Effects of Nitric Oxide on Mast Cells: Production, Functions, and Mechanisms of Action

  • Tae Chul Moon
  • Yokananth Sekar
  • A. Dean Befus
Part of the Allergy Frontiers book series (ALLERGY, volume 2)


Mast cells (MC) originate from CD34+ progenitor cells in bone marrow, but they are highly heterogeneous depending on local microenvironmental factors where they finally mature. The local microenvironment can markedly alter gene expression, responsiveness to secretagogues, MC phenotype and function. Although there is unequivocal evidence that exogenous NO has effects on MC function such as degranulation, and cytokine, chemokine and eicosanoid production, there has been conflicting reports about nitric oxide synthase (NOS) expression and endogenous production of NO in MC. The mechanism of action of NO on MC activities is mediated by posttranslational modification of target proteins through nitration and nitrosylation. We propose a new conceptual model of NOS expression in MC and provide an overview of the literature on the NOS expression and NO production by MC that may help resolve differences in the literature.


Nitric Oxide Mast Cell Nitric Oxide Human Mast Cell Exogenous Nitric Oxide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tae Chul Moon
    • 1
  • Yokananth Sekar
    • 1
  • A. Dean Befus
    • 1
  1. 1.AstraZeneca Canada Inc Chair in Asthma Research, Pulmonary Research Group, Department of Medicine, Room 550A, HMRCUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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