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In situ detection of the mast cell proteases chymase and tryptase in human lung tissue using light and electron microscopy

, : In situ detection of the mast cell proteases chymase and tryptase in human lung tissue using light and electron microscopy. Histochemistry and Cell Biology 116(6): 483-493

Scroll-rich, 'mucosal' mast cells are the predominant human lung mast cell type. It has been proposed that these mast cells store tryptase but are mostly chymase deficient. We present a detailed immunolocalisation study of chymase and tryptase in lung specimens of eight patients. Using monoclonal antibody B7 in a conventional tissue processing method for light microscopy, chymase-positive mast cells were much fewer than tryptase-positive ones. However, they approached the number of tryptase-positive cells when optimised processing was used. Two different monoclonal antibodies, B7 and CC1, were used to visualise chymase in purified lung mast cells of two patients using ultrastructural immunogold labelling. Immunoabsorption controls demonstrated a reactivity of B7 with both tryptase and chymase, but indicated specificity of CC1 for chymase. On the ultrastructural level, all of more than 1,400 lung mast cells evaluated labelled for chymase. Reactivity was seen in cytoplasmic granules, cytoplasm and vesicles, but not elsewhere. Tryptase labelling using monoclonal antibody G3 was also present in all mast cells detected, and was retained in altered granules (=activated mast cells), where B7 labelling was sparse. The average labelling density was approximately sixfold higher than for chymase. In summary, chymase may be more abundant in human lung mast cells than hitherto thought.


PMID: 11810190

DOI: 10.1007/s00418-001-0339-1

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