, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 351–362 | Cite as

Mast cells as a target in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

  • Olga Bakharevski
  • Peter F. J. Ryan


— Mast cells represent a unique cell population, which is involved in a number of immune responses in our body. Mast cells (MCs) release an array of potent pro-inflammatory mediators and cytokines upon activation that are either pre-stored in the granules or synthesised de novo. These mediators can make a substantial contribution to the initiation and perpetuation of the inflammatory processes. This review provides an insight for the potential role of MCs in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The data on mast cell distribution in the rheumatoid joint along with the information obtained from in vitro experiments and observations in animal models suggest that these cells may be involved in RA. The encouraging results of MC inactivating therapy in animal models of arthritis indicate that MC stabilizers may prove beneficial as a supplementary therapy in RA.

Key words

Rheumatoid arthritis mast cells treatment. 



adjuvant-induced arthritis


basic fibroblast growth factor


collagen-induced arthritis




disease-modifying antirheumatic drug


granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor








mast cell


non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug


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Copyright information

© VSP 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olga Bakharevski
    • 1
  • Peter F. J. Ryan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineMonash Medical School, Alfred HospitalVictoriaAustralia

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