J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. Sep-Oct 2021;35(5):1461-1464. doi: 10.23812/21-10-EDIT-1.


Mast cells and virus

M. Trimarchi1, D. Lauritano2, G. Ronconi3, Al. Caraffa4, C.E. Gallenga5, I. Frydas6,
S.K. Kritas7 and P. Conti8

Author information

1Department of Medicine and Surgery, Centre of Neuroscience of Milan, University of Milan, Italy;
2Medicine and Surgery Centre of Neuroscience of Milan, University of Milan-Bicocca, Milano, Italy;
3Clinica dei Pazienti del Territorio, Fondazione Policlinico Gemelli, Rome, Italy;
4School of Pharmacy, University of Camerino, Camerino, Italy;
5Department of Biomedical Sciences and Specialist Surgery, Section of Ophthalmology, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy;
6Aristotelian University, Thessaloniki, Greece;
7Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece;
8Immunology Division, Postgraduate Medical School, University of Chieti, Pescara, Italy


Mast cells (MCs) are hematopoietic cells that reside ubiquitously in all vascularized tissues. They are potential sources of a wide variety of biologically active secreted compounds, including diverse cytokines, chemokines and growth factors. In addition, they participate in innate and adaptive immune responses. MCs are the most important cells in immediate reactions and chronic IgE-associated allergic disorders and enhance the host resistance to certain biological agents, including viruses. Therefore, MCs influence many biological responses to viruses and other microbiological agents. Viruses activate MCs through TLR4 leading to the generation of several pro-inflammatory cytokines, including those of the IL-1 family. Here, we report how viruses can activate MCs producing severe inflammation and how these interesting cells can activate the immune system by carrying out a protective action for our organism.


mast cell, virus, allergy, inflammation, cytokines, SARS-CoV-2

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