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Cells 2019, 8(2), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8020135

Intestinal Mucosal Mast Cells: Key Modulators of Barrier Function and Homeostasis

1
Laboratory of Translational Mucosal Immunology, Digestive Diseases Research Unit, Vall d’Hebron Institut de Recerca, Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Universitario Vall d’Hebron, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
2
Department of Psychiatry, Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron & Facultat de Medicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
3
Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental (CIBERSAM), 28029 Madrid, Spain
4
Department of Biochemistry and Physiology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
5
Laboratory of Neuro-Immuno-Gastroenterology, Digestive Diseases Research Unit, Vall d’Hebron Institut de Recerca, Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Universitario Vall d’Hebron, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
6
Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas (CIBEREHD), 28029 Madrid, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Contributed equally to this work.
Share co-senior authorship.
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 2 February 2019 / Published: 8 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mast Cells in Inflammation and Immunity)
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Abstract

The gastrointestinal tract harbours the largest population of mast cells in the body; this highly specialised leukocyte cell type is able to adapt its phenotype and function to the microenvironment in which it resides. Mast cells react to external and internal stimuli thanks to the variety of receptors they express, and carry out effector and regulatory tasks by means of the mediators of different natures they produce. Mast cells are fundamental elements of the intestinal barrier as they regulate epithelial function and integrity, modulate both innate and adaptive mucosal immunity, and maintain neuro-immune interactions, which are key to functioning of the gut. Disruption of the intestinal barrier is associated with increased passage of luminal antigens into the mucosa, which further facilitates mucosal mast cell activation, inflammatory responses, and altered mast cell–enteric nerve interaction. Despite intensive research showing gut dysfunction to be associated with increased intestinal permeability and mucosal mast cell activation, the specific mechanisms linking mast cell activity with altered intestinal barrier in human disease remain unclear. This review describes the role played by mast cells in control of the intestinal mucosal barrier and their contribution to digestive diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: intestinal barrier function; mucosal mast cells intestinal barrier function; mucosal mast cells
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Albert-Bayo, M.; Paracuellos, I.; González-Castro, A.M.; Rodríguez-Urrutia, A.; Rodríguez-Lagunas, M.J.; Alonso-Cotoner, C.; Santos, J.; Vicario, M. Intestinal Mucosal Mast Cells: Key Modulators of Barrier Function and Homeostasis. Cells 2019, 8, 135.

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