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J Immunol. 2013 Jun 1;190(11):5534-44. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1203355. Epub 2013 May 1.

Mast cell-deficient Kit(W-sh) "Sash" mutant mice display aberrant myelopoiesis leading to the accumulation of splenocytes that act as myeloid-derived suppressor cells.

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Institute for Immunology, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University, 55131 Mainz, Germany.


Mast cell-deficient Kit(W-sh) "sash" mice are widely used to investigate mast cell functions. However, mutations of c-Kit also affect additional cells of hematopoietic and nonimmune origin. In this study, we demonstrate that Kit(W-sh) causes aberrant extramedullary myelopoiesis characterized by the expansion of immature lineage-negative cells, common myeloid progenitors, and granulocyte/macrophage progenitors in the spleen. A consistent feature shared by these cell types is the reduced expression of c-Kit. Populations expressing intermediate and high levels of Ly6G, a component of the myeloid differentiation Ag Gr-1, are also highly expanded in the spleen of sash mice. These cells are able to suppress T cell responses in vitro and phenotypically and functionally resemble myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). MDSC typically accumulate in tumor-bearing hosts and are able to dampen immune responses. Consequently, transfer of MDSC from naive sash mice into line 1 alveolar cell carcinoma tumor-bearing wild-type littermates leads to enhanced tumor progression. However, although it can also be observed in sash mice, accelerated growth of transplanted line 1 alveolar cell carcinoma tumors is a mast cell-independent phenomenon. Thus, the Kit(W-sh) mutation broadly affects key steps in myelopoiesis that may have an impact on mast cell research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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