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ISSN: 1233-9687
Polish Journal of Pathology
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vol. 68
Review paper

Mast cells as the strength of the inflammatory process

Joanna Pastwińska, Justyna Agier, Jarosław Dastych, Ewa Brzezińska-Błaszczyk

Pol J Pathol 2017; 68 (3): 187-196
Online publish date: 2017/11/30
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The inflammatory process is a complex host defence mechanism aimed at the elimination of deleterious factors disturbing homeostasis. Inflammation consists of several interdependent stages controlled by a wide range of mediators. Those include acute phase proteins, heat shock proteins, complement components, biogenic amines, cytokines, lipid-derived mediators, reactive oxygen species, nitric oxide, proteolytic enzymes, and kinins. Due to the strategic location in the body, mast cells play a protective role in the inflammatory process, through its initiation, amplification, and resolution. Mast cells degranulate and/or newly produce, and release various mediators classified into three groups: preformed mediators, de novo synthesised lipid mediators, and newly synthesised cytokines. Those mediators have an impact on different processes occurring during inflammation, inter alia, they influence blood vessels leading to dilation, enhanced adhesion molecule expression, and increased permeability. Furthermore, mast cell mediators play a pivotal role in inflammatory cell chemotaxis, degradation of extracellular matrix proteins, impact on stationery cells and resolution of inflammation. The release of mast cell mediators and their actions constitute a highly complex and still not fully understood mechanism, which warrants further studies of the action of mast cells in inflammation. This review will focus on the current knowledge concerning the broad role of mast cells in the inflammatory process.

mast cells, inflammation, mediators, cytokines

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