This is an in vitro assay, which quantifies the itching-inhibitory potential of a substance in vitro.
The release of inflammatory mediators (histamine, leukotrienes, beta-exosaminidase, etc.) from blood basophils and tissue mastocytes if the terminal event of any allergic reaction. This release takes place via the exocytosis of pre-formed granules of these cell types (“degranulation”) and can be induced in vitro (with anti-Fc epsilon receptor antibodies) and measured with flow cytometry. In this experimental setting, the usage of potentially anti-itching substances is determined by measuring the extent of basophil degranulation compared with proper negative (buffer) and positive controls (anti-human IgE)