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Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2008 Nov 21;62:642-50.

[The role of mast cells in the development of inflammatory bowel diseases].

[Article in Polish]

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Zakład Immunologii Doświadczalnej, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi.


The pathomechanism of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), i.e. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, is not well understood. There is growing evidence that mast cells take part in the course of these diseases. It is well known that mast cells are numerous in the gastrointestinal tract. What is more, the number of mast cells increases in intestinal tissues in IBD. Mast cells release several mediators, cytokines, and chemokines that can influence the inflammatory process in the gastrointestinal tract in various ways. One mediator that plays a very important role in the development of IBD is tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Other mast cell-derived cytokines and chemokines also seem to be involved in the development of intestinal inflammation. Moreover, some unique mast cell mediators, such as histamine, tryptase, and chymase, play crucial roles in the course of IBD. Finally, there is some data showing that mast cell-derived metalloproteinases (especially MMP-9), leukotrienes (LTs), platelet activating factor (PAF), and heparin take part in inflammation during IBD. It seems that current data about the role of mast cell-derived mediators and cytokines in IBD should be taken into consideration when new approaches to treating these diseases are being introduced.

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