Author(s): Kritas SK, Saggini A, Cerulli G, Caraffa A, Antinolfi P
Mast cells (MCs) derive from a distinct precursor in the bone marrow and are predominantly found in tissues at the interface between the host and the external environment where they can secrete mediators without overt degranulation. Mast cells mature under local tissue microenvironmental factors and are necessary for the development of allergic reactions, through crosslinking of their surface receptors for IgE (FcεRI), leading to degranulation and the release of vasoactive, pro-inflammatory and nociceptive mediators that include histamine, pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines and proteolytic enzymes. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammatory demylination within the central nervous system. MCs are involved in the pathogenesis of MS by generating various vasoactive mediators and cytokines and participate in the destruction of the myelin sheath and the neuronal cells. The process of the development of demyelinating plaques in MS is probably linked with the rupture of the blood-brain barrier by MC products. The effects of natalizumab, which is a very effective drug in reducing the annualized relapse rate and other relapse-based endpoints, are discussed. Here, we report the relationship between MCs and MS.