Sarah J Collington

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (8)53.56 Total impact

  • Sarah J Collington · Timothy J Williams · Charlotte L Weller
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    ABSTRACT: Mast cells are tissue-resident cells best known for their role in allergy and host defence against helminth parasites. They are involved in responses against other pathogenic infections, wound healing and inflammatory disease. Committed mast cell progenitors are released from the bone marrow into the circulation, from where they are recruited into tissues to complete their maturation under the control of locally produced cytokines and growth factors. Directed migration occurs at distinct stages of the mast cell life-cycle and is associated with successive up- and downregulation of cell surface adhesion molecules and chemoattractant receptors as the cells mature. This article discusses some of the recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying mast cell recruitment.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2011 · Trends in Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Although human mast cells express G protein coupled receptors for the anaphylatoxin C3a, previous studies indicated that C3a causes mast cell degranulation, at least in part, via a C3a receptor-independent mechanism similar to that proposed for polycationic molecules such as compound 48/80. The purpose of the present study was to delineate the receptor specificity of C3a-induced degranulation in human mast cells. We found that C3a, a C3a receptor "superagonist" (E7) and compound 48/80 induced Ca(2+) mobilization and degranulation in a differentiated human mast cell line, LAD2. However, C3a and E7 caused Ca(2+) mobilization in an immature mast cell line, HMC-1 but compound 48/80 did not. We have previously shown that LAD2 cells express MrgX1 and MrgX2 but HMC-1 cells do not. To delineate the receptor specificity for C3a and compound 48/80 further, we generated stable transfectants expressing MrgX1 and MrgX2 in a rodent mast cell line, RBL-2H3 cells. We found that compound 48/80 caused degranulation in RBL-2H3 cells expressing MrgX1 and MrgX2 but C3a did not. By contrast, E7 activated RBL-2H3 cells expressing MrgX2 but not MrgX1. These findings demonstrate that in contrast to previous reports, C3a and compound 48/80 do not use a shared mechanism for mast cell degranulation. It shows that while compound 48/80 utilizes MrgX1 and MrgX2 for mast cell degranulation C3a does not. It further reveals the novel finding that the previously characterized synthetic peptide, C3a receptor "superagonist" E7 activates human mast cells via two mechanisms; one involving the C3a receptor and the other MrgX2.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · European journal of pharmacology
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    ABSTRACT: Human mast cells express the G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) for C5a (CD88). Previous studies indicated that C5a could cause mast cell degranulation, at least in part, via a mechanism similar to that proposed for basic neuropeptides such as substance P, possibly involving Mas-related gene 2 (MrgX2). We therefore sought to more clearly define the receptor specificity for C5a-induced mast cell degranulation. We found that LAD2, a human mast cell line, and CD34(+) cell-derived primary mast cells express functional MrgX1 and MrgX2 but the immature human mast cell line HMC-1 does not. A potent CD88 antagonist, PMX-53 (10 nM) inhibited C5a-induced Ca(2+) mobilization in HMC-1 cells, but at higher concentrations (≥30 nM) it caused degranulation in LAD2 mast cells, CD34(+) cell-derived mast cells, and RBL-2H3 cells stably expressing MrgX2. PMX-53 did not, however, activate RBL-2H3 cells expressing MrgX1. Although C5a induced degranulation in LAD2 and CD34(+) cell-derived mast cells, it did not activate RBL-2H3 cells expressing MrgX1 or MrgX2. Replacement of Trp with Ala and Arg with dArg abolished the ability of PMX-53 to inhibit C5a-induced Ca(2+) mobilization in HMC-1 cells and to cause degranulation in RBL-2H3 cells expressing MrgX2. These findings demonstrate that C5a does not use MrgX1 or MrgX2 for mast cell degranulation. Moreover, it reveals the novel finding that PMX-53 functions as a potent CD88 antagonist and a low-affinity agonist for MrgX2. Furthermore, Trp and Arg residues are required for the ability of PMX53 to act as both a CD88 antagonist and a MrgX2 agonist.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Molecular pharmacology
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    Charlotte L Weller · Sarah J Collington · Tim Williams · Jonathan R Lamb
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    ABSTRACT: Although MCs (mast cells) were discovered over 100 years ago, for the majority of this time their function was linked almost exclusively to allergy and allergic disease with few other roles in health and disease. The engineering of MC-deficient mice and engraftment of these mice with MCs deficient in receptors or mediators has advanced our knowledge of the role of MCs in vivo. It is now known that MCs have very broad and varied roles in both physiology and disease which will be reviewed here with a focus on some of the most recent discoveries over the last year. MCs can aid in maintaining a healthy physiology by secreting mediators that promote wound healing and homoeostasis as well as interacting with neurons. Major developments have been made in understanding MC function in defence against pathogens, in recognition of pathogens as well as direct effector functions. Probably the most quickly developing area of understanding is the involvement and contribution MCs make in the progression of a variety of diseases from some of the most common diseases to the more obscure.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Clinical Science
