Inhibition of Mast Cell-Derived Histamine Decreases Human Cholangiocarcinoma Growth and Differentiation via c-Kit/Stem Cell Factor-Dependent Signaling. Academic Article uri icon


  • The tumor microenvironment of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is composed of numerous cells, including mast cells (MCs). MCs release histamine, which increases CCA progression and angiogenesis. Cholangiocytes secrete stem cell factor, which functions via the MC growth factor receptor c-Kit. Here, we show that cholangiocytes express histidine decarboxylase and its inhibition reduces CCA growth. MC recruitment in the tumor microenvironment increased CCA growth. MC infiltration and MC markers were detected by toluidine blue staining and real-time PCR in human biopsies and in tumors from athymic mice treated with saline, histamine, histidine decarboxylase inhibitor, or cromolyn sodium. Tumor growth, angiogenesis, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)/extracellular matrix (ECM) markers were measured in mice treated with cromolyn sodium. In┬ávitro, human CCA cells were treated with MC supernatant fluids before evaluating angiogenesis and EMT/ECM expression. Migration assays were performed with CCA cells treated with the stem cell factor inhibitor. MC supernatant fluids increased CCA histidine decarboxylase, vascular endothelial growth factor, and MC/EMT/ECM expression that decreased with pretreatment of cromolyn sodium. MCs were found in human biopsies. In mice treated with cromolyn sodium, MC infiltration and tumor growth decreased. Inhibition of CCA stem cell factor blocked MC migration and MC/EMT/ECM in CCA. MCs migrate into CCA tumor microenvironment via c-Kit/stem cell factor and increase tumor progression, angiogenesis, EMT switch, and ECM degradation.

published proceedings

  • Am J Pathol

altmetric score

  • 2

author list (cited authors)

  • Johnson, C., Huynh, V., Hargrove, L., Kennedy, L., Graf-Eaton, A., Owens, J., ... Francis, H.

citation count

  • 45

complete list of authors

  • Johnson, Christopher||Huynh, Victoria||Hargrove, Laura||Kennedy, Lindsey||Graf-Eaton, Allyson||Owens, Jennifer||Trzeciakowski, Jerome P||Hodges, Kyle||DeMorrow, Sharon||Han, Yuyan||Wong, Lucas||Alpini, Gianfranco||Francis, Heather

publication date

  • January 2016