We demonstrate using primary mast cell cultures derived from wild-type and CD45-deficient mice that mast cell triggering through the high-affinity immunoglobulin E (IgE) receptor requires the cell surface tyrosine phosphatase CD45. Unlike wild-type cells, cross-linking of surface-bound IgE in mast cells deficient in CD45 does not induce degranulation. Degranulation in these mutant cells does occur after treatment with the calcium ionophore A23187 indicating that the degranulation machinery is intact in these cells. We also demonstrate that the tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors orthoVanadate and perVanadate inhibit degranulation in wild-type mast cells, as does cross-linking of CD45 by anti-CD45 antibodies. Finally, we show that CD45-deficient mice are resistant to IgE-dependent systemic anaphylaxis. These results show that, like the T cell receptor and the antigen receptor on B cells, there is an absolute requirement for CD45 in signaling via the high affinity IgE receptor, expanding the number of receptors for which CD45 is an essential component.