Effects of inhaled budesonide on allergen-induced airway responses and airway inflammation.
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Allergen inhalation by sensitized subjects results in acute bronchoconstriction, which can be followed by a later bronchoconstrictor response, allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness, and increases in airway inflammatory cells. Treatment with inhaled glucocorticosteroids attenuates allergen-induced asthmatic airway responses. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a 1-wk pretreatment with inhaled budesonide influences allergen-induced changes in inflammatory cells in blood and induced sputum. Seven subjects with mild atopic asthma were treated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, crossover fashion with either inhaled budesonide 400 microg/d, or placebo for 7 d. Allergen challenges were carried out the morning after treatment was discontinued and sputum samples were obtained 7 h after allergen inhalation. Methacholine airway responsiveness was measured, and blood and sputum samples were obtained 24 h post-allergen. Budesonide treatment attenuated the magnitude of both the early and the late asthmatic response, reduced allergen-induced methacholine airway hyperresponsiveness, and attenuated allergen-induced increases in total eosinophils and activated eosinophils. These results suggest that the effects of inhaled glucocorticosteroids on allergen-induced airway responses may be mediated through their inhibition of allergen-induced eosinophil migration and activation.