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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2006 Sep 15;113(1-2):37-52. Epub 2006 Jun 15.

Generation and characterization of bone marrow-derived cultured canine mast cells.

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Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Disorders of mast cells, particularly mast cell tumors (MCTs), are common in dogs. There now is evidence that many of these disorders exhibit breed predilections, suggesting an underlying heritable component. In comparison to humans and mice, little is known regarding the biology of canine mast cells. To facilitate the study of mast cell biology in other species, bone marrow-derived cultured mast cells (BMCMCs) often are used because these represent a ready source of large numbers of cells. We have developed a protocol to successfully generate canine BMCMCs from purified CD34(+) cells. After 5-7 weeks of culture with recombinant canine stem cell factor (rcSCF), greater than 90% of the cell population consisted of mast cells as evidenced by staining with Wright's-Giemsa, as well as production of chymase, tryptase, IL-8 and MCP-1. These cells expressed cell surface markers typical of mast cells including Kit, Fc epsilonRI, CD44, CD45 and CD18/CD11b. The canine BMCMCs were dependent on rcSCF for survival and proliferation, and migrated in response to rcSCF gradients. Cross-linking of cell surface-bound IgE induced the release of histamine and TNFalpha. Histamine release could also be stimulated by ConA, compound 48/80, and calcium ionophore. In summary, canine BMCMCs possess phenotypic and functional properties similar to mast cells found in vivo. These cells represent a novel, valuable resource for investigating normal canine mast cell biology as well as for identifying factors that lead to mast cell dysregulation in the dog.

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