Human skin mast cells: their dispersion, purification, and secretory characterization.J Immunol. 1987 Feb 01; 138(3):861-7.JI
Digestion of human foreskin with collagenase and hyaluronidase disperses approximately 3.4 X 10(7) nucleated cells per gram of tissue, of which mast cells constitute 4.7%. These may be purified to 80% by use of density gradient centrifugation. The majority of mast cells (79%) measured between 9 and 13 micron in diameter, and the mean histamine content was 4.6 pg/cell. Viability was demonstrated by trypan blue exclusion by 93% of the cells and the low spontaneous histamine secretion of less than 7% in functional studies. Anti-IgE released up to 17.5% of cell-associated histamine within 5 to 7 min. Calcium ionophore-induced release was optimal with 0.3 microM A23187 when 28.6% histamine was released. Unlike human lung mast cells, skin mast cells released histamine in response to compound 48/80 and poly-L-lysine. This release, which was complete within 20 sec, was totally dependent on intact glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation and partially dependent on extracellular calcium. The same characteristics were observed with secretion induced by substance P and morphine. The weak activity of eledoisin and physalaemin suggests that the substance P receptor, like that of the rat mast cell, is not of the classical types described for smooth muscle. Morphine-induced secretion was partially blocked by naloxone in a manner not compatible with competitive antagonism at a classical opioid receptor. The sensitivity of skin mast cells to nonimmunologic stimulation clearly distinguishes them from mast cells of the lung and lymphoid tissues and provides evidence of functional heterogeneity within human mast cells.