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Clinical & Experimental Allergy

Inhibition of airways inflammation by dexamethasone is followed by reduced bronchial hyperreactivity in BP2 mice


Professor B. Boris Vargaftig, Unité de Pharmacologie Cellulaire, Unité Associée Institut Pasteur-INSERM 285, 25 Ruc du Dr Roux, 75015 Paris, France.


Background Infiltration of inflammatory cells in the airways is a constant characteristic of asthma and is considered to result in bronchial hyperreactivity (BHR). We have recently developed a tnodel of BHR using a selection of mice, named BP2, which display eosinophil-dependent BHR following antigen challenges. An anti-IL-5 antibody suppressed antigen-induced eosinophil recruitment to the airways and BHR in BP2 mice.

Objective To investigate the implication of infiltrated inllammatory cells in the induction of BHR in mice.

Methods The effects of glucocorticosteroid dexamethasone on airways eosinophilia and BHR were observed.

Results Administration of dexamethasone at the dose of 1.25 mg/kg i.p. 1 h before each of four antigen provocations suppressed the airways eosinophilia and BHR in response to intravenous 5-HT and to aerosolized rnethacholine, as well as IL-5 production in the BALF and in the serum. By contrast, dexamethasone failed to reduce anaphylactic bronchoconstriction.

Conclusions These results suggest that dexamethasone exerts its inhibitory effects on antigen-induced airways eosinophilia in mice by inhibiting IL-5 production, but that it does not block the liberation of anaphyiactic mediators in tnice.

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