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Original Article


Inhibition of Cytokine-Induced Expression of T-Cell Cytokines by Antihistamines


MS Ashenager,1 T Grgela,1 Y Aragane,2 A Kawada1

1 Department of Dermatology, Kinki University School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan
2 Department of Dermatology, International Tougenkai Institute for Immunotherapy and Phototherapy of the Skin, Osaka, Japan

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2007; Vol. 17(1): 20-26



Objective: To investigate immunomodulatory properties of 4 antihistamines available in Japan.

Method: Isolated peripheral blood T cells from healthy volunteers were preincubated with cetirizine, loratadine, olopatadine, or fexofenadine for 30 minutes and then stimulated with interleukin (IL)-12 or IL-4 to skew immune response towards type 1 or type 2 helper T cells. RNA was extracted 6 hours later and semiquantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed using primers for IL-5 and interferon (IFN) γ. Supernatants were collected 24 hours after stimulation, and cytokine production was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Results: RT-PCR revealed that IL-12–induced expression of IFN-γ was partially suppressed by loratadine and fexofenadine and that all 4 agents tested inhibited IL-4–induced expression of IL-5. ELISA demonstrated that IL-12–induced IFN-γ production was significantly suppressed by cetirizine and fexofenadine and IL-4–induced IL-5 production was downregulated by three agents with the exception of cetirizine. This study demonstrates that antihistamines have varying immunomodulatory properties, suggesting treatment choice for atopic dermatitis can be directed by disease signs and symptoms.

Key words: Atopic dermatitis antihistamines. IL-4. IL-12.