Our knowledge on the function of mast cells (MC) as part of the immune system has expanded from 'key cells in mediating allergy' to 'tunable regulators of the immune response'. Over the past years however, a large body of evidence has been presented indicating a more regulatory role for MC in the immune system by both contact dependent and independent mechanisms. Considering the vast amount of soluble mediators released by MC, it is not surprising that some are involved in the maintenance of peripheral tolerance and the control or even help to resolve ongoing inflammation. In this review we will focus on the immunosuppressive function of some of these mediators produced by MC in a wide variety of disease models.
Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd.