Changes in blood ROS, e-NO, and some pro-inflammatory mediators in bronchial secretions following erdosteine or placebo: a controlled study in current smokers with mild COPD

Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2008;21(2):304-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pupt.2007.07.004. Epub 2007 Aug 14.


Anti-oxidant interventions consist in reduction of direct oxidant damage by removing oxidant agents and/or by supplementing reducing agents with anti-oxidant effects.

Aim: Aim of the present study was to investigate the anti-oxidant effects of erdosteine, a recent drug currently used in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for its rheological activity. At present, no data are available on current smokers with COPD to our knowledge.

Methods: Two groups of 10 persons matched for sex; age (65.0 yr+/-8.4 S.D. and 65.3 yr+/-6.5 S.D.); basal FEV1 (88.7% pred +/-6.8 S.D. and 85.2% pred +/-5.8 S.D.); and cigarette consumption (25.4 pack/yr+/-3.5 S.D. and 28.1 pack/yr+/-2.3 S.D.) entered a controlled, double blind, parallel groups study. They were randomized to receive erdosteine 600 mg daily or placebo for 10 days. IL-6; IL-8; TNFalpha were measured in bronchial secretions in bsln, after 4, 7, and 10 days of Erdosteine or placebo; e-NO and both ROS and 8-Isoprostane in blood were also measured at the same experimental times.

Statistics: ANOVA: a t-test with Bonferroni correction; p<0.05 was accepted.

Results: Blood ROS and IL-8 in bronchial secretions dropped significantly following erdosteine starting from day 4 (both p<0.01), while 8-isoprostane drop was significant only after day 10 (p<0.02), and the e-NO decrease proved evident but not significant. No significant changes were observed in the placebo group.

Conclusions: Erdosteine affects substantially some pro-inflammatory cytokines specifically involved in oxidative stress in current smokers with mild COPD. Effects appeared differently time-dependent. Further long-term studies are needed to confirm these pilot data and to assess their long-term clinical relevance.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Breath Tests
  • Bronchi / drug effects*
  • Bronchi / metabolism
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Dinoprost / analogs & derivatives
  • Dinoprost / blood
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-8 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitric Oxide / blood*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / metabolism*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / blood*
  • Smoking / metabolism*
  • Thioglycolates / pharmacology*
  • Thioglycolates / therapeutic use
  • Thiophenes / pharmacology*
  • Thiophenes / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-8
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Thioglycolates
  • Thiophenes
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • 8-epi-prostaglandin F2alpha
  • Nitric Oxide
  • erdosteine
  • Dinoprost