We have recently published that the murine version of mast cell beta tryptase, mast cell protease 6 (mMCP-6), is involved in the induction of airway hyperresponsiveness in an experimental model of allergic asthma.Mast cell tryptase has been implicated in asthma models before using tryptase inhibitors in various animal models. However, our study is the first that demonstrates a role for mMCP-6 in asthma using knock out mice. Interestingly, loss of mMCP-6 reduced airway hyperresponsiveness despite that in these mice an almost normal inflammatory response was initiated upon allergen challenge. For more information, please see: http://www.jimmunol.org/content/193/10/4783.long.
During 2014, we have also improved our technique to quantify mast cell progenitors in murine tissues by flow cytometry and successfully analyzed these rare cells directly in the lung and peritoneum of mice. A short while ago a manuscript on “Distinguishing mast cell progenitors from mature mast cells in mice” was submitted for publication.
Since summer 2014 the group has welcomed two new group members: In August, Erika Mendez Enriquez from Mexico came to join the lab as post-doc. In September, Maya Salomonsson from Åre joined as a project assistant and we are currently in the process of recruiting her as PhD-student. In November my 2nd PhD-student, Behdad Zarnegar, successfully completed his half time thesis titled “Mast Cells and Their Progenitors in Viral Respiratory Infections”.