Effects of omalizumab and budesonide on markers of inflammation in human bronchial epithelial cells

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2005 Nov;95(5):443-51. doi: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)61170-2.


Background: Many patients with asthma have an IgE-mediated allergic component to the disease. Omalizumab, a monoclonal anti-IgE antibody, has demonstrated clinical efficacy in patients with allergic asthma. The effects of omalizumab on inflammation in asthma are not completely understood.

Objectives: To evaluate the effects of omalizumab on allergen- and growth factor-stimulated proinflammatory cytokine and nitric oxide (NO) production in human bronchial epithelial cells (BECs) and to compare them to the effects of budesonide, a corticosteroid with known anti-inflammatory properties.

Methods: Human BECs were stimulated in duplicate with interleukin 1beta (IL-1beta), 100 U/mL; ragweed, 10 microg/mL; dust mite, 1000 AU; and epithelial growth factor, 40 ng/mL; and either 10(-7) M budesonide or 0.1 microg/mL of omalizumab in a 4% dust mite atopic serum medium for 6 and 24 hours in 5% carbon dioxide at 37 degrees C. Tumor necrosis factor alpha and transforming growth factor betaexpression and production and IL-4, IL-13, and NO production were assayed using gene-specific messenger RNA or sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.

Results: Omalizumab inhibited the expression and of production proinflammatory cytokines and growth factor in antigen-stimulated BECs at 6 and 24 hours. Production of NO was inhibited at 6 hours and increased at 24 hours by omalizumab and budesonide.

Conclusions: The effects of omalizumab were similar to those of budesonide. These results, consistent with previously reported evidence of anti-inflammatory effects of omalizumab, demonstrate that omalizumab may reduce airway inflammation and probably contributes to decreased airway remodeling in patients with asthma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Bronchi / cytology
  • Bronchi / drug effects
  • Bronchi / immunology*
  • Bronchodilator Agents / pharmacology
  • Budesonide / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Nitric Oxide / biosynthesis
  • Omalizumab


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Biomarkers
  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Omalizumab
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Budesonide