Histamine-releasing factors and inhibitors: Historical perspectives and possible implications in human illness

J. Andrew Grant, Rafeul Alam, Michael A. Lett-Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The initiation of allergic reactions with the bridging of surface-bound IgE antibodies on mast cells and basophils by allergens is well recognized. However, it is clear that other factors most likely play a role in regulating these cells. A number of cytokines have been identified that modulate the secretory response of mast cells and basophils. Among the well-characterized cytokines, interleukin-3 and connective tissue-activating peptide III (or its degradation product, neutrophil-activating peptide 2) can increase the secretory response, whereas interleukin-8 specifically inhibits the response to cytokines. Additional factors are currently under investigation. Preliminary studies suggest an important role for these histamine-releasing factors in atopic disorders, as well as in other conditions in which an IgE-dependent mechanism is not demonstrable. Furthermore, these cytokines may modulate the response of basophils and mast cells in physiologic conditions, such as tissue repair and host defense.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-693
Number of pages11
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Histamine-releasing factor
  • basophils
  • histamine
  • hypersensitivity
  • interleukins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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