High resolution

Module 11: Figure mast cell signalling

The function and mechanisms of mast cell signalling.

Mast cells release an enormous number of components that fall into three separate groups that are controlled by different signalling mechanisms. The preformed granules are released quickly through a typical Ca2+-dependent exocytotic mechanism. The lipid-dependent mediators that are produced from the arachidonic acid (AA) following stimulation of phospholipase A2 (PLA2). Finally, a whole range of inflammatory cytokines and immunoregulators are produced and released as a result of increases in gene transcription. The signalling mechanism that controls these release processes is described in the text. This figure represents only those signalling pathways that activate release processes. The signalling pathways that inhibit release are described in Module 11: Figure mast cell inhibitory signalling.