Anti-inflammatory effect of FK-506 on human skin mast cells

Amato de Paulis, Cristiana Stellato, Raffaele Cirillo, Anna Ciccarelli, Alfonso Oriente, Gianni Marone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


FK-506 and the structurally related macrolide rapamycin are high-affinity ligands for a specific binding protein (FK-506 binding protein). We examined the effects of FK-506 and rapamycin on the release of pre-formed (histamine) and de novo synthesized inflammatory mediators (prostaglandin D2) from mast cells isolated from human skin tissue. FK-506 (0.1 to 100 nM) concentration-dependently inhibited (5 to 65%) histamine release from skin mast cells activated by anti-IgE. FK-506 was more potent in skin mast cells than in basophils (IC40 = 2.15 ± 0.78 nM versus 5.12 ± 1.34 nM; p <0.001), whereas the maximal inhibitory effect was higher in basophils than in skin mast cells (88.77 ± 2.44% versus 67.30 ± 3.98%; p <0.01). FK-506 had little or no inhibitory effect on histamine release from skin mast cells challenged with compound A23187 and substance P, respectively, whereas it completely suppressed A23187-induced histamine release from basophils. FK-506 (0.1 to 100 nM) also inhibited (up to 65%) the de novo synthesis of prostaglandin D2 from skin mast cells challenged with anti-IgE. Despite its structural similarity to FK-506, rapamycin (10 to 300 nM) had little or no effect on the release of histamine from skin mast cells induced by anti-IgE, A23187, and substance P. However, rapamycin competitively antagonized the inhibitory effect of FK-506 on anti-IgE-induced histamine release from skin mast cells with a dissociation constant of about 14 nM. These data indicate that FK-506, but not rapamycin, is a potent anti-inflammatory agent acting on skin mast cells presumably by binding to the FK-506 binding protein. It thus appears that binding to the FK-506 binding protein is necessary, but not sufficient, to deliver an inhibitory signal to skin mast cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-728
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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