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1.  Repeated intranasal TLR7 stimulation reduces allergen responsiveness in allergic rhinitis 
Respiratory Research  2012;13(1):53.
Interactions between Th1 and Th2 immune responses are of importance to the onset and development of allergic disorders. A Toll-like receptor 7 agonist such as AZD8848 may have potential as a treatment for allergic airway disease by skewing the immune system away from a Th2 profile.
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of intranasal AZD8848.
In a placebo-controlled single ascending dose study, AZD8848 (0.3-600 μg) was given intranasally to 48 healthy subjects and 12 patients with allergic rhinitis (NCT00688779). In a placebo-controlled repeat challenge/treatment study, AZD8848 (30 and 60 μg) was given once weekly for five weeks to 74 patients with allergic rhinitis out of season: starting 24 hours after the final dose, daily allergen challenges were given for seven days (NCT00770003). Safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and biomarkers were monitored. During the allergen challenge series, nasal symptoms and lavage fluid levels of tryptase and α2-macroglobulin, reflecting mast cell activity and plasma exudation, were monitored.
AZD8848 produced reversible blood lymphocyte reductions and dose-dependent flu-like symptoms: 30–100 μg produced consistent yet tolerable effects. Plasma interleukin-1 receptor antagonist was elevated after administration of AZD8848, reflecting interferon production secondary to TLR7 stimulation. At repeat challenge/treatment, AZD8848 reduced nasal symptoms recorded ten minutes after allergen challenge up to eight days after the final dose. Tryptase and α2-macroglobulin were also reduced by AZD8848.
Repeated intranasal stimulation of Toll-like receptor 7 by AZD8848 was safe and produced a sustained reduction in the responsiveness to allergen in allergic rhinitis.
Trial registration
NCT00688779 and NCT00770003 as indicated above.
PMCID: PMC3487914  PMID: 22726593
Allergy; Immunity; Seasonal; Toll-like receptor 7; Treatment
2.  Early phase resolution of mucosal eosinophilic inflammation in allergic rhinitis 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):54.
It is widely assumed that apoptosis of eosinophils is a central component of resolution of allergic airway disease. However, this has not been demonstrated in human allergic airways in vivo. Based on animal in vivo observations we hypothesised that steroid-induced resolution of human airway eosinophilic inflammation involves inhibition of CCL5 (RANTES), a CC-chemokine regulating eosinophil and lymphocyte traffic, and elimination of eosinophils without evident occurrence of apoptotic eosinophils in the diseased tissue.
To determine mucosal eosinophilia, apoptotic eosinophils, general cell apoptosis and cell proliferation, and expression of CCL5 and CCL11 (eotaxin) in human allergic airway tissues in vivo at resolution of established symptomatic eosinophilic inflammation.
Twenty-one patients with intermittent (birch and/or grass) allergic rhinitis received daily nasal allergen challenges for two seven days' periods separated by more than two weeks washout. Five days into these "artificial pollen seasons", nasal treatment with budesonide was instituted and continued for six days in a double blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, and crossover design. This report is a parallel group comparison of nasal biopsy histochemistry data obtained on the final day of the second treatment period.
Treatments were instituted when clinical rhinitis symptoms had been established. Compared to placebo, budesonide reduced tissue eosinophilia, and subepithelial more than epithelial eosinophilia. Steroid treatment also attenuated tissue expression of CCL5, but CCL11 was not reduced. General tissue cell apoptosis and epithelial cell proliferation were reduced by budesonide. However, apoptotic eosinophils were not detected in any biopsies, irrespective of treatment.
Inhibition of CCL5-dependent recruitment of cells to diseased airway tissue, and reduced cell proliferation, reduced general cell apoptosis, but not increased eosinophil apoptosis, are involved in early phase steroid-induced resolution of human allergic rhinitis.
PMCID: PMC2873933  PMID: 20459697
3.  Effects of a dual CCR3 and H1-antagonist on symptoms and eosinophilic inflammation in allergic rhinitis 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):17.
The CC-chemokine receptor-3 (CCR3) has emerged as a target molecule for pharmacological intervention in allergic inflammation.
To examine whether a dual CCR3 and H1-receptor antagonist (AZD3778) affects allergic inflammation and symptoms in allergic rhinitis.
Patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis were subjected to three seven days' allergen challenge series. Treatment with AZD3778 was given in a placebo and antihistamine-controlled design. Symptoms and nasal peak inspiratory flow (PIF) were monitored in the morning, ten minutes post challenge, and in the evening. Nasal lavages were carried out at the end of each challenge series and α2-macroglobulin, ECP, and tryptase were monitored as indices of allergic inflammation.
