Theophylline and silymarin are potent inhibitors of IL-4 secretion from activated human basophils

Hamidreza Jahanbani-Ardakani, Ghazale Bordbari, Nahid Eskandari, Ali Mohammad Sabzghabaee, Alireza Andalib


Basophils are the most important cells in allergic reactions and secret interleukin 4 (IL-4) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) mediators. Theophylline as a phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor and silymarin with its anti-inflammatory effects seem to be useful drugs in treatment of allergic reactions. The aim of the present study was comparing effects of theophylline and silymarin on IL-4 and TNFα secretion by human basophils. After isolation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, three cultures were designed; theophylline, silymarin and control cultures. Cultures were incubated for 15 minutes with theophylline, silymarin and buffer before challenging with bacteriallipopolysaccharide and anti-IgE antibody. IL-4 and TNFα mediators were assessed by ELISA assay and values of each culture were compared with control group. Silymarin and theophylline as potent inhibitors decreased secretion of IL-4 from human basophils significantly (P<0.01 and P<0.01, respectively). However, neither theophylline nor silymarin had significant effect on TNFα secretion (P=0.14 and P=0.08, respectively). These data suggest that silymarin and theophylline could regulate the generation of IL-4 from human basophils.


Theophylline, silymarin, interleukin-4, tumor necrosis factor α, basophil

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