Increased leukocyte histamine release with elevated cyclic AMP-phosphodiesterase activity in atopic dermatitis

James M. Butler, Sai C. Chan, Seth Stevens, Jon M. Hanifin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Maximal leukocyte histamine release in response to concanavalin A was significantly higher in a group of 16 adult patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis when compared to 13 adult nonatopic, normal subjects. In a further four atopic dermatitis patients, histamine release was similar to that in the normal group suggesting the existence of "high-releaser" and "low-releaser" subsets within the atopic dermatitis group. Leukocyte cAMP phosphodiesterase activity was significantly higher in the high-releaser group than in the low-releaser and normal groups. High and low histamine release responses showed strong correlations with high and low phosphodiesterase activities. Pretreatment with the experimental cAMP phosphodiesterase inhibitor Ro-20-1724 in high releasers reduced the histamine release to normal levels. These findings suggest that increased histamine "releasability" in atopic dermatitis is related to abnormalities in cyclic nucleotide regulation. Basophil percentages within the leukocyte preparation and the histamine content per basophil were not significantly different between the atopics and normals. Histamine release did not correlate significantly with serum IgE levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)490-497
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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