Mast cell number and phenotype in chronic idiopathic urticaria

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christopher Kepley, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Background: Increased levels of histamine have been previously demonstrated in patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria. Objective: The purpose of the study was to determine whether increased numbers of mast cells are present in lesional skin from such patients. Methods: Mast cells have been quantified in lesional (n = 11) and nonlesional (n = 9) skin from patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria and compared with site-matched skin from healthy control subjects (n = 10). Mast cells were identified by using a sensitive, double-labeling immunohistochemical technique with specific monoclonal antibodies to mast cell tryptase and chymaseand quantified under light microscopy. Results: No significant differences in mast cell numbers from lesional, nonlesional, or control skin were observed (p > 0.1, Student's t test). In both patients with urticaria and control subjects, more than 99% of cutaneous mast cells contained tryptase and chymase. Conclusions: These data indicate that increased skin histamine in chronic idiopathic urticaria is not caused by increased mast cells and may alternatively reflect an increase in histamine content per mast cell, enhanced mast cell activation, or recruitment of basophils into skin in patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria.

Additional Information

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 1995; 96(3):360-4.
Language: English
Date: 1995
Urticaria, mast cells, MCTC, MCT, immunohistochemistry

Email this document to