Heterogeneity of signal transduction mechanisms in human basophils and human skin mast cells

Tobias Noll, Detlef Dieckmann, Bernhard F. Gibbs, Martin Nitschke, Claudia Albrecht, Ilka Vollrath, Tatsuya Tamaoki, Helmut H. Wolff, Ulrich Amon*

*Corresponding author for this work


Basophils and mast cells play a crucial role in immunological and allergic processes due to the release of inflammatory mediators such as histamine. It has been suggested for a long time that the histamine release (HR) from these cells is closely related to protein kinase C (PKC) activity. However, the distinct role of PKC with its large variety of isozymes in different cell types and the actions of these isozymes in HR still remain unclear. Therefore, in the present study, we compared the effects of the two PKC inhibitors 7-O-methyl-UCN-01 (UCN-01-Me) and NPC 15%7 as well as two PKC activators, bryostatin 1 and 2, on anti-IgE and Ca2+-ionophore-induced HR from human basophils and isolated human skin mast cells (HSMC). In both HSMC and basophils, anti-IgE-induced HR was inhibited by PKC inhibitor UCN-01-Me pre-incubation dose-dependently. In stark contrast, A23187-induced HR was unaffected by UCN-01-Me in both cell types. In our experiments, the inhibitory efficacy of the compound NPC 15437 on HR was much lower than that of UCN-01-Me and showed no statistical significance. Both bryostatins 1 and 2 produced good dose-dependent inhibition of HR from HSMC stimulated with anti-IgE, whereas HR from basophils was potentiated with these compounds. The same effects were observed with basophils stimulated with A23187, where potentiation of HR was up to fourfold of the control at the highest concentrations of bryostatins, while HSMC showed a slight decrease in HR compared to non-bryostatin-treated controls. Basophils and HSMC showed very clear differences in HR when directly stimulated with the bryostatins, since no HR was observed from HSMC while in basophils the HR increased up to 47% of total histamine at the highest concentrations of bryostatins (1 μmol/1). HR from basophils was observed to be strictly dose-dependent. The differences in the cell reactions of the two cell types incubated with these four compounds indicate distinct biochemical roles of PKC in the cascades leading to degranulation of the cells. Furthermore, the experiments with UCN-01-Me support the hypothesis of PKC-β to play a substantial positive modulatory role for the degranulation of immunologically stimulated basophils.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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