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Exp Dermatol. 2010 Sep;19(9):845-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2010.01103.x. Epub 2010 Jun 2.

Mast cell lines HMC-1 and LAD2 in comparison with mature human skin mast cells--drastically reduced levels of tryptase and chymase in mast cell lines.


To circumvent the costly isolation procedure associated with tissue mast cells (MC), two human MC lines, i.e. HMC-1 and LAD2, are frequently employed, but their relation to mature MC is unknown. Here, we quantitatively assessed their expression of MC markers in direct comparison to skin MC (sMC). sMC expressed all lineage markers at highest and HMC-1 cells at lowest levels. LAD2 cells expressed comparable high-affinity IgE receptor alpha (FcepsilonRIalpha) and FcepsilonRIgamma but less FcepsilonRIbeta than sMC and displayed slightly reduced, but robust FcepsilonRI-mediated histamine release. Only minor differences were found for total histamine content and c-Kit expression. Huge, and to this level unexpected, differences were found for MC tryptase and chymase, with sMC >>> LAD2 > HMC-1. Taken together, HMC-1 cells represent very immature malignantly transformed MC, whereas LAD2 cells can be considered intermediately differentiated. Because of the minute levels of MC proteases, MC lines can serve as surrogates of tissue MC to a limited degree only.

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