MRGPRX2 activation in mast cells by neuromuscular blocking agents and other agonists: modulation by sugammadex

Nithya A Fernandopulle, Stephanie Zhang, Paul F Soeding, Graham A Mackay
Clinical and Experimental Allergy 2020 December 4

BACKGROUND: Neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs) can cause both IgE-dependent and independent anaphylactic reactions, with activation of the mast cell receptor MRGPRX2 being important to the latter. Sugammadex, a reversal agent for certain aminosteroid NMBAs, has been proposed as an antidote for these anaphylactic events with conflicting outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: We further characterise the involvement of MRGPRX2 in NMBA-induced mast cell activation and determine how this is influenced by sugammadex. We then apply these in vitro results to infer the possible utility of sugammadex in the acute management of non-IgE dependent anaphylaxis.

METHODS: The LAD2 human mast cell line and a MRGPRX2 knock-down derivative were used to validate the involvement of MRGPRX2 and to test the effect of sugammadex on mast cell activation by NMBAs and other MRGPRX2 agonists.

RESULTS: All MRGPRX2 agonists tested were shown to induce MRGPRX2-dependent LAD2 mast cell calcium mobilization and cytokine release and all, apart from rocuronium, induced degranulation. Co-treatment of mast cells with sugammadex and some MRGPRX2 agonists significantly reduced cell activation, but if sugammadex was administered a few minutes following stimulation, degranulation was not attenuated. However, addition of sugammadex up to 180 minutes following LAD2 MRGPRX2 stimulation, significantly reduced CCL2 mRNA and protein induction.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: We show that sugammadex, known to reverse muscle blockade by certain NMBAs, is also able to reduce MRGPRX2 activation by NMBAs and other, but not all, MRGPRX2 agonists. As sugammadex was ineffective in attenuating mast cell degranulation when added rapidly post MRGPRX2 activation, this suggests against the agent having efficacy in controlling acute symptoms of anaphylaxis to NMBAs caused by MRGPRX2 activation. Interestingly however, sugammadex did impair MRGPRX2-induced CCL2 release, suggesting that it may have some benefit in perhaps dampening less well-defined adverse effects of MRGPRX2-dependent anaphylaxis associated with the more slowly elaborated mast cell mediators.

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