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Abstract

Mast cells accumulate at sites of angiogenesis. The factor(s) that control mast-cell recruitment at these sites have yet to be defined. We sought to determine if angiogenic factors result in mast-cell chemotaxis. In this study, we observed that platelet-derived growth factor-AB (PDGF-AB), vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF), and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) each cause directed migration of murine mast cells at picomolar concentrations, with a typical bell-shaped dose-response curve. Another potent angiogenic factor, platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor (PD-ECGF), appears to promote chemokinesis of mast cells, whereas tumor necrosis factor-alpha, a weak angiogenic factor, is less robust but still functions as a mast cell chemotactic factor. Epidermal growth factor (EGF), a growth factor with minimal angiogenic properties, was ineffective as a mast cell chemotactic factor. A checkerboard analysis confirmed the directional chemotactic response of PDGF-AB, VEGF, and bFGF, while indicating the chemokinetic response induced by PD-ECGF. Cross-desensitization of growth-factor-induced directed migration was observed between PDGF-AB and bFGF, and also between PDGF-AB and PD-ECGF. Tyrosine kinase-inhibitor genistein effectively dampened the chemotactic responses, whereas pertussis toxin had no effect. In summary, our findings suggest that factors known to act on endothelial cells and stimulate neovascularization may simultaneously serve to recruit mast cells to these sites. The local accumulation of mast cells is believed to facilitate new vessel formation through complex cell:cell interactions.