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Monday 23 February 2015
Identification of a mast-cell-specific receptor crucial for pseudo-allergic drug reactions

Author: B.D. McNeil, P. Pundir, S. Meeker, L. Han, B.J. Undem, M. Kulka, X. Dong


Summary

Mast cells are primary effectors in allergic reactions, and may have important roles in disease by secreting histamine and various inflammatory and immunomodulatory substances. A unique property of mast cells is their antibody-independent responsiveness to a range of cationic substances, collectively called basic secretagogues, including inflammatory peptides and drugs associated with allergic-type reactions.

In this article the authors describe that basic secretagogues activate mouse mast cells in vitro and in vivo through a single receptor, Mrgprb2, the orthologue of the human G-protein-coupled receptor MRGPRX2. Secretagogue-induced histamine release, inflammation and airway contraction are abolished in Mrgprb2-null mutant mice. Furthermore, they show that most classes of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved peptidergic drugs associated with allergic-type injection-site reactions also activate Mrgprb2 and MRGPRX2, and that injection-site inflammation is absent in mutant mice. Finally, the authours determine that Mrgprb2 and MRGPRX2 are targets of many small-molecule drugs associated with systemic pseudo-allergic, or anaphylactoid, reactions.

These discoveries introduce a mouse model to study mast cell activation by basic secretagogues and identify MRGPRX2 as a potential therapeutic target to reduce a subset of drug-induced adverse effects.


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