UNIT 7.37 Generation, Isolation, and Maintenance of Human Mast Cells and Mast Cell Lines Derived from Peripheral Blood or Cord Blood

  1. Madeleine Rådinger1,
  2. Bettina M. Jensen2,
  3. Hye Sun Kuehn1,
  4. Arnold Kirshenbaum2,
  5. Alasdair M. Gilfillan1

Published Online: 1 AUG 2010

DOI: 10.1002/0471142735.im0737s90

Current Protocols in Immunology

Current Protocols in Immunology

How to Cite

Rådinger, M., Jensen, B. M., Kuehn, H. S., Kirshenbaum, A. and Gilfillan, A. M. 2010. Generation, Isolation, and Maintenance of Human Mast Cells and Mast Cell Lines Derived from Peripheral Blood or Cord Blood. Current Protocols in Immunology. 90:IV:7.37:7.37.1–7.37.12.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Laboratory of Allergic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

  2. 2

    Allergy Clinic, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 AUG 2010
  2. Published Print: AUG 2010


Antigen-mediated mast cell activation is a pivotal step in the initiation of allergic disorders including anaphylaxis and atopy. To date, studies aimed at investigating the mechanisms regulating these responses, and studies designed to identify potential ways to prevent them, have primarily been conducted in rodent mast cells. However, to understand how these responses pertain to human disease, and to investigate and develop novel therapies for the treatment of human mast cell–driven disease, human mast cell models may have greater relevance. Recently, a number of systems have been developed to allow investigators to readily obtain sufficient quantities of human mast cells to conduct these studies. These mast cells release the appropriate suite of inflammatory mediators in response to known mast cell activators including antigen. These systems have also been employed to examine the signaling events regulating these responses. Proof of principle studies has also demonstrated utility of these systems for the identification of potential inhibitors of mast cell activation and growth. In this unit, techniques for the development and culture of human mast cells from their progenitors and the culture of human mast cell lines are described. The relative merits and drawbacks of each model are also described. Curr. Protoc. Immunol. 90:7.37.1-7.37.12. © 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • FcɛRI;
  • KIT;
  • mast cells;
  • human mast cells;
  • CD34+ peripheral blood progenitor cells;
  • HMC1 cells;
  • LAD2 cells