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Free Content Regulation of Mast Cell Development by Inflammatory Factors

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Mast cells are potent effectors playing a key role in IgE-associated hypersensitivity reactions, allergic disorders, inflammation and protective immune responses. Mast cell development in vivo occurs mainly in non-hematopoietic microenvironments and increased mast cell numbers can be seen in various inflammatory diseases and pathologic conditions. SCF (also known as kit ligand or KitL) and c-kit signaling are essential for both human and murine mast cell development, while IL-3 is required for murine mast cell hyperplasia that occurs in response to various stimuli. Besides SCF and IL-3, the cytokines IL-4, IL-9, IL-10 and IL-13 are also called mast cell growth factors due to their actions synergistically promoting mast cell proliferation and differentiation in the presence of SCF or IL- 3. These cytokines alone however are unable to support neither the proliferation nor survival of mast cells. Most research has focused on examining the direct effects of the above cytokines on mast cells or their precursors. However, it is difficult to explain the process of mast cell development only in terms of the above mast cell growth factors. A series of experiments in our laboratory and by others has revealed that inflammatory mediators and cytokines, as triggers or regulators, are also crucial for mast cell development. This review summarizes recent progress in our understanding of how various inflammatory factors regulate mast cell development, with particular focus on the effects of prostaglandin E (PGE), TNF-α, IL-6, IFN-γ and an unknown apoptosis-inducing factor produced by IL-4-stimulated macrophages.

Keywords: IFN-γ; IL-4; IL-6; Mast cell development; TNF-α; inflammatory factors; mast cell growth factor; prostaglandin E

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Microbiology and Immunology,Showa University School of Medicine, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8555, Japan.

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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