Slow Reacting Substance of Anaphylaxis

  • S. I. Wasserman
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 87 / 1)


The term slow reacting substance was first used by FELDBERG and KELLAWAY over 40 years ago to refer to an activity which induced sustained contraction of smooth muscle following perfusion of lung tissue with cobra venom (FELDBERG and KELLAWAY 1938). Subsequently, sensitised guinea-pig (KELLAWAY and TRETHEWIE 1940) and human lung tissue (BROCKLEHURST 1962) was demonstrated to generate similar activity upon challenge with specific antigen. The contractile activity generated by this principle obtained from lung was shown to be unaffected by agents which totally inhibited histamine-induced contractile responses and, therefore, it was felt to be a new principle of anaphylactic reactions and termed “slow reacting substance of anaphylaxis” (BROCKLEHURST 1953). Until recently SRS-A was defined by its chromatographic behaviour, sensitivity to sulphatases and lipoxygenase, resistance to protease and inhibitibility by a semisynthetic blocking agent FPL 55712 (AUGSTEIN et al. 1973). Based upon these or similar criteria, SRS-A has been identified in anaphylactic diffusates of perfused guinea-pig heart-lung preparations (KELLAWAY and TRETHEWIE 1940), human nasal polyp (KALINER et al. 1973) or lung fragments (ORANGE et al. 1971), dispersed lung cells (LEWIS et al. 1974), enriched populations of lung mast cells (PATERSON et al. 1976), the blood of guinea-pigs dying from anaphylaxis (STECHSHULTE et al. 1973), and guinea-pig skin after anaphylactic challenge (JONES and KAY 1974), and from human neutrophils (CONROY et al. 1976), rat mast cells (YECIES et al. 1979 a), rat basophil leukaemia tumour and cells (YECIES et al. 1979 b), and rat macrophages (BACH et al. 1979) after interaction with the calcium ionophore A 23187.


Human Lung Tissue Cobra Venom Slow React Substance Immunologic Release 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

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  • S. I. Wasserman

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