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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2019 Oct;144(4S):S4-S18. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2018.10.054. Epub 2018 Nov 20.

Mast cells as protectors of health.

Author information

1
Institute for Molecular and Clinical Immunology, Health Campus Immunology, Infectiology and Inflammation, Medical Faculty, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany.
2
Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany.
3
Infection Immunology Research Group, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany.
4
Experimental Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical Faculty, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany.
5
Department of Morphology, Biomedical Research Institute, Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, Belgium.
6
Central Facility for Microscopy, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany.
7
Junior Group of Allergobiochemistry, Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center, Borstel, Airway Research Center North (ARCN), German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Borstel, Germany.
8
Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Mainz, Germany.
9
Division of Experimental Pneumology, Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center, Borstel, Airway Research Center North (ARCN), German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Borstel, Germany.
10
Klinik für Dermatologie, Venerologie und Allergologie, Charité Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany.
11
Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Mainz, Germany; Department of Dermatology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
12
Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany; Einheit für Klinische Allergologie (EKA), Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH), Neuherberg, Germany. Electronic address: Tilo.Biedermann@tum.de.

Abstract

Mast cells (MCs), which are well known for their effector functions in TH2-skewed allergic and also autoimmune inflammation, have become increasingly acknowledged for their role in protection of health. It is now clear that they are also key modulators of immune responses at interface organs, such as the skin or gut. MCs can prime tissues for adequate inflammatory responses and cooperate with dendritic cells in T-cell activation. They also regulate harmful immune responses in trauma and help to successfully orchestrate pregnancy. This review focuses on the beneficial effects of MCs on tissue homeostasis and elimination of toxins or venoms. MCs can enhance pathogen clearance in many bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections, such as through Toll-like receptor 2-triggered degranulation, secretion of antimicrobial cathelicidins, neutrophil recruitment, or provision of extracellular DNA traps. The role of MCs in tumors is more ambiguous; however, encouraging new findings show they can change the tumor microenvironment toward antitumor immunity when adequately triggered. Uterine tissue remodeling by α-chymase (mast cell protease [MCP] 5) is crucial for successful embryo implantation. MCP-4 and the tryptase MCP-6 emerge to be protective in central nervous system trauma by reducing inflammatory damage and excessive scar formation, thereby protecting axon growth. Last but not least, proteases, such as carboxypeptidase A, released by FcεRI-activated MCs detoxify an increasing number of venoms and endogenous toxins. A better understanding of the plasticity of MCs will help improve these advantageous effects and hint at ways to cut down detrimental MC actions.

KEYWORDS:

Mast cell; central nervous system trauma; infection; innate immunity; mast cell protease; pregnancy; toxin; tumor; venom

PMID:
30468774
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaci.2018.10.054
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