Objective and design: The expression of specific Cl- channels in mast cells (MC) is poorly understood. Because the largest and most ubiquitously expressed family of Cl- channels is the ClC, we studied MC mRNA and protein expression for members of the ClC family.
Methods: Specific primers were designed to ClC-1 to -7 and reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed on RNA from highly purified rat peritoneal mast cells (PMC) and the rat cultured mast cell line (RCMC). Protein expression of ClC-2, -3 and -7 chloride channels in PMC and RCMC was studied using western blotting.
Results: RT-PCR showed that RCMC expressed mRNA for the Cl- channels (ClC)-2, -3, -4, -5 and -7, while PMC expressed ClC-7. Using Western Blotting, we found protein expression of ClC-2 and ClC-7, but not ClC-3, in RCMC, whereas in PMC neither of these proteins could be detected.
Conclusion: These results indicate that MC express several members of the ClC family and that these Cl- channels might be important in MC functions.