Figure 381

IgE-mediated release of mast cell contents. Inset, Intact mast cell with histamine stored in granules. An IgE antibody molecule is depicted adjacent to the mast cell. Two IgE molecules combine with a mast cell (sensitization). The attachment of an antigen (allergen) to the sensitized mast cell initiates release of histamine (and other substances) from the mast cell. This degranulation can be prevented by such agents as isoproterenol, theophylline, epinephrine, and cromolyn sodium. H1 antihistamines do not interfere with degranulation but instead prevent actions of histamine at various pharmacological receptors.

Coping with Asthma

Coping with Asthma

If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.

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