BIIL 284 reduces neutrophil numbers but increases P. aeruginosa bacteremia and inflammation in mouse lungs

Gerd Döring, Alessandra Bragonzi, Moira Paroni, Firdevs Fatma Aktürk, Cristina Cigana, Annika Schmidt, Deirdre Gilpin, Susanne Heyder, Torsten Born, Christina Smaczny, Martin Kohlhäufl, Thomas O F Wagner, Michael R. Loebinger, Diana Bilton, Michael M. Tunney, J. Stuart Elborn, Gerald B. Pier, Michael W. Konstan, Martina Ulrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: A clinical study to investigate the leukotriene B4 (LTB4)-receptor antagonist BIIL 284 in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients was prematurely terminated due to a significantly increased risk of adverse pulmonary events. We aimed to establish the effect of BIIL284 in models of Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection, thereby contributing to a better understanding of what could have led to adverse pulmonary events in CF patients. Methods: P. aeruginosa DNA in the blood of CF patients during and after acute pulmonary exacerbations and in stable patients with non-CF bronchiectasis (NCFB) and healthy individuals was assessed by PCR. The effect of BIIL 284 treatment was tested in an agar bead murine model of P. aeruginosa lung infection. Bacterial count and inflammation were evaluated in lung and other organs. Results: Most CF patients (98%) and all patients with NCFB and healthy individuals had negative P. aeruginosa DNA in their blood. Similarly, the P. aeruginosa-infected mice showed bacterial counts in the lung but not in the blood or spleen. BIIL 284 treatment decreased pulmonary neutrophils and increased P. aeruginosa numbers in mouse lungs leading to significantly higher bacteremia rates and lung inflammation compared to placebo treated animals. Conclusions: Decreased airway neutrophils induced lung proliferation and severe bacteremia in a murine model of P. aeruginosa lung infection. These data suggest that caution should be taken when administering anti-inflammatory compounds to patients with bacterial infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Anti-inflammatory treatment
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pulmonary infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Medicine(all)


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