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Allergy. 1996 Jun;51(6):394-400.

Ex vivo pharmacologic modulation of basophil histamine release in asthmatic patients.

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  • 1Clinique des Maladies Respiratoires, Hôpital Arnaud de Villeneuve, Montpellier, France.


Histamine is one of a range of mediators which play an important role in asthma, and the "releasability" of basophils has been shown to be upregulated in this disease. In vitro, beta 2-agonists and to a lesser extent corticosteroids have been shown to reduce histamine release. The ex vivo effects of salmeterol and inhaled corticosteroids on histamine release were studied in 78 asthmatic patients with variable disease severity and 20 control subjects. Spontaneous and anti-IgE-induced histamine release was measured in all subjects. Fifteen patients were not receiving any form of treatment, 42 were treated with inhaled corticosteroids, and 21 received inhaled corticosteroids and salmeterol. Seven patients treated with inhaled corticosteroids and seven patients treated with inhaled corticosteroids and salmeterol were tested twice to assess the effect of salmeterol on histamine release. Nine patients treated with inhaled corticosteroids were tested before and after 1 month of salmeterol treatment to determine the possible inhibition by salmeterol. Patients who were treated with inhaled corticosteroids and salmeterol showed significantly lower levels of spontaneous histamine release (median: 2.5%) than untreated (5.2%) and inhaled corticosteroids-treated asthmatics (3.4%). No tachyphylaxis to salmeterol was observed when patients were tested twice at a 3-month interval. This study suggests that salmeterol may have an additive anti-inflammatory effect with inhaled corticosteroids, although this hypothesis must be tested by further studies involving cells obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage and studies with bronchial biopsies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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