Mast cell ontogeny: An historical overview

Domenico Ribatti, Enrico Crivellato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mast cells were first identified by Paul Ehrlich in 1878, when he was still a medical student. Many fundamental aspects of mast cell ontogeny have been elucidated since Ehrlich's first identification. Demonstration of mast cell derivation from bone marrow precursors could be established in 1977 when Kitamura's group first showed reconstitution of mast cells in mast cell-deficient mice by the adaptive transfer of wild type bone marrow and indicated that these cells were of hematopoietic origin. It is now definitively established that development of mast cells in bone marrow occurs along the myeloid pathway. However, several aspects need further clarification. In particular, identification and chemical characterization of growth factors expressing mast cell differentiating properties and the relationship between mast cell and basophils developmental pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-14
Number of pages4
JournalImmunology Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Bone marrow
  • C-kit
  • Mast cells
  • Ontogeny
  • Stem cell factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Medicine(all)


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