IMR Press / FBS / Volume 3 / Issue 4 / DOI: 10.2741/231

Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Origin, maturation and recruitment of mast cell precursors
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1 Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirao Preto,Univerity of Sao Paulo,14049-900 Ribeirao Preto, SP, Brazil

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Edgar Julian Paredes-Gamero

Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2011, 3(4), 1390–1406;
Published: 1 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hematopoietic regulation and hematology malignancies)

Mast cells have gained increased recognition as immunomodulators playing a role in a variety of physiological and pathological processes. They were first described in 1879, but their origin remained controversial for almost a century. Today, it is known that mast cells are present in the bone marrow as committed mast cell precursors. They leave the bone marrow as progenitors and complete their maturation at peripheral sites. Investigations on the maturation of bone marrow derived mast cells focused on bone marrow cultured in the presence of interleukin-3 (IL-3) and stem cell factor (SCF). SCF is essential for mast cell survival and mice that lack either SCF or the receptor for SCF are mast cell deficient. It is the microenvironment surrounding the mast cell that determines its mature phenotype. SCF, IL-3 and IL-9 have been identified among the most important cytokines for regulation of mast cell growth and differentiation. Several factors have been identified as chemoattractants for mast cells, but their exact mechanism of action remains unclear. Mast cell recruitment is most likely a combination of the direct effect of mast cell mediators on the mast cell progenitor as well as the indirect effect of these mediators on other cell types.

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