The role of human mast cell-derived cytokines in eosinophil biology

J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2004 May;24(5):271-81. doi: 10.1089/107999004323065057.


Eosinophil-mediated diseases, such as allergic asthma, eosinophilic fasciitis, and certain hypersensitivity pulmonary disorders, are characterized by eosinophil infiltration and tissue injury. Mast cells and T cells often colocalize to these areas. Recent data suggest that mast cells can contribute to eosinophil-mediated inflammatory responses. Activation of mast cells can occur by antigen and immunoglobulin E (IgE) via the high-affinity receptor (FcepsilonRI) for IgE. The liberation of proteases, leukotrienes, lipid mediators, and histamine can contribute to tissue inflammation and allow recruitment of eosinophils to tissue. In addition, the synthesis and expression of a plethora of cytokines and chemokines (such as granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor [GM-CSF], interleukin-1 [IL-1], IL-3, IL-5, tumor necrosis factor-alpha [TNF-alpha], and the chemokines IL-8, regulated upon activation normal T cell expressed and secreted [RANTES], monocyte chemotactic protein-1 [MCP-1], and eotaxin) by mast cells can influence eosinophil biology. Stem cell factor (SCF)-c-kit, cytokine-cytokine receptor, and chemokine-chemokine receptor (CCR3) interactions leading to nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) expression, and other signaling pathways can modulate eosinophil function. Eosinophil hematopoiesis, activation, survival, and elaboration of mediators can all be regulated thus by mast cells in tissue. Moreover, because eosinophils can secrete SCF, eosinophils can regulate mast cell function in a paracrine manner. This two-way interaction between eosinophils and mast cells can pave the way for chronic inflammatory responses in a variety of human diseases. This review summarizes this pivotal interaction between human mast cells and eosinophils.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / immunology
  • Cell Movement / immunology
  • Chymases
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Eosinophilia / immunology*
  • Eosinophils / immunology*
  • Fasciitis / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Inflammation Mediators / immunology
  • Mast Cells / immunology*
  • Receptors, Cytokine / immunology
  • Receptors, IgE / immunology
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Serine Endopeptidases / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology
  • Tryptases


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Receptors, Cytokine
  • Receptors, IgE
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • Chymases
  • Tryptases