The therapeutic effect of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) may be affected by the metabolism of the drug in the target organ. We investigated the in vitro metabolism of beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP), budesonide (BUD), ciclesonide (CIC), and fluticasone propionate (FP) in human lung precision-cut tissue slices. CIC, a new generation ICS, is hydrolyzed by esterases in the upper and lower airways to its pharmacologically active metabolite desisobutyryl-ciclesonide (des-CIC).
Lung tissue slices were incubated with BDP, BUD, CIC, and FP (initial target concentration of 25 μM) for 2, 6, and 24 h. Cellular viability was assessed using adenosine 5'-triphosphate content and protein synthesis in lung slices. Metabolites and remaining parent compounds in the tissue samples were analyzed by HPLC with UV detection.
BDP was hydrolyzed to the pharmacologically active metabolite beclomethasone-17-monopropionate (BMP) and, predominantly, to inactive beclomethasone (BOH). CIC was hydrolyzed initially to des-CIC with a slower rate compared to BDP. A distinctly smaller amount (approximately 10-fold less) of fatty acid esters were formed by BMP (and/or BOH) than by BUD or des-CIC. The highest relative amounts of fatty acid esters were detected for BUD. For FP, no metabolites were detected at any time point. The amount of drug-related material in lung tissue (based on initial concentrations) at 24 h was highest for CIC, followed by BUD and FP; the smallest amount was detected for BDP.
The in vitro metabolic pathways of the tested ICS in human lung tissue were differing. While FP was metabolically stable, the majority of BDP was converted to inactive polar metabolites. The formation of fatty acid conjugates was confirmed for BMP (and/or BOH), BUD, and des-CIC.
The purpose of the study was to compare in vitro airway responses to neurokinin A & B (NKA and NKB) and expression of NK-2 receptors in airways of horses affected and unaffected with recurrent airway obstruction (RAO). Neurokinin-A, an inflammatory mediator belonging to the tachykinin family of neuropeptides, causes bronchoconstriction by binding to NK-2 receptors. Neurokinin-B is a lesser-known neuropeptide that acts on NK-3 receptors. Horses were placed into RAO-affected and RAO-unaffected groups based on their history, clinical scoring, and pulmonary function testing. Lung tissue from each lobe was collected for immunohistochemical staining for NK-2 receptors. Cumulative concentration-response relationships were determined on bronchial rings (4-mm wide) collected and prepared from the right diaphragmatic lung lobe to graded concentrations (half log molar concentrations 10−7M to 10−4M) of NKA and NKB. The results showed that NKA caused significantly greater contraction than NKB in both groups. In RAO-affected horses, both agents produced significantly greater bronchial contractions than those in the RAO-unaffected horses. Immunohistochemical staining showed that the overall NK-2 receptor distribution was significantly increased in bronchial epithelium and smooth muscles of bronchi and pulmonary vessels of RAO-affected than RAO-unaffected horses. The findings indicate that NK-2 receptors are up-regulated in RAO, suggesting that NK-2 receptor antagonists may have some therapeutic value in controlling the progression of airway hyperreactivity in horses affected with RAO.
The peripheral airway innervation of the lower respiratory tract of mammals is not completely functionally characterized. Recently, we have shown in rats that precision-cut lung slices (PCLS) respond to electric field stimulation (EFS) and provide a useful model to study neural airway responses in distal airways. Since airway responses are known to exhibit considerable species differences, here we examined the neural responses of PCLS prepared from mice, rats, guinea pigs, sheep, marmosets and humans. Peripheral neurons were activated either by EFS or by capsaicin. Bronchoconstriction in response to identical EFS conditions varied between species in magnitude. Frequency response curves did reveal further species-dependent differences of nerve activation in PCLS. Atropine antagonized the EFS-induced bronchoconstriction in human, guinea pig, sheep, rat and marmoset PCLS, showing cholinergic responses. Capsaicin (10 µM) caused bronchoconstriction in human (4 from 7) and guinea pig lungs only, indicating excitatory non-adrenergic non-cholinergic responses (eNANC). However, this effect was notably smaller in human responder (30±7.1%) than in guinea pig (79±5.1%) PCLS. The transient receptor potential (TRP) channel blockers SKF96365 and ruthenium red antagonized airway contractions after exposure to EFS or capsaicin in guinea pigs. In conclusion, the different species show distinct patterns of nerve-mediated bronchoconstriction. In the most common experimental animals, i.e. in mice and rats, these responses differ considerably from those in humans. On the other hand, guinea pig and marmoset monkey mimic human responses well and may thus serve as clinically relevant models to study neural airway responses.
