Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a common rhinopathy that affects up to 30% of the adult population. It is defined as an inflammation of the nasal mucosa, develops in allergic individuals, and is detected mostly by a positive skin-prick test. AR is characterized by a triad of nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, and sneezing. Mast cells (MCs) are innate immune system effector cells that play a pivotal role in innate immunity and modulating adaptive immunity, rendering them as key cells of allergic inflammation and thus of allergic diseases. MCs are typically located in body surfaces exposed to the external environment such as the nasal mucosa. Due to their location in the nasal mucosa, they are in the first line of defense against inhaled substances such as allergens. IgE-dependent activation of MCs in the nasal mucosa following exposure to allergens in a sensitized individual is a cardinal mechanism in the pathophysiology of AR. This review is a comprehensive summary of MCs’ involvement in the development of AR symptoms and how classical AR medications, as well as emerging AR therapies, modulate MCs and MC-derived mediators involved in the development of AR.
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- allergic rhinitis
- mast cells
- pharmacologic therapy