Immunosuppressive effects of azelastine hydrochloride on contact hypersensitivity and T-cell proliferative response: A comparative study with FK-506

Masutaka Furue, Atsushi Osada, Chung Hsing Chang, Kunihiko Tamaki

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Azelastine hydrochloride (AZE) is an anti-allergic drag that inhibits the release of various chemical mediators from mast cells. We compared the immunosuppressive effects of AZE and FK-506 in vivo and in vitro. Topical application of AZE strongly inhibited the efferent phase of contact hypersensitivity, as did application of FK-506. In in vitro experiments, we found that 1) the suppression by AZE on interleukin (IL)-2 production from splenic T cells was partial and considerably large amounts of IL-2 were still produced, even in the presence of 10 -5 M of AZE, which was in sharp contrast to the observed marked inhibition of [ 3 H]-TdR incorporation; 2) AZE significantly inhibited the phorbol myristate acetate-induced IL-2 responsiveness; 3) AZE did not inhibit the IL-2 receptor α expression of activated T cells; and 4) the significant inhibitory action was still observed even when AZE was added at 48 h after the initiation of culture. In regard to FK-506, we found that 1) FK-506 completely blocked the production of IL-2; 2) exogeneous IL-2 consistently restored the FK-506 - induced inhibition; 3) FK-506 affected the phorbol myristate acetate-induced IL-2 responsiveness very little, if any; and 4) the significant suppression was observed only when FK-506 was added within 24 h after the initiation of culture. Thus, AZE exerts its in vitro immunosuppressive activity preferentially by interfering with the IL-2 responsiveness, with partial inhibition of IL-2 production. Conversely, FK-506 acts as a strong inhibitor of IL-2 production without a prominent effect on IL-2 responsiveness. The immunosuppressive activity of AZE shown in vitro may also be operative in vivo and may be applicable for topical use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1994
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology

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