Inhaled glucocorticoids such as beclomethasone dipropionate, which are used in the treatment of asthma, may be associated with systemic adverse effects. To determine whether any systemic absorption following the inhalation of beclomethasone was a result of drug being absorbed from the lung (inhaled fraction) or the gastrointestinal tract (swallowed fraction), we studied normal subjects after the inhalation or swallowing of 2 mg beclomethasone dipropionate. Systemic activity was assessed using early morning cortisol suppression. Both inhaled and swallowed fractions produced significant systemic activity, the degree of which depended on the inhaler device used. Systemic activity was greater using a dry powder inhaler (52%) than using a metered dose inhaler with a large volume spacer (28%). These findings suggest that to limit potential adverse effects from high-dose beclomethasone dipropionate it is better to use a metered dose aerosol with large volume spacer than a dry powder.
Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors may offer novel approaches in the treatment of asthma. We postulate that trichostatin A (TSA), a Class 1 and 2 inhibitor of HDAC, inhibits airway hyperresponsiveness in antigen-challenged mice. Mice were sensitized and challenged with Aspergillus fumigatus antigen (AF) and treated with TSA, dexamethasone, or vehicle. Lung resistance (RL) and dynamic compliance were measured, and bronchial alveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was analyzed for numbers of leukocytes and concentrations of cytokines. Human precision-cut lung slices (PCLS) were treated with TSA and their agonist-induced bronchoconstriction was measured, and TSA-treated human airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells were evaluated for the agonist-induced activation of Rho and intracellular release of Ca2+. The activity of HDAC in murine lungs was enhanced by antigen and abrogated by TSA. TSA also inhibited methacholine (Mch)-induced increases in RL and decreases in dynamic compliance in naive control mice and in AF-sensitized and -challenged mice. Total cell counts, concentrations of IL-4, and numbers of eosinophils in BALF were unchanged in mice treated with TSA or vehicle, whereas dexamethasone inhibited the numbers of eosinophils in BALF and concentrations of IL-4. TSA inhibited the carbachol-induced contraction of PCLS. Treatment with TSA inhibited the intracellular release of Ca2+ in ASM cells in response to histamine, without affecting the activation of Rho. The inhibition of HDAC abrogates airway hyperresponsiveness to Mch in both naive and antigen-challenged mice. TSA inhibits the agonist-induced contraction of PCLS and mobilization of Ca2+ in ASM cells. Thus, HDAC inhibitors demonstrate a mechanism of action distinct from that of anti-inflammatory agents such as steroids, and represent a promising therapeutic agent for airway disease.
HDAC; asthma; allergen; mice; trichostatin A
In severe asthma, bronchodilator- and steroid-insensitive airflow obstruction develops through unknown mechanisms characterized by increased lung airway smooth muscle (ASM) mass and stiffness. We explored the role of a Regulator of G-protein Signaling protein (RGS4) in the ASM hyperplasia and reduced contractile capacity characteristic of advanced asthma. Using immunocytochemical staining, ASM expression of RGS4 was determined in endobronchial biopsies from healthy subjects and those from subjects with mild, moderate and severe asthma. Cell proliferation assays, agonist-induced calcium mobilization and bronchoconstriction were determined in cultured human ASM cells and in human precision cut lung slices. Using gain- and loss-of-function approaches, the precise role of RGS proteins was determined in stimulating human ASM proliferation and inhibiting bronchoconstriction. RGS4 expression was restricted to a subpopulation of ASM and was specifically upregulated by mitogens, which induced a hyperproliferative and hypocontractile ASM phenotype similar to that observed in recalcitrant asthma. RGS4 expression was markedly increased in bronchial smooth muscle of patients with severe asthma, and expression correlated significantly with reduced pulmonary function. Whereas RGS4 inhibited G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-mediated bronchoconstriction, unexpectedly RGS4 was required for PDGF-induced proliferation and sustained activation of PI3K, a mitogenic signaling molecule that regulates ASM proliferation. These studies indicate that increased RGS4 expression promotes a phenotypic switch of ASM, evoking irreversible airway obstruction in subjects with severe asthma.
Recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) in horses is a naturally occurring dust-induced disease mainly characterized by bronchiolitis which shows histological and pathophysiological similarities to human chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In human COPD previous investigations indicated an association with Chlamydophila psittaci infection. The present study was designed (1) to clarify a possible role of this infectious agent in RAO and (2) to investigate the suitability of this equine disorder as a model for human COPD.
Clinico-pathological parameters of a total of 45 horses (25 horses with clinical signs of RAO and 20 clinically healthy controls) were compared to histological findings in lung tissue samples and infection by Chlamydiaceae using light microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and PCR.
