p < 0.01, < 0.001, < 0.01 respectively). There was a statistically significant positive correlation between the decline in serum NO and the decline in blood eosinophil % in group 2 (p < 0.05).
Inhaled corticosteroids and montelukast have a significant role in controlling the pulmonary functions and the inflammatory process in children with mild persistent asthma, although inhaled corticosteroids seem to yield a better response. Children with mild persistent asthma should receive a controller medication, and SR theophylline may be a good cost-benefit alternative for low socio-economic groups of patients.
PMCID: PMC3302705  PMID: 22427767
asthma; inhaled corticosteroids; montelukast; slow-release theophylline
24.  Curcumin may impair iron status when fed to mice for six months 
Redox Biology  2014;2:563-569.
Curcumin has been shown to have many potentially health beneficial properties in vitro and in animal models with clinical studies on the toxicity of curcumin reporting no major side effects. However, curcumin may chelate dietary trace elements and could thus potentially exert adverse effects. Here, we investigated the effects of a 6 month dietary supplementation with 0.2% curcumin on iron, zinc, and copper status in C57BL/6J mice. Compared to non-supplemented control mice, we observed a significant reduction in iron, but not zinc and copper stores, in the liver and the spleen, as well as strongly suppressed liver hepcidin and ferritin expression in the curcumin-supplemented mice. The expression of the iron-importing transport proteins divalent metal transporter 1 and transferrin receptor 1 was induced, while hepatic and splenic inflammatory markers were not affected in the curcumin-fed mice. The mRNA expression of other putative target genes of curcumin, including the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 and haem oxygenase 1 did not differ between the groups. Most of the published animal trials with curcumin-feeding have not reported adverse effects on iron status or the spleen. However, it is possible that long-term curcumin supplementation and a Western-type diet may aggravate iron deficiency. Therefore, our findings show that further studies are needed to evaluate the effect of curcumin supplementation on iron status.
Graphical abstract
A 6 month dietary supplementation with 0.2% curcumin in C57BL/6J mice led to a significant reduction in iron, but not zinc and copper stores, in the liver and the spleen, and suppressed liver hepcidin and ferritin expression. Furthermore, the expression of the iron-importing transport proteins divalent metal transporter (DMT) 1 and transferrin receptor (TfR) 1 was induced in the curcumin-fed mice. These data suggest that long-term curcumin supplementation and a Western-type diet may aggravate iron deficiency.
•0.2% dietary curcumin for 6 months reduced iron stores in murine liver and spleen.•Curcumin chelated iron but not zinc and copper in vivo.•Liver hepcidin and ferritin expression was strongly suppressed in curcumin-fed mice.•Curcumin induced expression of hepatic iron transporters DMT1 and TfR1.•Curcumin did not affect hepatic and splenic inflammatory and oxidative markers.
PMCID: PMC3953957  PMID: 24634837
γ-GCS, γ-glutamyl cysteine synthetase; DMT1, divalent metal transporter 1; FPN, ferroportin; HO1, haem oxygenase; IL, interleukin; NQO1, NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase; NRF2, nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2; qRT-PCR, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction; TBS, tris buffered saline; TfR1, transferrin receptor 1; TNFα, tumour necrosis factor α; Curcumin; Iron store; Liver minerals; Safety; Enlarged spleen; Toxicity
25.  Relationship between the inflammatory infiltrate in bronchial biopsy specimens and clinical severity of asthma in patients treated with inhaled steroids. 
Thorax  1996;51(5):496-502.
BACKGROUND: Current guidelines on the management of asthma advocate the use of anti-inflammatory treatment in all but mild disease. They define disease control in terms of clinical criteria such as lung function and symptoms. However, the relationship between the clinical control of the disease and inflammation of the airways is not clear. A cross sectional study was therefore undertaken to investigate the relationship between airways inflammation and measures of clinical control and bronchial hyperresponsiveness in asthmatic patients treated with inhaled steroids. METHODS: Twenty six atopic adults (19-45 years) with mild to moderate asthma (baseline forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) > or = 50% predicted, concentration of histamine causing a 20% fall in FEV1 (PC20) 0.02-7.6 mg/ml) on regular treatment with inhaled steroids entered the study. Diary card recordings during the two weeks before a methacholine challenge test and bronchoscopic examination were used to determine peak flow variability, symptom scores, and use of beta 2 agonists. Biopsy specimens were taken by fibreoptic bronchoscopy from the carina of the right lower and middle lobes, and from the main carina. Immunohistochemical staining was performed on cryostat sections with monoclonal antibodies against: eosinophil cationic protein (EG1, EG2), mast cell tryptase (AA1), CD45, CD22, CD3, CD4, CD8, CD25, and CD45RO. The number of positively stained cells in the lamina propria was counted twice by using an interactive display system. RESULTS: There were no differences in cell numbers between the three sites from which biopsy specimens were taken. The PC20 for methacholine was inversely related to the average number of total leucocytes, EG1+, and EG2+ cells, mast cells, CD8+, and CD45RO+ cells in the lamina propria. These relationships were similar for each of the biopsy sites. Symptom scores, beta 2 agonist usage, FEV1, and peak flow variability were not related to any of the cell counts. CONCLUSIONS: Infiltration of inflammatory cells in the lamina propria of the airways seems to persist in asthmatic outpatients despite regular treatment with inhaled steroids. The number of infiltrating leucocytes such as mast cells, (activated) eosinophils, CD8+, and CD45RO+ cells in bronchial biopsy specimens from these patients appears to be reflected by airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine, but not by symptoms or lung function. These findings may have implications for the adjustment of anti-inflammatory treatment of patients with asthma.
PMCID: PMC473594  PMID: 8711677

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