Research ArticleALLERGY

Human airway mast cells proliferate and acquire distinct inflammation-driven phenotypes during type 2 inflammation

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Science Immunology  26 Feb 2021:
Vol. 6, Issue 56, eabb7221
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.abb7221

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Mast cell spectrum

Mast cells (MCs), key players in type 2 (T2) allergic airway diseases such as chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP), have mainly been characterized into different subsets based on protease content. Dwyer et al. have used flow cytometry and single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) to carry out a detailed study of human MC hyperplasia in CRSwNP. Relative to control tissue from patients with CRS lacking polyps, mature epithelial MCs that express tryptase (MCT), subepithelial MCs that express tryptase and chymase (MCTC), and CD38highCD117high MCs with an intermediate phenotype between MCT and MCTC all expanded in polyps of patients with CRSwNP. These results suggest that local proliferation of CD38highCD117high MCs is linked to both mature MC subsets and contributes to T2 disease.

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