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Nature. 1989 May 4;339(6219):64-7.

Mast cell lines produce lymphokines in response to cross-linkage of Fc epsilon RI or to calcium ionophores.

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Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Good Samaritan Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland 21239.


The cross-linkage of high affinity Fc epsilon receptors (Fc epsilon RI) on mast cells and basophils is central to the induction of allergic inflammatory responses. As a result of such cross-linkage, mast cells secrete a variety of preformed biologically active substances, such as histamine, and newly synthesized arachidonic acid metabolites. Here we show that cross-linkage of Fc epsilon RI on a series of nontransformed murine mast cell lines, or treatment of these cells with calcium ionophores, stimulates increased messenger RNA levels and secretion of a group of lymphokines classically produced by a subset of murine T cell lines (TH2 cells). These factors include interleukin-3 (a mast cell growth factor)s interleukin-4 (an IgE 'switch factor'), interleukin-5 (an eosinophil differentiation factor) and interleukin-6 (a factor controlling immunoglobulin secretion). The production of these polypeptide factors by mast cells may have great importance in the induction of allergic and anti-parasite inflammatory responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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