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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1994 Feb;93(2):494-500.

Inhibition of IgE- and non-IgE-mediated histamine release from human basophil leukocytes in vitro by a histamine H1-antagonist, desethoxycarbonyl-loratadine.

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  • 1Clinic of Dermatology, University Hospital Rudolf Virchow, Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin, Germany.


Loratadine, a new nonsedating histamine H1-antagonist, has been shown to inhibit immunologic release of inflammatory mediators in addition to its H1-receptor blocking properties. After oral administration, the agent is metabolized primarily to desethoxycarbonyl-loratadine (DCL). The basic piperidine, DCL, is readily soluble in water, whereas the nonbasic urethane, loratadine, is insufficiently soluble in water for some in vitro investigations. Therefore we used the metabolite, DCL, to study its influence on in vitro leukocyte histamine release (LHR) in 24 allergic and 22 nonallergic subjects. IgE-mediated and calcium ionophore A23187-induced LHR were inhibited by DCL in a dose-dependent fashion (values of drug concentration to induce 30% inhibition after stimulation with inhalant antigen, anti-IgE, concanavalin A, and calcium ionophore A23187 were 6, 8, 5, and 11 mumol/L, respectively). Higher concentrations of DCL caused mediator release in all subjects (n = 45, 30 mumol/L DC: 11% +/- 2% LHR, 100 mumol/L DCL: 35% +/- 1% LHR), abolishing any inhibitory effect of the drug. Rapid onset of inhibition by 10 mumol/L DCL was found in kinetic studies (n = 10). The inhibition of anti-IgE-induced histamine secretion was synergistically increased by simultaneous preincubation of DCL with the potent histamine H2-agonist, FRA-19. Additional data indicate that the inhibition of LHR by DCL might involve biochemical events that occur after cellular Ca++ influx because LHR induced by N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine or the phorbol ester, 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-12-acetate, was not significantly affected by DCL.

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