The ingenious mast cell: Contemporary insights into mast cell behavior and function

Joakim S. Dahlin, Marcus Maurer, Dean D. Metcalfe, Gunnar Pejler, Ronit Sagi-Eisenberg, Gunnar Nilsson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Mast cells are (in)famous for their role in allergic diseases, but the physiological and pathophysiological roles of this ingenious cell are still not fully understood. Mast cells are important for homeostasis and surveillance of the human system, recognizing both endogenous and exogenous agents, which induce release of a variety of mediators acting on both immune and non-immune cells, including nerve cells, fibroblasts, endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, and epithelial cells. During recent years, clinical and experimental studies on human mast cells, as well as experiments using animal models, have resulted in many discoveries that help decipher the function of mast cells in health and disease. In this review, we focus particularly on new insights into mast cell biology, with a focus on mast cell development, recruitment, heterogeneity, and reactivity. We also highlight the development in our understanding of mast cell-driven diseases and discuss the development of novel strategies to treat such conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-99
Number of pages17
JournalAllergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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