Mast cells (MC) are highly granulated tissue dwelling cells, widely distributed throughout the body in connective tissues and on mucosal surfaces. They are derived from bone marrow progenitors that migrate into the blood and subsequently into the tissues, where they undergo final maturation. Mast cell proliferation, differentiation, survival and activation are regulated by stem cell factor, the ligand for the c-kit tyrosine kinase receptor, expressed on the mast cell surface. They release a large number of pro-inflammatory and immunoregulatory mediators after activation induced by either immunoglobulin E-dependent or immunoglobulin E-independent mechanisms. Mast cells have been most widely studied in the context of allergic reactions and parasite infections, but there is now compelling evidences that they are important players in innate and acquired immunity, wound healing, fibrosis, tumors and autoimmune diseases.
|Number of pages
|International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
|Published - Dec 2003
- Mast cells
- Stem cell factor