Background Dendritic cells (DCs) play an important role in the immune response and are critically involved in asthma. β2-agonists could potentially exacerbate type 2 T helper (Th2) cell-mediated immune response.
Objectives To determine the effects of various anti-asthmatic agents on DCs function both in vitro and in vivo.
Methods Murine bone marrow-derived DCs were pulsed with mite allergen in the presence of pranlukast, salbutamol, salmeterol or fluticasone. These DCs were then inoculated intranasally into naïve mice to induce allergic airway inflammation in vivo.
Results Pranlukast reduced IL-10 and increased IL-12, while fluticasone reduced both IL-10 and IL-12 production by mite allergen-pulsed DCs. Allergic airway inflammation in pranlukast- and fluticasone-treated and mite allergen pulsed DCs-harbouring mice was attenuated and such response was associated with inhibition of Th2 response in the airway. Salbutamol did not alter cytokine production, while salmeterol reduced IL-12 production by mite allergen-pulsed DCs. Lung pathology in β2-agonist-harbouring mice was comparable with those of mite allergen-pulsed DCs-harbouring mice.
Conclusions Our results indicate that leukotriene receptor antagonists and corticosteroids inhibit DCs-induced Th2 skewed immune response, and that short- and long-acting β2-agonists do not modify DCs-induced allergic airway inflammation.