, Volume 16, Issue 3-4, pp 152-154

Immunological modulation of cholinergic histamine release in isolated rat mast cells

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Isolated purified rat mast cells release histamine when exposed to acetylcholine according to different patterns of sensitivity.

The degree of histamine release is correlated with the levels of reaginic antibodies presumably bound to the mast cell membrane. In fact, mast cells passively sensitized with mouse myeloma IgE against egg albumin or DNP2-lysine, react to acetylcholine with a release of histamine, which is proportional to the IgE concentration in the incubation medium.

The histamine release induced by acetylcholine is due to the stimulation of a musearinic receptor. Accordingly, acetylthiocholine is unable to evoke histamine release and preincubation of sensitized cells with atropine fully inhibits the cholinergic histamine release. The histamine release evoked by acetylcholine is potentiated by the exposure of sensitized cells to the specific antigen.

The present results suggest that sensitization of mast cells is a crucial factor in modulating their sensitivity to acetylcholine.