Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. John Ryan

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Stewart

Third Advisor

Dr. Gregory Walsh

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jamie Sturgill


This study shows for the first time the effect that L-(+)-lactic acid has on mast cell activation. Lactic acid is a byproduct of anaerobic glycolysis and is associated with inflammatory environments such as wounds, tumors and, asthma. In this study, pre-treatment with lactic acid altered cytokine production by bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMC). Specifically, lactic acid enhanced cytokine secretion following IgE cross-linking, but decreased IL-33 mediated cytokine production. These effects were altered by genetic background, since C57BL/6 mast cells demonstrated the aforementioned result, but lactic acid had no effect on IgE-mediated cytokine production in 129/SvJ mast cells. The affected cytokines included IL-6, TNF, MCP-1, MIP-1α, IL-13, and VEGF. Lactic acid pretreatment promoted a G0/G1 cell cycle arrest. Investigation into the IL-33 signaling pathway showed lactic acid decreased TAK1 and JNK phosphorylation, while increasing phosphorylated AKT levels. Blocking JNK and TAK1 with a small molecule inhibitor mimicked the effects of lactic acid. Interestingly, lactic acid significantly increased IL-33 mediated VEGF. An in vitro angiogenesis assay confirmed that mast cells were pro-angiogenic in a lactic acid-rich environment. Taken together, these data show that lactic acid impacts mast cell function, possibly promoting a pro-angiogenic, anti-inflammatory phenotype.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission