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Sunday 01 October 2000

The effect of long-acting beta2-agonists on airway inflammation in asthmatic patients.

By: Howarth PH, Beckett P, Dahl R.

Respir Med 2000 Oct;94 Suppl F:S22-5

Early observations suggested that the inhibition by long-acting beta2-agonists (LABAs) of non-specific bronchial hyperresponsiveness following allergen challenge was unrelated to bronchodilation or functional antagonism and might be a reflection of anti-inflammatory activity. Investigation of the effect of LABAs on airway inflammatory responses has demonstrated an inhibition of eosinophil recruitment in allergen challenge studies. Nevertheless, results from biopsy and other studies suggest that the chronic inflammatory process in asthma patients is unaffected by these drugs. There is no evidence from biopsy studies that LABAs are pro-inflammatory or that they mask existing inflammation. The beneficial effects of LABAs in allergen challenge are probably mediated through stabilization of mast cells. Recent evidence suggests that LABAs may reduce numbers of neutrophils and their associated markers; this observation needs to be confirmed in future studies and its relevance to the treatment of asthma determined.

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