Human mast cells have been purified from uterine tissues, and their surface marker profile and function have been evaluated as part of ongoing studies of mast cell heterogeneity. Using a panel of antibodies, purified uterine mast cells (UMC; 81% ± 7% purity, n = 10) were analyzed by immunofluorescence and flow cytometry for surface expression of various antigens. Consistent with previous analyses of mast cells from other tissues, UMC expressed HLA class I, IgE, c-kit receptor, CD9, CD33, CD43, CD45, and CD54, while CD11a, CD11b, CD14, CD16, CD23, and CD64 were not detected. Unlike other mast cells, UMC expressed CD11c/CD18 (p150,95) and CD32 (FcγRII). Additional antigens not previously studied on mast cells included the selectin LECAM-1 (Leu-8) and several β1 and β3 integrins; expression of very late activation antigen-4 (VLA-4) (CD49d/CD29), VLA-5 (CD49e/CD29), and the vitronectin receptor (CD51/CD61) was seen. Functional studies showed that treatment of human umbilical vein endothelial cells with interleukin-1 (5 ng/mL for 4 hours) resulted in a twofold to threefold increase in adhesiveness for UMC. Purification procedures did not alter histamine release responses to anti-IgE or the calcium ionophore A23187, and treatment of UMC with an anti-CD32 monoclonal antibody (IV.3) did not induce histamine release or alter anti-IgE-induced release. These data suggest that UMC may possess unique phenotypic characteristics, and support the concept of mast cell heterogeneity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology