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      Two Phase II randomized trials on the CRTh2 antagonist AZD1981 in adults with asthma

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          Chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecule expressed on T helper type 2 (Th2) cell (CRTh2) receptor antagonists is being investigated for asthma.


          The aim of this study was to assess the effects of the CRTh2 receptor antagonist, AZD1981 (with/without inhaled corticosteroids [ICSs]), on lung function and asthma control.

          Patients and methods

          Adults aged 18–60 years were enrolled in two randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trials (protocol number: D9830C00003 [study 1, n=209] and protocol number: D9830C00004 [study 2, n=510]). In study 1, patients with stable asthma (forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV 1]: 65%−110%) were withdrawn from ICS (<400 µg/d) and randomized to AZD1981 1,000 mg twice daily (bid) or placebo. In study 2, patients with uncontrolled asthma (FEV 1: 40%−85%) despite ICS therapy (≥500 µg/d) were randomized to 50 mg, 400 mg, or 1,000 mg bid AZD1981 or placebo. The primary efficacy variable for both trials was the change in morning peak expiratory flow after 4 weeks of treatment. Secondary variables included Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ-5) scores, FEV 1 assessments, safety, and tolerability. In study 2, efficacy was also assessed according to atopic status.


          Following 4 weeks of treatment, there was a nonsignificant increase in morning peak expiratory flow on AZD1981 1,000 mg bid (9.5 L/min vs placebo, P=0.086 [study 1] and 12 L/min vs placebo, P=0.16 [study 2]). In study 2, all doses of AZD1981 provided significant improvements in ACQ-5 scores (0.26–0.3 units vs placebo, P=0.010–0.022); however, there was no dose–response relationship. Improved ACQ-5 scores and FEV 1 were observed in the majority of atopic patients treated with AZD1981. AZD1981 was well tolerated across treatment groups.


          Further research may be warranted in atopic patients to fully evaluate the clinical efficacy of AZD1981.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Prostaglandin D2 Selectively Induces Chemotaxis in T Helper Type 2 Cells, Eosinophils, and Basophils via Seven-Transmembrane Receptor Crth2

          Prostaglandin (PG)D2, which has long been implicated in allergic diseases, is currently considered to elicit its biological actions through the DP receptor (DP). Involvement of DP in the formation of allergic asthma was recently demonstrated with DP-deficient mice. However, proinflammatory functions of PGD2 cannot be explained by DP alone. We show here that a seven-transmembrane receptor, CRTH2, which is preferentially expressed in T helper type 2 (Th2) cells, eosinophils, and basophils in humans, serves as the novel receptor for PGD2. In response to PGD2, CRTH2 induces intracellular Ca2+ mobilization and chemotaxis in Th2 cells in a Gαi-dependent manner. In addition, CRTH2, but not DP, mediates PGD2-dependent cell migration of blood eosinophils and basophils. Thus, PGD2 is likely involved in multiple aspects of allergic inflammation through its dual receptor systems, DP and CRTH2.
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            Prostaglandin D₂ pathway upregulation: relation to asthma severity, control, and TH2 inflammation.

            Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid prostaglandin D₂(PGD₂) levels are increased in patients with severe, poorly controlled asthma in association with epithelial mast cells (MCs). PGD₂, which is generated by hematopoietic prostaglandin D synthase (HPGDS), acts on 3 G protein-coupled receptors, including chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecule expressed on TH2 lymphocytes (CRTH2) and PGD₂ receptor 1 (DP1). However, much remains to be understood regarding the presence and activation of these pathway elements in asthmatic patients. We sought to compare the expression and activation of PGD₂ pathway elements in bronchoscopically obtained samples from healthy control subjects and asthmatic patients across a range of disease severity and control, as well as in relation to TH2 pathway elements. Epithelial cells and BAL fluid were evaluated for HPGDS (quantitative real-time PCR/immunohistochemistry [IHC]) and PGD₂ (ELISA/liquid chromatography mass spectrometry) in relation to levels of MC proteases. Expression of the 2 inflammatory cell receptors DP1 and CRTH2 was evaluated on luminal cells. These PGD₂ pathway markers were then compared with asthma severity, level of control, and markers of TH2 inflammation (blood eosinophils and fraction of exhaled nitric oxide). Confirming previous results, BAL fluid PGD₂ levels were highest in patients with severe asthma (overall P = .0001). Epithelial cell compartment HPGDS mRNA and IHC values differed among groups (P = .008 and P < .0001, respectively) and correlated with MC protease mRNA. CRTH2 mRNA and IHC values were highest in patients with severe asthma (P = .001 and P = .0001, respectively). Asthma exacerbations, poor asthma control, and TH2 inflammatory markers were associated with higher PGD₂, HPGDS, and CRTH2 levels. The current study identifies coordinated upregulation of the PGD₂ pathway in patients with severe, poorly controlled, TH2-high asthma despite corticosteroid use. Copyright © 2013 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
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              Selective expression of a novel surface molecule by human Th2 cells in vivo.

              The search for reliable marker molecules discriminating between human Th1 and Th2 cells identified a gene encoding a novel member of the G protein-coupled leukocyte chemoattractant receptor family, which is selectively expressed in Th2 but not Th1 lineage cells, thereby named CRTH2 (chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecule expressed on Th2 cells). Studies with anti-CRTH2 mAbs demonstrated that CRTH2 was expressed in a small population (0.4-6.5%) of CD4+ T cells in fresh PBMCs of healthy adults, but no remarkable expression was seen in B cells and NK cells. In some cases, CD8+ T cells ( approximately 3.5%) expressed CRTH2. Phenotypes of CD4+ T cells expressing CRTH2 were CD45RA-, CD45RO+, and CD25+, similar to those of Ag-activated effector/memory T cells. Freshly isolated CRTH2+ CD4+ T cells produced Th2- but little or no Th1-type cytokines upon stimulation with PMA and ionomycin. In addition, an allergen-induced proliferative response in fresh PBMCs was significantly and selectively reduced by subtracting CRTH2+ cells. Together, these results indicate that CRTH2 is selectively expressed in vivo in an activated state of Th2 cells including allergen-responsive Th2 cells, suggesting its pivotal roles in ongoing Th2-type immune reactions.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                31 August 2016
                : 10
                : 2759-2770
                [1 ]Department of Internal Medicine, Asthma and Allergy, Barlicki University Hospital, Medical University of Łódz, Łódz, Poland
                [2 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Skane University Hospital, Lund University
                [3 ]AstraZeneca Research and Development, Molndal
                [4 ]Respiratory Medicine Unit, Department of Medicine Solna and CMM, Karolinska Institute and Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, Sweden
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Piotr Kuna, Department of Internal Medicine, Asthma and Allergy, Barlicki University Hospital, Medical University of Łódz, 90-153 Łódz, Poland, Tel +48 42 677 6834, Fax +48 42 678 1176, Email piotr.kuna@ 123456umed.lodz.pl
                © 2016 Kuna et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research


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