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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Different patterns of mast cell activation by muscle relaxants in human skin.

BACKGROUND: Activation of mast cells and systemic release of histamine are major side effects of intravenously administered muscle relaxants. In the current study, dermal microdialysis was used for the investigation of mast cell activation by muscle relaxants. Dermal microdialysis enabled simultaneous assessment of mediator release, vascular reactions, and sensory effects induced by intradermal application of muscle relaxants without systemic side effects. METHODS: Succinylcholine, the isoquinolines cisatracurium, atracurium, and mivacurium, and the steroids pancuronium, vecuronium, rocuronium, and rapacuronium were tested in human volunteers (n = 6 each). After intradermal insertion of microdialysis capillaries (0.4 mm diameter, cutoff 3,000 kd) and a 60-min equilibration period, the muscle relaxants were delivered via the capillaries for 30 min, followed by a 30-min washout period. Dialysate was sampled at 15-min intervals, and histamine, mast cell tryptase, and protein extravasation were determined. Changes in skin blood flow were measured using a laser Doppler imager. Potency and efficacy were derived from nonlinear fittings of the dose-response curves. RESULTS: For succinylcholine and the isoquinolines, dose-response curves for the vascular and sensory effects paralleled the histamine and tryptase release. In contrast, aminosteroids evoked a rapid histamine release that was accompanied by a delayed increase in tryptase. CONCLUSIONS: Dermal microdialysis has been successfully used to simultaneously assess mediator release, vascular reactions, and sensory effects. The different pattern of tryptase release by isoquinolines and aminosteroids suggests different mechanisms of mast cell activation.[1]


  1. Different patterns of mast cell activation by muscle relaxants in human skin. Koppert, W., Blunk, J.A., Petersen, L.J., Skov, P., Rentsch, K., Schmelz, M. Anesthesiology (2001) [Pubmed]
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