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Update on Mast Cells and Mast Cell Precursors and Hypersensitivity Responses

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Mast cells are important effector cells providing granule and membrane mediators as well as cytokines in allergic and inflammatory diseases. The study of surface molecules such as immunoglobulin receptors and adhesion molecules has greatly expanded the functional implications of mast cells. An active role for mast cells in antigen presentation to T cells has recently been shown, and direct interaction between mast cells and B cells providing signals for specific IgE production has been demonstrated. Functional receptors other than the high affinity IgE (Fc∈RI) have been implicated in the anaphylactic response of IgE-deficient mice, suggesting that IgG receptors present in mast cells may be involved in immediate hypersensitivity reactions. Although metachromatic mast cells are easily recognized in peripheral tissues, little is known about the phenotype of mast cell precursors, their fate from the bone marrow to the tissues, migration and homing processes, and factors and adhesion molecules that affect those processes. This review will describe the most recent studies in mouse and human mast cell biology and ontogeny.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 1997

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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