Prevention of mast cell activation disorder-associated clinical sequelae of excessive prostaglandin D2 production

Joseph H. Butterfield, Catherine R. Weiler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with systemic mastocytosis have increased numbers of mast cells in the bone marrow and other organs, such as the liver, spleen, gastrointestinal tract and skin. Symptoms result from the local and remote effects of mediator release from mast cells and from the local effects of increased mast cell numbers in various organs. Patients with mast cell activation experience many of the same clinical symptoms as do patients with systemic mastocytosis from chronic or spontaneous release of mast cell mediators. We report 4 patients with mast cell activation symptoms from selective release of prostaglandin (PG) D2, but not histamine, and their improvement with aspirin therapy. Methods: Bone marrow biopsy specimens obtained from 4 patients with symptoms suggestive of mastocytosis were examined by tryptase immunostaining. Baseline levels of serum tryptase and urinary 11β-PGF and N-methylhistamine were obtained. In 2 of the 4 patients, urinary 11β-PGF and N-methylhistamine samples were also measured during acute symptoms. Results: Baseline increase in urinary excretion of the PGD2 metabolite 11β-PGF was found in 2 patients. In the remaining 2 patients, baseline levels of urinary 11β-PGF2 α and N-methylhistamine were normal, but during acute symptoms, the excretion of 11β-PGF increased markedly. Treatment with aspirin resulted in normalization of 11β-PGF excretion in the 2 patients with elevated baseline levels and in prevention of symptoms in all 4 patients. Conclusions: These results suggest that mast cell activation may be manifested by a selective excessive release of PGD2. These patients respond to administration of aspirin but not to antihistamines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-343
Number of pages6
JournalInternational archives of allergy and immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Mast cell activation
  • Mastocytosis
  • Prostaglandin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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