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J Leukoc Biol. 2011 Sep;90(3):591-7. doi: 10.1189/jlb.0910531. Epub 2011 Jun 7.

Systemic mast cell degranulation increases mortality during polymicrobial septic peritonitis in mice.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.


MCs are required for an effective host response during septic peritonitis. Local MC degranulation facilitates neutrophil recruitment, activation, and bacterial killing. However, the role of MCs located distant from the site of infection is unknown. We studied the temporal and spacial degranulation of MCs following CLP-induced septic peritonitis. The functional importance of systemic MC degranulation during infection was evaluated by compartment-specific MC reconstitution. Serum histamine, reflecting MC degranulation, was elevated 4 h after onset of septic peritonitis. Histologic examination revealed progressive MC degranulation in select tissues during the first 24 h of infection. MC-deficient Wsh mice, reconstituted only in the peritoneal compartment, had improved survival after CLP compared with controls. However, reconstitution in peritoneal plus systemic compartments worsened survival after CLP. IL-6 contributed to the detrimental effects of systemic MCs on survival, as mice systemically reconstituted with IL-6(-/-) MCs were more likely to survive than control mice. These results indicate that in contrast to the benefits of local MC activation during infection, systemic MC activation worsens survival during CLP-induced sepsis.

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