Studies on the Degranulation of RBL-2H3 Cells Induced by Traditional Chinese Medicine Injections


Aims: To study RBL-2H3 cell degranulation phenomena induced by some TCMIs through cell morphological and ultra-structural observation, released enzyme activity and establish RBL-2H3 cell degranulation test indicated by β- hexosaminidase activity as a method to evaluate TCMIs at nonclinical stage. Methods: RBL-2H3 cells were used to study the degranulation by co-culture with positive control C48/80 and some TCMIs through morphological and ultra-structure observation, β-hexosaminidase activity detection. RBL-2H3 cell degranulation test was established to detect β-hexosaminidase activity caused by 17 kinds of TCMIs and their ingredients. The cytotoxicity effect of some TCMIs on both RBL 2H3 and BRL cells was measured by CCK-8 assay. Results: Toluidine blue staining and ultra-structure of electronic microscope observation of treated RBL-2H3 cells showed degranulation morphologically. Detection of β-hexosaminidase activity in the supernatant of treated cells showed some TCMIs had elevated enzyme release rates. Further analysis of the ingredients and compound in Tanreqing Injection and Shengmai Injection showed Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi in Tanreqing Injection, Red ginseng and Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis in Shengmai Injection were responsible to the degranulation of RBL-2H3 cells. Osmotic pressures and pH influenced RBL-2H3 degranulation. High Osmotic pressure of Tanreqing Injection and low pH of chlorogenic acid at 2.5 and 5.0 mmol/L congcentration might be responsible to high β-hexosaminidase activity. Most of the TCMIs inducing degranulation had cytotoxicity effect for both RBL-2H3 and BRL cells, but some TCMIs inducing degranulation had no cytotoxicity effect. Conclusion: Some TCMIs can induce degranulation of RBL-2H3 cells; RBL-2H3 cell degranulation test can be used in non-clinical stage to detect the risk causing anaphylactoid reactions. Osmotic pressures and pH influenced RBL-2H3 degranulation, and they should be measured before testing. The mechanism of degranulation caused by some TCMIs is cytotoxic, and some are non-cytotoxic and may be through exicytosis.

Share and Cite:

J. Tang, J. Liu and W. Wu, "Studies on the Degranulation of RBL-2H3 Cells Induced by Traditional Chinese Medicine Injections," Chinese Medicine, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2012, pp. 200-208. doi: 10.4236/cm.2012.34029.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] L. Q. Zhu, Y. G. Xu, P. Wang, Z. Y. Gao and Y. Y. Chen, “Analysis on Cause of ADR Associated with Tranditional Chinese Medicine Injections,” China Parmacy, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2007, pp. 215-217.
[2] Y. Q. Zhu and X. H. Hong, “Analysis of Adverse Drug Reaction of Traditional Chinese Medicinal Injection,” Lishizhen Medicine and Materia Medica Research, Vol. 18, No. 4, 2007, pp. 1004-1006.
[3] H. D. Schlumberger, “Pseudo-Allergic Reactions to Drugs and Chemicals,” Ann Allergy, Vol. 51, No. 2, 1983, pp. 317-324.
[4] M. M. Fisher and B. A. Baldo, “Diagnosis and Investigation of Acute Anaphylactoid Reactions to Anesthetic Drugs,” International Anesthesiology Clinics, Vol. 23, No. 3, 1985, pp. 161-173.
[5] Project Group, “Technical Guidelines for Studies of Chinese Medicine & Natural Drug Immunotoxicity (Allergic and light allergic reaction),” 2005.
[6] X. Luo, Q. Wang, L. Zhou, Y. Dong and Y. P. Jiang, “Effect of Several Traditional Chinese Medicine Injections on Degranulation in RBL-2H3 Cells,” Traditional Chinese Drug Research & Clinical Pharmacology, Vol. 20, No. 6, 2009, pp. 506-510.
[7] W. H. Huang and X. Luo, “The Influence of Qingkailing Injection on the Degranulation of RBL-2H3 Cells,” Journal of Guiyang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Vol. 32, No. 4, 2010, pp. 80-82.
[8] A. H. Liang, C. Y. Li, T. Liu, C. Y. Cao, R. Hao, Y. Yi, J. Guo, H. Yang, H. Yi, Z. Wang and Z. F. Ma, “Animal Models and Methodologies for Evaluation of Chinese Herbal Injection-induced Pseudoanaphylactoid Reactions,” World Science and Technology/Modernization of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Materia Medica, Vol. 12, No. 6, 2010, pp. 998-1004.
[9] J. Zhang, P. Li, Y. K. Li and L. D. Li, “Effect of Tween 80 on the Degranulation of RBL-2H3 Cells,” Modern Immunology, Vol. 29, No. 3, 2009, pp. 240-245.
[10] Z. He, H.-H. Qu, X.-Q. Wang, Y. Zhao, Y.-F. Li, L.-N. Hu, J.-Q. Lu and Q.-G. Wang, “Allergenicity of Chlorogenic Acid as Hapten,” Journal of Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Vol. 33, No. 10, 2010, pp. 667-680.
[11] X. D. Wu, H. R. Yang, D. S. Lin, J. Zhang, F. Luo and X. P. Xu, “Comprehensive Research and Evaluation of Chlorogenic Acid Allergy,” Chinese Journal of Chinese Materia Medica, Vol. 35, No. 24, 2010, pp. 3357-3361.
[12] F.-H. Huang, X.-Y. Zhang, L.-Y. Zhang, Q. Li, B. Ni, X. L. Chen and A. Jun, “Mast Cell Degranulation Induced by Chlorogenic Acid,” Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, Vol. 31, No. 7, 2010, pp. 849-854.
[13] W. B. Shui, Q. He, J. J. Xu and Y. Y. Cheng, “Concentration Measurement of Chlorogenic Acid and Scutellarin in Denzhan-Xixin Injection,” China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica, Vol. 33, No. 4, 2008, pp. 458-459.
[14] Q. R. Yan and S. Q. Wang, “Concentration Measurement of Chlorogenic Acid in Honeysuckle Flower,” Hunan Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Vol. 21, No. 6, 2005, pp. 74-75.

Copyright © 2021 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.