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Mast cells: Effector cells of anaphylaxis

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Mast cells are derived from hematopoietic progenitors, which complete their maturation in peripheral tissues. Mast cells are particularly abundant in tissues exposed to the environment, such as the skin, airways, and gastrointestinal tract. Mast cells can be activated to secrete a wide spectrum of mediators, such as histamine and other stored mediators; lipid mediators such as cysteinyl leukotrienes and prostaglandins; and many cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors. IgE-dependent activation of mast cells and basophils and the rapid release of mediators by these cells represent the primary effector mechanisms responsible for the acute manifestations of allergen-induced anaphylaxis in humans. This chapter reviews the basic biology of mast cells, and describes methods for characterizing the functions of mast cells in vivo. We will particularly emphasize the results of studies designed to assess the importance of mast cells in mouse models of active and passive systemic anaphylaxis, and will briefly describe some approaches that are being used to therapeutically target IgE-dependent activation of mast cells. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.




Tsai, M., & Galli, S. J. (2011). Mast cells: Effector cells of anaphylaxis. In Anaphylaxis and Hypersensitivity Reactions (pp. 47–68). Humana Press.

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