Activation of mouse bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMC) by thrombin (2-5 U/million cells) resulted in a concentration-dependent release of histamine, which levelled off by 0.1 U thrombin. Rat peritoneal mast cells (RMC) were not stimulated by thrombin, though in control experiments, both types of mast cells degranulated upon exposure to IgE-antigen. Pretreatment of thrombin with 0.2 mM diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP), a specific serine protease inhibitor, resulted in 90% loss of thrombin degranulation and coagulant activity. Fluorescently labelled thrombin (FITC-thrombin) specifically bound to the BMMC surface, as measured by fluorescence cytometry. Pre-exposure of the BMMC to 20-fold excess of unlabelled thrombin prior to incubation with FITC-thrombin, prevented the binding of the labelled-thrombin to the cells. Incubation of thrombin with DFP or with antithrombin III (AT-III) resulted in losses of procoagulant and of BMMC degranulatory activities. DFP treatment of FITC-thrombin had no effect on the binding of the labelled enzyme to the cell surface. However, preincubation of the FITC-thrombin with AT-III prevented thrombin binding to the BMMC. Thus, the binding and the catalytic regions of the thrombin molecule are operationally distinct from one another. Kinetic analysis of the BMMC exposed to 0.5 U thrombin revealed a transient rise in intracellular cAMP, which peaked by 15 sec and was not measurable after 1 min. This suggests that differential activation of mast cells can occur at sites of tissue injury.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology