Radioimmunoassays for neuroendocrine vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP1-28) detected 30-120 fmol of structurally related peptides in extracts of 107 mouse peritoneal mast cells, bone marrow-derived mast cells, cultured PT-18 and C1.MC/C57.1 lines of mast cells, and rat basophilic leukemia (RBL) cells. No VIP was found in peritoneal cells of mast cell-deficient WBB6F1-W/Wv mice, whereas the amounts extracted from peritoneal cells of the congenic normal (WBB6F1-+/+) mice were similar to those from cultured mouse mast cells. Sephadex G-25 gel filtration resolved two different-sized variants of VIP from mouse mast cells and RBL cells. Amino acid sequence analyses showed that the smaller variant is VIP10-28. The principal amino-terminally larger variant of VIP from C1.MC/C57.1 mouse mast cells and RBL cells exhibited amino acid sequence homology with VIP(-6)-28, and this sequence was established for the corresponding larger VIP from PT-18 mast cells. Polymerase chain reaction amplification of two different substituent sequences of prepro VIP in RBL cell RNA identified the VIP message. VIP10-28 was released from mouse mast cells concurrently with histamine by IgE-dependent stimulation. Rodent mast cell-derived VIP thus consists of both the truncated VIP10-28 and amino-terminally larger forms that appear to be generated by peptidolysis of a prepro VIP similar to that found in neural cells.
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