Murine mast cells synthesize basement membrane components. A potential role in early fibrosis

J Clin Invest. 1991 Feb;87(2):619-23. doi: 10.1172/JCI115038.


Mast cells are resident in tissues, particularly in association with endothelial and epithelial cell basement membranes, and increase at sites of inflammation, injury, and fibrosis. Although mast cells are known to both release and generate proinflammatory molecules in response to inflammatory stimuli, little is known about their normal biologic function. Here we demonstrate that IL-3-dependent mouse PT18 mast cells, mouse bone marrow-derived mast cells, and rat basophilic leukemia cells express large amounts of mRNA for collagen IV, laminin, and heparan sulfate proteoglycan. Western blot analysis confirmed that mast cells synthesize and secrete significant amounts collagen IV and laminin B1 and B2 chains. These data suggest that mast cells may contribute to normal tissue repair and/or the early overproduction of basement membrane components seen in a variety of fibrotic conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / biosynthesis
  • Animals
  • Basement Membrane / metabolism*
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Collagen / biosynthesis
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / genetics
  • Fibrosis / metabolism
  • Heparitin Sulfate / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-3 / pharmacology
  • Laminin / biosynthesis
  • Mast Cells / drug effects
  • Mast Cells / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Proteoglycans / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Actins
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Interleukin-3
  • Laminin
  • Proteoglycans
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Collagen
  • Heparitin Sulfate