In contrast to resident constitutive mast cells (CMCs), mucosal MCs (MMCs) appear in the lung and trachea of sensitized mice only following inhalation challenge. We monitored the influx and maturation of MCs by their expression of Kit, Fc?RI, ß7-integrin and side scatter (SSC) by flow cytometry. Influx of MC progenitors (MCps) (Fc?RI(lo), Kit(int), ß7(hi), and SSC(lo)) peaks 1 day after challenges and subsides to baseline by day 7 after challenge. The mature MMCs appear as a distinct population on day 7 and peak at day 14 with higher SSC and Fc?RI expression, but lower ß7 and Kit expression. A distinct transitional population is present between 1 and 7 days after challenge. Maturation occurs more rapidly in the trachea. The resident tracheal CMCs had higher SSC, Fc?RI, and Kit and lower ß7-integrin expression than the MMCs. By histology, the MMCs follow similar kinetics to the flow cytometry-identified mature MMCs and are notably persistent for >42 days. Steroid treatment reduced inflammation and MCp influx but had no effect on established MMCs. Thus, changes in SSC, Fc?RI, and Kit together with the expression of aE/a4:ß7-integrins characterizes the development of induced MMCs from MCps and distinguishes them from resident CMCs in the trachea and large airways.
View details for DOI 10.1038/mi.2014.91
View details for PubMedID 25291985