Preliminary identification and role of phosphodiesterase isozymes in human basophils

P. T. Peachell, B. J. Undem, R. P. Schleimer, D. W. MacGlashan, L. M. Lichtenstein, L. B. Cieslinski, T. J. Torphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


We attempted to identify and establish the role of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE) isozymes in human basophils by using standard biochemical techniques as well as describing the effects of isozyme-selective and nonselective inhibitors of PDE. The nonselective PDE inhibitors, theophylline and 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine, inhibited anti-IgE-induced release of histamine and leukotriene C4 (LTC4) from basophils. This inhibition was accompanied by elevations in cAMP levels. Rolipram, an inhibitor of the low K(m) cAMP-specific PDE (PDE IV), inhibited the release of both histamine and LTC4 from activated basophils and increased cAMP levels in these cells. In contrast, mediator release from basophils was not inhibited by either siguazodan or SK and F 95654, inhibitors of the cGMP- inhibited PDE (PDE III) or zaprinast, an inhibitor of the cGMP-specific PDE (PDE V). SK and F 95654 failed to elevate basophil cAMP in these experiments whereas zaprinast induced significant increases in cAMP content. The inhibitory effect of rolipram on mediator release was potentiated by siguazodan or SK and F 95654, but not by zaprinast. SK and F 95654 also enhanced the ability of rolipram to increase cAMP content. Forskolin, a direct activator of adenylate cyclase, inhibited IgE-dependent release of mediators from basophils and increased cAMP levels in these cells. These effects were enhanced by rolipram, but not by SK and F 95654 or zaprinast. The cell permeant analog of cAMP, dibutyryl cAMP, inhibited mediator release from these cells, a property not shared by either dibutyryl-cGMP or sodium nitroprusside, an activator of soluble guanylate cyclase. The presence of both PDE III and PDE IV was confirmed by partially purifying and characterizing PDE activity in broken cell preparations. Overall, these data lend support to the hypothesis that cAMP inhibits mediator release from basophils and suggest that the major PDE isozyme responsible for regulating cyclic AMP content in these cells is PDE IV, with a minor contribution from PDE III. However, the finding that zaprinast caused increases in cAMP without inhibiting mediator release indicates that cAMP accumulation is not invariably linked to an inhibition of basophil activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2503-2510
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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