Effects of Relaxin on Mast Cells: In Vitro and In Vivo Studies in Rats and Guinea Pigs

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The results of the current study demonstrate that relaxin inhibits histamine release by mast cells.This effect is related to the peptide concentrations, and could be observed in both isolated rat serosal mast cells stimulated with compound 48/80 or calcium ionophore A 23187, and in serosal mast cells isolated from sensitized guinea pigs and challenged with the antigen. The morphological findings agree with the functional data, revealing that relaxin attenuates calcium ionophore-induced granule exocytosis by isolated rat serosal mast cells. Similar effects of relaxin have also been recognized in vivo by light microscopic and densitometric analysis of the mesenteric mast cells of rats which received the hormone intraperitoneally 20 min before local treatment of the mesentery with calcium ionophore. Moreover, evidence is provided that relaxin stimulates endogenous production of nitric oxide and attenuates the rise of intracellular Ca2+ concentration induced by calcium ionophore. The experiments with drugs capable of influencing nitric oxide production also provide indirect evidence that the inhibiting effect of relaxin on mast cell histamine release is related to an increased generation of nitric oxide. It is suggested tt relaxin may have a physiological role in modulating mast cell function through the L-arginine-nitric oxide pathway. (J. Clin. Invest. 1994. 94:1974-1980 Key words: relaxin. mast cells. histamine. nitric oxide. intracellular calcium

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