Mucosal mast cells. III. Effect of quercetin and other flavonoids on antigen-induced histamine secretion from rat intestinal mast cells

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1984 Jun;73(6):819-23. doi: 10.1016/0091-6749(84)90453-6.


Quercetin, a naturally occurring flavonol structurally related to the antiallergic drug disodium cromoglycate inhibits anaphylactic histamine release from MMC isolated from the small bowel LP of the rat previously infected with the nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. This contrasts with our previous observation that cromoglycate is inactive in this system. The present effect is immediate and does not decrease on preincubation with the drug. The flavonoids acacetin , apigenin , chrysin , and phloretin also demonstrate significant activity but are less potent than quercetin. Catechin, flavone, morin, and taxifolin are inactive. These results resemble those previously reported for the human basophil. In contrast, all compounds with the possible exception of taxifolin demonstrate significant activity against rat PMC. Acacetin and chrysin are the most effective inhibitors and are more active than quercetin. Rutin (the glycane of quercetin) and phlorezin (the glycane of phloretin) are inactive in both systems. These results are discussed in terms of the functional heterogeneity of mast cells from different sources and identify a group of compounds other than doxantrazole (reported previously), which inhibit histamine secretion by MMC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Cromolyn Sodium / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Histamine Release / drug effects*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / cytology*
  • Mast Cells / drug effects*
  • Mast Cells / immunology
  • Nippostrongylus / immunology
  • Quercetin / pharmacology
  • Rats


  • Antigens
  • Flavonoids
  • Quercetin
  • Cromolyn Sodium