In Vivo Studies of Human Mast Cells

  • Ann M. Dvorak
Part of the Advances in Anatomy Embryology and Cell Biology book series (ADVSANAT, volume 114)


Anaphylactic degranulation means visible evidence of the rapid exteriorization of mast cell granules to the extracellular milieu associated with histamine release. This abrupt secretory process was first referred to as anaphylactic because the mechanics of stimulation of this type of release from basophils and mast cells was an IgEmediated one. We now know that numerous other stimulatory mechanisms can produce identical morphologic events in mast cells and basophils (Dvorak et al. 1983c; Galli et al. 1984). Some differences exist in different species and in either cell type, but the basic end result is to place the cells’ granules in continuity with the extracellular space. These events are so rapid that it is not surprising that our ability to capture them in in vivo tissues is severely limited. Nonetheless, now that we have defined the morphologic kinetics of these rapid release reactions in vitro, it is possible to capture portions of these events in in vivo material by electron microscopy.


Mast Cell Lipid Body Bullous Pemphigoid Human Mast Cell Contact Allergy 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann M. Dvorak
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyBeth Israel HospitalBostonUSA

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