The role of mast cells in host defense and their subversion by bacterial pathogens.
Mast cells (MCs) play a prominent role in the early immune response to invading pathogenic bacteria. This newly discovered role for MCs involves the release of chemoattractants that recruit neutrophils and the direct phagocytosis and killing of opsonized bacteria. Whereas these activities are clearly beneficial to the host, certain pathogens have evolved mechanisms to evoke anomalous MC responses to the detriment of the host. These include evoking phagocytosis without killing of unopsonized bacteria and the production of toxins that corrupt the release of mediators by MCs. Elucidating how pathogens subvert the activities of MCs could provide clues to limiting the pathological activities of these cells during infectious diseases.
Féger, F; Varadaradjalou, S; Gao, Z; Abraham, SN; Arock, M
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