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Synergistic effects of fluticasone propionate and salmeterol on inhibiting rhinovirus-induced epithelial production of remodelling-associated growth factors

Authors


Correspondence:
N. G. Papadopoulos, Research Laboratories, Feidippidou 41, 115 27 Athens, Greece.
E-mail: ngp@allergy.gr

Summary

Background Rhinoviruses (RV), the major trigger of acute asthma exacerbations, are able to infect bronchial epithelium and induce production of pro-inflammatory, but also angiogenic and pro-fibrotic mediators. Fluticasone propionate (FP) and salmeterol (S) are clinically effective and act synergistically in controlling persistent asthma; however, their effect on virus-associated asthma is less clear.

Aim The aim of this study was to assess the individual and combined effects of FP and S on RV-induced epithelial production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2).

Methods Bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) were exposed in vitro to RV and were subsequently treated with FP and S, at physiologically relevant concentrations, alone or in combination. VEGF and FGF-2 were measured in the supernatants of these cultures using ELISA.

Results FP was able to reduce RV-induced VEGF production in a dose-dependent manner. S also induced a smaller reduction; addition of both factors inhibited VEGF synergistically. FGF-2 production was not inhibited by either FP or S alone, but was significantly reduced when both substances were present in the culture.

Conclusion This study demonstrates that FP and S may synergistically inhibit the production of angiogenic and/or pro-fibrotic factors that are induced after RV infection of BEAS-2B and are implicated in airway remodelling, suggesting that this combination may represent an important therapeutic option on virus-induced asthma.

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