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Trends Immunol. 2010 Mar;31(3):97-102. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2009.12.007. Epub 2010 Feb 10.

Exploring a regulatory role for mast cells: 'MCregs'?

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Science and Technology, University of Udine, P. le M. Kolbe 4, 33100 Udine, Italy.


Regulatory cells can mould the fate of the immune response by direct suppression of specific subsets of effector cells, or by redirecting effectors against invading pathogens and infected or neoplastic cells. These functions have been classically, although not exclusively, ascribed to different subsets of T cells. Recently, mast cells have been shown to regulate physiological and pathological immune responses, and thus to act at the interface between innate and adaptive immunity assuming different functions and behaviors at discrete stages of the immune response. Here, we focus on these poorly defined, and sometimes apparently conflicting, functions of mast cells.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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