Co-culture of human lung-derived mast cells with mouse 3T3 fibroblasts: Morphology and IgE-mediated release of histamine, prostaglandin D2, and leukotrienes

F. Levi-Schaffer, K. F. Austen, J. P. Caulfield, A. Hein, P. M. Gravallese, R. L. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human mast cells, dispersed from lung tissue by proteolytic treatment and enriched to a purity of 23 to 68% by density-gradient centrifugation, were maintained ex vivo for up to 13 days when co-cultured with mouse skin-derived 3T3 fibroblasts in RPMI 1640 containing 10% fetal calf serum. The human mast cells were adherent to the fibroblast cultures within 2 to 4 hr after seeding, and after 7 days of co-culture were localized between the layers of fibroblasts. The cell surfaces of the mast cells and the fibroblasts did not form tight junctions, but rather approached within 20 nm of each other. The co-cultured mast cells did not divide; they maintained their cellular content of histamine and TAMe esterase and resembled in vivo mast cells in that their secretory granules exhibited scroll patterns and their nuclei were oval. Both the freshly isolated and the co-cultured mast cells responded to activation with anti-human IgE by exocytosing histamine and generating and releasing arachidonic acid metabolites. When freshly isolated mast cells were activated immunologically, they exocytosed 38 ± 8% of their total histamine content and released 28 ± 1.9 ng (mean ± range, n = 2) of immunoreactive equivalents of prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) per μg of total cellular histamine, but did not generate significant amounts of either leukotriene C4 (LTC4) or leukotriene B4 (LTB4). The 1-wk co-cultured mast cells, on the other hand, exocytosed 43 ± 2.4% of their total histamine content, and released 86 ± 10, 43 ± 20, and 5.2 ± 5.2 ng (mean ± SD, n = 4) of immunoreactive equivalents of PGD2 LTC4, and LTB4, respectively, per μg of histamine. Thus human lung-derived mast cells can be maintained ex vivo when co-cultured with fibroblasts, and, when treated with anti-IgE, they metabolize arachidonic acid via both the cyclooxygenase and the 5-lipoxygenase pathways.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)494-500
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume139
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

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