The effect of salmeterol on markers of airway inflammation following segmental allergen challenge

William J. Calhoun, Kimberley L. Hinton, Jennifer J. Kratzenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Inflammation is a critical component of asthma. Drugs that control asthma generally reduce the degree of airway inflammation. There is theoretical controversy surrounding the effects of β2-agonists on airway inflammation, with some studies suggesting an anti-inflammatory effect, and others predicting a proinflammatory influence. We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study of the effect of the long-acting β2-agonist salmeterol on airway inflammation induced by segmental allergen challenge (SAC). We studied 13 allergic asthmatics controlled with as needed inhaled short-acting β2-agonists alone, and used bronchoalveolar lavage 5 min and 48 h after SAC to assess airway inflammation, and the effects of salmeterol on this process. Salmeterol therapy improved FEV1, but had no significant effect on the immediate or late cellular response to SAC. One measure of superoxide production was reduced, and interleukin-4 (IL-4) was reduced in baseline samples, but other indices of airway inflammation were unchanged by salmeterol therapy. We conclude that salmeterol therapy alone does not meaningfully reduce airway inflammation induced by SAC, but equally importantly, does not result in amplified inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)881-886
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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