Mast Cell Proteases Tryptase and Chymase Induce Migratory and Morphological Alterations in Bronchial Epithelial Cells

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Chronic respiratory diseases are often characterized by impaired epithelial function and remodeling. Mast cells (MCs) are known to home into the epithelium in respiratory diseases, but the MC-epithelial interactions remain less understood. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effect of MC proteases on bronchial epithelial morphology and function. Bronchial epithelial cells were stimulated with MC tryptase and/or chymase. Morphology and epithelial function were performed using cell tracking analysis and holographic live-cell imaging. Samples were also analyzed for motility-associated gene expression. Immunocytochemistry was performed to compare cytoskeletal arrangement. Stimulated cells showed strong alterations on gene, protein and functional levels in several parameters important for maintaining epithelial function. The most significant increases were found in cell motility, cellular speed and cell elongation compared to non-stimulated cells. Also, cell morphology was significantly altered in chymase treated compared to non-stimulated cells. In the current study, we show that MC proteases can induce cell migration and morphological and proliferative alterations in epithelial cells. Thus, our data imply that MC release of proteases may play a critical role in airway epithelial remodeling and disruption of epithelial function.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5250
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May 16

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Immunology in the medical area
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy

Free keywords

  • mast cell
  • tryptase
  • chymase
  • Bronchial epithelial cells
  • morphology
  • migration
  • proliferation
  • holomonitor


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