What are Mast Cells?
“Mast cells are “first responders” that become activated with exposure to a diverse array of stimuli, from allergens and antigens to neuropeptides, trauma and drugs (Hendriksen et al., 2017). Activated mast cells are multifunctional effector cells that exert a variety of both immediate and delayed actions. Within minutes of stimulation, mast cells release granules containing preformed cytokines, biogenic amines, proteoglycans, proteases, leukotrienes, and lysosomal enzymes. Subsequent de novo synthesis and release of lipid mediators (e.g., leukotrienes, growth factors, prostaglandins) as well as cytokines and chemokines may sustain or oppose the early effects (Gupta and Harvima, 2018). Mast cells may also release extracellular vesicles, extracellular traps, and form nanotubes (Weng et al., 2016) that enable interactions with neighboring cells and structures including vessels and nerve fibers (Gupta and Harvima, 2018).” Source