Mast Cell and Basophil Cell Lines: A Compendium

Passante, Egle (2014) Mast Cell and Basophil Cell Lines: A Compendium. In: Basophils and Mast Cells. Methods in molecular biology, 1192; Springer protocols, 1192 . Springer, New York, pp. 101-113. ISBN 1493911724

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Mast cells and basophils play a crucial role during type I hypersensitivity reactions. However, despite efforts to elucidate their role in the pathogenesis of allergy and inflammation, our understanding of mast cell and basophil biology is still relatively scarce. The practical difficulty in obtaining a sufficient number of purified primary cells from biological samples has slowed down the process of reaching a full understanding of the physiological role of these functionally similar cell types. The establishment of several immortalized cell lines has been a useful tool to establish and perform sophisticated laboratory protocols that are impractical using primary cells. Continuous cell lines have been extensively used to investigate the allergen/IgE-mediated cell activation, to elucidate the degranulation dynamics, to investigate structural and functional properties of the high-affinity receptor (FcεRI), and to test cell-stabilizing compounds. In this chapter we review the most widely used and better characterized mast cell and basophil cell lines, highlighting their advantages and drawbacks. It must be pointed out, however, that while cell lines represent a useful in vitro tool due to their easy manipulability and reduced culture costs, they often show aberrant characteristics which are not fully representative of primary cell physiology; results obtained with such cells therefore must be interpreted with due care.

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