Effect of clarithromycin on cytokines and chemokines in children with an acute exacerbation of recurrent wheezing: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
Author(s): Fonseca-Aten M, Okada PJ, Bowlware KL, Chavez-Bueno S, Mejias A, Rios AM, Katz K, Olsen K, Ng S, Jafri HS, McCracken GH, Ramilo O, Hardy RD
Affiliation(s): Departments of Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390-9063, USA.
Publication date & source: 2006-10, Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol., 97(4):457-63.
BACKGROUND: Clarithromycin is postulated to possess immunomodulatory properties in addition to its antimicrobial activity. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of clarithromycin on serum and nasopharyngeal cytokine and chemokine concentrations in children with an acute exacerbation of recurrent wheezing. METHODS: Children with a history of recurrent wheezing or asthma and who presented with an acute exacerbation of wheezing were enrolled in a double-blind, randomized trial of clarithromycin vs placebo. Concentrations of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, RANTES, eotaxin, macrophage inflammatory protein 1alpha, macrophage inflammatory protein 1beta, and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 were measured in serum and/or nasopharyngeal aspirates before, during, and after therapy. Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydophila pneumoniae infection were evaluated for by polymerase chain reaction and serologic testing. RESULTS: Nasopharyngeal concentrations of TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-10 were significantly and persistently lower in children treated with clarithromycin compared with placebo. There tended to be a greater effect of clarithromycin on nasopharyngeal cytokine concentrations in patients with evidence of M. pneumoniae or C. pneumoniae infection. No significant differences were detected in serum cytokines for children treated with clarithromycin compared with placebo. CONCLUSION: Clarithromycin therapy reduces mucosal TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-10 concentrations in children with an acute exacerbation of recurrent wheezing.