, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 437-444

The Combined Effects of Zafirlukast, Prednisone, and Inhaled Budesonide on IL-13 and IFN-γ Secretion

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Therapy for asthma often includes the combined use of glucocorticoids and leukotriene receptor antagonists. The short-term, combined effects of these drugs on cytokine secretion and lymphocyte proliferation are ill-defined. The aim of this study was to analyze allergen and mitogen-induced cytokine secretion and lymphocyte proliferation in asthmatics and to determine the effect of combined therapy on these immune responses. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from mild, persistent adult asthmatics (n = 28) and analyzed for cat allergen (Fel d 1) and mitogen (phytohemagglutinin) induced IL-13 and IFN-γ secretion and lymphocyte proliferation. Samples were analyzed before and after 10 days of therapy with oral zafirlukast, prednisone (0.5 mg/kg/day), and inhaled budesonide (1600 mcg/day). Both Fel d 1 and mitogen stimulation resulted in IL-13 and IFN-γ secretion. Combination drug therapy resulted in a significant decrease in allergen-induced IFN-γ secretion (p = 0.018) and allergen-specific lymphocyte proliferation (p = 0.02), while IL-13 secretion was unchanged (p = 0.109). This study indicates a role for Th1 cytokines as well as Th2 cytokines in the allergic response.