Potential mechanisms to explain how LABAs and PDE4 inhibitors enhance the clinical efficacy of glucocorticoids in inflammatory lung diseases.

Inhaled glucocorticoids acting via the glucocorticoid receptor are a mainstay treatment option for individuals with asthma. There is a consensus that the remedial actions of inhaled glucocorticoids are due to their ability to suppress inflammation by modulating gene expression. While inhaled glucocorticoids are generally effective in asthma, there are subjects with moderate-to-severe disease in whom inhaled glucocorticoids fail to provide adequate control. For these individuals, asthma guidelines recommend that a long-acting β2-adrenoceptor agonist (LABA) be administered concurrently with an inhaled glucocorticoid. This so-called "combination therapy" is often effective and clinically superior to the inhaled glucocorticoid alone, irrespective of dose. LABAs, and another class of drug known as phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitors, may also enhance the efficacy of inhaled glucocorticoids in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In both conditions, these drugs are believed to work by elevating the concentration of cyclic adenosine-3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) in target cells and tissues. Despite the success of inhaled glucocorticoid/LABA combination therapy, it remains unclear how an increase in cAMP enhances the clinical efficacy of an inhaled glucocorticoid. In this report, we provide a state-of-the-art appraisal, including unresolved and controversial issues, of how cAMP-elevating drugs and inhaled glucocorticoids interact at a molecular level to deliver enhanced anti-inflammatory benefit over inhaled glucocorticoid monotherapy. We also speculate on ways to further exploit this desirable interaction. Critical discussion of how these two drug classes regulate gene transcription, often in a synergistic manner, is a particular focus. Indeed, because interplay between glucocorticoid receptor and cAMP signaling pathways may contribute to the superiority of inhaled glucocorticoid/LABA combination therapy, understanding this interaction may provide a logical framework to rationally design these multicomponent therapeutics that was not previously possible.
AuthorsMark A Giembycz, Robert Newton
JournalF1000prime reports (F1000Prime Rep) Vol. 7 Pg. 16 ( 2015) ISSN: 2051-7599 [Electronic] England
PMID25750734 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)

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