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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

The ingenious mast cell: Contemporary insights into mast cell behavior and function

Dahlin, Joakim S.; Maurer, Marcus; Metcalfe, Dean D.; Pejler, Gunnar; Sagi-Eisenberg, Ronit; Nilsson, Gunnar


Mast cells are (in)famous for their role in allergic diseases, but the physiological and pathophysiological roles of this ingenious cell are still not fully understood. Mast cells are important for homeostasis and surveillance of the human system, recognizing both endogenous and exogenous agents, which induce release of a variety of mediators acting on both immune and non-immune cells, including nerve cells, fibroblasts, endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, and epithelial cells. During recent years, clinical and experimental studies on human mast cells, as well as experiments using animal models, have resulted in many discoveries that help decipher the function of mast cells in health and disease. In this review, we focus particularly on new insights into mast cell biology, with a focus on mast cell development, recruitment, heterogeneity, and reactivity. We also highlight the development in our understanding of mast cell-driven diseases and discuss the development of novel strategies to treat such conditions.


allergy; anaphylaxis; animal models; asthma; inflammation; Mast cells; mastocytosis; urticaria

Published in

2022, Volume: 77, number: 1, pages: 83-99
Publisher: WILEY

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Immunology in the medical area

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)