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Review article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

The controversial role of mast cells in fibrosis

Bradding, Peter; Pejler, Gunnar


Fibrosis is a medical condition characterized by an excessive deposition of extracellular matrix compounds such as collagen in tissues. Fibrotic lesions are present in many diseases and can affect all organs. The excessive extracellular matrix accumulation in these conditions can often have serious consequences and in many cases be life-threatening. A typical event seen in many fibrotic conditions is a profound accumulation of mast cells (MCs), suggesting that these cells can contribute to the pathology. Indeed, there is now substantialv evidence pointing to an important role of MCs in fibrotic disease. However, investigations from various clinical settings and different animal models have arrived at partly contradictory conclusions as to how MCs affect fibrosis, with many studies suggesting a detrimental role of MCs whereas others suggest that MCs can be protective. Here, we review the current knowledge of how MCs can affect fibrosis.


fibrosis; heart; kidney; liver; lung; mast cell; skin

Published in

Immunological Reviews
2018, Volume: 282, number: 1, pages: 198-231
Publisher: WILEY

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