Effect of clarithromycin on nuclear factor-KB and transforming growth factor-B in chronic rhinosinusitis
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Objectives: Long-term, low-dose macrolide therapy is effective in the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis. It is believed that macrolide antibiotics produce this benefit through an anti-inflammatory effect. In this study, the effect of clarithromycin treatment on the expression of transforming growth factor (TGF)- and the key pro-inflammatory nuclear transcription factor, NF-B, was examined in vitro and in vivo. Study Design and Methods: In vitro: nasal mucosa was obtained from 10 patients with chronic sinusitis and was cultured for 24 hours in the presence of clarithromycin or control. Cellular expression of TGF- and NF-B was determined by immunohistochemistry. In vivo: 10 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis were treated for 3 months with clarithromycin. Nasal mucosal biopsies were taken pre- and posttreatment. Cellular expression of TGF- and NF-B was again determined by immunohistochemistry. Results: Clarithromycin, when applied to nasal biopsies in vitro, reduced cellular expression of TGF- and NF-B. Nasal biopsies taken before and after clarithromycin treatment showed no differences in cellular expression of NF-B or TGF-. Conclusion: Clarithromycin can reduce cellular expression of TGF- and NF-B when applied in vitro, but its action during clinical therapy is less clear. Clarithromycin is capable of inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokines in vitro, and reductions of TGF- and NF-B may represent additional mechanisms by which macrolides reduce inflammation in chronic airway disease. Discrepancies between the actions of clarithromycin on nasal biopsies in vitro and after clinical therapy warrant further investigation.
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