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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2002 May;49(5):745-55.

Clarithromycin suppresses lipopolysaccharide-induced interleukin-8 production by human monocytes through AP-1 and NF-kappa B transcription factors.

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Department of Respiratory Oncology and Molecular Medicine, Division of Cancer Control, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, 4-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575, Japan.


Erythromycin and other macrolides are effective for the treatment of chronic inflammatory airway diseases such as diffuse panbronchiolitis (DPB) and chronic sinusitis. The effect of macrolides in DPB is suggested to be anti-inflammatory rather than antibacterial. We investigated the effects of clarithromycin on interleukin-8 (IL-8) production using human peripheral monocytes and the human monocytic leukaemia cell line, THP-1. Bacterial extracts from Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Helicobacter pylori, as well as E. coli-derived lipopolysaccharide (LPS), induced IL-8 production. Clarithromycin suppressed this production in a dose-dependent manner in both monocytes and THP-1 cells (49.3-75.0% inhibition at 10 mg/L). A luciferase reporter gene assay with plasmids containing a serially deleted IL-8 promoter fragment showed that both the activator protein-1 (AP-1) and/or the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kapp aB) binding sequences were responsible for the LPS and clarithromycin responsiveness of the IL-8 promoter. Consistently, in an electromobility shift assay, LPS increased the specific binding of both AP-1 and NF-kappaB, whereas clarithromycin suppressed it. Moreover, LPS and clarithromycin regulated three other promoters that have either the NF-kappa B or the AP-1 binding sequences: two synthetic (pAP-1-Luc and pNF-kappa B-Luc) and one naturally occurring (ELAM-Luc). Our results indicate that clarithromycin modified inflammation by sup-pressing IL-8 production and that clarithromycin may affect the expression of other genes through AP-1 and NF-kappa B. In addition to treatment of airway diseases, the anti-inflammatory effect of macrolides may be beneficial for the treatment of other inflammatory diseases such as chronic gastritis caused by H. pylori.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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