Clarithromycin and prednisolone inhibit cytokine production in chronic rhinosinusitis.
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Objectives: Long-term, low-dose macrolide therapy is effective in the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis. The mechanism of its anti-inflammatory effect and how this differs from corticosteroids remains unclear. The effect of clarithromycin and prednisolone on interleukin-5, interleukin-8, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor production by cultured chronic sinusitis nasal mucosa was examined in the study. Study Design and Methods: Nasal mucosa was obtained from 11 patients with chronic sinusitis. This tissue was cultured for 24 hours in the presence of clarithromycin or prednisolone at a variety of concentrations. Cytokine levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunoassay. Results: Clarithromycin and prednisolone each produced significant reductions in interleukin-5, interleukin-8, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor production. There was no significant difference between the effects of clarithromycin and prednisolone. Conclusion: Macrolide antibiotics are capable of inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokine production in vitro and are as potent as prednisolone. This mechanism is likely to be at least partly responsible for the clinical efficacy of macrolide antibiotics in chronic rhinosinusitis.
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