Background: Several topical corticosteroids are available as anti-inflammatory treatment for asthma. Their comparative effects on allergic inflammation and airway remodeling are unclear.
Objective: We compared the effects of ciclesonide with those of fluticasone propionate in a Brown Norway rat model of chronic allergic asthma.
Methods: Rats sensitized and exposed to ovalbumin (OVA) were treated with dry powder vehicle, ciclesonide, or fluticasone (0.01, 0.03, and 0.1 mg/kg administered intratracheally) 24 hours and 1 hour before each of 6 OVA exposures. In a second protocol we administered 0.1 mg/kg ciclesonide or fluticasone only after the third OVA exposure.
Results: Ciclesonide at all doses inhibited the allergen-induced increase in airway eosinophils and T cells, reduced goblet cell hyperplasia, and decreased 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine-immunoreactive airway smooth muscle (ASM) and epithelial cells. At 0.03 and 0.1 mg/kg ciclesonide, bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) was also inhibited. Fluticasone did not attenuate allergen-induced BHR, despite inhibiting airway eosinophils and T cells, goblet cell hyperplasia, and 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine-immunoreactive ASM and epithelial cells. Fluticasone (0.1 mg/kg) caused a significant reduction in body weight (9%) compared with ciclesonide (0.1 mg/kg). Ciclesonide did not change plasma corticosterone levels, whereas fluticasone (0.1 mg/kg) reduced them. In the second protocol both fluticasone and ciclesonide inhibited BHR, bronchial inflammation, goblet cell hyperplasia, and ASM proliferation.
Conclusion: Ciclesonide potently inhibited chronic allergic inflammation, remodeling, and BHR without having an effect on body weight and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Fluticasone prevented airway inflammation but not BHR, but both fluticasone and ciclesonide are effective at reversal of BHR, inflammation, and remodeling features.