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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 1992;98(1):26-34.

Mast cell heterogeneity: evidence that mast cells isolated from various connective tissue locations in the rat display markedly graded phenotypes.

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Department of Chemistry, University College London, UK.


The present study has extended histochemical and functional investigations into rat mast cell heterogeneity using isolated mast cells from four connective tissue locations; the peritoneum, mesentery, lung and skin. On histological examination, mast cells from these locations displayed a range of phenotypes following formalin fixation and staining with Alcian blue/safranin O, suggesting the existence of both chondroitin sulphate and heparin proteoglycans in varying proportions in these cell types. Functional studies using the structurally diverse polycationic secretagogues, compound 48/80, the polyamino acids, polymyxin B, substance P, ACTH1-24, mastoparan, protamine sulphate, histone, d-tubocurarine and ranitidine confirmed the existence of such phenotypic gradation. This investigation highlights the inappropriate usage of the terms CTMC and MMC which represent two phenotypic extremes between which a gradation of phenotypes clearly exists.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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