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J Clin Invest. 1993 Mar;91(3):1176-82.

Mast cell activation enhances airway responsiveness to methacholine in the mouse.

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Ina Sue Perlmutter Laboratory, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


Mast cell-deficient mutant mice and their normal littermates were used to determine whether activation of mast cells by anti-IgE enhances airway responsiveness to bronchoactive agonists in vivo. Pulmonary conductance was used as an index of airway response as the mice were challenged with increasing intravenous doses of methacholine (Mch) or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT). Mast cell activation with anti-IgE enhanced pulmonary responsiveness to Mch in both types of normal mice (P < 0.0001 by analysis of variance) but not in either genotype of mast cell-deficient mouse. Additionally, anti-IgE pretreatment of genetically mast cell-deficient W/Wv mice whose mast cell deficiency had been repaired by infusion of freshly obtained bone marrow cells or bone marrow-derived cultured mast cells from congenic normal mice led to significant (P < 0.0001) enhancement of Mch responsiveness. 5-HT responsiveness was not significantly influenced by anti-IgE pretreatment in any of the mice studied. The data support the hypothesis that IgE-mediated activation of mast cells enhances pulmonary responsiveness to cholinergic stimulation.

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