Korean Journal of Pediatrics 2004;47(11):1137-1141.
Published online November 15, 2004.
Role of Mast Cells in Allergic Inflammation and Innate Immunity
Kangmo Ahn
Department of Pediatrics, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
비만세포의 알레르기 염증 반응과 Innate Immunity에서의 역할
성균관대학교 의과대학 삼성서울병원 소아과
Kangmo Ahn, Email: kmaped@smc.samsung.co.kr
Mast cells play a key role in elicitation of the early-phase and late-phase IgE-mediated allergic inflammatory reactions. Mast cells are derived from pluripotent stem cells from the bone marrow. These cells migrate through circulation into connective tissues and mucosal surfaces where they mature. On the cell surfaces, mast cells have high affinity IgE receptor(FcεRI), which react with specific IgE to secrete preformed and newly synthesized mediators within minutes or over a period of hours. For human mast cells, two subtypes have been recognized by the distribution of granular neutral proteases. TC-type mast cells(MCTC) contain tryptase together with chymase, cathepsin-G, and carboxypeptidase, while T-type mast cells(MCT) contain tryptase only. They also produce Th2- type cytokines to persist chronic allergic inflammation in local tissues. Mast cells have been widely studied in the context of allergic reactions and parasite infections, but there is growing evidence that they participate in innate immunity, wound healing, fibrosis, remodelling and autoimmune disease. Much research works are expected to be underwent by the development of in vitro culture system of human mast cells in addition to mast cells obtained from animals, human biopsy or cell lines. In conclusion, it is clear that mast cells are pleiotropic, multipotential and complex. More detailed research remains to be needed for further understanding of biology of mast cells and it will be helpful to develop novel treatment modality in allergic inflammation.
Key Words: Mast cells, Allergy, Immunity

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