The dog mastocytoma BR cell line provides us with a permanent source of canine mast cells, allowing a characterization of secretory mediators that exert important effects in canine allergic and nonallergic diseases and in physiological processes. We studied the ultrastructural characteristics and histamine releasing activity after immunological and non-immunological stimuli of the dog mastocytoma BR cell line, and compared the cell line to normal skin mast cells enzymatically isolated from healthy dogs. The histamine content of BR cells was 0.04 ± 0.002 pg/cell, approximately 100- fold less than that found in canine skin mast cells. Non-immunologic stimuli induced similar concentration-dependent histamine release from skin mast cells and BR cells: 29.3 ± 0.9% vs. 12.7 ± 0.7% (calcium ionophore A23187), 23.3 ± 0.7% vs. 18.8 ± 0.7% (substance P) and 12.5 ± 0.3% vs. 12.1 ± 0.9% (compound 48/80), respectively. Immunologic stimulation, however, was only effective on canine skin mast cells, causing 30.9 ± 1.7%, 27.7 ± 0.6% and 12.2 ± 0.9% histamine release in response to anti-canine IgE, concanavalin A, and antigen Asc S 1, respectively. The absence of functional IgE receptors in BR cells was confirmed by the lack of response to anti-IgE and antigen Asc S 1 following passive sensitization with dog atopic serum and dog antigen sensitized serum. We conclude that BR cells are able to release histamine after non-immunologic stimulation in a similar manner to canine skin mast cells, but that there are morphological and functional differences possibly due to different states of maturity or differentiation. For this reason the study of the highly homogeneous BR cells could offer insights into dog mast cell biology in contexts where freshly isolated cells cannot be used because of low purity and recovery.
- BR cells
- Skin mast cells