Low-Dose Clarithromycin Therapy Modulates Th17 Response In Non-Cystic Fibrosis Bronchiectasis Patients.

28. 07. 2014

Fouka E1, Lamprianidou E, Arvanitidis K, Filidou E, Kolios G, Miltiades P, Paraskakis E, Antoniadis A, Kotsianidis I, Bouros D.
Lung. 2014 Jul 14.


Th17 cells play a crucial role in neutrophilic inflammation and tissue injury in non-cystic fibrosis (non-CF) bronchiectasis. Clarithromycin demonstrates anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties but the effect of long-term clarithromycin prophylaxis on the Th17 response in non-CF bronchiectasis is still unexplored.

Th17 response was studied in 22 patients with stable non-CF bronchiectasis receiving daily 500-mg clarithromycin for 12 weeks. We analysed IL-17 concentrations in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) and peripheral blood Th17 cells, whereas functional parameters and clinical data were recorded in parallel.

Both, post-treatment absolute counts of CD4+IL17+ cells in peripheral blood and IL-17 levels in EBC decreased significantly (post-treatment CD4+IL17+ mean 2.418 ± 0.414 cells/μl versus pre-treatment 3.202 ± 0.507 cells/μl, p = 0.036 and post-treatment IL-17 mean levels 7.16 ± 0.47 pg/ml versus pre-treatment 9.32 ± 0.47 pg/ml, p < 0.001, respectively). Post-treatment EBC IL-17 levels decreased significantly in both patients who exhibited exacerbations and those who remained stable during the study period (mean 6.72 ± 0.37 versus 9.12 ± 0.64 pg/ml, p = 0.01 and 7.69 ± 0.9 versus 9.53 ± 0.72 pg/ml, p = 0.042, respectively), while pre-treatment and post-treatment levels did not differ between the two groups (p = 0.665 and p = 0.465, respectively). PaO2 improved significantly (post-treatment mean 77.73 ± 2.23 mmHg versus pre-treatment 73.18 ± 2.22 mmHg, p = 0.025), while PaCO2, post-bronchodilation FEV1, and post-bronchodilation FVC remained unaltered.

Our results argue for a reduction of both systemic and local Th17 response after prophylactic, low-dose clarithromycin administration in patients with non-CF bronchiectasis, suggestive of a potential anti-inflammatory and/or immunomodulatory action.

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