Mast cell colonies were obtained when lymph node cells of horse serum-immunized Balb/c mice were cultured in a horse serum-containing medium on embryonic fibroblast monolayer. In order to characterize precursors of mast cells, mesenteric lymph node cells from the immunized mice were fractionated to obtain nonadherent cells, a B cell-depleted fraction and a T cell-depleted fraction; and each fraction was cultured on fibroblast monolayer. Mast cell colonies developed from nonadherent cells and from the B cell-depleted fraction but not from the T cell-depleted fraction. However, cultures of the same T cell-depleted fraction developed mast cell colonies if cell-free supernatant obtained from culture of horse serum-primed T cells was added. Soluble factors promoting mast cell growth were not obtained when the same T cells were incubated in horse serum-free medium. It appears that the majority of mast cell precursors in the lymph nodes are nonadherent cells and bear neither immunoglobulin nor Thy 1 antigen. The results also suggested that soluble factor(s) released from antigen-stimulated T cells enhanced the differentiation of the precursors to mature mast cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy