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Keywords:

  • adhesion;
  • allergy;
  • antihistamine;
  • asthma;
  • endothelium;
  • eosinophil;
  • glucocorticosteroid;
  • H1 receptor;
  • histamine;
  • PCA

Summary

Background Tecastemizole, a major metabolite of astemizole, is a potent and selective H1 receptor antagonist. Evidence suggests that this and certain other H1 receptor antagonists may possess anti-inflammatory effects that are, in some cases, independent of H1 receptor antagonism.

Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of tectastemizole in models of allergic inflammation.

Methods Effects of tecastemizole were assessed in a murine model of allergic lung inflammation, in passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA) responses in guinea-pig skin and in in vitro assays measuring endothelial adhesion molecule expression and leucocyte–endothelial adhesion.

Results Tecastemizole inhibited antigen-induced eosinophil recruitment to the lungs of allergic mice in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, combination of a sub-effective dose of tecastemizole, combined with a sub-effective dose of dexamethasone inhibited eosinophil accumulation in this model. Plasma extravasation in PCA reactions was inhibited by tecastemizole, although by a mechanism that would appear to be H1 receptor-dependent. Cytokine-induced endothelial intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 expression, as well as mononuclear cell adhesion to human umbilical vein endothelial cells was inhibited by tecastemazole in a manner independent of H1 receptor antagonism.

Conclusion These data suggest that tecastemizole may have H1 receptor-independent effects in inhibiting late-phase inflammatory responses, while acute responses appear to be inhibited in a H1 receptor-dependent manner. Furthermore, our data suggest an important potential steroid-sparing role for such drugs in the treatment of allergic inflammatory conditions.