Inhaled corticosteroids increase interleukin-10 but reduce macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and interferon-gamma release from alveolar macrophages in asthma

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1998 Jan;157(1):256-62. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.157.1.9703079.


We determined the effect of inhaled corticosteroid, budesonide, on the release of the anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-10 (IL-10), and of pro-inflammatory cytokines, macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha (MIP-1alpha), interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), from blood monocytes and alveolar macrophages of mild asthmatic subjects in a double-blind, cross-over, placebo-controlled study. Budesonide reduced bronchial hyperresponsiveness and improved baseline FEV1. Alveolar macrophages were obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage performed at the end of each treatment phase. IL-10 from blood monocytes was not altered, but both IL-10 mRNA and protein expression from alveolar macrophages stimulated by lipopolysaccharide and IL-1beta were increased after corticosteroid therapy. By contrast, alveolar macrophages released significantly less MIP-1alpha, IFN-gamma, and GM-CSF after steroid treatment. In comparison to alveolar macrophages from normal nonasthmatic volunteers, those from asthmatic patients released more MIP-1alpha, IFN-gamma, and GM-CSF but lower amounts of IL-10 particularly at baseline and after IL-1beta stimulation. The ability of steroids to inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines but to enhance the anti-inflammatory cytokine such as IL-10 may contribute to their beneficial actions in asthma. Asthma is characterized by alveolar macrophages exhibiting both an enhanced capacity to release pro-inflammatory cytokines and a reduced capacity to produce IL-10.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Budesonide / therapeutic use*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chemokine CCL3
  • Chemokine CCL4
  • Female
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / analysis
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / analysis
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-10 / analysis
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism*
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins / analysis
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins / metabolism*
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / drug effects*
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / metabolism*
  • Male


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Chemokine CCL3
  • Chemokine CCL4
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins
  • Interleukin-10
  • Budesonide
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor