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Mast cells in an atopic dermatitis mouse model

Last changed: 05 July 2021
Mast cells

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a complex, often lifelong allergic disease with severe pruritus affecting around 10% of both humans and dogs. To investigate the role of mast cells (MCs) and MC-specific proteases on the immunopathogenesis of AD, a vitamin D3-analog (MC903) was used to induce clinical AD-like symptoms in c-kit-dependent MC-deficient Wsh−/− and the MC protease-deficient mMCP-4−/−, mMCP-6−/−, and CPA3−/− mouse strains.

MC903-treatment on the ear lobe increased clinical scores and ear-thickening, along with increased MC and granulocyte infiltration and activity, as well as increased levels of interleukin 33 (IL-33) locally and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) both locally and systemically. The MC-deficient Wsh−/− mice showed significantly increased clinical score and ear thickening albeit having lower ear tissue levels of IL-33 and TSLP as well as lower serum levels of TSLP as compared to the WT mice.

In contrast, although having significantly increased IL-33 ear tissue levels the chymase-deficient mMCP-4−/− mice showed similar clinical score, ear thickening, and TSLP levels in ear tissue and serum as the WT mice, whereas mMCP-6 and CPA3 -deficient mice showed a slightly reduced ear thickening and granulocyte infiltration.

Our results suggest that MCs promote and control the level of MC903-induced AD-like inflammation.

Link to publication


Sofie Svanberg, Zhiqiang Li, Pontus Öhlund, Ananya Roy, Magnus Åbrink. Mast Cells Limit Ear Swelling Independently of the Chymase Mouse Mast Cell Protease 4 in an MC903-Induced Atopic Dermatitis-Like Mouse Model. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6311.