Horses with clinical signs of RAO vs. controls revealed more inflammatory changes in histology (p = 0.01), and a higher detection rate of Chlamydia psittaci antigens in all cells (p < 0.001) and bronchiolar epithelial cells alone (p < 0.001) by immunohistochemistry. The abundance of chlamydial inclusions increased with the severity of disease. PCR was positive in 60% of horses with RAO vs. 45% of the controls (p = 0.316). OmpA sequencing identified Chlamydophila psittaci (n = 9) and Chlamydophila abortus (n = 13) in both groups with no significant differences. Within the group of clinically healthy horses subgroups with no changes (n = 15) and slight inflammation of the small airways (n = 5) were identified. Also in the group of animals with RAO subgroups with slight (n = 16) and severe (n = 9) bronchiolitis could be formed. These four subgroups can be separated in parts by the number of cells positive for Chlamydia psittaci antigens.
Chlamydophila psittaci or abortus were present in the lung of both clinically healthy horses and those with RAO. Immunohistochemistry revealed acute chlamydial infections with inflammation in RAO horses, whereas in clinically healthy animals mostly persistent chlamydial infection and no inflammatory reactions were seen. Stable dust as the known fundamental abiotic factor in RAO is comparable to smoking in human disease. These results show that RAO can be used as a model for human COPD.
Secretoglobin 1A1 (SCGB 1A1), also called Clara cell secretory protein, is the most abundantly secreted protein of the airway. The SCGB1A1 gene has been characterized in mammals as a single copy in the genome. However, analysis of the equine genome suggested that horses might have multiple SCGB1A1 gene copies. Non-ciliated lung epithelial cells produce SCGB 1A1 during inhalation of noxious substances to counter airway inflammation. Airway fluid and lung tissue of horses with recurrent airway obstruction (RAO), a chronic inflammatory lung disease affecting mature horses similar to environmentally induced asthma of humans, have reduced total SCGB 1A1 concentration. Herein, we investigated whether horses have distinct expressed SCGB1A1 genes; whether the transcripts are differentially expressed in tissues and in inflammatory lung disease; and whether there is cell specific protein expression in tissues.
We identified three SCGB1A1 gene copies on equine chromosome 12, contained within a 512-kilobase region. Bioinformatic analysis showed that SCGB1A1 genes differ from each other by 8 to 10 nucleotides, and that they code for different proteins. Transcripts were detected for SCGB1A1 and SCGB1A1A, but not for SCGB1A1P. The SCGB1A1P gene had most inter-individual variability and contained a non-sense mutation in many animals, suggesting that SCGB1A1P has evolved into a pseudogene. Analysis of SCGB1A1 and SCGB1A1A sequences by endpoint-limiting dilution PCR identified a consistent difference affecting 3 bp within exon 2, which served as a gene-specific “signature”. Assessment of gene- and organ-specific expression by semiquantitative RT-PCR of 33 tissues showed strong expression of SCGB1A1 and SCGB1A1A in lung, uterus, Fallopian tube and mammary gland, which correlated with detection of SCGB 1A1 protein by immunohistochemistry. Significantly altered expression of the ratio of SCGB1A1A to SCGB1A1 was detected in RAO-affected animals compared to controls, suggesting different roles for SCGB 1A1 and SCGB 1A1A in this inflammatory condition.
This is the first report of three SCGB1A1 genes in a mammal. The two expressed genes code for proteins predicted to differ in function. Alterations in the gene expression ratio in RAO suggest cell and tissue specific regulation and functions. These findings may be important for understanding of lung and reproductive conditions.
CC10; Clara cell; Clara cell secretory protein; End-point limiting dilution PCR; Horse; Immunohistochemistry; Long-range PCR; Recurrent airway obstruction; Uteroglobin
OBJECTIVE—To investigate effects on adrenal
function of fluticasone, a recently released inhaled steroid
preparation with lower systemic bioavailability than beclomethasone dipropionate.
METHODS—34 children on high doses (400-909 µg/m2/d) of inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate or
budesonide were recruited into a double blind, crossover study
investigating the effects on adrenal function of beclomethasone and
fluticasone propionate, given using a standard spacer (Volumatic). The
24 hour excretion rates of total cortisol and cortisol metabolites were
determined at baseline (after a two week run in), after six weeks
treatment with an equal dose of beclomethasone, and after six weeks of
treatment with half the dose of fluticasone, both given through a
RESULTS—The comparison of effects between
fluticasone and beclomethasone during treatment periods, although
favouring fluticasone in all measured variables, reached significance
only after correction for urinary creatinine excretion
(tetrahydrocortisol and 5α-tetrahydrocortisol geometric means:
424 v 341 µg/m2/d). The baseline data showed
adrenal suppression in the children taking beclomethasone (total
cortisol geometric means: 975 v 1542µg/d) and a dose
related suppression in the children taking budesonide. Suppressed
adrenal function in the children who were taking beclomethasone at
baseline subsequently improved with fluticasone and beclomethasone during treatment periods.
