Apoptosis is a physiological process of cell death that occurs in all multicellular organisms. Its dysregulation has been postulated as one of the main causes in the development of diseases such as cancer, AIDS, autoimmune diseases and allergy. Apoptosis has been mainly studied in the inflammatory cells that participate in the late and chronic stages of allergy (eosinophils, neutrophils, lymphocytes and macrophages) as a new way to elucidate the pathogenesis of this disease. Nevertheless, much less it is known about the regulation of apoptosis in the "initiators" of the allergic process: The Mast Cells. In normal conditions, mast cells are described as long-living cells that keep a constant number of cells in tissues. However, increased numbers of mast cells are observed in the late phase of asthma and in both the inflammatory and in the repair/remodeling stage of various inflammatory/fibrotic disorders. In this report, we discuss the possible mechanisms that regulate the apoptotic process in normal conditions and disease, such as survival factors and death receptors. A link between mast cell activation, during the early stages of the allergic process, and triggering of anti-apoptotic signaling pathways is also suggested as an important contributor to the extended life of mast cells.
|Original language||American English|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Apoptosis : an international journal on programmed cell death|
|State||Published - 2000|
- Death receptors
- Mast cells
- Survival factors