23 January 2017
Theophylline is a natural compound present in tea. Because of its property to relax smooth muscle it is used in pharmacology for the treatment of airway diseases (ie, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma). However, this effect on smooth muscle is dose dependent and it is related to the development of side effects. Recently, an increasing body of evidence suggests that theophylline, at low concentrations, also has anti-inflammatory effects related to the activation of histone deacetylases. In this study, we evaluated the effects of theophylline alone and in combination with corticosteroids on human bronchial epithelial cells under inflammatory stimuli. Theophylline administrated alone was not able to reduce growth-stimulating signaling via extracellular signal-regulated kinases activation and matrix metalloproteases release, whereas it strongly counteracts this biochemical behavior when administered in the presence of corticosteroids. These data provide scientific evidence for supporting the rationale for the pharmacological use of theophylline and corticosteroid combined drug.