Mast cells in allergy and beyond

I. Puxeddu, A. M. Piliponsky, I. Bachelet, F. Levi-Schaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

136 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1601-1607
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Allergy
  • Mast cells
  • Stem cell factor
  • c-kit


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