Interleukin-9 (IL-9) and NPM-ALK each generate mast cell hyperplasia as single 'hit' and cooperate in producing a mastocytosis-like disease in mice.

Hartmut Merz*, Christian Kaehler, Kai P. Hoefig, Biggi Branke, Wolfgang Uckert, Roger Nadrowitz, Sabine Cerny-Reiterer, Harald Herrmann, Alfred C. Feller, Peter Valent

*Corresponding author for this work
5 Citations (Scopus)


Mast cell neoplasms are characterized by abnormal growth and focal accumulation of mast cells (MC) in one or more organs. Although several cytokines, including stem cell factor (SCF) and interleukin-9 (IL-9) have been implicated in growth of normal MC, little is known about pro-oncogenic molecules and conditions triggering differentiation and growth of MC far enough to lead to the histopathological picture of overt mastocytosis. The anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) has recently been implicated in growth of neoplastic cells in malignant lymphomas. Here, we describe that transplantation of NPM-ALK-transplanted mouse bone marrow progenitors into lethally irradiated IL-9 transgenic mice not only results in lymphoma-formation, but also in the development of a neoplastic disease exhibiting histopathological features of systemic mastocytosis, including multifocal dense MC-infiltrates, occasionally with devastating growth in visceral organs. Transplantation of NPM-ALK-transduced progenitors into normal mice or maintenance of IL-9-transgenic mice without NPM-ALK each resulted in MC hyperplasia, but not in mastocytosis. Neoplastic MC in mice not only displayed IL-9, but also the IL-9 receptor, and the same was found to hold true for human neoplastic MC. Together, our data show that neoplastic MC express IL-9 receptors, that IL-9 and NPM-ALK upregulate MC-production in vivo, and that both'hits' act in concert to induce a mastocytosis-like disease in mice. These data may have pathogenetic and clinical implications and fit well with the observation that neoplastic MC in advanced SM strongly express NPM and multiple "lymphoid" antigens including CD25 and CD30.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)104-119
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Interleukin-9 (IL-9) and NPM-ALK each generate mast cell hyperplasia as single 'hit' and cooperate in producing a mastocytosis-like disease in mice.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this