Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 8245470
J. Immunol. 1993 Dec;151(11):6318-28
This paper describes a new role for mast cells as being able to present Ag to immune T cells. A mouse bone marrow-derived mast cell population obtained after 3 wk of culture in a conditioned medium has been shown to express a variety of membrane-associated Ag, including MHC class II and class I Ag, CD23, CD32, high affinity receptor for IgE, and CD4. Expression of MHC class II molecules was up-regulated upon stimulation with LPS but not with IFN-gamma and was down-regulated after exposure of mast cells to IL-3 treatment. We have demonstrated that mast cells were able to present native Ag as well as immunogenic peptides to MHC class II-restricted T cell hybridoma. The inhibition of Ag presentation after mast cells have been treated with ammonia suggests that Ag catabolism in intracytoplasmic compartment as a key step in Ag handling takes place in these cells. The MHC class II molecule is the restricting element for the presentation of OVA and the lambda repressor from bacteriophage lambda to a panel of specific T cell hybridomas, as demonstrated by the blocking effect of anti-MHC class II mAb on the Ag-presenting function. A characteristic feature of mast cells is the generation of a narrower immunogenic peptide repertoire as compared with A20 and LBB 3.4.16, a B lymphoma cell line, and a B cell hybridoma, respectively. This novel function of mast cells brings to a much closer connection inflammatory and immunologic processes and sheds new light on the biology of mast cells and particularly on the specific allergic responses.