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J Immunol. 1998 Nov 1;161(9):4866-74.

The IL-1 receptor-related T1 antigen is expressed on immature and mature mast cells and on fetal blood mast cell progenitors.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University Hospital Z├╝rich, Switzerland.


Expression of the T1 gene, also known as ST2, DER4, and Fit-1, has been shown to be associated with cell proliferation. It gives rise to two different mRNAs that encode a receptor-like protein and a soluble molecule representing the ectodomain of the receptor form. Although T1 is a member of the IL-1R family, its biologic function is currently unknown. In this study, we have analyzed the expression of the T1 surface Ag in murine hemopoietic organs. Mast cells (MCs) were shown to be the only identifiable cell lineage that expressed T1 at high levels. T1 expression was found on cultured bone marrow-derived immature MCs. Similarly, freshly isolated connective tissue-type MCs from the i.p. cavity were also shown to express high levels of T1. Interestingly, the earliest detectable committed MC precursor isolated from fetal blood (FB) at day 15.5 of gestation, but not circulating hemopoietic stem cells in FB, also expresses high level of T1. Since FB promastocytes lack expression of the high affinity IgE receptor (Fc epsilonRI), T1 expression precedes expression of Fc epsilonRI in MC ontogeny. The finding that the T1 Ag is selectively expressed at several stages during development of the MC lineage suggests that this cell surface molecule, in combination with the well-established markers c-Kit and Fc epsilonRI, should be valuable for studying the MC lineage.

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