CURRENT PHARMACEUTICAL DESIGN, vol.15, no.29, pp.3433-3445, 2009 (SCI-Expanded)
Mast cells, originating from bone marrow pluripotential cells are generally populated near to strategic locations of mammalian body. They store a wide variety of biologically active molecules in their granules and also can de novo synthesize an additional spectrum of mediators, depending on their microenvironment, phenotype and status. Mast cells have numerous receptors that can trigger a wide spectrum of cellular responses, some of them which can be preprogrammed against specific pathogens. Mast cells secrete mediators, go under total degranulation, or degranulate only some of the specific granules with required content according to the environmental conditions, pathogens or signaling molecules binding to their receptors. Mast cells are functionally multi faceted cells. A single cell can behave such as an immune cell, an endocrine cell and even as a sensorial neuron. In this context, mast cells can significantly influence inflammation, tissue remodeling, host defense and homeostasis.