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Cytometry. 1998 Oct 15;34(5):223-8.

Human bone marrow mast cells from indolent systemic mast cell disease constitutively express increased amounts of the CD63 protein on their surface.

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Department of Hematología, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain.


The quantitative measurement of the expression of both cytoplasmic and surface CD63 antigen by human mast cells from both normal and pathological bone marrow samples was studied by use of flow cytometry. Our major goal was to analyze whether in vivo CD63 expression by human bone marrow mast cells could be useful to discriminate bone marrow mast cells from patients with mastocytosis from other conditions. For that purpose, a total of 65 subjects corresponding to 12 healthy volunteers, 25 B-cell chronic lymphoproliferative disorders, 5 reactive bone marrow samples, 4 myelodysplastic syndromes, and 19 mastocytosis were analyzed. The expression of both surface and cytoplasmic CD63 by human bone marrow mast cells is clearly demonstrated. Our results show that high amounts of CD63 are present in human bone marrow mast cells most of it corresponding to an intracellular localization. No significant differences in CD63 expression were observed as regards both total and cytoplasmic CD63, except for higher CD63 levels in adult patients with mastocytosis (P = 0.05). By contrast, the mean level of surface CD63 significantly varied between the different groups of individuals. Accordingly, patients with monoclonal gammopathies displayed a slight decrease (P = 0.1) in surface CD63 expression, whereas bone marrow mast cells from adults with indolent systemic mast cell disease showed significantly (P = 0.0005) higher levels of surface CD63 as compared to healthy controls.

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