Mast cells, angiogenesis, and tumour growth

Domenico Ribatti, Enrico Crivellato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accumulation of mast cells (MCs) in tumours was described by Ehrlich in his doctoral thesis. Since this early account, ample evidence has been provided highlighting participation of MCs to the inflammatory reaction that occurs in many clinical and experimental tumour settings. MCs are bone marrow-derived tissue-homing leukocytes that are endowed with a panoply of releasable mediators and surface receptors. These cells actively take part to innate and acquired immune reactions as well as to a series of fundamental functions such as angiogenesis, tissue repair, and tissue remodelling. The involvement of MCs in tumour development is debated. Although some evidence suggests that MCs can promote tumourigenesis and tumour progression, there are some clinical sets as well as experimental tumour models in which MCs seem to have functions that favour the host. One of the major issues linking MCs to cancer is the ability of these cells to release potent pro-angiogenic factors. This review will focus on the most recent acquisitions about this intriguing field of research. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Mast cells in inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-8
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • Angiogenesis
  • Antiangiogenesis
  • Mast cells
  • Tumour growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Mast cells, angiogenesis, and tumour growth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this