In vitro effects of Ginkgolide B on lymphocyte activation in atopic asthma: comparison with cyclosporin A.


Mahmoud F, Abul H, Onadeko B, Khadadah M, Haines D, Morgan G




Jpn J Pharmacol


The effects of Ginkgolide B (BN52021) on in vitro activation responses of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from asthmatic patients was measured using 2-channel flow cytometric analysis of activation-associated cell surface antigens or ELISA assays for cytokines known to be expressed by PBMC during T1 or T2 immunological activation. BN52021 is an anti-inflammatory extract of Ginkgo biloba and has been used therapeutically. It is a known inhibitor of platelet activating factor (PAF), which is important in the pathogenesis of asthma, and may synergise with cyclosporin A (CyA) to inhibit pathogenic immune activation in asthmatics. We compared the inhibitory effects of BN52021 and CyA (1 microM each) on activation of PBMC of asthmatic patients stimulated by phorbol myristate acetate and calcium ionophore. Inhibition of production of the cytokines IL-4 and IL-5 by BN52021 was insignificant compared to CyA. However, BN52021 significantly reversed the increase in activation-associated CD45RA expression, with a trend towards decreased expression of HLA-DR. Lymphocyte activation markers were not significantly altered by CyA. Since they appear to have differing effects on activated cells, the anti-inflammatory effects of CyA and BN52021 in atopic asthma is potentially additive. The present approach may be useful for preliminary evaluation of novel therapeutic modalities for asthma treatment.