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Cell. 1987 Aug 28;50(5):809-18.

B cell stimulatory factor-1/interleukin-4 mRNA is expressed by normal and transformed mast cells.


BSF-1/interleukin-4, a product of activated T cells, has multiple biological activities that affect cells of most hematopoietic lineages. Among these is the ability of BSF-1 to costimulate the growth of mast cells and regulate the production of IgE. We demonstrate here that BSF-1 mRNA is expressed by a majority of transformed mast cell lines and by 5 IL-3-dependent non-transformed mast cell lines. BSF-1 activity, including the ability to enhance the growth of IL-3-dependent mast cells, was detected in the supernatants of transformed mast cells. The role of BSF-1 as a mast cell growth factor, its constitutive production by transformed mast cells, and the lack of IL-3 production by most of these cells raise the possibility that BSF-1 may act as an autocrine growth factor for some transformed mast cells. Furthermore, production of BSF-1 mRNA by nontransformed cells indicates that mast cells may be an important physiologic source of this factor.

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