Letter | Published:

Mast Cell Turn-over in Adult Mice

Nature volume 192, pages 980981 (09 December 1961) | Download Citation



MAST cells are generally thought to be derived from undifferentiated mesenchymal cells and perhaps heteroplastically from lymphocytes, plasma cells or histiocytes1. Various conditions can cause mast cell granules to be discharged in a manner that has led some investigators to believe the cell is destroyed in the process. Yet Padawer2 reported never having seen a mast cell in mitosis during his extensive investigation of these cells with colchicine and related substances. This does not preclude the possibility of mast cells being continually replaced by transformations from a population of proliferating precursor cells. Extensive mast cell degranulation occurs after administration of compound 48/80 and is followed within 4 days by the re-appearance of granulated mast cells3. This sequence of events was investigated radioautographically with sulphur-35 by Watson and Kennedy4. They observed sulphur-35 uptake within 24 hr. by ‘ghost cells’ which had a tissue distribution equivalent to that of the original granulated mast cells.

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  1. Department of Anatomy, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas.



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