Roles of MITF for development of mast cells in mice: effects on both precursors and tissue environments

Blood. 2004 Sep 15;104(6):1656-61. doi: 10.1182/blood-2004-01-0247. Epub 2004 Jun 1.


The mutant tg/tg mice, which do not express mi transcription factor (MITF), lack mast cells in most tissues. Since MITF is expressed in both mast cells and tissues where mast cells develop, there is a possibility that the tg/tg mice may show abnormalities in both mast cell precursors and tissue environments. We examined this possibility by bone marrow and skin transplantation. When bone marrow cells of tg/tg mice were transplanted to W/W(v) mice that possess normal tissue environment, mast cells did not develop in all tissues examined. The number of developing mast cells in the skin of W/W(v) mice was much lower when grafted to tg/tg recipients than when grafted to normal (+/+) recipients. These results indicated that mast cell precursors of tg/tg mice were defective. When bone marrow cells of +/+ mice were transplanted, the number of developing mast cells was significantly lower in examined tissues of tg/tg recipients than in those of W/W(v) recipients, suggesting that the tissue environment for mast cell development was defective in tg/tg mice. MITF appeared essential for the function of both mast cell precursors and tissue environments for their development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Differentiation* / radiation effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Colony-Stimulating Factors / pharmacology
  • Cytokines / pharmacology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Genotype
  • Interleukin-3 / pharmacology
  • Mast Cells / cytology*
  • Mast Cells / drug effects
  • Mast Cells / metabolism*
  • Mast Cells / radiation effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor
  • Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Skin Transplantation
  • Stem Cell Factor / pharmacology
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Stem Cells / radiation effects
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Colony-Stimulating Factors
  • Cytokines
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Interleukin-3
  • Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor
  • Mitf protein, mouse
  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Stem Cell Factor
  • Transcription Factors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit