Interaction of Macrophages and Mast Cells in the Production of Prostaglandins and Leukotrienes

  • B. A. Jakschik
  • Y. Wei
  • L. F. Owens


It is well established that macrophages are very important in host defence, including the elimination of tumour cells. Macrophages contribute to host defence by phagocytosis, cytotoxic activity and immune regulation (Allison et al. 1978; Nathan et al. 1980). Mast cells are best characterized for their role in immediate hypersensitivity reactions. However, they also have other functions in host defence. They have been shown to phagocytose, though less efficiently than macrophages (Otani et al. 1982), and kill tumour cells (Tharp et al. 1986). With certain types of tumours, the mast cell number is greatly increased (Burtin 1986). The functional significance of mast cells in tumour control has been confirmed by the observation that the tumour incidence is increased in mast cell deficient mice (Burtin 1986). Mast cells also seem to be important in the initiation of inflammation, and certain tumours are associated with intense inflammatory reactions. We have observed that the influx of polymorphonuclear leukocytes in inflammation is markedly reduced in mast cell deficient mice (Qureshi and Jakschik 1987). Mast cells as well as macrophages are positioned in the tissue where noxious material may enter. They have the capacity to initiate processes which could eliminate unwanted material or cells.


Mast Cell Arachidonic Acid Arachidonic Acid Metabolite Eicosanoid Production Mast Cell Number 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. A. Jakschik
    • 1
  • Y. Wei
    • 1
  • L. F. Owens
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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