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Methods Mol Biol. 2006;315:275-94.

Endothelial cell activation by mast cell mediators.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA.


Mast cells are important cells of the immune system, and their secretory products regulate many vascular functions. Although considerable interest is focused on the role of mast cells and infectious agents in atherosclerosis, whether or not mast cell mediators act in concert with bacterial agents to regulate endothelial activation is not known. Here, we have described experimental techniques and presented related results to demonstrate how mast cell granule (MCG) mediators and bacterial products synergize endothelial cell inflammatory responses. The described methods outline: (1) the collection of rat peritoneal mast cells; (2) preparation of MCGs; (3) co-culture of human endothelial cells with mast cell granules; (4) determination of the regulation of endo- thelial cell inflammatory responses; (5) demonstration of the role of MCG protease and histamine in the regulation of endothelial cell function; (6) amplification of lipopolysaccharide-induced signal transduction pathways by mast cell granules; (7) elucidation of histamine-induced amplification of endothelial cell responses to Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial cell wall components; and (8) determination of the expression of Toll-like receptor 2 and 4. We hope the techniques described here can be used for designing experiments focusing on the regulatory role of mast cell mediators on cell functions.

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