Mitochondria distinguish granule-stored from de novo synthesized tumor necrosis factor secretion in human mast cells

Bodi Zhang, Zuyi Weng, Nikolaos Sismanopoulos, Sharhzad Asadi, Anastasia Therianou, Konstantinos Dionysios Alysandratos, Asimenia Angelidou, Orian Shirihai, Theoharis C. Theoharides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Background: Mast cells are immune cells derived from hematopoietic precursors that mature in the tissue microenvironment. Mast cells are critical for allergic, immune and inflammatory processes, many of which involve tumor necrosis factor (TNF). These cells uniquely store TNF in their secretory granules. Upon stimulation, mast cells rapidly (30 min) secrete β-hexosaminidase and granule-stored TNF through degranulation, but also increase TNF mRNA and release de novo synthesized TNF 24 h later. The regulation of these two distinct pathways is poorly understood. Methods: Human LAD2 leukemic mast cells are stimulated by substance P. TNF secretion and gene expression were measured by ELISA and real-time PCR, and mitochondrial dynamics was observed in live cells under confocal microscopy. Cell energy consumption was measured in terms of oxygen consumption rate. Results: Here, we show that granule-stored TNF is preformed, and its secretion from LAD2 mast cells stimulated by substance P (1) exhibits higher energy consumption and is inhibited by the mitochondrial ATP pump blocker oligomycin, (2) shows rapid increase in intracellular calcium levels, and (3) exhibits reversible mitochondrial translocation, from a perinuclear distribution to the cell surface, as compared to de novo synthesized TNF release induced by lipopolysaccharide. This mitochondrial translocation is confirmed using primary human umbilical cord blood-derived mast cells stimulated by an allergic trigger (IgE/streptavidin). Conclusion: Our findings indicate that unique mitochondrial functions distinguish granule-stored from newly synthesized TNF release from human mast cells, thus permitting the versatile involvement of mast cells in different biological processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-32
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Archives of Allergy and Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Mast cells
  • Mitochondria
  • Substance P
  • Tumor necrosis factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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