Nerve growth factor enhances antigen and other secretagogue-induced histamine release from rat peritoneal mast cells in the absence of phosphatidylserine Academic Article uri icon

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  • The effects of 2.5S nerve growth factor (NGF) and epidermal growth factor (EGF), isolated from mouse submaxillary glands, on histamine release from rat peritoneal mast cells (PMCs) were studied. In the absence of phosphatidylserine, NGF (1 ng/ml to 1 microgram/ml) did not cause histamine release from PMCs isolated from normal rats and those infected with the nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. However, when PMCs (greater than 97% pure) were preincubated with NGF and then challenged with worm antigen (Ag), there was a marked enhancement of histamine release (approximately twofold with a maximum effect at 10 ng/ml of NGF [3.8 X 10(-10) mol/L]) compared with the release induced by Ag alone. EGF (1 ng/ml to 1 microgram/ml) neither produced histamine release from PMCs in the presence of phosphatidylserine nor enhanced Ag-induced histamine release. This suggests that NGF acts directly on PMCs by activation of cell-surface receptors. The early kinetics of Ag-induced histamine release were altered by NGF that increased the initial rate at 15 seconds but did not prolong the overall duration of histamine release. Simultaneous addition of Ag and NGF did not cause enhanced histamine release; thus, some preincubation time with NGF (5 minutes or less) was required for the activation of PMCs. Moreover, after PMCs were activated by NGF, that state persisted for 1 hour, even when unbound NGF was removed by washing, and thereafter subsided gradually. Further studies revealed that NGF enhanced histamine release induced by concanavalin A, compound 48/80, and ionophore A23187. These results suggest that NGF might be an important molecule in inflammatory responses through the regulation of mediator release from mast cells.


  • Tomioka, Motoaki
  • Stead, Ron H
  • Nielsen, Laurie
  • Coughlin, Michael D
  • Bienenstock, John

publication date

  • October 1988