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J Cell Biochem. 2007 Apr 1;100(5):1170-7.

Rat mast cells communicate with fibroblasts via gap junction intercellular communications.

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University of California Davis, Davis, CA, USA.


Usually mast cells (MCs) modulate other cellular activities through the release of their cytoplasmic granules. Recently, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) between an established human MC cell line (HMC-1) co-cultured with human dermal fibroblasts in fibroblast populated collagen lattices (FPCLs), enhanced the rate and degree of FPCL contraction. However, HMC-1 cells were unable to generate GJIC with human neonatal fibroblasts in monolayer culture. Here freshly isolated rat peritoneal MCs are co-cultured with fibroblasts in collagen lattices and in monolayer culture in vitro and introduced into rat polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) sponge implants in vivo. Co-cultured MC-FPCL contracted faster and to a greater degree. Loading Calcein AM green fluorescent dye into red fluorescent Dil tagged MC generates MC-paratroopers. When MC-paratroopers form GJIC with fibroblasts, some green dye is passed into the fibroblast, while the MC-paratrooper retains both its red and green fluorescence. MC-paratroopers passed green fluorescent dye into both human and rat dermal fibroblasts in monolayer culture. In rats 7-day-old subcutaneous PVA sponge implants, which received an injection of MC-paratroopers, exhibited auto-fluorescent green fibroblasts, when harvested 24 h later. MC-paratroopers pretreated with a long-acting GJIC inhibitor prior to their introduction into PVA sponge implants, failed to pass dye into fibroblasts. It is proposed that GJIC between granulation tissue fibroblasts and MCs can modulate some aspects of wound repair and fibrosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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