Mast cells: A pivotal role in pulmonary fibrosis Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Bleomycin
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Fibroblasts
  • Lung
  • Mast Cells
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis


  • Pulmonary fibrosis is characterized by an inflammatory response that includes macrophages, neutrophils, lymphocytes, and mast cells. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether mast cells play a role in initiating pulmonary fibrosis. Pulmonary fibrosis was induced with bleomycin in mast-cell-deficient WBB6F1-W/W(v) (MCD) mice and their congenic controls (WBB6F1-(+)/(+)). Mast cell deficiency protected against bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis, but protection was reversed with the re-introduction of mast cells to the lungs of MCD mice. Two mast cell mediators were identified as fibrogenic: histamine and renin, via angiotensin (ANG II). Both human and rat lung fibroblasts express the histamine H1 and ANG II AT1 receptor subtypes and when activated, they promote proliferation, transforming growth factor β1 secretion, and collagen synthesis. Mast cells appear to be critical to pulmonary fibrosis. Therapeutic blockade of mast cell degranulation and/or histamine and ANG II receptors should attenuate pulmonary fibrosis.

publication date

  • April 2013



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC3624698

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1089/dna.2013.2005

PubMed ID

  • 23570576

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 206

end page

  • 18


  • 32


  • 4