Mast cells originate from pluripotent hematopoietic stem cells. Two mast cell specific antibodies, mAbsAA4 and BGD6, have previously been used to identify and study committed mast cell precursors (MCcps) in the bone marrow of adult mice and rats. However, the embryonic origin of MCcps is still not known. In the present study, we identified MCcps in rat embryos using these previously characterized mast cell specific antibodies. The MCcps were found in the AGM (aorta-gonad-mesonephros) region of rat embryos at E11.5. These cells were BGD6+, CD34(+), c-kit(+), CD13(+), FcεRI(-), AA4(-) CD40(-), and Thy-1(-). By PCR the cells contained message for the α and β subunits of FcεRI and mast cell specific proteases. In vitro, the MCcps differentiated into metachromatic mast cells. With age of gestation the percent of MCcps diminished while the percent of mast cell progenitors increased. An increased knowledge of the biology and embryonic origin of mast cells may contribute to a greater understanding of allergy, asthma, and other mast cell related diseases.
Guiraldelli, M. F., França, C. N., de Souza, D. A., da Silva, E. Z. M., Toso, V. D., Carvalho, C. C., … Oliver, C. (2013). Rat Embryonic Mast Cells Originate in the AGM. PLoS ONE, 8(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0057862