CONCLUSIONS—Fluticasone is less likely to
suppress adrenal function than beclomethasone at therapeutically
equivalent doses. The baseline data also support the claim that spacer
devices should be used for the administration of high doses of inhaled
The effect of inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate (dose, 400 μg daily) was investigated in 31 prednisone-dependent asthmatics. In a double-blind noncrossover study of 25 patients dependent on a daily prednisone dose of 17.5 mg or less, the dose of ingested prednisone was significantly diminished through the use of beclomethasone as compared with placebo (P < 0.001). In a subsequent single-blind study of the 12 patients who had received placebo, a similar decrease in prednisone dose was possible when these patients received beclomethasone. In all 25 patients the effect of beclomethasone was maintained for 2 years; 9 came to require less beclomethasone and 1 required more. In an additional single-blind study of six patients with severe asthma, dependent on prednisone in a dose of 20 to 25 mg/d, the response to beclomethasone was more variable and less significant (P < 0.01). However, at 2 years there was no significant benefit (P > 0.05) and there were two treatment failures.
In patients in whom reduction of dose or discontinuation of prednisone was possible plasma cortisol values before and after corticotropin administration increased significantly (P < 0.001). Prednisone reduction was associated with the appearance of mild musculoskeletal steroid-withdrawal symptoms of short duration in 15 patients, and recurrence of symptoms of rhinitis in 15 patients. Side effects of beclomethasone included episodes of hoarseness in 6 and easily treated oropharyngeal Candida albicans infection in 14.
Intranasal steroids (INS) are firmly established as the therapy for choice for allergic rhinitis, but their role in vasomotor rhinitis (VMR) is not fully characterized. This review examines the potential mechanisms of action and reported efficacy of INS in patients with VMR.
INS, through intracellular activation of the glucocorticoid receptor, down-regulate the recruitment and activation of inflammatory cells (T-lymphocytes, eosinophils, mast cells, basophils, neutrophils, macrophages), increase degradation of neuropeptides, and reduce epithelial cell activity, vascular permeability, and chemokine secretion. It is likely that more than vasoconstriction is responsible for the clinical effects of INS.
Eight INS can be prescribed for rhinitis in the US; only 4 have been studied for VMR. Seventy-four percent of patients treated with beclomethasone dipropionate considered themselves symptom-free or greatly improved versus 31% with placebo. Budesonide significantly reduced rhinitis symptoms and methacholine-induced nasal secretions compared with placebo. Fluticasone propionate compared with placebo provided significantly greater relief from nasal obstruction; computed tomographic scans showed significant reductions in the mucosal area of the lower turbinates. Mometasone furoate produced numerically better rhinitis symptom scores and, when discontinued, lower relapse rates than placebo.
Data supports INS as beneficial pharmacotherapy for VMR.
nonallergic rhinitis; vasomotor rhinitis; intranasal corticosteroids; beclomethasone dipropionate; budesonide; fluticasone propionate; mometasone furoate
Airway remodelling, including smooth muscle remodelling, is a primary cause of airflow limitation in asthma. Recent evidence links bronchoconstriction to airway remodelling in asthma. The mechanisms involved are poorly understood. A possible player is the multifunctional cytokine TGF-β, which plays an important role in airway remodelling. Guinea pig lung slices were used as an in vitro model to investigate mechanisms involved in bronchoconstriction-induced airway remodelling. To address this aim, mechanical effects of bronchoconstricting stimuli on contractile protein expression and TGF-β release were investigated. Lung slices were viable for at least 48 h. Both methacholine and TGF-β1 augmented the expression of contractile proteins (sm-α-actin, sm-myosin, calponin) after 48 h. Confocal fluorescence microscopy showed that increased sm-myosin expression was enhanced in the peripheral airways and the central airways. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction mediated the release of biologically active TGF-β, which caused the increased contractile protein expression, as inhibition of actin polymerization (latrunculin A) or TGF-β receptor kinase (SB431542) prevented the methacholine effects, whereas other bronchoconstricting agents (histamine and KCl) mimicked the effects of methacholine. Collectively, bronchoconstriction promotes the release of TGF-β, which induces airway smooth muscle remodelling. This study shows that lung slices are a useful in vitro model to study mechanisms involved in airway remodelling.
