PMID: 2514446May 1, 1989

Reflections on the mechanism(s) of action of sodium cromoglycate (Intal) and the role of mast cells in asthma

Respiratory Medicine
S T Holgate


In this review, only a few questions concerning the mechanism(s) of action of sodium cromoglycate in asthma have been considered. The large number of cells and mediator pathways where sodium cromoglycate may have pharmacological effects are depicted. In addition to its mast cell effect, sodium cromoglycate is also inhibitory to macrophages, eosinophils, monocytes and platelets, which are all important components in the inflammatory response of asthma. From studies with bradykinin and sulphur dioxide it is also known that the drug can block afferent discharges along non-myelinated nerves. Although the ability of sodium cromoglycate to block late phase responses and acquired hyper-reactivity is not questioned, to what extent its therapeutic efficacy can be accounted for by actions on these leukocytes and reflex pathways is not known. When administered to patients with asthma, sodium cromoglycate results in symptomatic improvement, but there is still much to be learned about its mode of action.


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Related Concepts

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Allergy and asthma are inflammatory disorders that are triggered by the activation of an allergen-specific regulatory t cell. These t cells become activated when allergens are recognized by allergen-presenting cells. Here is the latest research on allergy and asthma.


This feed focuses in Asthma in which your airways narrow and swell. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

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