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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 2;108(31):12787-92. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1106582108. Epub 2011 Jul 18.

The naive airway hyperresponsiveness of the A/J mouse is Kit-mediated.

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  • 1Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Erratum in

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Nov 1;108(44):18185.


There is a wide variation among humans and mice in airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in the absence of allergen sensitization, i.e., naïve AHR. Because mast cell (MC) activation is thought to mediate AHR in atopic asthmatic subjects, we asked whether MCs mediate naïve AHR in A/J mice. We generated an A/J congenic strain lacking c-Kit by introgression of the Wv mutation, which resulted in the elimination of MCs and the abrogation of naïve AHR. Imatinib, which disrupts Kit signaling, also abrogated AHR in A/J mice. Remarkably, introduction of the Vga9 Mitf mutation into the A/J background resulted in the ablation of MCs but did not ameliorate AHR. These results indicate that c-Kit is required for development of AHR in an MC-independent fashion.

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