Roles of Mast Cells in Autoimmune Inflammation

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Autoimmune diseases comprise a group of diverse disorders 42 . Although they differ in effector mechanisms and site of tissue damage, they are all characterized by immune reactivity to self-antigens. The ensuing inflammation leads to destruction of specific cells or tissues. Clonally expanded populations of self-reactive B or T lymphocytes may initiate some of the inflammatory events, but other immune cells also are essential for the full manifestation of disease. It is not surprising, given...

Roles of Mast Cells in Asthma

Allergic asthma is a chronic disease of the respiratory tract 41 . It is characterized by relapsing-remitting episodes of reversible airway obstruction. Clinical symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, chest discomfort, and coughing, which can lead to respiratory failure. Eosinophilia, lung inflammation, elevated serum IgE, mucus hypersecretion, and hyperreactive airways are typical. Like immediate hypersensitive responses, allergens elicit the initial symptoms, and mast cell mediators...