In Vitro Effects of Budesonide on Eosinophil-Basophil Lineage Commitment

Michael M Cyr, 1, Adrian J Baatjes, 1, Sandra C Dorman§, 1, Lynn Crawford1, Roma Sehmi1, Ronan Foley1, Rafeul Alam2, Paul O’ Byrne1, Judah A Denburg*, 1
1 Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada
2 Division of Allergy & Immunology, National Jewish Medical & Research Center, Denver, CO, USA

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© Cyr et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; E-mail:;
M.M. Cyr and A.J. Baatjes are co-first authors on this paper.
§ Present Address: School of Human Kinetics, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON, Canada


IL-5 is the primary cytokine that stimulates the production and survival of eosinophils and basophils from progenitor cells. The inhaled glucocorticoid, budesonide, has been shown to exert a therapeutic effect via suppression of eosinophil/basophil progenitors in vivo. Since various steroids have exhibited the ability to enhance eosinophil/basophil progenitor differentiation, we examined the effects of budesonide in vitro. Bone marrow and cord blood samples were obtained and cultured in the presence of IL-5 alone or IL-5 plus budesonide. Eosinophil/basophil colony-forming units were enumerated from cultured nonadherent mononuclear cells and from purified CD34+ cells. CD34+ cells with and without budesonide were also examined for up-regulation of ERK1/2, MAPK and GATA-1 using real time-PCR. Results: i) up-regulation of eosinophil/basophil colony-forming units is due to the direct effects of budesonide on IL-5-stimulated progenitors; ii) GATA-1 is likely involved in the early amplification of eosinophil/basophil progenitor commitment leading to increased differentiation. A potential transcriptional pathway has been identified which may mediate the effects of budesonide on eosinophil/basophil lineage commitment.

Keywords: Budesonide, eosinophil/basophil progenitors, corticosteroids, GATA-1, IL-5..