The interaction between mast cells and nerves in the gastrointestinal tract

Immunol Today. 1994 Nov;15(11):533-8. doi: 10.1016/0167-5699(94)90210-0.


Study of the neuroimmune system typifies the new integrative approach to biological systems. Numerous spatial associations between mast cells and nerves have been described, and data are accumulating on the functional aspects of this relationship. Here, Derek McKay and John Bienenstock review the bidirectional communication between mast cells and nerves as a homeostatic unit in the regulation of gut physiology and host defense.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / physiology
  • Digestive System / immunology*
  • Digestive System / innervation*
  • Mast Cells / physiology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System / physiology
  • Rats


  • Cytokines