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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mouse mast cells that possess segmented/multi-lobular nuclei.

Because in humans mast cells and basophils tend to possess nonsegmented and segmented/multi-lobular nuclei, respectively, nuclear morphology has been a major criterion for assessing the lineage of metachromatic cells of hematopoietic origin. Immature metachromatic cells with mono- and multi-lobular nuclei were both obtained when bone marrow cells from BALB/c mice were cultured for 3 weeks in the presence of interleukin-3. Analogous to the indigenous mature mast cells that reside in the peritoneal cavity and skin, both populations of in vitro-derived cells expressed the surface receptor c-kit, the chymase mouse mast cell protease (mMCP) 5, the tryptase mMCP-6, and the exopeptidase carboxypeptidase A (mMC-CPA). Immunogold electron microscopy confirmed the granule location of mMC-CPA and mMCP-6 in both populations of cells, and cytochemical analysis confirmed the presence of chymotryptic enzymes in the granules. Because mature mast cells possessing multi-lobular nuclei also were occasionally found in the skeletal muscle and jejunum of the BALB/c mouse, the V3 mouse mast cell line was used to investigate the developmental relationship of mast cells that have very different nuclear structures. After the adoptive transfer of V3 mast cells into BALB/c mice, v-abl-immortalized mast cells with mono- and multi-lobular nuclei were detected in the lymph nodes and other tissues of the mastocytosis mice that expressed c-kit, mMCP-5, mMCP-6, and mMC-CPA. These studies indicate that mouse mast cells can exhibit varied nuclear profiles. Moreover, the nuclear morphology of this cell type gives no insight as to its protease phenotype or stage of development.[1]


  1. Mouse mast cells that possess segmented/multi-lobular nuclei. Gurish, M.F., Friend, D.S., Webster, M., Ghildyal, N., Nicodemus, C.F., Stevens, R.L. Blood (1997) [Pubmed]
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