Classification and response criteria in mastocytosis: is there a need to revise?
Mastocytosis is a heterogeneous disease characterized by the accumulation of mast cells in one or more organs. Our objective was to identify a peripheral mast cell precursor and assess its variation rate in mastocytosis. A peripheral blood phenotypic analysis was performed among 50 patients with mastocytosis who were enrolled in a prospective multicentric French study, and the phenotypic analysis results of the patients were compared with those of healthy donors. The rate of peripheral blood CD34(-)c-Kit(+) cells correlated with the severity of mastocytosis. This cellular population was isolated from healthy donors as well as from patients with systemic mastocytosis. After 30 days of culture, the CD34(-)c-Kit(+) cells gave birth to mature mast cells, indicating that this cellular population constitutes a mast cell circulating precursor. Monitoring peripheral CD34(-)c-Kit(+) cells by flow cytometry could be a useful and low-invasive tool to determine the disease severity and the relapses and to assess treatment efficiency.