Ultrastructural morphology of immature mast cells in sequential suspension cultures of human cord blood cells supplemented with c-kit ligand; Distinction from mature basophilic leukocytes undergoing secretion in the same cultures

A. M. Dvorak, H. Mitsui, T. Ishizaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The ability to culture human mast cells and, thus, to determine their ontogeny and possible relationships to other lineages has been facilitated by new studies using cocultures of cord blood cells with mouse fibroblasts and recombinant human or murine c-kit ligand-supplemented suspension cultures of cord blood cells. In this study, we examined c-kit ligand-supplemented cord blood cell suspension cultures designed so that the effects of growth factor source, individual cord sample, and culture time (3-17 weeks) on the developing mast cell lineage could be individually evaluated. We found that human mast cells, basophils, neutrophils, eosinophils, macrophages, megakaryocytes, and endothelial cells were present in these cultures. The numbers of mast cells and their granules increased with culture time; mature basophils, present in quantity in 3-week cultures, decreased in number and released granule contents with increased culture times. The mast cell lineage developed similarly, regardless of which factor preparation was added to cultures, but considerable variability existed among individual donors from whom cord bloods were obtained. Unlike the mature, crystal-containing mast cells that regularly developed in fibroblast cord blood cocultures (Furitsu et al. [1989] Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 86, 10039-10043), human mast cells failed to attain full maturity in the suspension cultures examined here, regardless of individual cord sample, added growth factor, or culture time. Furthermore, unlike cells of the basophil lineage in which granule content release was regularly observed, morphologic evidence of secretion from human mast cells was absent. Instead, these cells were actively undergoing granule building as determined by the increasing numbers of granules and filling of these containers over culture time. Crystal granules never developed, even at the maximum culture time of 17 weeks. We conclude that fibroblasts are necessary and sufficient for the differentiation and maturation of human mast cells in vitro from their agranular precursors in cord blood but that soluble c-kit ligand is not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-485
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Volume54
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

Keywords

  • endothelial cells
  • eosinophils
  • macrophages
  • megakaryocytes
  • neutrophils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology

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