BACKGROUND--It is common for inhaled steroids to be delivered through a large volume spacer device. Comparatively little is known about how this practice affects the dose of drug received by patients compared with drug delivered directly from a metered dose inhaler. METHODS--The amount of beclomethasone dipropionate, contained in particles of various size, available for inhalation from a 750 ml polycarbonate spacer (Volumatic) was determined by impinger measurement and high performance liquid chromatography. Three strengths of metered dose inhalers were studied (50 micrograms, 100 micrograms, and 250 micrograms/actuation). The effect of multiple actuations of beclomethasone dipropionate into a Volumatic spacer, and increasing residence times of drug within the spacer before inhalation, on the amount of drug available to the patient for inhalation was determined. RESULTS--The amount of beclomethasone dipropionate in particles < 5 microns when delivered by a spacer device or directly from a metered dose inhaler was similar. The total amount of beclomethasone dipropionate available for inhalation per actuation decreased by 20 micrograms with the 50 micrograms inhaler, 48 micrograms with the 100 micrograms inhaler, and 161 micrograms with the 250 micrograms inhaler, when given via the spacer compared with delivery directly from a metered dose inhaler. There was a progressive decrease in drug available for inhalation per actuation as the number of actuations into the spacer increased, for all strengths of beclomethasone dipropionate tested. A progressive decrease in drug recovered per actuation was also seen with increasing residence times of drug within the spacer before inhalation. CONCLUSIONS--Use of the spacer device significantly reduced the amount of nonrespirable beclomethasone dipropionate available for inhalation. The amount of beclomethasone dipropionate within respirable particles decreased considerably following multiple actuations into the spacer and with increasing residence times within the spacer before inhalation. When given via a spacer device beclomethasone dipropionate should be inhaled immediately after actuation and multiple actuations into the device should be avoided.
At present, inhaled glucocorticoids are widely accepted as the therapy of choice in chronic asthma. Treatment with inhaled glucocorticoids significantly suppresses local airway inflammation in asthmatics, but may also have systemic effects, e.g. a reduction of the number of circulating hypodense eosinophils or a down-modulation of HLA-DR antigen (Ag) expression by T lymphocytes in peripheral blood. However, the effect of long-term therapy with inhaled glucocorticoids on peripheral blood monocytes (PBM), which are the precursors of the most numerous cell type in the lung, the alveolar macrophage, have not yet been evaluated. We therefore investigated the expression of various cell surface Ag on PBM from non-smoking patients with allergic asthma who were treated for 2.5 years with a β2-receptor agonist plus either an inhaled glucocorticoid (beclomethasone dipropionate, BDP) (n = 4) or an anticholinergic or placebo (n = 8). We compared the results with healthy volunteers (n = 7). Long-term treatment of allergic asthmatics with inhaled BDP, but not anticholinergic or placebo therapy, was associated with a significantly lower CDllb Ag expression (p < 0.04) and higher expression of CD13, CD14 and CD18 Ag (p < 0.05, p < 0.02 and p < 0.04, respectively) when compared with the healthy control subjects (n = 7). Most interestingly, PBM of asthmatics treated with inhaled BDP expressed an almost two-fold higher level of CD14 Ag on their cell surface than PBM of patients treated with anticholinergic or placebo (p < 0.03). No significant differences in the expression of CD16, CD23, CD25, CD32 and CD64 Ag or HLA-DR were observed between PBM from the different patient groups or healthy controls. Taken together, this study shows that long-term local therapy with inhaled BDP coincides with an altered expression of at least one cell surface Ag on PBM from allergic asthmatics.
Corticosteroids inhibit organic cation transporters (OCTs) that play an important role in drug absorption, tissue distribution and elimination. Corticosteroid sensitivity of bronchodilator trafficking in the airway tissue, however, is poorly understood. To assess the effects of inhaled corticosteroids on airway absorption and disposal mechanisms of long-acting β2-agonists, human airway epithelial and smooth muscle cell uptake of tritiated formoterol and salmeterol was measured in vitro. Corticosteroids caused a rapid, concentration-dependent inhibition of uptake of the cationic formoterol by airway smooth muscle cells, but not airway epithelial cells. Uptake of the noncharged lipophilic salmeterol was corticosteroid-insensitive in both cell types. In smooth muscle cells, inhaled corticosteroids inhibited formoterol uptake with a novel potency rank order: des-ciclesonide > budesonide > beclomethasone 17-monopropionate > beclomethasone dipropionate > ciclesonide > fluticasone. The inhibitory action was rapidly reversible, and was not enhanced by prolonged corticosteroid exposure or sensitive to a transcription inhibitor. Suppression of OCT3 expression using lentivirus-mediated production of shRNA reduced corticosteroid sensitivity of formoterol uptake by smooth muscle cells. Our data support a corticosteroid insensitive absorption and a corticosteroid sensitive disposition mechanism for cationic long-acting β2-agonist bronchodilators in the airway. Potency rank order and other ‘classical’ features of anti-inflammatory effects do not apply to inhaled corticosteroids’ rapid drug transport actions.
bronchial smooth muscle; organic cation transporter; inhaled corticosteroids; nongenomic; formoterol; asthma
Costello, J. F. and Clark, T. J. H. (1974).Thorax, 29, 571-573. Response of patients receiving high dose beclomethasone dipropionate. Beclomethasone dipropionate was inhaled by 16 patients with asthma in a dose of 1 mg daily for periods up to 24 weeks. No evidence of adrenal suppression was found in these patients as judged by basal cortisol levels. A further group of five patients with asthma inhaled 2 mg daily of beclomethasone dipropionate for periods up to 10 weeks and no evidence of adrenal suppression was found. A separate group of five patients was found to respond to increasing doses of beclomethasone dipropionate by increasing their forced expiratory volume in the first second. The results suggest that increased doses of beclomethasone dipropionate may provide additional benefit while continuing to avoid unwanted systemic side effects.
The cysteinyl leukotrienes, LTC4, LTD4, and LTE4, play an integral role in the pathophysiology of asthma. Acting via the type 1 leukotriene (CysLT1) receptor, these proinflammatory mediators have numerous effects in the lungs, including decreased activity of respiratory cilia, increased mucus secretion, increased venopermeability, and promotion of eosinophil migration into airway mucosa. Blocking studies show that Cys-LTs are pivotal mediators in the pathophysiology of asthma. Cys-LTs are key components in the early and late allergic airway response and also contribute to bronchial obstruction after exercise and hyperventilation of cold, dry air in asthmatics. Effects of the cysteinyl leukotrienes are blocked by leukotriene receptor antagonists; these agents inhibit bronchoconstriction in normal subjects provoked with inhaled cysteinyl leukotrienes, as well as in patients with asthma undergoing allergen, exercise, cold air, or aspirin challenge. Montelukast is a potent and selective blocker of the CysLT1 receptor. For treatment of chronic asthma, montelukast is administered once daily to adults as a 10-mg film-coated tablet, to children aged 6–14 years as a 5-mg chewable tablet, and to children aged 2–5 years as a 4-mg chewable tablet form. Given their efficacy, antiinflammatory activity, oral administration, and safety, leukotriene modifiers will play an important role in the treatment of asthmatic children.
montelukast; asthma; children; efficacy
c-fos binds to
jun proteins to form the activation protein
1 (AP-1) transcription factor that regulates
cytokine and other proinflammatory genes.
c-Fos may play a key role in nasal polyp
formation. Glucocorticoids may exert their anti-inflammatory effects
through an interaction of glucocorticoid receptors with AP-1 that leads to mutual inactivation of
both factors, and a "default" termination of
AP-1 mediated gene activation. This may explain the beneficial effects of glucocorticoids in the treatment of
METHODS—To test this
hypothesis in humans in vivo the immunohistochemical expression of
(c-fos-irm) was assessed in nasal polyps
from eight steroid naive subjects, polyps from eight subjects treated
with topical beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP), and normal inferior
turbinate nasal mucosa (n =6).
c-fos was detected in all nasal polyps and
normal mucosa. In contrast, c-fos-irm was
present in all steroid naive subjects but in only two of the eight
subjects treated with BDP (p = 0.007, two-tailed Fisher's exact test).
c-Fos-irm was expressed solely in epithelial
cells and glandular structures; it was expressed in normal epithelium
and glands, but the staining intensity was low.
appear to modulate expression of c-fos-irm
and possibly AP-1 in human airway epithelial
cells in vivo.
BACKGROUND: The systemic effects of the inhaled corticosteroid beclomethasone dipropionate are reduced if the drug is inhaled through a large volume spacer. Use of spacers may therefore permit higher doses to be given without causing hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal suppression. METHODS: Randomised, double blind, double dummy, parallel group study was carried out in adults with chronic asthma to determine the dose of beclomethasone dipropionate causing hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal suppression when the drug was administered by metered dose aerosol with and without a large volume spacer. After a four week run in taking 1.5 mg beclomethasone daily 50 patients underwent tests of hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal function (measurement of 0900 h serum cortisol concentration and 24 hour urinary free cortisol excretion and the short tetracosactrin test). Six patients had hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal suppression (results of at least two tests subnormal) and asthma was well controlled in six others. Thirty eight patients received increasing doses of beclomethasone with (group S) or without (group MDI) a 750 ml spacer. The daily dose was increased by 0.5 mg at monthly intervals until hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal suppression developed or a dose of 5 mg/day was achieved. Asthma symptoms and peak expiratory flow were recorded daily. RESULTS: Twenty three patients completed the study, one (group S) reaching a dose of 5 mg beclomethasone dipropionate daily without hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal suppression. Reasons for withdrawal were poor compliance (n = 10), the patient's decision (n = 3), and asthma that was too unstable (n = 2). "Intention to treat" analysis showed that the median dose of beclomethasone causing hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal suppression was similar in the two groups (3.25 mg in S v 3.0 mg in MDI; 95% confidence interval (CI) for difference -1.0 to 1.0 mg). At 2 mg/day of beclomethasone most patients in both groups had well controlled asthma and there were no differences in symptoms or peak flow between the groups. Good control at this dose did not permit conclusions to be drawn about the efficacy of higher doses. CONCLUSIONS: There is wide interindividual variation in the dose of beclomethasone dipropionate causing hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal suppression. Whether or not a spacer is used, doses higher than the currently accepted maximum of 2 mg/day can be taken by many adults with asthma without causing subnormal function of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis. Whether these higher doses are more effective in controlling asthma remains to be established.
