Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by reduced sensitivity of cells to the anti-inflammatory effects of glucocorticoids (GCs). Azithromycin and a low dose theophylline have a significant impact on molecular mechanisms leading to corticosteroid resistance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of azithromycin and theophylline to enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of GCs on the production of cytokines by NK and NKT-like blood cells of COPD patients. Whole blood cells from COPD patients (n=21) were incubated in the presence of budesonide (10 nM), azithromycin (10 μg/mL), theophylline (1 μM), or their combinations and stimulated with phorbol myristate acetate (50 ng/mL). Intracellular production of proinflammatory cytokines in NK (CD3-CD56+) and NKT-like (CD3+CD56+) blood cells was analyzed by flow cytometry. Budesonide reduced synthesis of interleukin 4 (IL-4), CXCL8, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) by NK and NKT-like cells, as well as production of interferon γ (IFNγ) by NK cells. Azithromycin suppressed production of IL-4 and CXCL8 by NK and NKT-like cells, and theophylline inhibited IL-4 synthesis by these lymphocytes. The combination of azithromycin and budesonide had a more pronounced inhibitory effect on the production of IL-4 and CXCL8 by NK and NKT-like cells than the effect of these drugs alone. The combination of theophylline and budesonide suppressed synthesis of IL-4 and CXCL8 by NK and NKT-like cells, as well as the production of TNFα and IFNγ by NK cells stronger than budesonide alone. The obtained results demonstrate the benefits for the combined use of GCs with theophylline at a low dose or azithromycin to suppress the inflammatory process in patients with COPD.
Kadushkin A.G. et al. The effect of glucocorticoids in combination with azithromycin or theophylline on cytokine production by NK and NKT-like blood cells of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease // Biomeditsinskaya khimiya. - 2021. - V. 67. -N 4. - P. 352-359.
Kadushkin A.G. et al., "The effect of glucocorticoids in combination with azithromycin or theophylline on cytokine production by NK and NKT-like blood cells of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease." Biomeditsinskaya khimiya 67.4 (2021): 352-359.
Kadushkin, A. G., Tahanovich, A. D., Movchan, L. V., Kolesnikova, T. S., Khadasouskaya, A. V., Shman, T. V. (2021). The effect of glucocorticoids in combination with azithromycin or theophylline on cytokine production by NK and NKT-like blood cells of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Biomeditsinskaya khimiya, 67(4), 352-359.
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