Mast Cells in Lung Homeostasis: Beyond Type I Hypersensitivity
Alma D. Chavez-Blanco,
Lungs are indispensable organs for the respiratory process, and maintaining their homeostasis is essential for
human health and survival. However, during the lifetime of an individual, the lungs suffer countless insults that put at risk
their delicate organization and function. Many cells of the immune system participate to maintain this equilibrium and to
keep functional lungs. Among these cells, mast cells have recently attracted attention because of their ability to rapidly
secrete many chemical and biological mediators that modulate different processes like inflammation, angiogenesis, cell
proliferation, etc. In this review, we focus on recent advances in the understanding of the role that mast cells play in lung
protection during infections, and of the relation of mast cell responses to type I hypersensitivity-associated pathologies.
Furthermore, we discuss the potential role of mast cells during wound healing in the lung and its association with lung
cancer, and how mast cells could be exploited as therapeutic targets in some diseases.
Keywords: Allergic inflammation, cancer, lungs, mast cells, pathogens, wound healing.
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