Inhibitory effect of salmeterol on the respiratory burst of adherent human neutrophils

Clin Exp Immunol. 1996 Oct;106(1):97-102. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2249.1996.d01-804.x.


Human neutrophils, plated in fibronectin-coated wells and stimulated with N-formyl-methionylleucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP), were found to undergo a massive and prolonged respiratory burst, as measured by monitoring superoxide production. The beta 2-agonist salmeterol inhibited the respiratory burst in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, salbutamol was ineffective. Moreover, the neutrophil respiratory burst was partially suppressed by prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and the phosphodiesterase type IV (PDE-IV) inhibitor RO 20-1724. When salmeterol was used in combination with PGE2 or RO 20-1724, additive inhibitory effects were observed. The inhibitory activity of salmeterol was not reversed in the presence of the beta-blocker propranolol, and did not correlate with its ability of increasing cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels. Finally, the compounds used did not affect neutrophil adherence to fibronectin-coated wells. The results suggest that salmeterol is capable of down-regulating the neutrophil oxidative response to fMLP, also of co-operating with PGE2 and PDE-IV inhibitor RO 20-1724 in a manner not related to its beta 2-receptor binding activity. In other words, salmeterol displays neutrophil-directed effects, susceptible to be amplified by natural mediators such as PGE2 or PDE-IV inhibitors, consistent with possible anti-inflammatory properties of the drug.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3',5'-Cyclic-AMP Phosphodiesterases*
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Albuterol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Albuterol / pharmacology
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Adhesion / immunology
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 4
  • Dinoprostone / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neutrophils / drug effects*
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / physiology
  • Respiratory Burst / drug effects*
  • Respiratory Burst / immunology
  • Salmeterol Xinafoate


  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • Salmeterol Xinafoate
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases
  • 3',5'-Cyclic-AMP Phosphodiesterases
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 4
  • Dinoprostone
  • Albuterol