Arthritis, atherosclerosis, colitis, eczema, psoriasis
Q: What are two things that all of these diseases have in common?
A: Inflammation & food.
Mast cell activation, histamines, and inflammation
Mast cells, or granulated immune cells that are located at barrier sites on the body such as the skin and gastrointestinal tract,1 are known for their role in defense against pathogens (particularly bacteria), for neutralization of venom toxins, and for triggering allergic responses and anaphylaxis.2 Activated mast cells also recruit other innate and adaptive immune cells and can participate in tuning the immune response,2 and are considered the major effector cells in allergic disorders.3 Mast cell stabilization is also the basis for medications that may help reduce symptoms of allergic/inflammatory conditions.
In recent years, low grade inflammatory infiltration, often rich in mast cells, in both the small and large bowel has been observed in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).4,5 Mast cells can be activated in the gut in an IgE-dependent way via the high-affinity receptor Fc epsilon RI, which plays a key role in allergic reactions.4 IgG, IgA, Ig-free light chains, and even complements (C3a and C5a) might also play a role via binding to the related receptors expressed on mast cells.4 When activated, mast cells release bioactive substances preformed in granules (histamine, enzymes, and heparin) and newly synthesized cytokine, chemokines, and lipid metabolites.4
These mediators may participate in disease processes beyond allergy and IBS, including functional dyspepsia, inflammatory bowel disease, and intestinal infections.4,6
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