The objective of the study was to investigate the pharmacological action of roxithromycin, an oral macrolide antibiotic. The effects of roxithromycin on the cytokine-induced expression of endothelial leukocyte adhesion molecule (E-selectin) and intracellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 on endothelial cells of the dermal microvasculature were investigated in vitro using flow cytometry. Roxithromycin at a concentration of 0.5 μg/ml, which is lower than the therapeutic plasma concentration (ordinary daily dose, 150 - 300 mg), significantly inhibited the expression of E-selectin and ICAM-1 on endothelial cells of the dermal microvasculature induced by tumour necrosis factor-α. We conclude that roxithromycin may exert its antiinflammatory action by inhibition of the in vivo expression of adhesion molecules on dermal microvascular endothelial cells.
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