• DAP12;
  • FcεRI;
  • KIT;
  • Mast cells;
  • TLR


TLR, expressed on the surface of mast cells, respond to a variety of bacterial and viral components to induce and enhance high-affinity IgE receptor-mediated cytokine production. Recent reports have indicated that specific TLR-dependent responses in macrophages and dendritic cells are regulated by the ITAM-containing molecule, DAP12. When phosphorylated, DAP12 recruits Syk, which is a critical molecule for mast cell activation. We therefore examined whether DAP12 similarly regulates TLR-mediated responses in mast cells. DAP12 was confirmed to be expressed in both human and mouse mast cells and, upon phosphorylation, to recruit Syk. However, although TLR agonists induced cytokine production, and synergistically enhanced high-affinity IgE receptor-mediated cytokine production, surprisingly, they failed to increase DAP12 phosphorylation in mouse bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMC). Furthermore, normal TLR-mediated responses were observed in DAP12−/− BMMC. However, DAP12 phosphorylation and subsequent Syk recruitment were observed in BMMC following Con A-induced aggregation of mannose-glycosylated receptors, and these responses, together with Con A-induced degranulation, were substantially reduced in the DAP12−/− BMMC. These data demonstrate that TLR have differential requirements for DAP12 for their function in different cell types and that the inability of TLR to influence mast cell degranulation may be linked to their inability to utilize DAP12 to recruit Syk.