, Volume 13, Issue 2-3, pp 122-126

Mast cells isolated from guinea-pig lung: characterization and studies on histamine secretion

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A method has been developed for the dispersion of guinea-pig lung into its component cells using the proteolytic enzyme collagenase. The procedure typically yielded 5×106 mast cells per g of tissue with a recovery of histamine ofca. 20%. The mast cells comprised 2% of the total nucleated cells, had a histamine content of 1–2 pg per cell and exhibited a low spontaneous release of the amine (ca. 6%). In contrast to the rat peritoneal mast cell, guinea-pig lung mast cells were refractory to the action of compound 48/80, peptide 401 (MCD-peptide), dextran and Concanavalin A. However, the cells released histamine on antigenic challenge following active sensitization and dose-dependent histamine secretion was also produced by the ionophores A23187, ionomycin and Br-X537A. These results further emphasize the functional heterogeneity of mast cells obtained from different species and tissues.