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Mast Cell: A Multi-Functional Master Cell

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    Elsevier

    Respiratory Medicine

    Volume 106, Issue 1 , January 2012 , Pages 9-14
    Respiratory Medicine

    Review

    The role of mast cells in allergic inflammation

    Author links open overlay panel KawaAminab

    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2011.09.007 Get rights and content
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    Summary

    The histochemical characteristics of human basophils and tissue mast cells were described over a century ago by Paul Ehrlich. When mast cells are activated by an allergen that binds to serum IgE attached to their FcɛRI receptors, they release cytokines, eicosanoids and their secretory granules. Mast cells are now thought to exert critical proinflammatory functions, as well as potential immunoregulatory roles, in various immune disorders through the release of mediators such as histamine, leukotrienes, cytokines chemokines, and neutral proteases (chymase and tryptase). The aim of this review is to describe the role of mast cells in allergic inflammation.

    Mast cells interact directly with bacteria and appear to play a vital role in host defense against pathogens. Drugs, such as glucocorticoids, cyclosporine and cromolyn have been shown to have inhibitory effects on mast cell degranulation and mediator release. This review shows that mast cells play an active role in such diverse diseases as asthma, rhinitis, middle ear infection, and pulmonary fibrosis.

    In conclusion, mast cells may not only contribute to the chronic airway inflammatory response, remodeling and symptomatology, but they may also have a central role in the initiation of the allergic immune response, that is providing signals inducing IgE synthesis by B-lymphocytes and inducing Th2 lymphocyte differentiation.

    Keywords

    Allergic asthma
    Mast cells
    Inflammation
    Cytokines
    Remodeling
    B- and T-lymphocytes

    Abbreviations

    AA

    allergic asthma
    APC

    antigen presenting cell
    BAL

    bronchoalveolar lavage
    CTMC

    connective tissue mast cell
    ECM

    extracellular matrix
    ELAM-1

    endothelial-leukocyte adhesion molecule-1
    FcɛRI

    high-affinity IgE receptors I
    ICAM-1

    intercellular adhesion molecule
    INF-γ

    interferon-gamma
    IL

    interleukin
    LTs

    leukotriences
    MC

    mast cell
    MMC

    Mucosal mast cell
    PGs

    prostaglandins, platelet-activating factor
    TNF

    tumor necrosis factor
    VCAM-1

    vascular cell adhesion molecule
    Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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