Human cardiac mast cells in anaphylaxis

Arturo Genovese, Francesca W. Rossi, Giuseppe Spadaro, Maria Rosaria Galdiero, Gianni Marone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human heart mast cells (HHMC), by elaborating vasoactive mediators, cytokines and chemokines, are the main primary effector cells of anaphylaxis. Mast cells have been identified perivascularly, close to myocytes and in the arterial intima in human heart tissue. Mast cells isolated from human heart tissue (HHMC) of patients undergoing cardiac transplantation express high-affinity receptors for IgE (FcεRI) and C5a receptors. Activation of HHMC in vitro with anti-IgE or anti-FcεRI induced the release of preformed mediators (histamine, tryptase, chymase, and renin) and the de novo synthesis of LTC4 (≅18 ng/l06 cells) and PGD2 (≅18 ng/l06 cells). Complement is activated and anaphylatoxin forms during anaphylaxis. C5a causes rapid release of histamine and tryptase from HHMC. These cells are activated in vitro by therapeutic (general anesthetics, protamine, etc.) and diagnostic agents (radiocontrast media, etc.) which can cause anaphylactoid reactions. Low concentrations of histamine and cysteinyl leukotrienes given to subjects undergoing diagnostic catheterization caused significant systemic and coronary hemodynamic effects. These results indicate that HHMC probably have a role in anaphylactic reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-109
Number of pages12
JournalChemical Immunology and Allergy
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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