Glucocorticoids (glucocorticosteroids, corticosteroids) have an important place in the treatment of many inflammatory conditions including those of the respiratory tract. Their mechanisms of action include both the suppression of proinflammatory mediators and the upregulation of at least one anti-inflammatory protein, lipocortin 1 (also known as annexin 1). Lipocortin 1 has been convincingly demonstrated to mediate the anti-inflammatory effects of glucocorticoids in a variety of in vivo and in vitro models of inflammation. The actions of lipocortin 1 in the lung have not been fully elucidated. If, as initial studies suggest, its effects in the respiratory tract are shown to be anti-inflammatory, it is possible that administration of lipocortin 1 peptides, or other drugs based on the active site of lipocortin 1, might prove to be useful agents for the control of respiratory tract inflammation.
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