Erythromycin increases bactericidal activity of surface liquid in human airway epithelial cells

Kota Ishizawa, Tomoko Suzuki, Mutsuo Yamaya, Yu Xia Jia, Seiichi Kobayashi, Shiro Ida, Hiroshi Kubo, Kiyohisa Sekizawa, Hidetada Sasaki

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Abstract

Macrolide antibiotics have clinical benefits in patients with diffuse panbronchiolitis and in patients with cystic fibrosis. Although many mechanisms have been proposed, the precise mechanisms are still uncertain. We examined the effects of erythromycin on bactericidal activity of airway surface liquid secreted by cultured human tracheal epithelial cells. Airway surface liquid was collected by washing the surface of human tracheal epithelial cells with a sodium solution (40 meq/l). Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were incubated with airway surface liquid, and the number of surviving bacteria was examined. The number of bacteria in airway surface liquid from the cells cultured in medium alone was significantly lower than that in the sodium solution. Furthermore, the number of bacteria in airway surface liquid from the cells treated with erythromycin was significantly lower than that in airway surface liquid from the cells treated with solvent alone. The production of mRNA and protein of human β-defensin-1 and human β-defensin-2 was significantly increased by erythromycin. Bactericidal activity of airway surface liquid was observed at low concentrations (40 meq/l) of sodium but not at higher concentrations (≥80 meq/l). Airway surface liquid did not contain significant amounts of antibiotics supplemented in the culture medium. Erythromycin at the levels in airway surface liquid and in culture medium did not inhibit bacterial growth. These results suggest that erythromycin may increase bactericidal activity of airway surface liquid in human airway epithelial cells through human β-defensins production and reduce susceptibility of the airway to bacterial infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L565-L573
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Volume289
Issue number4 33-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2005

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology

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