Blood Adv 6 (15) 4439-4449 [2022-08-09; online 2022-05-03]
Mast cell accumulation is a hallmark of a number of diseases, including allergic asthma and systemic mastocytosis. Immunoglobulin E-mediated crosslinking of the FcεRI receptors causes mast cell activation and contributes to disease pathogenesis. The mast cell lineage is one of the least studied among the hematopoietic cell lineages, and controversies remain about whether FcεRI expression appears during the mast cell progenitor stage or during terminal mast cell maturation. Here, we used single-cell transcriptomics analysis to reveal a temporal association between the appearance of FcεRI and the mast cell gene signature in CD34+ hematopoietic progenitors in adult peripheral blood. In agreement with these data, the FcεRI+ hematopoietic progenitors formed morphologically, phenotypically, and functionally mature mast cells in long-term culture assays. Single-cell transcriptomics analysis further revealed the expression patterns of prospective cytokine receptors regulating development of mast cell progenitors. Culture assays showed that interleukin-3 (IL-3) and IL-5 promoted disparate effects on progenitor cell proliferation and survival, respectively, whereas IL-33 caused robust FcεRI downregulation. Taken together, we showed that FcεRI expression appears at the progenitor stage of mast cell differentiation in peripheral blood. We also showed that external stimuli regulate FcεRI expression of mast cell progenitors, providing a possible explanation for the variable FcεRI expression levels during mast cell development.