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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1988 Jan;81(1):20-6.

Characterization of the neutrophil respiratory burst in atopy.

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Department of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass.


Activated neutrophils may play a part in atopic disorders. In these studies, neutrophils were obtained from atopic and nonatopic adults for assessment of respiratory-burst activity. Superoxide production was measured in the resting state and after stimulation with phorbol myristate acetate, formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (f-met-leu-phe), or calcium ionophore A23187. Inhibition of this response by histamine was also measured. Neutrophils from atopic subjects produced more superoxide in the basal state, or in response to calcium ionophore A23187, or submaximal concentrations of f-met-leu-phe, than cells from control subjects. Histamine inhibition of f-met-leu-phe-stimulated superoxide production was less in atopic subjects than in control subjects. These findings suggest that neutrophils from atopic subjects may be hyperreactive in that they produce more superoxide in response to stimuli of low potency and are less readily inhibited than cells from control subjects. These properties may reflect a general attribute of cellular function in atopy and may contribute directly to tissue damage in allergic diseases.

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