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Immunology. 1996 Apr;87(4):535-43.

Comparative immunophenotypic analysis of human mast cells, blood basophils and monocytes.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Vienna, Austria.


Mast cells (MC), blood basophils (Ba) and monocytes (Mo) are of haemopoietic origin. Lineage-relationships and transdifferentiation between MC and Mo, or MC and Ba, have been considered, based on common expression of antigens. In this study, comparative phenotypic analyses on MC, Ba and Mo and on respective cell lines were performed using monoclonal antibodies (mAb) to previously defined and novel CD antigens (CD1-130). By cluster analysis, the overall (all 130 CD) phenotypic relationships (given as similarity indices, SI), between primary cells (MC, Ba and Mo) and corresponding cell lines (HMC-1, KU-812, U937) were 0.716, 0.779 and 0.757, respectively. When primary cells were compared, lower SI values were found (MC versus Ba, 0.509; MC versus Mo, 0.625; Mo versus Ba, 0.698). More distant relationships were found between MC versus Ba and MC versus Mo, compared with Ba versus Mo, for adhesion receptor (R)-, complement R- and cytokine R profiles. Analysis of cytokine R revealed most significant dissimilarities between MC versus Ba and MC versus Mo (SI < 0.2). Moreover, in contrast to other CD subgroups and other lineages, MC and HMC-1 differed from each other in cytokine R expression (SI = 0.286). Cytokine R detectable on HMC-1 but not MC were granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSFR)alpha(CD116), CD40, Apo-1/FAS(CD95) and gp130(CD130). Cytokine R detectable on Ba but not MC, were interleukin-3 (IL-3)R alpha(CD123), IL-1RII(CD121b), IL-2R alpha(CD25) and CD40. In summary, MC, Ba and Mo display a unique CD profile with MC being the most distantly related cell. The most significant mismatch within a given lineage is the loss of cytokine R on mature MC as compared with normal myeloid progenitors and HMC-1 cells.

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