Basophils And Mast Cells Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Basophils And Mast Cells?
Basophils and mast cells are two types of white blood cells that play an important role in the immune system. Basophils are a type of granulocyte, which is a type of white blood cell characterized by the presence of small granules in its cytoplasm. These granules contain molecules such as histamine, heparin and antibodies that aid in defending against foreign bodies or invading microbes. Mast cells are also a type of granulocyte, but they contain larger secretory granules filled with inflammatory mediators such as histamine, cytokines and proteases. Both basophils and mast cells can be found in tissues throughout the body, but they are especially concentrated near blood vessels and other surfaces that are exposed to the external environment.Basophils circulate in the bloodstream until they encounter an antigen or foreign substance to which it is sensitive. When this happens, basophils use their surface receptors to bind to the antigen before releasing their stored chemicals into circulation. The released chemical mediators serve to recruit more immune cells to the site where infection or injury has occurred. In addition, these chemicals cause nearby capillaries to dilate so that more immune cells can enter into tissue spaces surrounding damaged areas where further inflammation occurs. Mast cells also circulate within the bloodstream but do not actively seek out antigens like basophils do. Instead, mast cells become activated by binding IgE antibody molecules present on surfaces of other types of immune cells known as antigen-presenting-cells (APCs). Once bound to APCs via IgE molecules, mast cell degranulation is triggered which releases chemical mediators from its secretory granules into circulation resulting in increased inflammation at sites of infection or injury just like with basophils only with a slightly different molecular mechanism at play here.