It has been proposed that serotonin (5-HT)-mediated constriction of the murine trachea is largely dependent on acetylcholine (ACh) released from the epithelium. We recently demonstrated that ACh can be released from non-neuronal cells by corticosteroid-sensitive polyspecific organic cation transporters (OCTs), which are also expressed by airway epithelial cells. Hence, the hypothesis emerged that 5-HT evokes bronchoconstriction by inducing release of ACh from epithelial cells via OCTs.
We tested this hypothesis by analysing bronchoconstriction in precision-cut murine lung slices using OCT and muscarinic ACh receptor knockout mouse strains. Epithelial ACh content was measured by HPLC, and the tissue distribution of OCT isoforms was determined by immunohistochemistry.
Epithelial ACh content was significantly higher in OCT1/2 double-knockout mice (42 ± 10 % of the content of the epithelium-denuded trachea, n = 9) than in wild-type mice (16.8 ± 3.6 %, n = 11). In wild-type mice, 5-HT (1 μM) caused a bronchoconstriction that slightly exceeded that evoked by muscarine (1 μM) in intact bronchi but amounted to only 66% of the response to muscarine after epithelium removal. 5-HT-induced bronchoconstriction was undiminished in M2/M3 muscarinic ACh receptor double-knockout mice which were entirely unresponsive to muscarine. Corticosterone (1 μM) significantly reduced 5-HT-induced bronchoconstriction in wild-type and OCT1/2 double-knockout mice, but not in OCT3 knockout mice. This effect persisted after removal of the bronchial epithelium. Immunohistochemistry localized OCT3 to the bronchial smooth muscle.
The doubling of airway epithelial ACh content in OCT1/2-/- mice is consistent with the concept that OCT1 and/or 2 mediate ACh release from the respiratory epithelium. This effect, however, does not contribute to 5-HT-induced constriction of murine intrapulmonary bronchi. Instead, this activity involves 1) a non-cholinergic epithelium-dependent component, and 2) direct stimulation of bronchial smooth muscle cells, a response which is partly sensitive to acutely administered corticosterone acting on OCT3. These data provide new insights into the mechanisms involved in 5-HT-induced bronchoconstriction, including novel information about non-genomic, acute effects of corticosteroids on bronchoconstriction.
Since their characterization, glucocorticoids (GCs), the most commonly prescribed immunomodulatory drugs, have undergone numerous structural modifications designed to enhance their activity. In vivo assessment of these corticosteroid analogs is essential to understand the difference in molecular signaling of the ligands that share the corticosteroid backbone. Our research identified a novel function of GCs as modulators of tissue regeneration and demonstrated that GCs activate the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) to inhibit early stages of tissue regeneration in zebrafish (Danio rerio). We utilized this phenomenon to assess the effect of different GC analogs on tissue regeneration and identified that some GCs such as beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) possess inhibitory properties, while others, such as dexamethasone and hydrocortisone have no effect on regeneration. We performed in silico molecular docking and dynamic studies and demonstrated that type and size of substitution at the C17 position of the cortisol backbone confer a unique stable conformation to GR on ligand binding that is critical for inhibitory activity. In the field of tissue regeneration, our study is one of the first Structure Activity Relationship (SAR) investigations performed in vertebrates demonstrating that the in vivo tissue regeneration model is a powerful tool to probe structure function relationships, to understand regenerative biology, and to assist in rational drug design.
Docking; Dynamics; Glucocorticoids; In vivo; Regeneration; SAR; Tissue; Zebrafish
The aim of this work was to measure the myeloperoxidase (MPO) concentration in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid collected from horses with recurrent airway obstruction (RAO), both in crisis and in remission, as well as from healthy horses. Seven horses with RAO were exposed to moldy hay until the maximum change in pleural pressure was greater than 1.5 kPa. At that point, BAL was performed, and the total cell counts and percentages in the fluid were immediately determined. To measure the MPO concentration in BAL-fluid supernatant, we used a specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with polyclonal antibodies against equine MPO. The tests were repeated on the horses with RAO after they had spent 2 mo on pasture. Six healthy horses serving as controls underwent the same tests. The absolute and relative neutrophil counts and the MPO concentration in the BAL fluid were significantly greater in the horses with an RAO crisis than in the control horses. After 2 mo on pasture, the horses that had been in RAO crisis were clinically normal, and their neutrophil counts and MPO levels in BAL fluid had significantly decreased; during remission their neutrophil counts were not significantly different from those in the healthy horses, but their MPO concentration remained significantly higher. This study showed that determining the MPO concentration in a horse’s BAL fluid is technically possible and that during remission from RAO the concentration remains higher than normal. Thus, MPO may be a marker of neutrophil presence and activation in the lower airways.
