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Immunol Rev. 2007 Jun;217:168-85.

Mast cells and eicosanoid mediators: a system of reciprocal paracrine and autocrine regulation.

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Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


When activated by specific antigen, complement, or other transmembrane stimuli, mast cells (MCs) generate three eicosanoids: prostaglandin (PG)D(2), leukotriene (LT)B(4), and LTC(4), the parent molecule of the cysteinyl leukotrienes (cysLTs). These diverse lipid mediators, which are generated from a single cell membrane-associated precursor, arachidonic acid, can initiate, amplify, or dampen inflammatory responses and influence the magnitude, duration, and nature of subsequent immune responses. PGD(2) and cysLTs, which were originally recognized for their bronchoconstricting and vasoactive properties, also serve diverse and pivotal functions in effector cell trafficking, antigen presentation, leukocyte activation, matrix deposition, and fibrosis. LTB(4) is a powerful chemoattractant for neutrophils and certain lymphocyte subsets. Thus, MCs can contribute to each of these processes through eicosanoid generation. Additionally, MCs express G-protein-coupled receptors specific for cysLTs, LTB(4), and another eicosanoid, PGE(2). Each of these receptors can regulate MC functions in vivo by autocrine and paracrine mechanisms. This review focuses on the biologic functions for MC-associated eicosanoids, the regulation of their production, and the mechanisms by which eicosanoids may regulate MC function in host defense and disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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