- Scientific Journal
Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) is a principal regulator of hematopoiesis as well as angiogenesis. However, the functions of VEGF-A and its receptors (VEGFRs) in the differentiation of mast cells (MCs) in the skin remain unclear. The aim of this study was to determine the expression patterns of two VEGFRs (Flk1 and Flt1) in the skin MCs during development and maturation in rats. From the 17th days of embryonic development (E17) to 1 day after birth (Day 1), most of skin MCs were immature cells containing predominant alcian blue (AB)+ rather than safranin O (SO)+ granules (AB>SO MCs). AB>SO MC proportions gradually decreased, while mature AB<SO MC proportions increased from Day 7 to 28. Flk1+ MC proportions increased from E20 and reached to approximately 90% from Day 1 to 21, thereafter decreased to about 10% at Day 60 and 90. Flk1+ MC proportions changed almost in parallel with the numbers of MCs and Ki67+ MC proportions from E17 to Day 90. The proportions of MCs with both nuclear and cytoplasmic Flt1-immunoreactivity were markedly increased at Day 28, when the proportions of nuclear Flk1+, Ki67+, and AB>SO MCs had significantly decreased, and AB<SO MC proportions significantly increased. Considering that the main function of Flt1 is suppression of Flk1 effects, our results indicated that cross-talk between Flk1 and Flt1 regulates the proliferation and maturation of the skin MCs during late embryonic and neonatal development in rats.