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Immunol Today. 1989 Nov;10(11):381-6.

Recent advances in the cellular and molecular biology of mast cells.


The mast cell is now considered to play a pivotal role not only in allergic reactions but also in a number of inflammatory disorders. After immunological activation via the IgE receptor, the mast cell releases a variety of cytokines, lipid-derived mediators, amines, proteases and proteoglycans--all of which can regulate adjacent cells and the metabolism of the extra-cellular matrix of connective tissues. While it had been known for some time that mast cells differ in a number of properties in varied tissue sites, it was not known why or how this heterogeneity occurred. The development of in-vitro techniques to culture mast cells and the reconstitution of mast-cell-deficient mice are two major approaches that have facilitated analyses of how the tissue microenvironment regulates the phenotype of mast cells. In this review by Richard L. Stevens and K. Frank Austen, some of the recent findings on the molecular biology of mast cell secretory granule proteins and proteoglycans, and the interaction of mast cells with fibroblasts in the presence and absence of interleukin 3(IL-3) are highlighted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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