Technische Universität München

The Entrepreneurial University

In general, beta-agonists can mimic the effects of catecholamines on the immune system. It is well known that high concentrations or pharmacological doses of catecholamines inhibit the immune function, mainly the lymphocytes which decrease their proliferative response against antigen via beta-adrenoreceptors and then increasing the susceptibility to infections. This is especially important under exercise-induced stress situations.
There are also evidences that beta-2 agonists inhibit IL-12 production by both human monocytes in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and by dendritic cells stimulated via CD40.
Activation of the beta-2 adrenergic receptor located on macrophages has been reported to possess anti-inflammatory properties, inhibiting nuclear factor kappaB activation and cytokine production induced by pro-inflammatory stimuli. Beta-agonists also modulate T-cell functions via direct actions on type 1 and type 2 cells. Adding salmeterol to fluticasone reduces allergen-induced serum IL-5 and peripheral blood eosinophils.
The stimulation of beta-2 adrenergic receptor agonists might be beneficial in the treatment of sepsis through inhibiting LPS-elicited IL-18. Although there are no investigations on biomedical side effects of beta-agonist on the immune system during sport practise; the anti-inflammatory balance induced by beta-2 agonists and the immunosuppression of the proliferative response of lymphocytes could increase the progression of infections, above all under stress situations, such as certain types of exercise.