Biochem Pharmacol. 2021 Apr;186:114476.doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2021.114476. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Aloe-emodin, a naturally occurring anthraquinone, is a highly potent mast cell stabilizer through activating mitochondrial calcium uniporter

Yuan Gao  1 Xiaoyu Zhang  1 Ximeng Li  1 Ruijuan Qi  1 Yixin Han  1 Yuan Kang  1 Runlan Cai  1 Cheng Peng  2 Yun Qi  3 Affiliations

Abstract

Mast cells play a fundamental role in immune system. Upon stimulation, they are activated via IgE dependent or independent pathway and then release granules which contain plenty of preformed constituents. Mast cell stabilizers are commonly used clinically for inhibiting the degranulation of mast cells. In the current study, we firstly identified aloe-emodin, a naturally occurring anthraquinone, was a prominent mast cell stabilizer. It could strikingly dampen IgE/FcεRI- and MAS-related G protein coupled receptor (Mrgpr)-mediated mast cell degranulation in vitro and in vivo. Mechanism study indicated that aloe-emodin rapidly and reversibly decreased cytosolic Ca2+ (Ca2+[c]) concentration through enhancing the mitochondrial Ca2+ (Ca2+[m]) uptake. After genetically silencing or pharmacologic inhibiting mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU), the effects of aloe-emodin on the Ca2+[c] level and mast cell degranulation were significantly weakened. In contrast to six clinical drugs with mast cell stabilizing properties (amlexanox, tranilast, ketotifen, cromolyn disodium salt, dexamethasone and pimecrolimus), aloe-emodin showed an impressive and potent inhibitory action on the mast cell degranulation. Collectively, aloe-emodin is a highly potent mast cell stabilizer. By directly activating MCU, it decreases Ca2+[c] level to suppress mast cell degranulation. Our study may provide a promising candidate for the treatment of mast cell activation-related diseases.

Keywords: Aloe-emodin; Mast cell stabilizer; Mitochondrial Ca(2+); Mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU); cytosolic Ca(2+).

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