Mast cell activation and migration to lymph nodes during induction of an immune response in mice

Hong Wei Wang, Nicodemus Tedla, Andrew R. Lloyd, Denis Wakefield, H. Patrick McNeil*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Citations (Scopus)


The mast cell response in skin and lymph nodes was examined during the sensitization phase of dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB)-induced contact hypersensitivity in mice. Degranulation of 62% of mast cells in DNFB-exposed skin was evident within 30 min of a dual application of DNFB, reaching a peak of 77% at 24 h, and persisting in 42% after 5 d. Abundant expression of macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α and MIP-1β mRNAs and proteins was observed in keratinocytes, and mast cell degranulation was significantly inhibited after administration of neutralizing antibodies to MIP-1α, but not MIP-1β. During DNFB sensitization, the mast cell density in the skin decreased by half, concurrent with a fivefold expansion of mast cell numbers in draining lymph nodes. Fluorescent-labeled mast cells injected into the skin appeared in draining lymph nodes after application of DNFβ, followed by subsequent migration to the spleen. In lymph nodes, mast cells were an abundant and predominant source of MIP-1β, neutralization of which partially inhibited T lymphocyte recruitment. These results indicate that mast cells contribute to the induction of this primary immune response by activation at find migration from the site of antigen encounter to draining lymph nodes, wherein they mediate T lymphocyte recruitment by production of MIP-1β.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1617-1626
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell migration
  • Contact sensitivity
  • Dinitrofluorobenzene
  • MIP-1α
  • MIP-1β


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