Prostaglandin D2 metabolites as a biomarker of in vivo mast cell activation in systemic mastocytosis and rheumatoid arthritis

Catherine Cho, Anna Nguyen, Katherine J. Bryant, Sean G. O'Neill, H. Patrick McNeil

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26 Citations (Scopus)
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Mast cells (MCs) participate in diseases such as systemic mastocytosis (SM) and allergic conditions. Less well understood is the role of MCs in non-allergic inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Studying definitive roles for MCs in human diseases has been hampered by the lack of a well-accepted biomarker for monitoring in vivo MC activation. This study aimed to investigate the utility of urinary tetranor PGDM (T-PGDM) as a biomarker of in vivo MC activation in patients with SM, and apply this biomarker to assess MC involvement in relation to RA disease activity. A prospective, cross-sectional cohort study was conducted to measure a major urinary metabolite of prostaglandin D2, T-PGDM. Urine samples were collected from patients with RA (n = 60), SM (n = 17) and healthy normal controls (n = 16) and T-PGDM excretion was determined by enzyme immunoassay as nanograms per milligram of urinary creatinine (ng/mg Cr). Mean urinary T-PGDM excretion was significantly higher (p < 0.01) in patients with SM compared to controls (37.2 vs. 11.5 ng/mg Cr) with 65% of SM patients showing elevated levels. One third of patients with RA had elevated T-PGDM excretion, and the mean level in the RA group (20.0 ng/mg Cr) was significantly higher than controls (p < 0.01). Medications inhibiting cyclooxygenase reduced T-PGDM excretion. Urinary T-PGDM excretion appears promising as a biomarker of in vivo MC activity and elevated levels in 33% of patients with RA provides evidence of MC activation in this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-69
Number of pages6
JournalImmunity, inflammation and disease
Issue number1
Early online date25 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Biomarker
  • mast cell
  • prostaglandin D metabolites
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • systemic mastocytosis
  • tetranor PGDM


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