The fate of mast cells after degranulation was investigated. Purified peritoneal mast cells of WBB6F1-+/+ mice were sensitized with monoclonal anti-dinitrophenol (DNP) IgE antibodies and stimulated with DNP conjugated with human serum albumin. Mast cells were vitally stained with neutral red, and highly degranulated mast cells were identified under a phase-contrast microscope and individually picked up with the micromanipulator. When these highly degranulated mast cells were individually plated in methylcellulose, their potential to produce a cluster or a colony was comparable to that of morphologically intact mast cells. Moreover, when highly degranulated mast cells were injected into the skin of genetically mast cell-deficient WBB6F1-W/Wv mice, the proportion of injection sites at which mast cell clusters appeared was comparable to the value observed when morphologically intact mast cells were injected. The present result indicates that proliferative potential of mast cells is not reduced by their degranulation.

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