Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

World Allergy Organization Journal



DOI of Original Publication



Originally published at

Date of Submission

August 2014


Mast cells are well known as principle effector cells of type I hypersensitivity responses. Beyond this role in allergic disease, these cells are now appreciated as playing an important role in many inflammatory conditions. This review summarizes the support for mast cell involvement in resisting bacterial infection, exacerbating autoimmunity and atherosclerosis, and promoting cancer progression. A commonality in these conditions is the ability of mast cells to elicit migration of many cell types, often through the production of inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor. However, recent data also demonstrates that mast cells can suppress the immune response through interleukin-10 production. The data encourage those working in this field to expand their view of how mast cells contribute to immune homeostasis.


© 2009 World Allergy Organization; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Is Part Of

VCU Biology Publications