Drug Discov Ther. 2011;5(5):211-219. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2011.v5.5.211)

Agents that induce pseudo-allergic reaction.

Wang H, Wang HS, Liu ZP


Pseudo-allergic reactions may result from the activation of inflammatory or anaphylactic mechanisms independent of antigen-specific immune responses. Recent statistics show that pseudo-allergic reactions may represent as high as two thirds of all immediate hypersensitivity reactions, implying a great amount of morbidity and numerous health care costs. In this review, we concentrate on agents mediating pseudo-allergic reactions and evaluate accurately the available information on their modes of action. The agents discussed here are divided into three types: (i) Direct mast cell activators, which may activate mast cells in an IgE-independent manner, such as opioid drugs, basic secretagogues and calcium ionophore A23187; (ii) Complement activators, including liposomes, radiocontrast media and Cremophor EL, which may activate the complement system by different pathways: the classical pathway, the mannose-binding lectin pathway or the alternative pathway; (iii) Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which may inhibit the function of cyclooxygenase-1, resulting in the occurrence of adverse reactions. In addition, nonclinical detection methods of pseudo-allergic reactions are also reviewed in order to supply valuable information for clinical diagnosis.

KEYWORDS: Pseudo-allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, mast cell, complement, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

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