Neovascularization and mast cells with tryptase activity increase simultaneously in human pterygium

Domenico Ribatti, Beatrice Nico, Cristina Maxia, Vito Longo, Daniela Murtas, Domenica Mangieri, M. Teresa Perra, Michela De Giorgis, Franca Piras, Enrico Crivellato, Paola Sirigu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mast cells (MC) have been implicated in both normal and pathological angiogenesis, such as that in chronic inflammatory diseases and tumors. This assumption is partially supported by the close structural association between MC and blood vessels and the recruitment of these cells during tumor growth. MC release a number of angiogenic factors among which tryptase, a serine protease stored in MC granules, is one of the most active. In this study, we correlate the extent of angiogenesis with the number of tryptase-reactive MC in tissue fragments from pterygium and normal bulbar conjunctiva investigated by immunohistochemistry, using two murine monoclonal antibodies against the endothelial cell marker CD31 and the MC marker tryptase. Angiogenesis, measured as microvessel density, was highly correlated with MC tryptase-positive cell count in pterygium tissues. These results suggest that the characteristic neovascularization observed in pterygium may be sustained, at least in part, by MC angiogenic mediators, in particular tryptase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-589
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2007


  • Angiogenesis
  • Mast cell
  • Pterygium
  • Tryptase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry


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