IL-9 Increases the Expression of Several Cytokines in Activated Mast Cells, While the IL-9-induced IL-9 Production Is Inhibited in Mast Cells of Histamine-Free Transgenic Mice

Cytokine. 2004 May 7;26(3):122-30. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2004.01.006.


Histamine and IL-9 are suspected to play an important role in the pathogenesis of asthmatic and allergic reactions. Mast cells store a large amount of histamine in their granules and are capable of producing different cytokines upon stimulation. In this study we show that mast cells stimulated by IL-9 and ionomycin or IL-9 and antigen-specific IgE/antigen express several cytokines at mRNA level, among them are IL-5, IL-4, IL-10, IL-9, IL-13, IL-1beta, IL-1Ra, IL-6 and MIF. Furthermore, both IL-9 and ionomycin are needed for the production of these cytokines in great quantities, which is mediated through the production of IL-1beta. Histamine-free mast cells respond by a markedly decreased IL-9 expression to this stimulation. Our results show that this IL-9-induced IL-9 production may result in a positive feedback loop in mast cells and the lack of histamine disturbs this loop, which may serve as an explanation for the reduced asthmatic symptoms, observed in histamine-free mice.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Histamine / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-9 / metabolism*
  • Ionomycin / pharmacology
  • Ionophores / pharmacology
  • Kinetics
  • Mast Cells / drug effects
  • Mast Cells / metabolism*
  • Mice


  • Antigens
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-9
  • Ionophores
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Ionomycin
  • Histamine