Human mast cells undergo TRAIL-induced apoptosis

Beata Berent-Maoz, Adrian M. Piliponsky, Isabelle Daigle, Hans Uwe Simon, Francesca Levi-Schaffer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Mast cells (MC), supposedly long-lived cells, play a key role in allergy and are important contributors to other inflammatory conditions in which they undergo hyperplasia. In humans, stem cell factor (SCF) is the main regulator of MC growth, differentiation, and survival. Although human MC numbers may also be regulated by apoptotic cell death, there have been no reports concerning the role of the extrinsic apoptotic pathway mediated by death receptors in these cells. We examined expression and function of death receptors for Fas ligand and TRAIL in human MC. Although the MC leukemia cell line HMC-1 and human lung-derived MC expressed both Fas and TRAIL-R, MC lines derived from cord blood (CBMC) expressed only TRAIL-R. Activation of TRAIL-R resulted in caspase 3-dependent apoptosis of CBMC and HMC-1. IgE-dependent activation of CBMC increased their susceptibility to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. Results suggest that TRAIL-mediated apoptosis may be a mechanism of regulating MC survival in vivo and, potentially, for down-regulating MC hyperplasia in pathologic conditions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2272-2278
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2006


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