Mast cells are secretory cells strategically located in the vicinity of blood vessels where they can readily initiate and modulate various inflammatory processes, including plasma exudation and leukocyte infiltration. We have previously shown that 50% of the neutrophil influx during immune complex peritonitis in mice is due to mast cells. Eicosanoids are important mediators of various inflammatory processes including neutrophil infiltration. The possibility that mast cells are essential for the production of leukotrienes (LT) involved in the elicitation of neutrophils in immune complex peritonitis was investigated in mast cell-deficient, WBB6F1-W/WV, and normal, WBB6F(1-)+/+, mice. The time course and amounts of immunoreactive PGE2, 6-keto-PGF1 alpha, and TX3B2 released into the peritoneal exudates were similar in both sets of mice. LTB4 and LTC4 levels, however, were twofold higher in +/+ than in W/WV mice 2 h after stimulation. HPLC analysis of the peritoneal exudate confirmed the presence of leukotrienes. The 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor A-63162 blocked leukotriene production in a dose-dependent manner in both sets of mice. However, this compound caused a significant reduction (60%) of neutrophil infiltration only in WBB6F(1-)+/+ but not in the mast cell-deficient mice. Mast cell reconstitution of WBB6F1-W/WV mice restored the effect of A-63162 on PMN recruitment. These data suggest that mast cells in the vicinity of blood vessels are important for the synthesis of leukotrienes responsible for PMN recruitment.

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