Murine mast cell lines as indicators of early events in mast cell and basophil development

Carolina Lunderius, Xiang Zou, Gunnar Nilsson, Lars Hellman

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


To study early events in mast cell/basophil development, the phenotype of a panel of murine cell lines at various stages of differentiation was determined. Based on the expression on various mast cell-specific proteases and several additional hematopoietic differentiation markers, the cell lines CFTL-15 and MCP5/L were clearly identified as mast cells, although with a relatively immature phenotype. These two cell lines express the high-affinity IgE receptor α-chain, the mouse mast cell protease (MMCP)-5 and the carboxypeptidase A (CPA). Bone marrow-derived mast cells and the transplantable mast cell tumor MTC were shown to express the IgE receptor α-chain, MMCP-5 and CPA, as well as the mast cell tryptase MMCP-6 and the chymase MMCP-4, a protease expressed only during late stages of mast cell differentiation. These two cell types thus display a more mature mast cell phenotype. In contrast, the cell lines P815 and 32D cl3 did not express any mast cell differentiation markers. Interestingly, the IC-2 cell line was shown to express several markers for immature mast cells and in addition MMCP-8, a serine protease which may represent a marker for mouse basophils. By antibody staining, almost all IC-2 cells were shown to express MMCP-8. This indicates that individual cells may simultaneously express both mast cell and basophil markers. Moreover, these findings suggest that an early branch point in hematopoietic development where mast cells and basophils have a common precursor cell may exist.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3396-3402
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Basophil
  • Differentiation
  • Mast cell
  • Serine protease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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