Synergistic Effect of Caffeine and Glucocorticoids on Expression of Surfactant Protein B (SP-B) mRNA

Markus Fehrholz*, Iliana Bersani, Boris W. Kramer, Christian P. Speer, Steffen Kunzmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Administration of glucocorticoids and caffeine is a common therapeutic intervention in the neonatal period, but possible interactions between these substances are still unclear. The present study investigated the effect of caffeine and different glucocorticoids on expression of surfactant protein (SP)-B, crucial for the physiological function of pulmonary surfactant. We measured expression levels of SP-B, various SP-B transcription factors including erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene homolog 4 (ErbB4) and thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1), as well as the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) after administering different doses of glucocorticoids, caffeine, cAMP, or the phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor rolipram in the human airway epithelial cell line NCl-H441. Administration of dexamethasone (1 mu M) or caffeine (5 mM) stimulated SP-B mRNA expression with a maximal of 38.8 +/- 11.1-fold and 5.2 +/- 1.4-fold increase, respectively. Synergistic induction was achieved after co-administration of dexamethasone (1 mM) in combination with caffeine (10 mM) (206 +/- 59.7-fold increase, p
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere51575
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2012


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