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Immunophenotypic characterization of human bone marrow mast cells. A flow cytometric study of normal and pathological bone marrow samples

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The goal of the present paper was to define the immunophenotype of bone marrow mast cells (BMMC) from healthy controls and patients with hematologic malignancies (HM) based on the use of multiple stainings with monoclonal antibodies analyzed by flow cytometry. Our results show that BMMC from both groups of individuals display a similar but heterogenous immunophenotype. The overall numbers of BMMC are higher in the HM group of individuals (p=0.08). Three patterns of antigen expression were detected: (1) markers constantly positive in all cases analyzed (CD9, CD29, CD33, CD43, CD44, CD49d, CD49e, CD51, CD71, CD117, and Fc\varepsilonRI), (2) antigens that were constantly negative (CD1a, CD2, CD3, CD5, CD6, CD11a, CD14, CD15, CD16, CD19, CD20, CD21, CD23, CD25, CD30, CD34, CD38, CD41a, CD42b, CD65, CD66b, HLA-DR, and CD138), and (3) markers that were positive in a variable proportion of cases – CD11b (50%), CD11c (77%), CD13 (40%), CD18 (20%), CD22 (68%), CD35 (27%), CD40 (67%), CD54 (88%) and CD61 (40%). In addition, BMMC from all cases explored were CD45^+, and this antigen was expressed at an intensity similar to that of mature granulocytes.

In summary, our results show that BMMC from both healthy controls and HM patients display a relatively heterogenous immunophenotype. Interestingly, we have observed clear differences between the immunophenotype of BMMC and MC from other tissues. This could be due either to the heterogeneity of human MC according to their tissue localization or to the sensitivity of the method used for antigen detection.

Keywords: Mast cells; bone marrow; flow cytometry; immunophenotype

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Servicio de Hematología, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain 2: Servicio Central de Citometría, Universidad de Salamanca, Spain 3: Departamento de Medicina, Servicio de Hematología, Universidad de Salamanca, Spain

Publication date: 1998-03-01

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