Antiallergic drugs and the immune response. Interactions and possible clinical relevance

Allergy. 1989 Jan;44(1):1-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.1989.tb00438.x.


Since the pharmacological treatment of allergic diseases is used in patients with alteration of the immune response due to atopy and possible concomitant infections, we have investigated the possible effects of such drugs as cromolyn, theophylline, ketotifen, oxatomide, astemizole, fenoterol, pirenzepine, and rosaprostol on the in vitro immune response, in order to obtain experimental data and, as a consequence, clinical conclusions. In a series of investigations by our group and other authors the following immunological parameters have been considered: T cell activation induced by different pathways (i.e. autologous stimulation, PHA, anti-CD3, -CD2 and -CD28 monoclonal antibodies), and lymphokine production (i.e. IL-1, IL-2 and gamma-IFN). For a more detailed experimental model the experiments have been performed both in bulk culture and by using T cell clones derived from the peripheral blood. The results show cromolyn to have an enhancing effect, theophylline and ketotifen a suppressing effect, whereas the remainder show no effect on the immune response. These data are considered and discussed from the aspect of their possible clinical relevance and also in light of the in vivo data previously reported.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antibody Formation / drug effects*
  • Hypersensitivity / drug therapy*
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Lymphokines / biosynthesis


  • Lymphokines