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N Engl J Med. 1989 Jul 27;321(4):228-32.

Spontaneous release of histamine from basophils and histamine-releasing factor in patients with atopic dermatitis and food hypersensitivity.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205.

Abstract

Patients with hypersensitivity to food documented by a double-blind, placebo-controlled oral food challenge have been reported to have a high rate of release of histamine from basophils in vitro. To determine whether patients with atopic dermatitis and food hypersensitivity had similar high rates of spontaneous histamine release in vitro, whether dietary elimination of relevant food antigens affected this release, and whether a cytokine, histamine-releasing factor, could account for it, we evaluated 63 patients with atopic dermatitis and food hypersensitivity (38 of whom had eliminated the offending foods from their diets), 20 patients with atopic dermatitis without food hypersensitivity, and 18 normal volunteers. Patients with atopic dermatitis and food hypersensitivity were found to have higher rates of spontaneous release of histamine from basophils than controls (mean +/- SE, 35.1 +/- 3.9 percent vs. 2.3 +/- 0.2 percent; P less than 0.001). Those who had eliminated the offending food allergen from the diet for an extended period had a significantly lower rate of histamine release (3.7 +/- 0.5 percent; P less than 0.001). In patients with atopic dermatitis without food hypersensitivity, the rate (1.8 +/- 0.2 percent) did not differ from that in normal controls. Mononuclear cells from persons with food allergies spontaneously produced a histamine-releasing factor in vitro that provoked the release of histamine from the basophils of other food-sensitive persons, but not from those of normal controls. Patients who adhered to a restricted diet had a decline in the rate of spontaneous generation of the factor by their mononuclear cells. The histamine-releasing factor was found to activate basophils through surface-bound IgE. We conclude that in patients with food hypersensitivity, exposure to the relevant antigens produces a cytokine (histamine-releasing factor) that interacts with IgE bound to the surface of basophils, causing them to release histamine.

Comment in

PMID:
2473400
DOI:
10.1056/NEJM198907273210405
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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