Conjunctival Mast Cells in Ocular Allergic Disease
Allergic eye disease is a common clinical problem adversely affecting the quality of life for millions of sufferers. This ocular process is associated with IgE-mediated conjunctival inflammation leading to signs of immediate hypersensitivity including redness, itching, and tearing. Pathologic studies have shown that the conjunctiva contains mast cells that when sensitized with IgE antibody and exposed to environmental allergens can release mediators of allergic inflammation. The type, release kinetics, and concentration of these mediators in the conjunctiva have not been completely characterized. The ability to isolate and purify mast cells and epithelial cells from human conjunctival tissue has permitted the study of mediator release and cell-to-cell signaling in this tissue. Our laboratory has developed in vitro and in vivo models to better understand how inflammatory cells are recruited to and infiltrate conjunctival tissues. These models demonstrate that mast cell activation may supply sufficient cytokine signaling to initiate and direct the well-orchestrated trafficking of eosinophils to the ocular surface, facilitate their adhesion, and cause release of potent mediators of ocular inflammation.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2001-05-01
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- 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.
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