C3a and C5a stimulate chemotaxis of human mast cells

Karin Hartmann*, Beate M. Henz, Sabine Krüger-Krasagakes, Jörg Köhl, Reinhard Burger, Sven Gurtl, Ingo Haase, Undine Lippert, Torsten Zuberbier

*Corresponding author for this work
231 Citations (Scopus)


The factors that control migration of mast cells to sites of inflammation and tissue repair remain largely undefined. Whereas several recent studies have described chemotactic factors that induce migration of murine mast cells, only stem cell factor (SCF) is known to induce migration of human mast cells. We report here that the anaphylatoxins C3a and C5a are chemotactic factors for the human mast cell line HMC-1, human cord blood- derived mast cells (CBMC) and cutaneous mast cells in vitro. The presence of an extracellular matrix protein, laminin, was required for chemotaxis in response to complement peptides. Migration of mast cells towards C3a and C5a was dose-dependent, peaking at 1 μg/mL (100 nmol/L), and was inhibited by specific antibodies. Pretreatment with pertussis toxin inhibited the anaphylatoxin-mediated migration of HMC-1 cells, indicating that G1 proteins are involved in complement-activated signal transduction pathways in human mast cella. Both C3a and C5a also induced a rapid and transient mobilization of intracellular free calcium ([Ca2+](i)) in HMC-1 cells. Besides SCF, other chemotactic factors tested, such as interleukin-3, nerve growth factor, transforming growth factor β, RANTES (regulated upon activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), MCP-2, MCP-3, macrophage inflammatory protein-1α (MIP-1α), and MIP-1β, failed to stimulate migration of human mast cells. In summary, these findings indicate that C3a and C5a serve as chemotaxins for human mast cells. Anaphylatoxin- mediated recruitment of mast cells might play an important role in hypersensitivity and inflammatory processes.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)2863-2870
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 15.04.1997


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