Role of mast cells in anaphylaxis. Evidence for the importance of mast cells in the cardiopulmonary alterations and death induced by anti-IgE in mice

The Journal of Clinical Investigation
T R MartinJ M Drazen


We used genetically mast cell-deficient WBB6F1-W/Wv and WCB6F1-S1/S1d mice and the congenic normal (+/+) mice to investigate the effects of intravenous infusion of goat antimouse IgE on heart rate (HR), pulmonary dynamic compliance (Cdyn), pulmonary conductance (GL), and survival. In WBB6F1-+/+ and WCB6F1-+/+ mice, anti-IgE induced extensive degranulation of tracheobronchial mast cells, as well as significant elevation of HR, significant reductions in Cdyn and GL and, in some cases, death. In contrast, W/Wv and S1/S1d mice exhibited little or no pathophysiological responses and no mortality after challenge with anti-IgE. In W/Wv mice reconstituted with mast cells by intravenous administration of bone marrow cells derived from congenic +/+ mice (+/+ BM----W/Wv mice), anti-IgE induced extensive mast cell degranulation, as well as pathophysiological responses and mortality similar to those observed in WBB6F1-+/+ mice. These findings suggest a critical role for mast cells in the development of the cardiopulmonary changes and mortality associated with anti-IgE-induced anaphylaxis.


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Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death.

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