Drug Discov Ther. 2020;14(5):259-261. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2020.03095)
Stabilizing mast cells by commonly used drugs: a novel therapeutic target to relieve post-COVID syndrome?
Regardless of the severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a high proportion of patients struggle with persistent respiratory or systemic symptoms after recovery. This is called "post- COVID syndrome", for which pulmonary fibrosis is one of the pathogenesis. Besides T-lymphocytes and macrophages, mast cells also contribute to the development of cytokine storm and thus stimulate the activity of fibroblasts. Additionally, by the exocytotic release of fibroblast-activating factors, mast cells directly facilitate the progression of pulmonary fibrosis. In our previous basic studies, anti-allergic drugs (olopatadine, ketotifen), antibiotics (clarithromycin) and corticosteroids (hydrocortisone, dexamethasone) inhibited the process of exocytosis and showed their potency as highly effective mast cell stabilizers. Given such pharmacological properties of these commonly used drugs, they may be useful in the treatment of post-COVID-19 pulmonary fibrosis and in relieving the symptoms of post-COVID syndrome.