Growth, phenotype, and function of human intestinal mast cells are tightly regulated by transforming growth factor β1

Gebhardt, T; Lorentz, A.; Detmer, F.; Trautwein, C.; Bektas, H.; Manns, M. P.; Bischoff, S. C.
July 2005
Gut;Jul2005, Vol. 54 Issue 7, p928
Academic Journal
Background and aims: Transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) is expressed in the healthy human intestine and controls mucosal immune responses and inflammation by regulating the function of lymphocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, and eosinophils. Here, we asked whether human intestinal mast cells (MC) might also be subject to immunoregulation by TGF-β1. Methods: MC were isolated from the intestinal mucosa, purified, and cultured in vitro in the presence of stem cell factor (SCF) with or without TGF-β1. Growth characteristics, phenotype, and immunological mediator release of MC were analysed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, flow cytometry, immunocytochemistry, western blot, and different immunoassays, respectively. Results: TGF-β1 dose dependently (ED50 ≈ 0.1 ng/ml) inhibited SCF dependent growth of human intestinal MC by both enhancing apoptosis and decreasing proliferation. In parallel, TGF-β1 increased the percentage of connective tissue-type MC expressing tryptase and chymase while downregulating expression of the receptors for IgE and SCF. Furthermore, TGF-β1 dramatically changed the profile of mediators released by MC following IgE receptor crosslinking. Release of histamine, cysteinyl-leukotrienes, and tumour necrosis factor α was strongly reduced whereas prostaglandin D2 generation and cyclooxygenase 1 and 2 expression were upregulated by TGF-β1. Conclusions: Our data indicate that TGF-β1 acts as a novel potent inhibitor and modulator of human intestinal MC effector functions. The change in MC mediator release profile and protease expression induced by TGF-β1 might be of relevance for the control of MC associated disorders of the intestine such as allergic reactions, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and parasitic infection.


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