Mucosal Mast Cells and the Intestinal Epithelium
Mast cell numbers in the mucosa of the small intestine are increased in a number of clinical and experimental conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal infections (particularly parasitic infestations), celiac disease, graft-versus-host disease, and possibly in food allergy (1). These conditions may involve some degree of villus atrophy. Abnormalities of intestinal function which usually include diarrhea are prevalent. Are the functional changes related to the action of mast cell mediators? Our studies investigating the effects of mast cell mediators on the epithelium in anaphyactic rats suggest that they are.
KeywordsMast Cell Celiac Disease Food Allergy Sodium Cromoglycate Sucrase Activity
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