Ivacaftor Alters Macrophage and Lymphocyte Infiltration in the Lungs Following Lipopolysaccharide Exposure

ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci. 2022 Jun 10;5(6):419-428. doi: 10.1021/acsptsci.2c00007.


Background and purpose: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is associated with a myriad of respiratory complications including increased susceptibility to lung infections and inflammation. Progressive inflammatory insults lead to airway damage and remodeling, resulting in compromised lung function. Treatment with ivacaftor significantly improves respiratory function and reduces the incidence of pulmonary exacerbations; however, its effect on lung inflammation is yet to be fully elucidated. Experimental approach: This study investigates the effects of ivacaftor on lung inflammation in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure mouse model (C57BL/6). All groups received intratracheal (IT) administration of LPS (10 μg). Prophylactic treatment involved intraperitoneal injections of ivacaftor (40 mg/kg) once a day beginning 4 days prior to LPS challenge. The therapeutic group received a single intraperitoneal ivacaftor injection (40 mg/kg) directly after LPS. Mice were culled either 24 or 72 h after LPS challenge, and serum, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and lung tissue samples were collected. The degree of inflammation was assessed through cell infiltration, cytokine expression, and histological analysis. Key results: Ivacaftor did not decrease the total number of immune cells within the BALF; however, prophylactic treatment did significantly reduce macrophage and lymphocyte infiltration. Prophylactic treatment exhibited a significant negative correlation between the immune cell number and ivacaftor concentrations in BALF; however, no significant changes in the cytokine expression or histological parameters were determined. Conclusions and implications: Ivacaftor possesses some inherent immunomodulatory effects within the lungs following LPS inoculation; however, further analysis of larger sample sizes is required to confirm the results.