Antisense Therapy against CCR3 and the Common Beta Chain Attenuates Allergen-induced Eosinophilic Responses
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RATIONALE: The drug product TPI ASM8 contains two modified phosphorothioate antisense oligonucleotides designed to inhibit allergic inflammation by down-regulating human CCR3 and the common beta chain (beta(c)) of IL-3, IL-5, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptors. OBJECTIVES: This study examined the effects of inhaled TPI ASM8 on sputum cellular influx, CCR3 and beta(c) mRNA and protein levels, and the airway physiologic response after inhaled allergen. METHODS: Seventeen subjects with mild atopic asthma were randomized in a crossover study to inhale 1,500 microg TPI ASM8 or placebo by nebulizer, once daily for 4 days. On Day 3, subjects underwent allergen inhalation challenge. Sputum samples were collected before and after allergen. CCR3 and beta(c) protein levels were measured by flow cytometry, mRNA was measured using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and the FEV1 was measured over 7 hours after challenge. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Compared with placebo, TPI ASM8 inhibited sputum eosinophil influx by 46% (P = 0.02) and blunted the increase in total cells (63%) after allergen challenge. TPI ASM8 significantly reduced the early asthmatic response (P = 0.04) with a trend for the late asthmatic response (P = 0.08). The allergen-induced (Day 2 to Day 3) levels of beta(c) mRNA and CCR3 mRNA in sputum-derived cells were inhibited by TPI ASM8 (P = 0.039 and P = 0.054, respectively), with no significant effects on the cell surface protein expression of CCR3 and beta(c) (P > 0.05). No serious adverse events were reported. CONCLUSIONS: TPI ASM8 attenuates the allergen-induced increase in target gene mRNA and airway responses in subjects with mild asthma. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 00264966).
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