Fluticasone propionate downregulates nasal fibroblast functions involved in airway inflammation and remodeling

Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2002 May;128(1):51-8. doi: 10.1159/000058003.


Background: Besides being highly effective in the treatment of allergic and nonallergic rhinitis with eosinophilia, intranasal corticosteroids appear to be useful in reducing nasal polypoid lesions and the likelihood of polyp recurrence after surgery. We evaluated the ability of fluticasone propionate to downregulate fibroblast functions related to nasal inflammation and remodeling.

Methods: Primary nasal polyp tissue-derived fibroblasts were stimulated with tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha or interleukin (IL)-4 or basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in the presence of fluticasone propionate (0.1-100 nM). Fibroblast proliferation, intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1 expression and eotaxin release were then evaluated.

Results: As compared with unstimulated cultures, a significant increase in fibroblast proliferation was observed when the cells were stimulated with bFGF (p < 0.05), but not with TNF-alpha or IL-4 (p > 0.05). TNF-alpha induced an upregulation of ICAM-1 expression (p < 0.05), which was not seen in fibroblasts cultured in the presence of IL-4 or bFGF. No changes in VCAM-1 expression were induced by TNF-alpha, IL-4 or bFGF, whereas both TNF-alpha and IL-4 increased eotaxin release (p < 0.05). Both bFGF-induced fibroblast proliferation and TNF-alpha-induced ICAM-1 expression were significantly reduced by fluticasone, starting at the dose of 1 and 10 nM, respectively (p < 0.05). Fluticasone at concentrations of 1-100 nM effectively inhibited eotaxin release by TNF-alpha- or IL-4-stimulated fibroblasts (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: The pharmacologic activity of fluticasone in patients with chronic upper airway inflammatory disease may include inhibition of resident fibroblast functions involved in airway inflammation and remodeling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Androstadienes / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Chemokine CCL11
  • Chemokines, CC / analysis
  • Chemokines, CC / biosynthesis
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / immunology
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / pharmacology
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / immunology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluticasone
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / analysis
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-4 / immunology
  • Interleukin-4 / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Nasal Polyps / drug therapy
  • Nasal Polyps / immunology*
  • Nasal Polyps / pathology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / analysis
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / biosynthesis


  • Androstadienes
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • CCL11 protein, human
  • Chemokine CCL11
  • Chemokines, CC
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Interleukin-4
  • Fluticasone