Mast cells are pluripotent leukocytes that reside in the mucosa and connective tissue. Recent studies show an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease among patients with mastocytosis, which is a hematological disease that is characterized by the accumulation of mast cells due to clonal proliferation. This association suggests an important role for mast cells in cardiovascular disease. Indeed, the evidence establishing the contribution of mast cells to the development and progression of atherosclerosis is continually increasing. Mast cells may contribute to plaque formation by stimulating the formation of foam cells and causing a pro-inflammatory micro-environment. In addition, these cells are able to promote plaque instability by neo-vessel formation and also by inducing intraplaque hemorrhage. Furthermore, mast cells appear to stimulate the formation of fibrosis after a cardiac infarction. In this review, the available data on the role of mast cells in cardiovascular disease are summarized, containing both in vitro research and animal studies, followed by a discussion of human data on the association between cardiovascular morbidity and diseases in which mast cells are important: Kounis syndrome, mastocytosis and allergy.

Additional Metadata
Keywords allergy, asthma, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular, Kounis syndrome, mast cell, mastocytosis, myocardial infarction
Persistent URL,
Journal International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Hermans, M.A.W, Lennep, J.R.V. (Jeanine Roeters van), van Daele, P.L.A, & Bot, I. (2019). Mast Cells in Cardiovascular Disease: From Bench to Bedside. International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Vol. 20). doi:10.3390/ijms20143395