Suppression of airway inflammation by theophylline in adult bronchial asthma

Takahiko Horiguchi, Soichi Tachikawa, Junichi Kasahara, Masashi Doi, Mamoru Shiga, Junichi Miyazaki, Yasushi Sasaki, Masahiro Hirose, Moritaka Imazu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Chronic continuous airway inflammation caused by eosinophils has been noted to play critical roles in the pathophysiology of bronchial asthma, in addition to reversible obstruction and hypersensitivity of the respiratory tract. Therefore, suppression of chronic airway inflammation has become more important in asthma treatment. Although theophylline has been a conventionally used bronchodilator, it has been recently reported to have concurrent anti-inflammatory effects. Objective: Accordingly, we studied the effects of a slow-release theophylline preparation, Theolong®, on airway inflammation. Methods: Administration of Theolong 400 mg/day to 24 patients with mild or moderate asthma and measuring eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), a marker of airway inflammation, and eosinophils in sputum and peripheral blood at 4 and 8 weeks. Results: As a result, sputum ECP, serum ECP and sputum eosinophil count (%) were significantly lowered after 4 and 8 weeks. Conclusion: Thus, in the theophylline-administered group, slow-release theophylline, Theolong®, was effective in treating asthma, with anti-inflammatory effects on inflammatory cells besides its bronchodilator action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-127
Number of pages4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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