Background: Moxifloxacin is a synthetic antibacterial agent belonging to the fluoroquinolone family. The antimicrobial activity of quinolones against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria is based on their ability to inhibit topoisomerases. Quinolones are described to have immunomodulatory features in addition to their antimicrobial activities. It was the goal of this study to examine whether a short term treatment with moxifloxacin modulates the inflammation during a subsequently induced bacterial infection in an animal model.
Methods: Mice were treated with moxifloxacin or saline for two consecutive days and were subsequently intranasally infected with viable or heat-inactivated bacterial pathogens (Streptococcus pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa) for 6 and 24 hours. Measurements of cytokines in the lungs and plasma were performed. Alveolar cells were determined in bronchoalveolar lavage fluits.
Results: The inflammation was increased after the inoculation of viable bacteria compared to inactivated bacteria. Numbers of total immune cells and neutrophils and concentrations of inflammatory mediators (e.g. KC, IL-1β, IL-17A) were significantly reduced in lungs of moxifloxacin-treated mice infected with inactivated and viable bacterial pathogens as compared to infected control mice. Plasma concentrations of inflammatory mediators were significantly reduced in moxifloxacin-treated mice. Immunohistochemistry showed a stronger infiltrate of TNF-α-expressing cells into lungs of saline-treated mice infected with viable P. aeruginosa as compared to moxifloxacin-treated mice.
Conclusions: These data show that in this pneumonia model moxifloxacin has anti-inflammatory properties beyond its antibacterial activity.