Tobramycin and Colistin display anti-inflammatory properties in CuFi-1 cystic fibrosis cell line

Zara Sheikh, Peta Bradbury, Tristan A. Reekie, Michele Pozzoli, Paul D. Robinson, Michael Kassiou, Paul M. Young, Hui Xin Ong*, Daniela Traini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Current cystic fibrosis (CF) treatment strategies are primarily focused on oral/inhaled anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, resulting in a considerable treatment burden for CF patients. Therefore, combination treatments consisting of anti-inflammatories with antibiotics could reduce the CF treatment burden. However, there is an imperative need to understand the potential drug-drug interactions of these combination treatments to determine their efficacy. Thus, this study aimed to determine the interactions of the anti-inflammatory agent Ibuprofen with each of the CF-approved inhaled antibiotics (Tobramycin, Colistin and its prodrug colistimethate sodium/Tadim) and anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory efficacy. Chemical interactions of the Ibuprofen:antibiotic combinations were elucidated using High-Resolution Mass-Spectrometry (HRMS) and 1H NMR. HRMS showed pairing of Ibuprofen and Tobramycin, further confirmed by 1H NMR whilst no pairing was observed for either Ibuprofen:Colistin or Ibuprofen:Tadim combinations. The anti-bacterial activity of the combinations against Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed that neither paired nor non-paired Ibuprofen:antibiotic therapies altered the anti-bacterial activity. The anti-inflammatory efficacy of the combination therapies was next determined at two different concentrations (Low and High) using in vitro models of NuLi-1 (healthy) and CuFi-1 (CF) cell lines. Differential response in the anti-inflammatory efficacy of Ibuprofen:Tobramycin combination was observed between the two concentrations due to changes in the structural conformation of the paired Ibuprofen:Tobramycin complex at High concentration, confirmed by 1H NMR. In contrast, the non-pairing of the Ibuprofen:Colistin and Ibuprofen:Tadim combinations showed a significant decrease in IL-8 secretion at both the concentrations. Importantly, all antibiotics alone showed anti-inflammatory properties, highlighting the inherent anti-inflammatory properties of these antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number174098
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Colistin
  • CuFi-1
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Ibuprofen
  • Inflammation
  • Tobramycin


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