The role of mast cells in inflammatory reactions of the airways, skin and intestine
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The concept that mast cells play a key role in the initiation of acute allergic responses has been around for many years. However, the role of mast cells in the chronic processes that are the hallmark of inflammatory disease is still poorly understood. With better techniques to study mast cell function it has become clear that these cells may have a much wider role in immune responses and regulation than previously recognized. Exciting progress has been made over the past year in defining the breadth of mast cell functions in inflammation. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the in vivo significance of many of these findings.
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