Azithromycin and ciprofloxacin inhibit interleukin-8 secretion without disrupting human sinonasal epithelial integrity in vitro

Academic Article


  • Background: We recently developed a ciprofloxacin and azithromycin sinus stent (CASS) to target recalcitrant infections in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). The objective of this study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of azithromycin released from the CASS and assess the impact on the integrity and function of primary human sinonasal epithelial cells (HSNECs). Methods: Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated HSNECs were treated with azithromycin and/or ciprofloxacin at concentrations attainable from CASS release. Interleukin-8 (IL-8) secretion was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Epithelial integrity (transepithelial resistance [TEER], paracellular permeability [fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled dextran], lactate dehydrogenase [LDH] assays) and function (ciliary beat frequency [CBF]) were also evaluated. Results: Azithromycin significantly reduced secreted IL-8 from P. aeruginosa LPS-stimulated HSNECs at all concentrations tested (mean ± standard deviation; control = 5.77 ± 0.39 ng/mL, azithromycin [6 μg/mL] = 4.58 ± 0.40 ng/mL, azithromycin [60 µg/mL] = 4.31 ± 0.06, azithromycin [180 µg/mL] = 4.27 ± 0.26 ng/mL, p < 0.05). Co-incubation with azithromycin (6 µg/mL) and ciprofloxacin (2.4 µg/mL) in LPS-stimulated HSNECs also displayed a significant reduction in secreted IL-8 when compared to P. aeruginosa LPS alone (co-treatment = 4.61 ± 0.29 ng/mL, P. aeruginosa LPS = 7.35 ± 0.89 ng/mL, p < 0.01). The drugs did not negatively impact TEER, paracellular permeability, LDH release, or CBF, indicating retention of cell integrity and function. Conclusion: Azithromycin decreased P. aeruginosa LPS IL-8 production in HSNECs at drug concentrations attainable with sustained release of azithromycin from the CASS. In addition to antibacterial activity, anti-inflammatory properties of the CASS should provide further benefit for patients with recalcitrant CRS.
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    Author List

  • Lim DJ; Thompson HM; Walz CR; Ayinala S; Skinner D; Zhang S; Grayson JW; Cho DY; Woodworth BA
  • Start Page

  • 136
  • End Page

  • 143
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 2