Mast cells

Mast Cell. A cellular component of the immune system that resides in tissue. When attached to an IgE-Antibody combination, releases mediators (degranulates) in allergic reactions, including leukotrienes, histamine and other chemicals.


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Mast cells also are important for defense against parasites. Mast cells are found in tissues and can mediate allergic reactions by releasing inflammatory chemicals like histamine.

Read about a mast cell disorder called Mastocytosis.

Source: NIAID (NIH)2

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Mast Cells: Granulated cells that are found in almost all tissues, most abundantly in the skin and the gastrointestinal tract. Like the Basophils, mast cells contain large amounts of Histamine and Heparin. Unlike basophils, mast cells normally remain in the tissues and do not circulate in the blood. Mast cells, derived from the bone marrow stem cells, are regulated by the Stem Cell Factor.3

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  1. Source: RDCRN (NCATS/NIH): cms/ cegir/ Learn-More/ Glossary
  2. Source: NIAID (NIH): topics/ immuneSystem/ Pages/ immuneCells.aspx
  3. Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
  4. Source: CDC Parasites: parasites/ 
  5. Source: NIAID (NIH): topics/ mastocytosis/ Pages/ Default.aspx

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.