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Volume 39, Number 3, June 2006

Influence of cetirizine and loratadine on granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-8 release in A549 human airway epithelial cells stimulated with interleukin-1beta

Kuo-Chu Cheng, Jeng-Yuan Hsu, Lin-Shien Fu, Wen-Chi Chang, Jao-Jia Chu, Chin-Shiang Ch
Department of Pediatrics and Division of Chest Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung; School of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung; and nstitute of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

Received: February 18, 2005    Revised: October 11, 2005    Accepted: October 26, 2005   


Corresponding author:

Lin-Shien Fu, Department of Pediatrics, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, No.160, Sec.3, Chung-Kang Rd., Taichung 407, Taiwan. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



Background and purpose: 

In addition to being antagonists of histamine receptors, some antihistamines modulate the pathogenesis of allergic inflammation by reducing mediator release, adhesion molecule expression and, consequently, recruitment of inflammatory cells. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of 2 second-generation antihistamines, cetirizine and loratadine, on granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and interleukin-8 (IL-8) secretions in human airway epithelial cells.



A549 cells were pre-incubated with cetirizine (1, 5, 10 μM) or loratadine (1 μM) individually for 16 h followed by stimulation with IL-1beta for 8 h. The levels of GM-CSF and IL-8 were measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay.




Cetirizine (10 μM) and loratadine significantly reduced the release of GM-CSF, by 37% and 40%, respectively (p<0.05). Cetirizine (5, 10 &μM) inhibited the production of IL-8 by 19% (p<0.05). However, cetirizine (1 μM) and loratadine (1 μM) did not appreciably inhibit IL-8 release.




These observations indicate that these 2 second-generation antihistamines inhibit the release of GM-CSF and IL-8 beyond their antagonistic histamine H1 receptor activity and may thus exert clinically relevant anti-inflammatory effects in inflammatory airway disorders.



Key words:

Cell line, cetirizine, granulocyte-monocyte colony-stimulating factor, interleukin-8, loratadine



J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2006;39:206-211.