New models for analyzing mast cell functions in vivo.

Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5324, USA.
Trends in Immunology (Impact Factor: 12.03). 11/2012; DOI: 10.1016/
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In addition to their well-accepted role as critical effector cells in anaphylaxis and other acute IgE-mediated allergic reactions, mast cells (MCs) have been implicated in a wide variety of processes that contribute to disease or help to maintain health. Although some of these roles were first suggested by analyses of MC products or functions in vitro, it is critical to determine whether, and under which circumstances, such potential roles actually can be performed by MCs in vivo. This review discusses recent advances in the development and analysis of mouse models to investigate the roles of MCs and MC-associated products during biological responses in vivo, and comments on some of the similarities and differences in the results obtained with these newer versus older models of MC deficiency.

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