Human Dermal Mast Cells Contain and Release Tumor Necrosis Factor α, which Induces Endothelial Leukocyte Adhesion Molecule 1
Tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) is a proinflammatory cytokine that mediates endothelial leukocyte interactions by inducing expression of adhesion molecules. In this report, we demonstrate that human dermal mast cells contain sizeable stores of immunoreactive and biologically active TNF-α within granules, which can be released rapidly into the extracellular space upon degranulation. Among normal human dermal cells, mast cells are the predominant cell type that expresses both TNF-α protein and TNF-α mRNA. Moreover, induction of endothelial leukocyte adhesion molecule 1 expression is a direct consequence of release of mast cell-derived TNF-α. These findings establish a role for human mast cells as "gatekeepers" of the dermal microvasculature and indicate that mast cell products other than vasoactive amines influence endothelium in a proinflammatory fashion.