When rat basophilic leukemia (RBL-1) cells were exposed to the ionophore A23187, a substance was released that produced a prolonged contraction of guinea pig ileum resembling that seen with slow reacting substances (SRSs) from various sources. The response was temperature, dose, and the time dependent with no activity being demonstrated in unstimulated cells. Several lines of evidence indicated that the RBL-1 product was markedly similar or identical to SRSs obtained from non-neoplastic tissues: 1) appropriate behavior in seven different chromatographic systems, 2) an appropriate profile of activity on various smooth muscle preparations, 3) an ability of low concentrations of the selective SRS inhibitor FPL 55712 to block the guinea pig ileal response, 4) failure of chymotrypsin to destroy activity, 5) loss of the activity after incubation with arylsulfatase, and 6) an ability to release activity from cells preincubated with indomethacin. Since RBL-1 cells can be grown in considerable quantity and under optimal conditions an average of 1500 SRS units/107 cells can be obtained, these cells should be useful as a biosynthetic source in further attempts to purify and characterize the SRS molecule.

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This work was supported by United States Public Health Service Research Fellowships HL05008-01 and AI01786-02, and Allergy Clinical Center Grant AI10405.

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