Glucocorticoids inhibit granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor-1 and interleukin-5 enhanced in vitro survival of human eosinophils

Immunology. 1992 Feb;75(2):382-5.


The effects of three corticosteroids, hydrocortisone, dexamethasone and methylprednisolone, on eosinophil survival enhanced by recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (rhGM-CSF) and recombinant murine interleukin-5 (rmIL-5) have been studied. Eosinophils were incubated at a concentration of 5 x 10(5) cells/ml in the presence of different concentrations of the three steroids with either rhGM-CSF (1 ng/ml) or rmIL-5 (50 U/ml). The eosinophils were cultured in the presence of the same concentrations of rhGM-CSF and rmIL-5 alone as a positive control and medium alone as a negative control. Viability was assessed after 7 days by trypan blue exclusion. All three steroids inhibited rhGM-CSF-enhanced eosinophil survival in a dose-dependent manner; the dose of these drugs producing 50% inhibition (IC50) was greater than 1.0 x 10(-4) M, 6.5 x 10(-6) M and 1.8 x 10(-6) M for hydrocortisone, dexamethasone and methylprednisolone, respectively. When eosinophils were cultured with the same concentration of rhGM-CSF in the presence of two non-glucocorticoids, beta-oestradiol and testosterone, neither of these steroids inhibited eosinophil survival over the concentration range 1 x 10(-10) M to 1 x 10(-4) M (n = 5). Dexamethasone and methylprednisolone, but not hydrocortisone, also inhibited eosinophil survival induced by rmIL-5 in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest one mechanism for the efficacy of corticosteroids against eosinophil-related disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Eosinophils / drug effects*
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology*
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-5 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Methylprednisolone / pharmacology
  • Recombinant Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Interleukin-5
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Dexamethasone
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Methylprednisolone