Mast cell activation in human synovium explants by calcium ionophore A23187, compound 48/80, and rabbit IgG anti-human IgE, but not morphine sulfate
Microscopic analysis of synovial specimens from 35 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 7 patients with osteoarthritis revealed mast cell hyperplasia in perivascular regions, in fibrous interstitial areas, and clustered around the periphery of lymphoid aggregates. Metachromatic staining, immunofluorescence studies, and ultrastructural analysis revealed a single population of connective tissue-type mast cells with surface IgE receptors. Total extractable histamine of synovial tissue was 4.15 +/- 2.30 micrograms/gm (n = 8) for RA synovium and 0.53 +/- 0.23 microgram/gm (n = 7) for OA synovium. Mast cell secretion was assessed and specific release of histamine from RA synovial mast cells was observed following stimulation with anti-IgE (32.3%), compound 48/80 (40.1%), calcium ionophore A23187 (25.2%), and a partially purified lymphokine with histamine-releasing activity (23.9%).