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J Immunol. 1994 Jan 1;152(1):213-9.

Stem cell factor induces mast cell adhesion to fibronectin.

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  • 1Mast Cell Physiology Section, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Stem cell factor (SCF) or c-kit ligand is a growth factor cytokine produced by stromal cells that is known to influence mast cell proliferation and differentiation. We hypothesized that SCF may also influence the adhesion of mast cells to connective tissue matrix. To examine this hypothesis, we stimulated MCP5/L mast cells or murine bone marrow-derived cultured mast cells (BMCMC) with either SCF or PMA and observed adhesion to fibronectin (FN). As expected, 80 to 90% of PMA-activated MCP5/L cells or BMCMC adhered to FN. In addition, SCF promoted MCP5/L cell or BMCMC adhesion to FN in a dose-response fashion with 50 to 60% of BMCMC adhering to FN at a concentration 10 ng/ml of SCF. BMCMC adhesion was observed with as little as 200 pg/ml of SCF. Adhesion of SCF stimulated BMCMC to FN did not require IL-3, but was dependent on the concentration of FN used to coat the assay surface. Mast cell adhesion in the presence of SCF appeared to occur through an integrin receptor as adhesion was calcium dependent and could be blocked by an RGD (Ang, Gly, Asp)-containing peptide. SCF did not directly mediate adhesion through interaction with c-kit, as FN-coated surfaces exposed to SCF before initiation of the adhesion assay did not promote adhesion in the absence of soluble SCF. Rather, SCF appeared to stimulate adhesion to FN by activating mast cells through its interaction with c-kit. Thus, antibody to SCF blocked adhesion, and rat and murine SCF stimulated BMCMC adhesion to FN, but human SCF, which does not bind to murine c-kit, did not stimulate adhesion. Genistein, which inhibits tyrosine kinase activity, partially inhibited SCF-induced adhesion. SCF thus stimulates mast cell adhesion and, because SCF is produced normally in tissues, it may be a major factor responsible for the adhesion of mast cells to connective tissue matrix under physiologic conditions.

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