A moderate and unspecific release of cysteinyl leukotrienes by aspirin from peripheral blood leucocytes precludes its value for aspirin sensitivity testing in asthma


A. Szczeklik, Department of Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical School, 8 Skawiñska Str., 31–066 Cracow, Poland.


Aspirin-induced asthma (AIA) is a clinical syndrome related to cysteinyl leukotriene overproduction in airways. The confirmation of the diagnosis requires inconvenient provocation tests with acetyl salicylic acid (ASA).

A study was performed to evaluate whether measurement in vitro of cysteinyl leukotrienes (cys-LTs) release by isolated peripheral blood leucocytes, stimulated with ASA, can be of use for diagnosis of AIA.

A cellular allergen stimulation test, CAST, was adapted to measure leukotriene release from leucocytes of 32 aspirin-tolerant and 26 aspirin-intolerant asthmatics. The cells were stimulated with Lys-ASA, N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP), or both fMLP and Lys-ASA, in a buffer containing IL-3, and results compared with human leukaemia cell line (Hl-60) response to Lys-ASA. Cys-LTs were measured in cell supernatant fluids by ELISA.

ASA had a rather week stimulatory effect on cys-LTs release in both groups of patients. Contrary to some previous studies, no significant differences were found between cys-LTs release by leucocytes from AIA and ATA, or by differentiated Hl-60 cells.

Measurement of cysteinyl-leukotriene release by peripheral blood leucocytes pre-treated with aspirin has no value for diagnosis of AIA.