Studies of the intracellular Ca2+ levels in human adult skin mast cells activated by the ligand for the human c-kit receptor and anti-IgE

Michele Columbo, Luis M. Botana, Edward M Horowitz, Lawrence M. Lichtenstein, Donald W. Macglashan

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18 Scopus citations


The human c-kit receptor ligand, rhSCF, is the only cytokine known to be active on human mast cells, but its intracellular signal transduction pathway is still unknown. We compared the effect of rhSCF on intracellular Ca2+ levels in purified ( > 70% pure) adult skin mast cells with two other immunologic stimuli, namely, anti-IgE and substance P. Both rhSCF (1 μg/mL) and anti-IgE (3 μg/ mL) induced a rapid (<20sec) and sustained (T 1 2 for decay > 10 min) increase in free cytosolic Ca2+ concentration. In contrast, substance P (5 μM) elicited a very rapid (<1 sec) and transient (T 1 2 for decay ∼-5 sec) rise in intracellular Ca2+ levels. Intracellular cAMP levels were then increased by pharmacologic means to examine the role of the cyclic nucleotide in controlling the Ca2+ response in skin mast cells. A combination of the general phosphodiesterase inhibitor, isobutylmethylxanthine (IBMX) (200 μM) and the adenylate cyclase activator, forskolin (30 μM) was effective in inhibiting the Ca2+ response induced by rhSCF or anti-IgE (82 and 68% inhibition, respectively), while IBMX and forskolin alone were much less effective. The phosphodiesterase isozyme IV inhibitor, rolipram (10 μM), variably affected the increase in Ca2+ levels induced by anti-IgE, but it exerted a significant inhibitory activity on anti-IgE- or rhSCF-induced response in the presence of forskolin (30 μg/mL) (33 and 67%, respectively). Two different protein kinase C (PKC) activators TPA (200 nM) and bryostatin 1 (200 nM) similarly inhibited rhSCF- (22 and 32%, respectively) and anti-IgE-induced (24 and 32%) Ca2+ response. Finally, the kinase inhibitor genistein (30 μg/mL) was a somewhat more effective inhibitor of the rise in intracellular Ca2+ induced by rhSCF (100%) than that activated by anti-IgE (54%) (P < 0.05). These data indicate that rhSCF and anti-IgE may act on human mast cells through a common pathway to increase free cytosolic Ca2+ levels and this effect is similarly modulated by various drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2137-2145
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 1994


  • anti-IgE
  • calcium
  • mast cells
  • pharmacology
  • rhSCF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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