A monoclonal hamster antibody (K-1) specific for a 161-kD mast cell surface glycoprotein was derived. p161 is expressed on normal and cultured mast cells and on some macrophages, but not on basophils or other hematopoietic cells. A population of Fc epsilon Rneg cells expressing p161 was found in short term cultures of bone marrow cells grown in interleukin (IL)-3. These cells were purified and propagated for extended periods in IL-3. They express c-kit and Fc gamma RII/III, contain alcian blue-positive granules and histamine, and secrete IL-3 in response to ionomycin treatment. Their morphology is consistent with that of mast cells. We propose that they represent Fc epsilon RIneg mast cells that can be detected and purified because of their p161 expression.

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