Exp Mol Med.  2014 Mar;46(3):e83. 10.1038/emm.2014.7.

New era for mucosal mast cells: their roles in inflammation, allergic immune responses and adjuvant development

Affiliations
  • 1Division of Mucosal Immunology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. kiyono@ims.u-tokyo.ac.jp
  • 2Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Tokyo, Japan.
  • 3Division of Infectious Genetics, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
  • 4Department of Medical Genome Science, Graduate School of Frontier Science, University of Tokyo, Chiba, Japan.
  • 5International Research and Development Center for Mucosal Vaccines, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

To achieve immune homeostasis in such a harsh environment as the intestinal mucosa, both active and quiescent immunity operate simultaneously. Disruption of gut immune homeostasis leads to the development of intestinal immune diseases such as colitis and food allergies. Among various intestinal innate immune cells, mast cells (MCs) play critical roles in protective immunity against pathogenic microorganisms, especially at mucosal sites. This suggests the potential for a novel MC-targeting type of vaccine adjuvant. Dysregulated activation of MCs also results in inflammatory responses in mucosal compartments. The regulation of this yin and yang function of MCs remains to be elucidated. In this review, we focus on the roles of mucosal MCs in the regulation of intestinal allergic reaction, inflammation and their potential as a new target for the development of mucosal adjuvants.

Keyword

food allergy; intestinal inflammation; mucosal mast cells

MeSH Terms

Adjuvants, Immunologic/*therapeutic use
Animals
Humans
Hypersensitivity/*immunology/prevention & control
Inflammation/immunology/metabolism/prevention & control
Intestinal Mucosa/cytology/*immunology
Mast Cells/*immunology
Adjuvants, Immunologic
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