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Mast Cells, Basophils, IgE and Allergies in an Evolutionary Context

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Immunology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021) | Viewed by 2387

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University BMC, Box 596, SE-751 24 Uppsala, Sweden
Interests: mast cells; basophilic leukocytes, neutrophilic leukocytes; serine proteases; cleavage specificity; phage display; IgE; evolution; allergy; vaccines; Fc receptors; dermatitis; cytokines; immune regulation
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Twenty to thirty percent of populations in the industrialized world are affected by allergies. Allergies have thereby become one of the major medical issues of the 21st century. The majority of these allergies belong to IgE-mediated allergies, where IgE, mast cells, and basophils are key players.

One of the major questions to address in this Special Issue of IJMS is why we have this system of cells and molecules that causes us so many problems. A second key question concerns what the central functions are of these cells and molecules in our immune system and how they have evolved during vertebrate evolution.

The first traces of mast cell-like cells have been found in sea squirt, a tunicate, where test cells express histamine, heparin, and a tryptic serine protease. All three of these are characteristic features of human and murine mast cells. Carboxypeptidase, another characteristic feature of human and murine mast cells, has also been identified in zebrafish mast-cell like cells. IgE only exists in mammals and has been found to have a very similar structure in all extant mammalian lineages, i.e., monotremes, marsupials, and placental mammals. The question here is whether other isotypes have a similar mast cell-activating function in reptiles, birds, amphibians, and fish. By in depth analysis of mast cells, basophils, and potential immunoglobulin binding receptors on mast cells and basophils in non-mammalian species, we will hopefully obtain a better picture of their evolutionarily conserved functions in our immune system and how they have become so deregulated in humans and several domestic animals. We also encourage people working with functions associated with Fc receptors, IgE, mast cells, and basophils in mammals to submit their findings to this issue of IJMS as it forms a solid base for comparative studies of these components of our immune system and how they have appeared and diversified during vertebrate evolution. Studies in other directions—for example, the presence of non-immunoglobulin-related receptors and their role in mast cell activation, such as the substance P receptors of the Mrgp family or the anaphylatoxin receptors, and when they have appeared and diversified during vertebrate evolution—are also highly encouraged.

Prof. Lars Hellman
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Mast cells
  • Basophils
  • Neutrophils
  • Serine Protease
  • Cleavage specificity
  • Phage Display
  • IgE
  • Evolution
  • Transcriptome
  • Atopic Allergies

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

15 pages, 5326 KiB  
Article
Mast Cells and Basophils in the Defense against Ectoparasites: Efficient Degradation of Parasite Anticoagulants by the Connective Tissue Mast Cell Chymases
by Zhirong Fu, Srinivas Akula, Anna-Karin Olsson, Jukka Kervinen and Lars Hellman
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(23), 12627; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222312627 - 23 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1833
Abstract
Ticks, lice, flees, mosquitos, leeches and vampire bats need to prevent the host’s blood coagulation during their feeding process. This is primarily achieved by injecting potent anticoagulant proteins. Basophils frequently accumulate at the site of tick feeding. However, this occurs only after the [...] Read more.
Ticks, lice, flees, mosquitos, leeches and vampire bats need to prevent the host’s blood coagulation during their feeding process. This is primarily achieved by injecting potent anticoagulant proteins. Basophils frequently accumulate at the site of tick feeding. However, this occurs only after the second encounter with the parasite involving an adaptive immune response and IgE. To study the potential role of basophils and mast cells in the defense against ticks and other ectoparasites, we produced anticoagulant proteins from three blood-feeding animals; tick, mosquito, and leech. We tested these anticoagulant proteins for their sensitivity to inactivation by a panel of hematopoietic serine proteases. The majority of the connective tissue mast cell proteases tested, originating from humans, dogs, rats, hamsters, and opossums, efficiently cleaved these anticoagulant proteins. Interestingly, the mucosal mast cell proteases that contain closely similar cleavage specificity, had little effect on these anticoagulant proteins. Ticks have been shown to produce serpins, serine protease inhibitors, upon a blood meal that efficiently inhibit the human mast cell chymase and cathepsin G, indicating that ticks have developed a strategy to inactivate these proteases. We show here that one of these tick serpins (IRS-2) shows broad activity against the majority of the mast cell chymotryptic enzymes and the neutrophil proteases from human to opossum. However, it had no effect on the mast cell tryptases or the basophil specific protease mMCP-8. The production of anticoagulants, proteases and anti-proteases by the parasite and the host presents a fascinating example of an arms race between the blood-feeding animals and the mammalian immune system with an apparent and potent role of the connective tissue mast cell chymases in the host defense. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mast Cells, Basophils, IgE and Allergies in an Evolutionary Context)
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