Th17 cell-mediated immune responses promote mast cell proliferation by triggering stem cell factor in keratinocytes

Kyung Ah Cho, Minhwa Park, Yu Hee Kim, So Youn Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Although mast cells are traditionally thought to function as effector cells in allergic responses, they have increasingly been recognized as important regulators of various immune responses. Mast cells mature locally; thus, tissue-specific influences are important for promoting mast cell accumulation and survival in the skin and the gastrointestinal tract. In this study, we determined the effects of keratinocytes on mast cell accumulation during Th17-mediated skin inflammation. We observed increases in dermal mast cells in imiquimod-induced psoriatic dermatitis in mice accompanied by the expression of epidermal stem cell factor (SCF), a critical mast cell growth factor. Similar to mouse epidermal keratinocytes, SCF was highly expressed in the human HaCaT keratinocyte cell line following stimulation with IL−17. Further, keratinocytes promoted mast cell proliferation following stimulation with IL−17 in vitro. However, the effects of keratinocytes on mast cells were significantly diminished in the presence of anti−CD117 (stem cell factor receptor) blocking antibodies. Taken together, our results revealed that the Th17-mediated inflammatory environment promotes mast cell accumulation through keratinocyte-derived SCF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)856-861
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - 10 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (No. NRF-2016R1A2B4009182 and 2015R1C1A1A01053573). There are no financial conflicts of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • Keratinocyte
  • Mast cell
  • Psoriasis
  • Stem cell factor


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