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J Immunol. 1998 Sep 1;161(5):2600-8.

Expression and functional activity of the IL-8 receptor type CXCR1 and CXCR2 on human mast cells.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Charité, Campus Virchow Klinikum, Humboldt Universität, Berlin, Germany.


To further elucidate mechanisms involved in mast cell accumulation at sites of cutaneous inflammation, we have studied the ability of human leukemic mast cells (HMC-1 cells) to express functionally active IL-8 receptors. Expression of mRNA for both types of IL-8 receptors (CXCR1 and CXCR2) was demonstrated by PCR and of both proteins by flow cytometry. Binding and competition studies with 125I-labeled IL-8 and its homologue melanoma growth stimulating activity (125I-labeled MGSA) revealed two specific binding sites for IL-8, K1 = 1.1 x 10(11) M(-1) and K2 = 5 x 10(7) M(-1); and for MGSA, K1 = 2.8 x 10(10) M(-1) and K2 = 5 x 10(7) M(-1). This finding was supported by a dose-dependent rise of cytosolic free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) induced by both chemokines and to a lesser extent by the homologue neutrophil-activating peptide-2 (NAP-2). A significant migratory response of human leukemic mast cells (HMC-1) was observed with all three chemokines at a range from 10(-8) M to 10(-9) M. Moreover, the formation of cellular F-actin was induced in a rapid, dose-dependent fashion, with a maximally 1.7-fold increase at 10(-7) M. Using postembedding immunoelectron microscopy, we could show the expression of CXCRI on the cytoplasmatic membrane of isolated human skin mast cells whereas CXCR2 was located in mast cell-specific granules. These findings demonstrate for the first time the functional expression of both types of IL-8 receptors on human mast cells, suggesting a role for their ligands during mast cell activation and recruitment.

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