Thiazolidinediones are oral diabetes medications that activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and have anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies have found improvements in pulmonary function in asthma patients treated with thiazolidinediones.
PPAR-alpha and -gamma pathways. Image source: Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License.
This cohort study included diabetic Veterans with asthma who were taking oral diabetes medications (2,178 patients were on thiazolidinediones). Thiazolidinediones were associated with reductions in risk of asthma exacerbation (OR = 0.79) and oral steroid prescription (OR = 0.73).
Thiazolidinediones may provide a novel anti-inflammatory approach to asthma management by preventing exacerbations and decreasing the use of oral steroids.
Animation of thiazolidinediones mechanism of action and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs).
Thiazolidinediones and the risk of asthma exacerbation among patients with diabetes: a cohort study. Seppo T Rinne et al. Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology 2014, 10:34 (free full text) http://www.aacijournal.com/content/10/1/34
Disclaimer: The editor of this website co-authored the first human study of thiazolidinediones in asthma which was cited in the article (Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2012, 109(1):75-77)