MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, noncoding RNAs that have been shown to play a critical role in normal physiology and disease, such as hematopoietic development and cancer. However, their role in mast-cell function and development is poorly understood. The major objective of this study was to determine how global miRNA expression affects mast-cell physiology. The RNase III endonuclease, Dicer, is required for the processing of pre-miRNAs into mature miRNAs. To investigate the effect of global miRNA depletion on mast cells in vivo, we generated a mast-cell-specific knock out of Dicer in mice. Transgenic mice (Mcpt5-Cre) that express Cre selectively in connective tissue mast cells were crossed with mice carrying the floxed conditional Dicer allele (Dicer fl/fl). Mcpt5-Cre × Dicer fl/fl mice with homozygous Dicer gene deletion in mast cells were found to have a profound mast-cell deficiency with near complete loss of peritoneal, gastrointestinal, and skin mast cells. We examined the in vivo functional consequence of mast-cell-specific Dicer deletion using an immunoglobulin-E-dependent passive systemic anaphylaxis murine model. Immunoglobulin-E-sensitized wild type Mcpt5-Cre × Dicer +/+ and heterozygous Mcpt5-Cre × Dicer fl/+ mice show marked hypothermia with antigen; however, homozygous Mcpt5-Cre × Dicer fl/fl mice were completely unresponsive to antigen challenge. These studies suggest a critical role for Dicer and miRNA expression for establishment of tissue compartments of functional mast cells in vivo.
Copyright © 2014 ISEH - International Society for Experimental Hematology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.