The effects of anti-asthma drugs on mediator release from cultured human mast cells

Clin Exp Allergy. 1998 Oct;28(10):1228-36. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2222.1998.00394.x.


Background: A method for generating human mast cells in vitro was recently established. Little is known about the pharmacological profiles of allergic mediator release from cultured mast cells.

Objective: The main objective was to investigate the nature of cultured mast cells from a pharmacological point of view. We examined the effect of anti-asthma drugs on the release of histamine, sulfidoleukotrienes (LTs) and prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) from the cultured mast cells.

Methods: Using the method established by Saito et al. we cultured cord blood mononuclear cells in the presence of 80 ng/mL stem cell factor (SCF), 50 ng/mL interleukin-6 (IL-6) and 300 nmol/L prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and obtained almost pure (> 99%) mast cells. We sensitized cultured mast cells with immunoglobulin E (IgE)-rich serum, and then treated them with some anti-asthma drugs before challenge with anti-human IgE. Released histamine, LTs and PGD2 were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography, commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and enzyme immunoassay (EIA) systems, respectively.

Results: The cultured mast cells released histamine, LTs and PGD2 following immunological stimulation through IgE. The mast cell stabilizing agents disodium cromoglycate (DSCG, 1 mmol/L) and azelastine (100 micromol/L) significantly inhibited the release of these three mediators. The beta-adrenoceptor agonists isoproterenol, salbutamol, and clenbuterol also inhibited all three mediators' release in a concentration-dependent manner. The non-selective and selective phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors theophylline, rolipram, and cilostazol had no significant effect on mediator release at clinically useful concentrations. BAY x 1005 (a 5-lipoxygenase-activating protein inhibitor) inhibited the LTs release, whereas indomethacin (a cyclo-oxygenase I and II inhibitor) and NS-398 (a cyclo-oxygenase II inhibitor) inhibited PGD2 release.

Conclusions: The present results indicate that cultured mast cells release histamine, LTs and PGD2 following IgE crosslinking. Anti-asthma drugs showed a characteristic suppression of the release of each mediator. The suppressive actions of these drugs are similar to their pharmacological actions on human lung mast cells. These results suggest that cultured mast cells are useful for the analysis of function and pharmacological profiles of lung mast cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Histamine Release / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Leukotrienes / metabolism
  • Mast Cells / drug effects*
  • Mast Cells / metabolism
  • Prostaglandin D2 / metabolism


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Leukotrienes
  • Prostaglandin D2