Important role of mast cells in multiple sclerosis

Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2016 Jan;5:77-80. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2015.11.005. Epub 2015 Nov 11.


Autoimmunity is a disease that occurs when the body tissue is attacked by its own immune system. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune illness which triggers neurological progressive and persistent functions. MS is associated with an abnormal B-cell response and upregulation of T-cell reactivity against a multitude of antigens. Mast cells are the first line of the innate immune system and act by degranulating and secreting chemical mediators and cytokines. Their participation on the central nervous system has been recognized since the beginning of the last century. They have an important role in autoimmune disease, including MS where they mediate inflammation and demyelinization by presenting myelin antigens to T cells or disrupting the blood-brain barrier and permitting entry of inflammatory cells and cytokines. The participation of mast cells in MS is demonstrated by gene overexpression of chemical mediators and inflammatory cytokines. Here we report the relationship and involvement between mast cells and multiple sclerosis.

Keywords: Immunity; Inflammation; Mast cells; Multiple sclerosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / immunology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Mast Cells / immunology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology*
  • Myelin Sheath / immunology