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Mast Cell Survival and Activation by IgE in the Absence of Antigen: A Consideration of the Biologic Mechanisms and Relevance 1

  • Toshiaki Kawakami
  • Jiro Kitaura
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2005
  • Medicine


Mast cells are not only major effector cells in allergy and host defense against parasites and bacteria but also important cellular components in other immune responses. Recent studies on the effects of monomeric IgE on mast cell survival and activation have made an impact on our view of the IgE binding to its high-affinity receptors, Fc∊RI. Traditionally, IgE binding to Fc∊RI has been considered as a passive action of “sensitization” before receptor aggregation by Ag. However, recent studies indicate that at high concentrations some monoclonal IgEs have effects on mast cells similar to or identical to those induced by IgE+Ag stimulation. These effects may be due to induction of Fc∊RI aggregation by these IgEs in the absence of Ag. This review will synthesize recent findings of the heterogeneity of IgEs in their ability to induce survival and activation events, their mechanisms, the potential in vivo significance of IgE−Fc∊RI interactions, and the implications of the mouse studies to human diseases.

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