In Vitro Effects of Environmental Pollutants on Mediator Release
Interest has centered on the immune system as a target organ for environmental pollutants. In recent years it has been shown that many industrial chemicals and pesticides can influence various immunological functions. One component of the immune system are mast cells and basophile granulocytes. These cells are involved in all forms of allergic and inflammatory reactions. Mast cells and basophils can be stimulated to release mediators of inflammation. These mediators, like histamine, chemotactic factors, and leukotrienes, are responsible for the symptoms of allergic processes, e.g. swelling, redness, and bronchoconstriction. There are a variety of ways by which mast cells and basophils can be stimulated to degranulate. The most important immunological mechanism is the cell-bound IgE-antibody-antigen-reaction. Other immunological stimuli are the complement factors C3a, C4a, C5a, bacteria, and bacterial products. Furthermore the ability to release mediators in vitro and/or in vivo has been demonstrated for many non-immunological substances, like drugs, and food additives, e.g. radiocontrast material, benzoic acid, and Na- triumsulphite. Our studies have shown the capability of environmental pollutants to release mediators from mast cells and human basophils.
KeywordsMast Cell Benzoic Acid Histamine Release Organochlorine Pesticide Complement Factor
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