Mast cells (MC) are granulated secretory cells that have long been recognized as a rich source of biologically highly active mediators such as biogenic amines, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, proteases, cytokines and chemokines. Most of their biological functions however has been rather elusive. There are now emerging data assigning these cells a relevant role in orchestrating angiogenesis, both in normal and pathological conditions. MC indeed synthesize and release a large array of proangiogenic factors upon different stimulation pathways. In addition, MC have been recognized as key cells in mediating host innate and adaptive immune responses. This review summarizes the most recent acquisitions concerning MC involvement in angiogenic processes and chronic inflammatory reactions.
Keywords: mast cells, angiogenesis, inflammation, cytokines, human pathology
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport