Facoltà di scienze biomediche

Epigenetic and transcriptional control of mast cell responses

Monticelli, Silvia ; Leoni

In: F1000 research, 2017, vol. 6, p. 2064

Mast cells are tissue-resident, innate immune cells present in most tissues of the body and are important effector and immunomodulatory cells. Differentiated mast cells typically are characterized by the surface expression of the receptors KIT and FcεRI, the latter especially being important for stimulation through IgE antibodies, although these cells have the ability to respond to a wide... More

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    Summary
    Mast cells are tissue-resident, innate immune cells present in most tissues of the body and are important effector and immunomodulatory cells. Differentiated mast cells typically are characterized by the surface expression of the receptors KIT and FcεRI, the latter especially being important for stimulation through IgE antibodies, although these cells have the ability to respond to a wide variety of environmental signals, to which they can variably react by releasing pre-stored or de novo–synthesized mediators or both. Since mast cells terminate their differentiation in their tissue of residence in response to specific microenvironmental cues, each tissue may comprise unique mast cell subtypes, and responses are tailored to the danger signals that are likely to be encountered in each anatomical location. From a transcriptional point of view, these cells therefore must be endowed with epigenetic and transcriptional programs that allow them to maintain a stable identity and at the same time allow sufficient plasticity to adapt to different environmental challenges. In this commentary, we highlight some of the recent findings that advanced our understanding of the transcriptional and epigenetic programs regulating mast cell functions.