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PURPOSE: A considerable body of non clinical evidence has accumulated to support peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor gamma agonists as candidate anti-inflammatory drugs in asthma. We utilized rosiglitazone as a tool compound in the inhaled allergen challenge model of asthma. METHODS: A single centre, double-blind, randomised, placebo controlled, two period cross-over study. Subjects received rosiglitazone 4mg and placebo twice daily for 28 days in random order. On day 28, inhaled allergen challenge was performed 1 hour post-dose. A methacholine challenge was performed on day 29 and an adenosine monophosphate challenge on day 14. Exhaled nitric oxide was measured on days 1, 14, 28, 29. Blood was collected pre dose on days 1, 14 and 28 and analysed for markers associated with PPAR activity and systemic markers of inflammation. RESULTS: The late asthmatic reaction (LAR) change from post saline FEV(1) from 4-10 hrs post allergen on day 28 was statistically significant for the weighted mean LAR. The difference in weighted mean was 0.06 L (95% CI 0.01 to 0.11) which equates to a 15% attenuation of the response during placebo treatment. This was accompanied by trends in other markers of efficacy and anti-inflammatory activity but none were considered major effects. DISCUSSION: Treatment with a PPARgamma agonist (rosiglitazone) was associated with a modest (15%) reduction in the late asthmatic reaction in the allergen challenge model of asthma. Based on the results of this study, PPARgamma agonist monotherapy is unlikely to represent a clinically useful intervention in human asthma. Registered with (NCT00318630).

Original publication




Journal article


Respir med

Publication Date





668 - 674


Adiponectin, Adolescent, Adult, Allergens, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Asthma, Biomarkers, Breath Tests, Bronchial Provocation Tests, Bronchoconstrictor Agents, Cross-Over Studies, Double-Blind Method, Female, Forced Expiratory Volume, Humans, Male, Methacholine Chloride, Middle Aged, Nitric Oxide, PPAR gamma, Rosiglitazone, Thiazolidinediones, Young Adult