The effects of inhaled interferon gamma in normal human airways.Am Rev Respir Dis. 1993 Dec; 148(6 Pt 1):1677-82.AR
Recent studies suggest that cytokines such as recombinant interferon-gamma (rIFN-gamma) may play a role in the treatment of certain respiratory conditions associated with infection and inflammation. This study was designed to determine if rIFN-gamma could be delivered effectively in a group of normal human volunteers. The effectiveness of the inhaled delivery system was demonstrated by the recovery of free IFN-gamma in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and macrophage (M phi) expression of IP-10, an IFN-gamma-inducible molecule, after therapy but not at baseline. IL-1 beta, but not IL-8, gene transcripts also showed evidence for up-regulation after rIFN-gamma therapy. Compared with baseline, inhaled rIFN-gamma did not significantly alter clinical symptom scores, spirometry, morning peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), or the response to methacholine. Of interest, the evening PEFR increased significantly (p = 0.02), from 568 +/- 36 L/min at baseline to 584 +/- 33 L/min after inhaled rIFN-gamma. Although there was no significant change in total white cell count in BAL fluid, the cellular composition did demonstrate a significant decrease in percentage of alveolar M phi (p = 0.02) and an increase in percentage of lymphocytes (p = 0.02) after rIFN-gamma. There were no histologic differences seen in bronchial biopsy specimens, and there was no evidence for up-regulation of ICAM-1 or HLA-DR expression after rIFN-gamma. We conclude that, in normal persons, rIFN-gamma can be effectively delivered by inhalation. Future trials using inhaled rIFN-gamma appear to be warranted for certain pulmonary diseases.