Mast cells and their role in rheumatoid arthritis

  • Holly Greggan

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Mast cells are active participants in tissue damage in autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Mast cells reside in connective tissues and the synovial tissue of joints, where they can produce pro-inflammatory mediators, proteases and cytokines. TNF-α is a cytokine produced by mast cells, and has been identified as key cytokine in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. In the current study, we demonstrate the role of mast cells in the initiation and perpetuation of inflammatory arthritis, and their role as effector cells in this process. Using two mast cell-deficient mouse strains, KitWsh/Wsh mice and Mas-TRECK mice, investigation was conducted in an antibody induced model of arthritis, Collagen-Antibody Induced Arthritis (CAIA), and in a breach of tolerance model in arthritis. Investigation was also conducted into mast cell-dendritic cell interactions. Unlike previous studies it was found that the presence of mast cells in a model of CAIA was protective. Female Mas-TRECK positive mice, which lack mast cells, experienced significantly higher levels of arthritis-like symptoms, such as weight loss (p
Date of Award5 Jun 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorCatherine Lawrence (Supervisor) & Hui-Rong Jiang (Supervisor)

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