Plasma levels of AZD3778 were stable throughout the treatment series. AZD3778 and the antihistamine (loratadine) reduced rhinitis symptoms recorded ten minutes post challenge during this period. AZD3778, but not the anti-histamine, also improved nasal PIF ten minutes post challenge. Furthermore, scores for morning and evening nasal symptoms from the last five days of the allergen challenge series showed statistically significant reductions for AZD3778, but not for loratadine. ECP was reduced by AZD3778, but not by loratadine.
AZD3778 exerts anti-eosinophil and symptom-reducing effects in allergic rhinitis and part of this effect can likely be attributed to CCR3-antagonism. The present data are of interest with regard to the potential use of AZD3778 in allergic rhinitis and to the relative importance of eosinophil actions to the symptomatology of allergic rhinitis.
Trial registration
EudraCT No: 2005-002805-21.
PMCID: PMC2833142  PMID: 20144207
4.  Effects of intranasal TNFα on granulocyte recruitment and activity in healthy subjects and patients with allergic rhinitis 
Respiratory Research  2008;9(1):15.
TNFα may contribute to the pathophysiology of airway inflammation. For example, we have recently shown that nasal administration of TNFα produces late phase co-appearance of granulocyte and plasma exudation markers on the mucosal surface. The objective of the present study was to examine indices of granulocyte presence and activity in response to intranasal TNFα challenge.
Healthy subjects and patients with allergic rhinitis (examined out of season) were subjected to nasal challenge with TNFα (10 μg) in a sham-controlled and crossover design. Nasal lavages were carried out prior to and 24 hours post challenge. Nasal biopsies were obtained post challenge. Nasal lavage fluid levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) were analyzed as indices of neutrophil and eosinophil activity. Moreover, IL-8 and α2-macroglobulin were analyzed as markers of pro-inflammatory cytokine production and plasma exudation. Nasal biopsy numbers of neutrophils and eosinophils were monitored.
Nasal lavage fluid levels of MPO recorded 24 hours post TNFα challenge were increased in healthy subjects (p = 0.0081) and in patients with allergic rhinitis (p = 0.0081) (c.f. sham challenge). Similarly, α2-macroglobulin was increased in healthy subjects (p = 0.014) and in patients with allergic rhinitis (p = 0.0034). Lavage fluid levels of ECP and IL-8 were not affected by TNFα challenge. TNFα increased the numbers of subepithelial neutrophils (p = 0.0021), but not the numbers of eosinophils.
TNFα produces a nasal inflammatory response in humans that is characterised by late phase (i.e., 24 hours post challenge) neutrophil activity and plasma exudation.
PMCID: PMC2253533  PMID: 18234086
5.  Nasal retention of budesonide and fluticasone in man: Formation of airway mucosal budesonide-esters in vivo 
The efficacy of topical glucocorticosteroids in rhinitis and asthma is likely to depend on drug retention in the airway mucosa. With fluticasone propionate, retention may be achieved exclusively by lipophilicity, whereas for budesonide an additional possibility may be provided by its ability to form fatty acid esters in the airway mucosa that release the active drug. The aim of the present study was to determine the nasal mucosal retention of budesonide and fluticasone propionate, and the occurrence of budesonide-esters (budesonide-oleate, budesonide-palmitate) in the nasal mucosa.
In the present study, involving 24 healthy subjects, we have examined nasal mucosal drug retention of single doses of topical budesonide (256 µg) and fluticasone propionate (200 µg). Treatments were given consecutively and the administration sequence was randomised. Subjects were randomised into four parallel groups and two nasal biopsies were taken from each subject, i.e. before and at 2 h, at 2 and 6 h, at 6 and 24 h, or before and at 24 h after drug administration, resulting in 12 biopsies/time point. The measurement of unesterified budesonide, budesonide-oleate, budesonide-palmitate, and fluticasone propionate was based on microwave extraction procedures combined with liquid-chromatography/tandem mass-spectrometry.
Neither of the analytes was detected in samples taken before glucocorticosteroid administration. After administration, unesterified budesonide, budesonide-esters, and fluticasone propionate were detected in the tissue from 23, 20, and 19 subjects, respectively. The mean tissue levels of budesonide at 2 and 6 h were 1051 and 176 pmol g−1; the mean levels of fluticasone propionate at these time points were 237 and 10 pmol g−1. The dose-corrected budesonide/fluticasone propionate tissue concentration ratios were 3.5 (P = 0.07) and 13.7 (P < 0.0002), respectively. At 24 h, budesonide and fluticasone propionate were detected in 8/12 and 3/12 of the biopsies, respectively.
The present study demonstrates the formation of budesonide-esters in the human nasal mucosa in vivo, and that budesonide is retained in the nasal mucosa to a greater extent than fluticasone propionate. It is suggested that the formation of budesonide-esters and their subsequent release of budesonide contributes to an extended retention of budesonide in the airway mucosa.
PMCID: PMC2014447  PMID: 11259988
airway; glucocorticosteroid; human; nasal; rhinitis; treatment

Results 1-5 (5)