Mast cells from the human intestinal lamina propria. Isolation, histochemical subtypes, and functional characterization.
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With the use of a collagenase dispersion technique, cells were isolated from the lamina propria of the human small and large intestine. The cell suspensions contained 8% mast cells, which on average contained 1 to 2 pg of histamine/cell. With the use of histochemical procedures based upon fixative sensitivity and dye binding, which identify functionally distinct mast cell subtypes in the rat, dispersed human intestinal mast cells contained approximately equal proportions of two histochemical subtypes analogous to those in the rat. Whether these are functionally distinct as in the rat remains to be determined. The histochemically mixed mast cell populations from the human intestinal mucosa secreted histamine in a dose- and energy-dependent manner in response to anti-IgE and A23187, but not 48/80. Theophylline, doxantrazole, quercetin, and salbutamol all significantly inhibited anti-IgE-induced histamine secretion by human intestinal mast cells, but cromolyn sodium and the experimental antisecretory drugs, nedocromil sodium and FPL 52694, did not inhibit histamine secretion by the mast cell mixture to a statistically significant extent. Cromolyn sodium inhibited histamine secretion by 15 to 30%, and whether this reflected inhibition of one of the two histochemical mast cell subtypes to a greater extent than the other or all the cells to a minimal degree remains to be established. Control investigations of the intestinal cell isolation procedure indicated that these qualities did not reflect effects of the cell dispersal procedure. Further characterization and analysis of intestinal mast cells is essential to determine if functionally distinct mast cell subtypes exist in human tissues.
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