BMC genomics

Genome-wide gene expression profiling of human mast cells stimulated by IgE or FcepsilonRI-aggregation reveals a complex network of genes involved in inflammatory responses.

PMID 16911805


Mast cells are well established effectors of IgE-triggered allergic reactions and immune responses to parasitic infections. Recent studies indicate that mast cells may play roles in adaptive and innate immunity, suggesting an innovative view of the regulation of immune responses. Here, we profiled the transcriptome of human mast cells sensitized with IgE alone, or stimulated by FcepsilonRI aggregation. Our data show that among 8,793 genes examined, 559 genes are differentially regulated in stimulated mast cells when compared with resting/unstimulated mast cells. The major functional categories of upregulated genes include cytokines, chemokines, and other genes involved in innate and adaptive immune-responses. We observed the increased expression of over 63 gene-transcripts following IgE-sensitization alone. Our data was validated using Real-Time-PCR; ELISA and western blot. We confirmed that IgE alone does not trigger mast cell-immediate responses, such as calcium signals, degranulation or protein-phosphorylation. This report represents a substantial advance in our understanding of the genome wide effects triggered by "passive sensitization" or active stimulation of human mast cells, supporting mast cells' potential involvement in a wide range of inflammatory responses.