Expression of cell surface antigens on mast cells: mast cell phenotyping

Methods Mol Biol. 2006;315:77-90. doi: 10.1385/1-59259-967-2:077.


During the past few decades, a number of functionally important cell surface antigens have been detected on human mast cells (MCs). These antigens include the stem cell factor receptor (SCFR/CD117), the high-affinity immunoglobulin E receptor, adhesion molecules, and activation-linked membrane determinants. Several of these antigens (CD2, CD25, CD35, CD88, CD203c) appear to be upregulated on MCs in patients with systemic mastocytosis and therefore are used as diagnostic markers. Quantitative measurement of these markers on MCs is thus of diagnostic value and is usually performed by multicolor-based flow cytometry techniques utilizing a PE- or APC-labeled antibody against CD117 for MCs detection. This chapter gives an overview about the methods of staining of MC in various tissues with special reference to novel diagnostic markers applied in patients with suspected systemic mastocytosis.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Antigens, CD / immunology
  • Antigens, Surface / analysis*
  • Biomarkers
  • Bone Marrow Cells / chemistry
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / immunology
  • Cell Separation
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping*
  • Mast Cells / chemistry*
  • Mast Cells / cytology
  • Mast Cells / immunology*
  • Mastocytosis / diagnosis
  • Mastocytosis / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Biomarkers