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    ABSTRACT: Tissue-resident mast cells (MCs) are important in allergic diseases. In a mouse model of allergic airways inflammation, an increase in peribronchiolar MCs was associated with increased concentrations of the chemokine CCL2 in lung lavage. MC progenitors (MCps) arising in bone marrow (BM) are recruited to tissues by transendothelial migration, and we found that CCL2 is chemotactic for MCps in freshly isolated BM in vitro. Immature, but not mature, BM-derived MCs migrated in response to CCL2 when cultured in IL-3+stem cell factor (SCF) but not when cultured in IL-3 alone. However, the cells under both culture conditions expressed mRNA for CCR2, the receptor for CCL2, and bound the radiolabeled chemokine with similar affinities, highlighting SCF as a key mediator in coupling CCR2 to downstream events, culminating in chemotaxis. Immature BM-derived MCs from IL-3 +SCF cultures, when administered i.v., accumulated at skin sites injected with CCL2 in vivo. MCp recruitment to the allergen-sensitized/challenged lung was significantly reduced in CCR2(-/-) and CCL2(-/-) mouse strains. However, reconstitution studies of sublethally irradiated and BM-reconstituted mice indicated that BM cells and stromal elements could provide CCL2, whereas the CCR2 function resided with stromal elements rather than BM cells. These experiments revealed a new function of SCF in chemokine receptor coupling, but they suggest a complex role of the CCL2/CCR2 axis in recruiting MCps during pulmonary inflammation.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2010 · The Journal of Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms governing the population of tissues by mast cells are not fully understood, but several studies using human mast cells have suggested that expression of the chemokine receptor CCR3 and migration to its ligands may be important. In CCR3-deficient mice, a change in mast cell tissue distribution in the airways following allergen challenge was reported compared with wild-type mice. In addition, there is evidence that CCR3 is important in mast cell maturation in mouse. In this study, bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMCs) were cultured and CCR3 expression and the migratory response to CCR3 ligands were characterized. In addition, BMMCs were cultured from wild-type and CCR3-deficient mice and their phenotype and migratory responses were compared. CCR3 messenger RNA was detectable in BMMCs, but this was not significantly increased after activation by immunoglobulin E (IgE). CCR3 protein was not detected on BMMCs during maturation and expression could not be enhanced after IgE activation. Resting and IgE-activated immature and mature BMMCs did not migrate in response to the CCR3 ligands eotaxin- 1 and eotaxin-2. Comparing wild-type and CCR3-deficient BMMCs, there were no differences in mast cell phenotype or ability to migrate to the mast cell chemoattractants leukotriene B4 and stem cell factor. The results of this study show that CCR3 may not mediate mast cell migration in mouse BMMCs in vitro. These observations need to be considered in relation to the findings of CCR3 deficiency on mast cells in vivo.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2010 · Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Mast cells are long-lived cells that are principally recognized for their effector function in helminth infections and allergic reactions. These cells are derived from pluripotential hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow that give rise to committed mast cell progenitors in the blood and are recruited to tissues, where they mature. Little is known about the chemotactic signals responsible for recruitment of progenitors and localization of mature mast cells. A mouse model was set up to identify possible mast cell progenitor chemoattractants produced during repeated allergen challenge in vivo. After the final challenge, the nasal mucosa was removed to produce conditioned medium, which was tested in chemotaxis assays against 2-wk murine bone marrow-derived c-kit+ mast cells (BMMC). A single peak of chemotactic activity was seen on reverse-phase HPLC with a retention time and electrospray mass spectrum consistent with prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). This lipid was found to be a highly potent chemoattractant for immature (2-wk) and also mature (10-wk) BMMC in vitro. Fluorescently labeled 2-wk c-kit+ BMMC, when injected intravenously, accumulated in response to intradermally injected PGE2. Analysis using TaqMan showed mRNA expression of the PGE2 receptors 3 (EP3) and 4 (EP4) on 2- and 10-wk BMMC. Chemotaxis induced by PGE2 was mimicked by EP3 agonists, blocked by an EP3 receptor antagonist, and partially inhibited by a MAPKK inhibitor. These results show an unexpected function for PGE2 in the chemotaxis of mast cells.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2007 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Mast cells are tissue-resident cells with important functions in allergy and inflammation. Pluripotential hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow give rise to committed mast cell progenitors that transit via the blood to tissues throughout the body, where they mature. Knowledge is limited about the factors that release mast cell progenitors from the bone marrow or recruit them to remote tissues. Mouse femoral bone marrow cells were cultured with IL-3 for 2 wk and a range of chemotactic agents were tested on the c-kit(+) population. Cells were remarkably refractory and no chemotaxis was induced by any chemokines tested. However, supernatants from activated mature mast cells induced pronounced chemotaxis, with the active principle identified as leukotriene (LT) B(4). Other activation products were inactive. LTB(4) was highly chemotactic for 2-wk-old cells, but not mature cells, correlating with a loss of mRNA for the LTB(4) receptor, BLT1. Immature cells also accumulated in vivo in response to intradermally injected LTB(4). Furthermore, LTB(4) was highly potent in attracting mast cell progenitors from freshly isolated bone marrow cell suspensions. Finally, LTB(4) was a potent chemoattractant for human cord blood-derived immature, but not mature, mast cells. These results suggest an autocrine role for LTB(4) in regulating tissue mast cell numbers.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2005 · Journal of Experimental Medicine

Publication Stats

321 Citations
53.56 Total Impact Points


  • 2011
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
    • William Penn University
      Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2005-2010
    • Imperial College London
      • Section of Leukocyte Biology
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom