1415: Traits of Cutaneous Mast Cell Phenotype and Function Associated with Predisposition to Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $79,812
Bruce Hammerberg, DVM, PhD; North Carolina State University
December 2, 1997 - December 1, 1999

Sponsor(s): Bull Terrier Welfare Foundation, Dalmatian Club of America Foundation, Inc., MB-F, Inc., Westie Foundation of America, Inc.

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Dermatology and Allergic Disease
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Project Summary

In this study, researchers found different function and appearance in mast cells of dogs with atopic dermatitis (AD). This finding supports the hypothesis that there is a genetic basis for AD that can be defined with further work, though the genetic component of the issue is most assuredly complex. AD in dogs causes chronically relapsing itchy, inflamed skin, resulting in a miserable dog. The study provided the basis for continued research that will help scientists understand the mechanisms of the increased mast cell activity, with the eventual goal of developing a test that can be given to puppies to determine their risk of developing allergic dermatitis in the future. Such a test could help breeders make decisions about the breeding potential of puppies, and arm owners with information that could help them prevent or slow the onset of allergies.


Hammerberg, B., Olivry, T., & Orton, S. M. (2001). Skin mast cell histamine release following stem cell factor and high-affinity immunoglobulin E receptor cross-linking in dogs with atopic dermatitis. Veterinary Dermatology, 12(6), 339–346. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.0959-4493.2001.00273.x

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