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J Leukoc Biol. 1998 Mar;63(3):337-41.

Activated T lymphocytes induce degranulation and cytokine production by human mast cells following cell-to-cell contact.

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The Laboratory of Allergic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1881, USA.


Activated mast cells reside in close apposition to T cells in some inflammatory processes. In this study, we analyzed whether this close physical proximity affects human mast cell degranulation and cytokine release. Thus HMC-1 human mast cells or primary bone marrow-derived human mast cells were cocultured with activated and with resting T cells. Mast cells cocultured with activated T cells released histamine and beta-hexosaminidase and produced tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), an effect that peaked at 20 h. Kinetics of histamine release paralleled the formation of heterotypic aggregates. Separation of the two cell populations with a porous membrane prevented mediator release and TNF-alpha production. Addition of the PI3-kinase inhibitor, wortmannin, inhibited the heterotypic adhesion-associated degranulation but not TNF-alpha production. These data thus indicate a novel pathway through which human mast cells are activated to both release granule-associated mediators and to produce cytokines in association with heterotypic adhesion to activated human T cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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