Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11306949
Int. Arch. Allergy Immunol. 2001 Jan-Mar;124(1-3):133-6
Bone marrow-derived mouse mast cells (BMMC) and mast cell lines P815 and MC9 have recently been shown to induce antigen-independent B and T lymphocyte activation. It has been demonstrated that a physical contact between mast cells and B and T lymphocytes is not necessary since mast cell supernatants contain full activity. Electron microscopy studies revealed the presence in mast cell supernatants of small vesicles called exosomes with a heterogeneous size from 60 to 100 nm of diameter. When cocultured with spleen cells, purified exosomes induce B and T cell blast formation, proliferation as well as IL-2 and IFN-gamma production. In contrast to P815 and MC9 mast cell lines, a pretreatment with IL-4 is required for BMMC to produce active exosomes. Structurally, these exosomes were found to harbor immunologically relevant molecules such as MHC class II, CD86, LFA-1 and ICAM-1. Here we provide for the first time the evidence that mast cells use exosomes as sophisticated messengers to communicate with cells of the immune system.