Eosinophil and mast cell parameters in children with stable moderate asthma

Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 1998 Aug;9(3):143-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.1998.tb00361.x.


Mast cells and eosinophils are important cells that contribute to the process of inflammation in asthma either by activating other cells or by secreting products which are potentially toxic to the respiratory epithelium. The influx of these cells in the airways and the secretion of toxic products by these cells is abrogated by inhaled corticosteroids.

Methods: In a double blind randomised, placebo controlled, study in children with stable moderate asthma (N = 34, 15 children received fluticasone propionate (FP), an inhaled corticosteroid, and 19 children used a placebo), we investigated the influence of treatment with FP 100 microg b.d. on various parameters of inflammation: number of eosinophils, secretory products of eosinophils i.e. ECP and EDN (in serum and urine) and a secretory product of mast cells, histamine, which is determined as the compound to which histamine is converted and excreted by the human body: NT-methyl-histamine.

Results: Previously we reported that lung function increased and bronchial hyperresponsiveness decreased in the 30 children that completed the study during treatment with FP. In these children we found that none of the laboratory parameters of inflammation changed significantly during treatment with either FP or placebo. However, the decrease in urinary EDN almost reached significance (P = 0.07).

Conclusions: Our results indicate that the number of eosinophils, serum ECP and EDN and urinary EDN as well as urinary NT-methyl-histamine do not reflect asthma disease activity in children with stable moderate asthma. Our data on urinary EDN warrant further study of the use of this parameter to monitor asthma in children.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Androstadienes / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / blood
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / urine
  • Blood Proteins / analysis
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity
  • Child
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eosinophil Granule Proteins
  • Eosinophil-Derived Neurotoxin
  • Eosinophils / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Fluticasone
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Inflammation Mediators / analysis
  • Male
  • Mast Cells / drug effects*
  • Methylhistamines / analysis
  • Proteins / analysis
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Ribonucleases*


  • Androstadienes
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Blood Proteins
  • Eosinophil Granule Proteins
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Methylhistamines
  • Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Fluticasone
  • Eosinophil-Derived Neurotoxin
  • Ribonucleases