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

Characterization of neuropeptide-induced histamine release from human dispersed skin mast cells.

1. Human skin mast cells, unlike other human mast cells so far studied, released histamine in a concentration-related manner in response to substance P, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and somatostatin (1 microM to 30 microM). In contrast, eledoisin, physalaemin, neurokinin A, neurokinin B, calcitonin gene-related peptide ( CGRP), neurotensin, bradykinin and Lys-bradykinin induced negligible histamine release. 2. The low histamine releasing activity of physalaemin, eledoisin, neurokinin A and neurokinin B relative to substance P suggests that the human skin mast cell activation site is distinct from the tachykinin NK-1, NK-2 or NK-3 receptors described in smooth muscle. 3. The relative potencies of substance P and its fragments SP2-11, SP3-11, SP4-11 and SP1-4 in releasing histamine from human skin mast cells suggests that both the basic N-terminal amino acids and the lipophilic C-terminal portion of substance P are essential for activity. 4. Peptide-induced histamine release, like that induced by compound 48/80, morphine and poly-L-lysine, is rapid, reaching completion in 10-20 s, is largely independent of extracellular calcium but requires intact glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation. 5. The substance P analogue, [D-Pro4,D-Trp7,9,10] SP4-11 (SPA), not only reduced substance P-induced histamine release in a concentration-related manner but also inhibited that induced by VIP, somatostatin, compound 48/80, poly-L-lysine and morphine but not anti-IgE. 6. The similar characteristics of histamine release induced by substance P, VIP, somatostatin, compound 48/80, poly-L-lysine and morphine suggest that they share a common pathway of activation-secretion coupling distinct from that of IgE-dependent activation. Furthermore, the ability of human skin mast cells to respond to basic non-immunological stimuli including neuropeptides may reflect a specialised function for these cells.[1]


  1. Characterization of neuropeptide-induced histamine release from human dispersed skin mast cells. Lowman, M.A., Benyon, R.C., Church, M.K. Br. J. Pharmacol. (1988) [Pubmed]
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