Dexamethasone does not inhibit the release of mediators from human mast cells residing in airway, intestine, or skin

V. L. Cohan, B. J. Undem, C. C. Fox, N. F. Adkinson, L. M. Lichtenstein, R. P. Schleimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Glucocorticoids are potent anti-inflammatory drugs that are widely used in the treatment of allergic disorders. Their actions are often species specific or cell-type specific. Previous studies have demonstrated that glucocorticoids inhibit mediator release from mast cells derived from the peritoneum of mouse or rat and from guinea pig lung, but not those residing in human lung parenchymal tissue. In the present study, we have analyzed the effect of overnight culture with dexamethasone (10-8 to 10-7 M) on the subsequent IgE-dependent release of mediators from human mast cells derived from airway tissue, intestine, and skin. Airway tissue was passively sensitized with antigen-specific, IgE-rich serum during the culture period and subsequently challenged with ragweed antigen E. Skin and intestinal mast cells were challenged with anti-IgE. Histamine and immunoreactive LTC4 and PGD2 release were monitored in all experiments. Prostaglandin E release was quantitated in the experiments using airway tissue. Dexamethasone treatment failed to inhibit the release of mast cell mediators from all three tissues, but it inhibited the antigen-induced release of immunoreactive PGE from other cells and residing in airway tissue. These results confirm earlier studies of the effects of glucocorticoids on human lung parenchymal mast cells, but contrast with the inhibitory effects of steroids observed in murine mast cells and human basophils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)951-954
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Review of Respiratory Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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