Conjunctival mast cells in ocular allergic disease.

PubMed ID: 11424871

Author(s): Graziano FM, Stahl JL, Cook EB, Barney NP. Conjunctival mast cells in ocular allergic disease. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2001 May-Jun;22(3):121-6. Review. PMID 11424871

Journal: Allergy And Asthma Proceedings, Volume 22, Issue 3, 2001

Allergic eye disease is a common clinical problem adversely affecting the quality of life for millions of sufferers. This ocular process is associated with IgE-mediated conjunctival inflammation leading to signs of immediate hypersensitivity including redness, itching, and tearing. Pathologic studies have shown that the conjunctiva contains mast cells that when sensitized with IgE antibody and exposed to environmental allergens can release mediators of allergic inflammation. The type, release kinetics, and concentration of these mediators in the conjunctiva have not been completely characterized. The ability to isolate and purify mast cells and epithelial cells from human conjunctival tissue has permitted the study of mediator release and cell-to-cell signaling in this tissue. Our laboratory has developed in vitro and in vivo models to better understand how inflammatory cells are recruited to and infiltrate conjunctival tissues. These models demonstrate that mast cell activation may supply sufficient cytokine signaling to initiate and direct the well-orchestrated trafficking of eosinophils to the ocular surface, facilitate their adhesion, and cause release of potent mediators of ocular inflammation.