The Mast Cell, Its Diverse Mediators, and Its Role in Cutaneous Inflammation
  • Nicholas A. Soter
  • K. Frank Austen
Part of the Comprehensive Immunology book series (COMIMUN, volume 7)


An immediate type of immunological reaction, termed type I, anaphylactic, or mast-cell-dependent hypersensitivity (Gell and Coombs, 1963), results from the antigen-induced release of biologically active materials from mast cells sensitized with specific IgE antibody. In humans, the clinical symptom complex occurs rapidly after the exposure of a sensitive individual to the appropriate antigen. The sites of clinical expressions include the skin (urticaria/angioedema), the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, and the cardiovascular system; these sites may be involved singly or in any combination. Similar clinical syndromes may occur after direct nonimmunological mast cell degranulation or in association with abnormalities of the complement pathways or the arachidonic acid-prostaglandin systems. In the latter two circumstances, it is likely that the chemical mediators are wholly or in part distinct from mast cell sources.


Mast Cell Chronic Urticaria Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria Serum Sickness Hereditary Angioedema 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas A. Soter
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • K. Frank Austen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Departments of Dermatology and MedicineHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.the Divisions of DermatologyBostonUSA
  3. 3.Departments of Medicine, Robert B. Brigham and PeterBent Brigham Divisions of the Affiliated Hospitals CenterBostonUSA

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