Large spacing devices have been shown to provide more selective delivery of an inhaled steroid to the lung but the effect on the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal suppression associated with high dose inhaled corticosteroids has been little studied. The effect of a large spacing device (Volumatic; 750 ml) on suppression of 0900 h cortisol after 2 mg inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate was therefore investigated in normal, healthy volunteers. Twenty four subjects (12 male, 12 female) took part in a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled cross over study in which a single dose of 2 mg beclomethasone dipropionate was taken at 2300 h on two occasions seven days apart, once from a metered dose inhaler alone and once from a metered dose inhaler attached to a 750 ml spacing device. The 0900 h serum cortisol concentration was the same on the morning before each administration (468 nmol/l, 95% confidence interval (CI) 390-561 nmol/l, day 1 v 479 nmol/l, 95% CI 463-494 nmol/l, day 8). The 0900 h serum cortisol concentration the following morning, however, was lower when 2 mg beclomethasone dipropionate was given by metered dose inhaler alone (182 (95% CI 128-264) nmol/l) than when it was given by a spacing device (363 (95% CI 281-475) nmol/l). These results suggest that a large spacing device attached to a metered dose inhaler may decrease the risk of hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal suppression by high dose inhaled steroid treatment.
BACKGROUND: High doses of inhaled corticosteroids are absorbed systemically and may cause long term side effects. As rinsing the mouth out after use and inhaling through a spacing device may reduce systemic absorption this has been further investigated. METHODS: Three crossover studies were carried out to assess the effect of budesonide given by dry powder inhaler (Turbuhaler) with and without mouth rinsing and beclomethasone dipropionate given by metered dose inhaler with or without a spacing device (Volumatic) on serum cortisol concentrations and urinary cortisol excretion in patients with asthma taking an inhaled corticosteroid. Each treatment period was two weeks with in a two week washout period. Serum cortisol concentrations at 0800 hours on day 14 and the 24 hour urinary excretion of cortisol were measured. In study 1 24 patients taking beclomethasone dipropionate 500 micrograms twice a day inhaled with (n = 10) or without (n = 14) a Volumatic spacing device were switched to a budesonide dry powder inhaler, 600 micrograms to be taken twice a day without mouth rinsing. In study 2 10 patients took budesonide 800 micrograms twice a day with and without mouth rinsing and without swallowing the rinsing water. In study 3 17 patients took budesonide 800 micrograms twice daily with mouth rinsing and beclomethasone dipropionate 500 micrograms twice daily with the spacing device and mouth rinsing. RESULTS: In study 1 no difference was seen between budesonide without mouth rinsing and beclomethasone dipropionate without a spacer: beclomethasone with spacer caused less suppression of cortisol (mean (SD) serum cortisol concentration: beclomethasone and spacer 487(148), budesonide 368(145) nmol/l). In study 2 mouth rinsing caused less suppression of morning serum cortisol concentrations (rinsing 440(63), no rinsing 375(56) nmol/1). In study 3 there was no difference in serum or urinary cortisol concentrations between twice daily beclomethasone dipropionate 500 micrograms inhaled by Volumatic spacer or budesonide by Turbuhaler 800 micrograms twice daily, both with mouth rinsing. Individual serum cortisol values were within the normal range in all patients except one in study 1. CONCLUSION: Systemic absorption of a corticosteroid inhaled from a metered dose inhaler is reduced by using a spacing device and that from a dry powder inhaler by mouth rinsing.
Inhaled steroids are increasingly advocated as first line treatment for mild asthma. Some studies suggest that inhaled steroids suppress bone formation as reflected by a fall in plasma osteocalcin. Spacers have been shown to increase the proportion of inhaled aerosol that is deposited in the lungs and to reduce the amount swallowed. We measured plasma osteocalcin levels to determine the effect on bone formation of inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) with and without a 750 ml spacer in a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. Twenty-six healthy male volunteers took BDP 500 micrograms (two puffs of Becloforte) together with two puffs of placebo, inhaled twice daily for seven days. One inhaler was taken directly while the other was inhaled through a 750 ml spacer. After a two week washout period, the inhalers were exchanged so that BDP was taken by the alternate route for a further seven days. Fasting plasma osteocalcin levels were measured at 09.00 h before and at the end of each week. After a week of BDP taken directly (without a spacer), osteocalcin levels fell from 11.8 (SEM 0.6) ng/ml to 9.5 (SEM 0.5) ng/ml (p < 0.001). After a week of BDP taken through a spacer, osteocalcin levels fell from 12.1 (SEM 0.5) ng/ml to 11.1 (SEM 0.5) ng/ml (p < 0.001). The fall in osteocalcin when a spacer was used was significantly less than when BDP was taken directly (p < 0.005). This is likely to be because the systemic effects on bone are caused by swallowed rather than inhaled BDP, and this is limited by the use of a spacer. Spacers should be more widely prescribed with inhaled steroids. Further prospective studies are indicated to evaluate whether spacers protect bone mass.