Isolated dermal mast cells from atopic dogs are a valuable tool for the analysis of their functional properties in atopic dermatitis. We have characterized the histamine secretory pattern of mast cells enzymatically dispersed from the skin of dogs naturally suffering from this condition. The total histamine content found per isolated skin mast cell was higher in the allergic dogs than in nonatopic (control) animals (8.7 pg/mast cell versus 5.2 pg/mast cell). This phenomenon together with the well known higher concentration of skin mast cell number in atopic dermatitis lesions might account for the observed increase in local histamine concentration (15.0 μg/g versus 9.0 μg/g). Atopic dog-derived mast cells were highly reactive to both non-immunological (ionophore A23187) and an immunological-like (concanavalin A) stimulus. Furthermore, histamine net release induced by concanavalin A (1 mg/ml) stimulation was clearly enhanced in the atopic dogs (33.3% net release versus 15.4% in controls). These results have not been described in dermal mast cells dispersed from the skin of individuals with atopic dermatitis and clearly support the hypothesis that mast cells play a major role in causing and possibly modulating atopic dermatitis, through enhanced sensitivity or releasability. However, whether these two phenomena are primary abnormalities of atopic dermatitis, or only secondary changes, remains undetermined.
- Atopic dermatitis pathogenesis
- Canine atopic dermatitis
- Cutaneous mast cells
- Mast cells releasability